*This is a guest post by Jackie Penn*
The term eclectic means selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of sources, systems, methods, ideas, doctrines, or styles. Eclectic homeschooling means choosing your homeschool resources (curriculum) and your philosophy from a variety of sources, systems, methods… Usually a family stumbles upon the eclectic method of homeschooling after trying several other methods with little success. You want a child-centered way to educate your student. Out of frustration, you begin to piece together bits and pieces of different resources from the various curriculums lying around the house. While some resources from a particular curriculum worked, other parts of it did not work for whatever reason. Perhaps parts of a certain curriculum did not suit your child’s distinctive learning style. Maybe parts of it were boring or outdated. Perhaps it was too hard or not hard enough. It could have been too time consuming. Did it leave your head spinning?
The “one size fits all approach” of many boxed or packaged curriculums does not suit all homeschooling families. You begin to realize the only way to move forward is to create a brand new homeschool curriculum that fits your “teaching style” and your child’s “learning style”. Are you ready? This can be “tailored” or “bits and pieces”. Tailored is more time consuming because you search out and plan everything. Bits and pieces takes from other curriculum so it is a little more put together for you.
While this method, eclectic homeschooling, can take more preparation time and more research on your part, the homeschool parent, it is usually more satisfactory to everyone involved. It is certainly worth it when it means the difference between success and struggle.
Curriculum Choices/Styles or Methods:
- Bits and Pieces–Using only the sections or parts of a curriculum that meet your needs
- Popular–Lapbooking, unit studies, unschooling, school at home (charter e-school), Montessori
- Recycled–Using older or passed down curriculum
- Boxed or Packaged Program–Pre-packaged curriculum such as Abeka, Bob Jones, Rod and Staff
- Tailored–Something you put together to meet the needs and learning styles of your child
Types of Instructional Material:
- DVD’s, CD’s, Videos, or Audio lessons
- Online Resources
- Living Books
- Hands-on Activities
- Games–online educational games, games you make, boxed or packaged games, or even boxed games you adapt
Jackie Penn, a former public school, and private school teacher, homeschools her 14-year-old daughter using an online curriculum, Time4Learning, and other eclectic choices. She writes a blog, Quaint Scribbles, tends the animals on her farm, and stays active in her church.