How Homeschooling Has Changed Over Time

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Modern homeschooling is often vastly different to what many people would expect. I think, too often, people have an out-dated view of home education (based on assumptions and stereotypes). When you tell someone you are homeschooling, they seem to immediately think of sheltered, conservative families who don’t know what a television is and never leave the home.

However, over time, the majority of homeschoolers are strikingly different to these closed-minded views. Home educating has now evolved into a dynamic and exciting way of learning.

How Homeschooling Has Changed Over Time

Some of the significant ways that homeschooling has changed in recent times are a result of technology:

  1. Cameras, camera phones, video cameras, tablets, etc to record and share information, ideas and learning.
  2. Movies and TV documentaries that bring knowledge and experiences into the home that we simply couldn’t otherwise.
  3. The internet – for communication,
  4.                         – for support,
  5.                         – and for resources.

Each of these apply to both parents and children. Of course, family, friends, people in the community, books, play, nature as well as many other not so technological mediums play a huge part and have a fundamental role in homeschooling. But it would be hard to challenge the positive role that all forms of technology have in education.

Technology creates somewhat of a virtual community. When used with boundaries and parental control, the internet opens an incredible amount of doorways to opportunities that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.

With Facebook and online support groups and forums, parents can begin to create a support network for their children and family. With home education co-operatives, local activities and shared resources, just to name a few. This also offers the ability to draw on other’s expertise and experience. No-one is a master at everything.

Modern technology gives a home educating child themselves (at an appropriate age) the ability to access information and support. While it is important to create limitations, it’s clear to see that the world-wide-web holds the key to a world of information – all at your child’s fingertips.

Furthermore, it is often portable and offers quick information and communication. Technology makes this great Earth we live on seem much smaller. When used well; I think it helps to teach children the importance of being a positive member in society.

What this means, for both the child and the parents is that homeschooling can feel less isolating. With online information, forums, groups, support, blogs, resources and more – the whole experience doesn’t feel so ostracizing.

The numerous opportunities can either make things seem easier or more overwhelming. This depends on the family and situation. I think it’s great though to research and consider your options. Ultimately, it’s a game changer when it comes to education itself including home education.

You can read more about my views on tablets for children here.

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Also, don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a $100 Google Play voucher!

What is or was your opinion on homeschooling? How do you think it has changed? Comment below and respectfully share your opinion!

This post is part of a Nuffnang native advertising series.

The Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 Kids is the tablet that grows with your child. With intuitive Kids Mode, parental settings and a great selection of preloaded apps, it’s the unique tablet for kids that parents will love.

Mirrors | Day 22 – 30DaysTYP

Incorporating Mirrors | Reggio Project Based Homeschooling Play series
30 Days to Transform Your Play series

Mirrors add another dimension to learning. They can be used in various ways to enhance play and learning.

Incorporating Mirrors in play and learning
Add them to the walls, (at the child’s level, behind a point of interest – toys, a project and/or in a specific area [i.e. the block area]) on the surface of play and smaller mirrors within their play and learning.

creating on mirrors, using a mirror as a surface for an activity
On a larger scale, mirrors open up a space and reflect light. Mirrors in displays and at the back of shelves help to create a feeling of light and space.

Using mirrors behind an activity, play, learning
With regards to provocations (invitations to play and explore); mirrors add beauty as well as encouraging a depth of inquiry. The 3D aspect that mirrors emphasize help children to view objects and play in new and different ways.

learning with mirrors

I think the use of mirrors in the play and learning environments can support the child’s construction and exploration of their self-image.

Mirrors provide the opportunity for kids to explore:

  • symmetry,
  • reflection,
  • perspective,
  • angles,
  • their own movement, and
  • self-awareness.


  1. Add a mirror to a space or two where it could add light and openness (i.e. a darker corner in a play space),
  2. Next time you set up an activity, consider using a mirror as a surface or behind the set up,
  3. Consider incorporating mirrors in art explorations in the future, and
  4. Add hand-held mirrors to your nature tray/shelf if you have one.


Feel free to share your photos (no matter what day!) on Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp and/or on my Lovable Learning Facebook group.

Here is the rest of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series and make sure you’re following An Everyday Story’s posts too!

Introductory Observational Drawing | Day 21 – 30DaysTYP

Observational Drawing | 30 Days to Transform Your Play

Introductory Observational Drawing:

Observational drawing is a powerful way for children to heighten their attention to detail, and closely inspect any number of subjects/objects (primarily still life). It gives a child the ability to explore and refine their drawing skills slowly over time.

introductory observational drawing

The basics you need for any age beginning with observational drawing are:


- paper

- pencil (and sharpener)

- object to draw

Simple, right?
Without too much direction, emphasize the element of observation and detail.

Remember that observational drawing is a learned skill, so give it time. Try to comment on the detail and effort that has gone into your child’s drawing, rather than missed details or an arbitrary ‘great job’ response.

Model the expectation and acceptance of mistakes. Remember to place emphasis on practicing and trying – not perfecting.

Praise their attention to detail, not the drawing itself. Try not to fall into the trap of saying “Great picture!” and instead say things like “I like how much detail you put in your drawing” or “You did a great job of drawing all those shoeslaces”, etc. – See more at:

Helpful beginner tips:

  1. The simpler, the better, initially.
  2. Resist directing the child’s work.
  3. Make drawing a habit. Draw with your child.
  4. Display the drawing afterward.
  5. Optional (but often very helpful): expand on the representation with other creative mediums.

The simpler, the better:

This goes for drawing materials, the surroundings and the object to draw.

Begin with pencil only and work through different mediums before adding colour. Try to keep the focus, particularly initially, on detailing the items shapes and perspective.


The drawing materials we choose will elicit certain kinds of thinking from the children. (click above source for more reading)

It’s not about creating realistic, perfect representations. To me, it’s about practicing the skills required to draw representations. This has many uses throughout life and is something that is often overlooked as a helpful ‘language’ to express thoughts, ideas and learning.

Give your child a simple art portfolio that is specifically for drawing. Not necessarily just observational drawing; any manner of drawing (i.e. free drawing, imaginative drawing and drawings about experiences they have had).

With the object, it’s always best for the child to lead the way and to choose a item of interest which appeals to something they are interested in at the time. Always attempt to start with simpler items and display them simply. Choose clear containers for items that require containers, and mirrors to help the children to view all angles.

Displaying observational drawings:

I think it is important to either a) keep a journal of observational drawings for a child (and their parent/adult!) to reflect on over time and/or b) display the drawings and representations in an attractive and accessible way (for the same purpose).

MMM_0049 (Medium)I love this idea for displaying observational drawings alongside specimens. This is particularly great for smaller items and those which can promote further provocation at a later stage.

Here, it appears that they have used matchboxes to display natural specimens with small drawings on the top. Unfortunately, the source doesn’t say anything about it and just shares the photo, but it is beautiful and a meaningful way of displaying works.

Something similar (and easier in some instances) is to take a photo of the object and display the drawing alongside it.


Observational Drawing kids children toy prompt provocationI love this kit from Mama May I on Etsy

Expand on the representation with other creative mediums:

  • Consider photocopying the original drawing and colouring it in (with any number of materials – pencils, pastels, markers, watercolour paints, etc)
  • Create a different 2D representation of the same object (with other drawing materials, or paint, wire, yarn, printing, etc. The possibilities are numerous)
  • Perhaps create a 3D representation (the medium determined by the object – clay? wire? recyclables? blocks?)


  • Set up an observational drawing for your child based on their interests or a recent experience,
  • Leave the exploration out for the week,
  • After each drawing session, talk to your child about their drawings; encouraging them to articulate their ideas and clarify their theories – you can use these to make any changes to the invitation (the subject) over the week.


Feel free to share your photos (no matter what day!) on Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp and/or on my Lovable Learning Facebook group. I know you’ll love following other people who are involved too!

If you have missed a day, here is the rest of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series.

Preparation | Days 19 & 20 – 30DaysTYP

We are two thirds of the way through the exciting 30 days to transform your play series.

Kate and I are busy organising something incredible for you all to finish this series off with a bang! I promise you will know more soon.

We have two explorations planned for you for next week; observational drawing on Monday and sand on Friday.

These will be our last two explorations for the series. We have some other lovely posts planned though; deepening pretend play, exploring the natural world and incorporating mirrors into play and a couple of others to finish the series.

30 days to transform your play
To re-cap, here are each of the posts in the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series thus far:

Day 1 | Introduction

Day 2 | Culling Toys

Day 3 | Setting Up a Play Space

Day 4 | Identifying an Interest

Day 5 | Preparation

Day 6 | Our Creative Space

Day 7 | Exploring Playdough

Day 8 | Rethinking Art for Children

Day 9 | Constructing

Day 10 | Selecting Materials

Day 11 | Exploring Clay

Days 12 & 13 | Preparation

Day 14 | Want Nothing Time

Day 15 | Working with Paint

Day 16 | Real Tools

Day 17 | Exploring Light

Day 18 | Using Books to Enhance Materials

Make sure you’re following An Everyday Story’s posts too!

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Using Books to Enhance Materials | Day 18 – 30DaysTYP

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30 Days to Transform Your Play series

Books have the ability to transform play into a rich educational experience. If you’re anything like me, you have tons of lovely books but many get overlooked for bedtime story favourites and are only brought out if we deliberately seek out something we don’t know amidst our play.

Using Books to Enhance Art and Play Materials

Thankfully, in the past week, we have changed this and you should too! Today is simple: display 1-3 books beside relevant art and/or play materials. Watch, as I did, as your child rediscovers books that are often overlooked. Watch as they thumb through books, discover and question further.

books materials play

Books (both non-fiction and fiction) add life and learning to play materials and transform an art experience.

While adding non-fiction books is definitely the more informative option, the odd fictional book certainly can enhance play and exploration just as much. Remember to include both, as well as relevant open-ended materials, to really amp up your child’s playtime.

For non-fiction books, we love Steve Parish kids guides and DK books (those outside of the US can purchase from Book Depository).

Non-fiction book + Fiction book + Relevant play materials + Open-ended play materials

For example, adding a relevant field guide, a story book about animals, some figurines and loose parts on a shelf together.

Just as you and I love browsing blogs for information and search Pinterest for ideas and inspiration, so do your children if given the chance. If books are made a priority and simply part of the play and discovery process, it will become second nature.

Not all books are created equal. When I go op shop shopping (thrifting), books are the single most significant thing I have to hold back from buying tons of! A selection of rich texts and beautiful books with inspiring photography is better than a giant library of sub-par books that are less likely to inspire and inform.

I’d love for you to share your child’s favourite books which can be used to enhance play and art materials!


  • Sort through your child’s books,
  • Select any that relate to your child’s current interests,
  • Place them on the shelf with related toys and materials,
  • Observe and document their play and learning with the books and materials – reflect,
  • When you next rotate your children’s toys, create an exploration and/or art experience and include a related book!


Feel free to share your photos (no matter what day!) on Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp and/or on my Lovable Learning Facebook group. I’m truly loving every single experience and question that is being shared. Thank you so very much for being involved!

30 Days to Transform Your Play series

Here is the rest of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series and make sure you’re following An Everyday Story’s posts too!