Eclectic Style: Homeschool Philosophy Spotlight Series

You may have heard about Charlotte Mason and Classical homeschooling.

You might know people who utilize co-ops or outschool-type classes, where kids go once or twice a week for instruction and tests from a specialized teacher, but do the bulk of their work at home.

You may be familiar with textbook style, traditional homeschooling, where you purchase curriculum, plan your lessons for the semester or year, and handle the instruction yourself.

Each of these options can be fantastic, and we’ve used most of them over the years. But sometimes it can be a challenge to find one style or method that fits your schedule, or your teaching style, or your kids’ learning style. Or, what worked for older ones, isn’t cutting it for younger siblings. Because, as we all learn, kids are all different, with unique needs and aptitudes.

Well my friend, allow me to introduce you to the wonder that is Eclectic homeschooling!

Sometimes, One Size Doesn’t Fit All

It’s a pretty obvious concept, when you really stop and think about it. I mean, we don’t only enjoy one kind of food, or wear one color exclusively. The same is true for learning.

Each of us learn different things in different ways. I think we’ve been conditioned to believe that standardization is the best way to educate, but on an individual level, kids do better with variety.

That’s what homeschooling gives us the freedom to do! And this method allows for the most freedom and flexibility within that framework.

Education Specialized To The Individual

The eclectic method is probably the most popular and easiest to do because it’s not one particular approach. It’s called eclectic because it’s a combination of the others. The parent may pick from several methods combining favorites parts from each.

This is another excellent technique to use when you are just starting out homeschooling, especially if you aren’t sure of the style you’d like to use. Try out some different materials and see which one resonates with your family or specific children.

You may love unit nature studies for science, a classical approach for history, an online program for math (maybe because you’d rather have someone else teach this subject), traditional textbooks for reading, and letting your child lead and explore on his own for arts and creative activities. That’s what eclectic is all about.

It’s Up To You

I have been homeschooling for over several years now, and we are definitely the eclectic homeschooling style in my household.  I have one VERY visual learner who has to see it to understand it, and one with a kinesthetic learning style who needs hands-on practice to drive home new concepts. One homeschooling style would not have worked with both of them.

It became very obvious early on that I needed to individualize the materials for each of them. This does not mean the curriculum needs thrown out. It may simply need some tweaking. If you bought a traditional textbook for a child one year and want to use it with another child who does better with a Charlotte Mason style, one example of a change would be to have the child narrate answers back to you instead writing everything down. There are tons of ways to change up materials. It’s okay to do that!

Freedom And Flexibility

There are a-lot of homeschoolers who utilize this method with great success. Ask around! Get some advice from people you know, or join a group to ask questions and get feedback. There are SO many different ways to make this free-style homeschooling work wonders for your family!

Unsure where to start? Take our Homeschool Philosophy Quiz to get an idea what style suits you best.

Check out the other methods in our Homeschool Philosophy Spotlight Series.

Traditional (textbook) Method

Charlotte Mason Method

Online Method

Unschooling Method

Classical Method

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