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Learning In The Absence of Education
Essays on Home Schooling
ISBN 9781876651626, 2017
first published in paperback 1999
illustrated with photographs and drawings
eBook only available
Containing over 60 articles drawn from Beverley's first decade of home educating her children, this book covers a range of issues, such as late readers, value of play, socialisation, learning maths, testing, etc. An intimate, frank and honest look at day-to-day home educating life spanning several years.
The author's youngest child coined the title one day when he innocently asked, "Mum, I'm learning in the absence of education, aren't I?" meaning learning without school and the traditional methods of learning employed by schools. This book shows the transition the author family made from homeschooling to unschooling and natural learning.
Unschooling takes 'education' out of learning - allowing learning to occur in a natural way, led by interest, passion, need, want, desire, to satisfy some immediate demand or long term goal. Learning becomes personally meaningful to the learner. This doesn't take the 'teacher' or 'mentor' out of the picture - home learning, in whatever form it takes, is a family and community affair. Decisions made about learning activities are generally cooperatively decided after consultation and shared brainstorming sessions. Sometimes learning becomes an intensively personal affair; at other times the whole family will pursue an interest together with avid interest.
THE BOOK THAT WILL CONVINCE YOU TO RELAX...
What readers think...
"I should say thank you for your wonderful book, "Learning in the Absence of Education". About 3 years ago, I conveniently left it lying around, hoping that my husband, who was extremely doubtful about natural learning, would read it. I was outside in the garden a few days later, and he came out saying, "Have you read this?" I thought he was angry about it, and I tentatively said, "Yes." I waited for his reply, which was - amazingly - "It's BRILLIANT!"
He loved your writing style and what you had to say, and it gave him the reassurance he'd been looking for. He's had a few anxious moments since then (as I think we all do), but nothing like it was. He's learned to trust in the natural drive to learn that children have, when they live in freedom with interested and supportive parents walking the road with them.
Thank you for your part in helping our family find joy in the freedom of learning naturally!" Karen
"I really like Learning in the Absence of Education. It's so real. Discussing your life and feelings so honestly made me realise i'm not the only one. I particularly liked 'The Ups and Downs of Home Educaton' and 'Why Home School'. Thanks for writing this book. " Anne-Marie
"Easy to read, with valuable insights and tested experiences. Great for someone like me who wants to know the mechanics and others' experiences before deciding to dive in."
"As soon as received your book 'Learning in the Absence of Education' I dropped everything and read it. I really enjoyed reading it and I am inspired to go on, finally with a more positive, less dominating and controlling homeschooling style... I am writing TRUST, FAITH and PATIENCE in big letters on my wall and starting again. I have wonderful kids and I am going to them shine, in their own way, in their own time. I appreciate being able to share these experiences with you, and thanks to your book and others like it, I know we'll get there."
Deanne, homeschooling mum
"Learning in the Absence of Education is sending ripples through the international community of young families I am connected with here in
India who are looking into alternative means of education for their kids (the school system here in India is far more frightening than in Australia!) especially some friends here from Israel, Switzerland and Germany, we are meeting regularly to discuss yours and John Holt's writing. I will have to order some more of your books soon to share with them!"
Anna Jahns, India
"Thank you for putting down in words your journey with homeschooling. All your 'ups and downs of education' are very well written, I like remembering/going over these things which reinforce why we home educate... your book has certainly given me food for thought!"
"I had the pleasure of reading your book "Learning in The Absence". I really loved it and it gave me some great ideas and lots of confidence. I still have my moments of "oh my god can I really do this!!" but I guess that helps me to keep on researching and learning about learning. I found your book so honest and the love you have for your family radiates throughout. Thank you for sharing what has made my experience easier."
"These essays are the real life experiences of a long term home educator and activist and make inspiring reading. I really enjoy Beverley's writing style in this book. It is very direct, sometimes even challenging the reader. She tries to be scrupulously honest always so we read of advantages and disadvantages of whatever topic she is discussing. She will also point out the ideal situation and how she thinks she falls short. Sometimes she is self-deprecating; sometimes she glows with enthusiasm for their successful lifestyle. There are touches of humour and sometimes wry cynicism.
Hopefully this book will answer many people's questions and fears about natural learning. It is all in here: how right it feels when natural learning is working well, what happens when we have insecurities ourselves, and the results so far. By presenting the natural learning case in this essay style, Beverley has been able to reflect the different moods, the ups and downs, that make the book a valuable resource for all those interested in home education, whatever their current style."
What's in this book? Contents...
ABN 93 420 435 548
Read Beverley's latest blog post!
The Educating Parent
April Jermey took over the reins of Always Learning Books from hr mother, Beverley Paine, in 2011. A stay-at-home part-time working mum of two young children, April experienced a mix of education, including homeschooling, unschooling, part-time attendance at school, completing her high school certificate at school. She supports the right of families to choose the education that best meets the needs of their children.
Beverley Paine home educated her three children, now all adults, between 1985 and 2004. An active volunteer supporting and promoting education choice for families for over two decades her legacy continues in her books and articles.
About Home Education
Home education is a legal alternative to school education in Australia. State and territory governments are responsible for regulating home education and have different registration requirements, however homeschooling families are able, and encouraged, to develop curriculum and learning programs to suit the educational and developmental needs of their individual children. For more information visit
The Educating Parent
Home Education Association
Beverley's manual on how to write your own homeschool curriculum! The ultimate DIY guide.
"Beverley's patience, experience, and understanding of both the questions and the answers make her a wonderfully helpful guide to the adventure of helping children learn without school."
Wendy Priesnitz, Life Media "Beverley's lengthy experience in the homeschooling community is legend. Thankfully for all involved she continues to share her deep thinking and acquired wisdom..." Linda Dobson, Parent at the Helm
A refreshing practical approach to unschooling based on the needs of the child and family which demystifies and simplifies the philosophy and practice of this style of home education.