Homeschoolers aren’t bound to following one particular teaching model or another. That’s a good thing, too, because mixing and matching them all together often produces the best combination of academics and experiences for homeschooled kids.
If you haven’t found a favorite homeschooling method or style, or just aren’t sure where to begin, the “Eclectic” way might be just what you’re looking for.
Look up the word eclectic in a dictionary and here is what you might find:
1. selecting or choosing from various sources.
2. made up of what is selected from different sources.
3. not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.
And that’s exactly what it means to homeschoolers, too.
Instead of following only one curriculum series, or one author, or one total program, or a singular philosophy of teaching, being an Eclectic Homeschooler means taking a little bit from each one. It means examining what is available and applying what is judged to be the most appropriate for every given situation. In some ways, it is like forming ones own unique philosophy of homeschooling, and applying it to each individual child, and ones own family.
Eclectic Homeschoolers, for example, may use curriculum products for some subjects but child-directed learning for others. They can choose textbooks for some areas, library books for others, and hands-on experiences for still others. Sometimes, eclectic homeschooling involves mixing and matching all year long, not just at the beginning of the year, and modifying the program all along the way.
In many ways, the eclectic method is the optimal way to homeschool. By picking and choosing from the many products and approaches available, parents can completely customize the homeschooling curriculum for every child they teach. As parents learn more and more about their children, they can begin to personalize the program more and more, too. Plus, by not being tied to a certain program or product, anything that doesn’t work can quickly and easily be swapped out in lieu of something that does.
It would be impossible to draw up a resource list for Eclectic Homeschooling because it would include everything in the homeschooling universe, and more! Moms and dads should first study up on methods and styles and then find the products and approaches that are the best fit for their children.