The eclectic method of homeschooling uses bits and pieces of other homeschool methods to create a new approach that works for their family. It is also known as relaxed homeschooling. The eclectic method is very popular among homeschoolers.
The Eclectic Method of Homeschooling
Have you ever found yourself standing in the soup aisle at the grocery store. There are hundreds of different kinds of soups. Even among the common chicken noodle soup, the differences between styles and brands is almost comical. There you stand thinking… I just want a can of soup. If I could just take these spices, those gluten free noodles, those non-gmo ingredients, and that free range chicken and put them all in the SAME can, I’d have the perfect soup.
That is the eclectic method of homeschooling. By combining their value system, world view, and educational priorities with bits and pieces from the different homeschool methods, a family can find a perfect fit for their homeschool.
For example, an eclectic homeschool method may be comprised of
- Traditional method for math
- Classical method for the arts
- Charlotte Mason method for grammar and punctuation
- Montessori method for spelling or science
- Unit studies method to compliment science, language, or the arts
- Unschooling method for extracurricular interests or hobbies
That is just ONE example of how bits and pieces from different methods can be pieced together to form a method tailor made for your child.
The eclectic method of homeschooling tends to rely on educational goals rather than stick to a strict schedule. Rather than scheduling thirty minutes for reading, a specific number of pages or chapters is assigned.
The eclectic method of homeschooling also lends itself to a variety of materials, manipulatives, and media that suit the learning style of each child.
Common materials, manipulatives, and media include:
- Netflix, YouTube, or Amazon Prime videos and movies
- Board games
- Arts and Crafts
- Cooking and/or baking
- Unit Studies
- Bullet journals or notebooking
- Geocaching or paintied rock hunting
- Learning websites and apps
- Workbooks, worksheets, or lap books
- File folder games
- Extracurricular sports
- Volunteering or service
- Computer or robotics programming
- Building projects
- Gardening or homesteading projects
Often times, the eclectic homeschooler will designate the morning hours for the subjects that require “book work” and the afternoon hours for subjects that are more “fun.” Alternatively, a specific days may be designated for academics while others are designated for hobbies and projects.
When to consider Eclectic Homeschooling
- Teach children with multiple learning styles, needs, or ability levels
- Desire to cover the “important stuff” and still have fun
- Want to encourage learning from a variety of sources and methods
If you’re considering using an eclectic method of homeschooling, I highly recommend the Big Book of Homeschool Ideas and the Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Volume 2.