Eclectic Homeschooling is homeschool your way. Take pieces from other philosophies and make a curriculum all your own!
Hey, guys. Welcome back for the last day of my homeschooling style series. I’m so glad you joined me! To wrap things up, I’m going to talk about eclectic homeschooling also known as “relaxed homeschooling.”
We are eclectic homeschoolers, so I’m excited to talk about this style. Eclectic homeschooling is super, super simple. It’s like anything else that’s eclectic: a little bit of everything.
As I mentioned above, eclectic homeschooling is simply a mixup of any of the other styles combined to make a homeschool that works for you and your family.
In our homeschool, we mix in a little bit of classical, a little bit of unit study, and a little bit of Charlotte Mason. We just go with it. For a closer look at our homeschool check out my post, Our Eclectic Homeschool.
You learn differently than I do. Your daughter may learn differently than your son. Your two sons may learn differently than each other.
Eclectic homeschooling provides a customized homeschool to accommodate your family’s differences. Take what you like and what works from each style, then adapt it to your needs. Your homeschool shelves and notebooks will look like each style was sprinkled onto your bookshelves.
Why Would You Want An Eclectic Homeschool?
You are in charge. I am not sure about you, but this speaks to my inner control freak. “I can do what I want to do!”
You tailor your curriculum for each child, based on their learning styles. You will not be limited to only studying the subjects that a style dictates. (Ex. Classical – Foreign Language) You will not be limited to the worktexts that a particular boxed curriculum or curriculum guide suggests.
In our homeschool, our kids have the freedom to explore “electives” based on their interests. To name a few, my kids have chosen to study photography, coding, cooking, and theater. And for the upcoming school year, our curriculum consists of Classical worktexts, Online Learning, Unit Studies, Hands-On Learning projects, and lots of Fiction and Non-Fiction reading.
There is not a right or wrong way since you decide what your kids will learn.
Since I did not commit to a single style, I don’t feel guilty about not teaching my children Greek or Latin (Classical style). If you purchase an All In One program, if you are like me, you will feel guilty when you don’t check all the boxes as completed each day.
I have enough guilt in my life, not conforming to what a curriculum says I should be doing is not something I want to add to the list. 😜
There is no strict schedule (unless you make one), allowing flexibility with real life and activities.
Because I set our schedule and plan our curriculum, I build in “I really can’t homeschool today!” days. I am aware of what we need to get done, what we can miss, and what we can just add to the next day.
There are a wide variety of resources available since you are not limited by your style’s curriculum.
I am not much of a researcher, but I have actually enjoyed researching curriculum options to find what may suit our homeschool and our budget. I spend time looking at sample pages, reading product reviews, talking to other homeschool moms, and looking through our online library catalog.
The longer you homeschool the better you get at knowing what works for your kids AND yourself.
Since you are in control, you can control the costs. With the variety of curriculum options available and with a little research, you can keep your costs to a minimum and find what works for you.
I am a budgeter and we are a frugal family. Honestly, I could not bring myself to spend $500-$1000 per child on a curriculum package. Eclectic homeschooling allows me to find curriculums that I like and meet our budget.
Why An Eclectic Homeschool May Not Work For You
Lack of Guidance
There is not an all in one reference guide for your curricula.
Since eclectic homeschooling is a combination of styles, there is no set guideline for you to follow. If you are uncomfortable with the responsibility of planning your entire curriculum, this may not be the style for you.
You will be completely responsible for all the planning: researching options, purchasing materials, laying out school schedule, etc.
I not only commit time to homeschooling our kids but also commit a good bit of time before the school year and mid-year. This time is spent planning and reevaluating their curriculum, the materials we need, and our school calendar.
Yes, this is on both the pro and con list. The wide variety of options may cause you to be overwhelmed or purchase too much.
To help with the overwhelm, set guidelines for yourself when reviewing materials.
- Set a limit on how much you are willing to spend on a subject.
- Have in mind what you are looking for in each subject. (Textbook style, Living Books, Videos, Online Class, Hands-On, Unit Studies, etc.)
I am guilty of purchasing materials that we did not use. Learn from my mistakes:
- Review the sample pages.
- Ensure that there are no additional products that you need in order to actually use the one you want.
- Is there a teachers manual that is required/suggested to understand or complete the student pages?
- Does the curriculum refer to other books on a regular basis that you may need to complete some projects?
- Are there manipulatives that the curriculum expects you to have?
- Know how you are going to use it in your curriculum before you buy it.
- I know you will get really excited about some curriculum options, but make sure you will actually put them to use before spending the money. Don’t buy it to collect dust on the shelf.
Your child may be confused by the message you send about how to learn if there is not a good flow in your curriculum plan. Just because you can mix styles, does not always mean that you should.
Some styles, such as Classical and Charlotte Mason, flow well together because there are some similarities. But some styles do not, such as Classical and Unschooling. Allowing your child to learn as they take an interest does not necessarily line up with the rigorous memorization work in the Grammar Stage of the Classical education.
Looking For More Resources?
Eclectic Homeschool Online – The Magazine for Creative Homeschooler, Published from a Christian Perspective
Secular, Eclectic, Academic Homeschoolers, an international secular homeschooling support organization. Here you will find a secular homeschool community, curriculum reviews and more.
So What Now?
As I wrap up this homeschooling style series, I hope you are well on your way to getting your own homeschool ready. If you missed part of the series or feel like you still need a little guidance for getting started, check these posts out:
Considering or Getting Starting Homeschooling
- 10 Fundamental Questions You Should Ask Before You Homeschool
- Considering Homeschooling? 8 Must Watch Videos
- Should I Homeschool? Our Homeschool Decision
- Why Not Consider Year-Round Homeschooling?
- Must-Have Homeschool Supplies
Homeschool Style Series
- New To Homeschool: Making Sense of Homeschool Styles
- Day 1 – Classical
- Day 2 – Charlotte Mason
- Day 3 – Unschooling
- Day 4 – Unit Studies
- Day 5 – Traditional School At Home
- Day 6 – Montessori & Waldorf
Thanks for joining me for this series! 😀 Please drop me a line or two in the comments below and let me know what homeschooling style you are leaning towards, are currently practicing, or what is holding you back from starting your own homeschool. I would love to hear your story!
Homeschool Beginner Bootcamp
Join me for this FREE 10-Day Homeschool Beginner Bootcamp Email Course Today!