What Is Eclectic Homeschooling?

Summer Series At So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler
WELCOME to my summer blog series:
Homeschool Methods & Approaches

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the months of June and July, you will hear from several different homeschool bloggers about the methods and approaches they use to teach their child(ren). It is my hope that you gain insight, encouragement, and confidence by reading what these tremendously faithful women have to share.

I am honored and excited to introduce to you:

Kathy, homeschool mom of two precious children who blogs about over at Kathy’s Cluttered Mind about homeschooling and co-hosts FreeBee Friday each week.


About Our Journey:

We started our homeschool journey in the Fall of 2011. I jumped into homeschooling and being a stay at home mom all at the same time. I had worked full time outside of the home since our children were born, but we knew for a long time we wanted to homeschool and that when the kids reached school age I would quit my job. So that’s just what I did.


I had researched all the methods, curriculum, learning styles and more for over a year. It was almost an addiction. I started off our homeschool year by attending my first homeschool convention in July 2011, I even did the “Getting Started 101 Class.” And in August with NO idea of what curriculum to use, what method to employ, or my children’s learning styles we took the leap. But what we did know was that we wanted our children to enjoy learning!!


Due to cutting down to one income we couldn’t afford any curriculum. So we utilized the library and every FREE resource I could get my hands on. We started out using the workbox system. We had a schedule, each subject was covered everyday, we didn’t get out of the house too much and I was spending lots of time trying to get the workboxes organized each day. So….the workboxes and schedule only lasted about three months. We were miserable! There were tears from the kids and I. I began to research again. What was I doing wrong? I decided to ask the kids for their input. BEST thing I ever did. My daughter age 5 at the time told me she wanted to learn about animals and where they lived. So I said okay and we dumped the workboxes.  We still utilized the library and FREE resources but we began to let the children lead the way with their learning.


So What Is Eclectic Homeschooling:

As the name implies Eclectic Homeschooling uses a variety of homeschool approaches. It’s very flexible, relaxed approach allowing parents and children to pick and choose what methods and curriculum will work best with their learning styles and interests. It allows children the chance to explore their interests in ways that will appeal to them. Eclectic Homeschooling does not just use textbooks it may also incorporate fieldtrips, nature walks, co-ops, extracurricular activities, etc. Learning never stops and everything and anything can be a learning experience with Eclectic Homeschooling.


Eclectic Homeschooling may sound a little like Unschooling and Eclectic Homeschooling does use some Unschooling philosophy. But the main differences are with Unschooling the child chooses their learning paths and the parents only facilitate. The idea is that the child will learn what they need to on their own. With Eclectic homeschooling there is still a focus on specific subjects and skills. And the parent and child make the choices together on how they will learn those subjects and skills.



Why It Works For Us:

Our children began to love to learn. They began asking rather begging to do homeschool. They now decide what they want to learn about each month as their main unit study, they picked out their books at the library and I gather online resources. A unit study about one subject will cover science, geography, social studies, history and sometimes more. For example we learned about Lions and Africa earlier this year. During our unit study we learned about Lions, Africa, deserts, pyramids, African music, African Tribes and we even learned to speak Swahili. For reading we well read a lot. And for math we were just using worksheets but we think we found a curriculum for next year that we will be using (because I need all the help I can get with math).


What Kind Of Stuff Do We Do:

-Watch YouTube Videos

Unit Studies

-Make fun Lapbooks


-Read A LOT

-Take Field Trips – Homeschool Journeys Google Map

-Go On Nature Walks and Geocaching

-Play With Friends – Yes my kids are overly socialized

Online Learning

-Watch Movies

Arts and Crafts

Cook and bake

-Workbooks and Worksheets


-Community Service Projects – Like our Alex’s Lemonade Stand

-Play Games


Physical Education

-Extracurricular Activities – Like Sports and Drama Club


We use also a gentle learning approach with the kids. Meaning nothing is ever forced. If they are not quite ready for something like reading, a math concept, etc. we don’t force them. We also use a both religious and secular materials.


I am a stay at home/homeschooling mother to two kids. And wife to a wonderful husband who I married in 2000 on my 19th birthday. In August 2011 we began our homeschool journey and our goal is to homeschool through high school. I enjoy spending time with my family, photography, hiking, geocaching, blogging, finding FREE resources, crafting and scrapbooking. Follow Kathy and their homeschool journeys:
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  1. says

    Great article! I love this! It’s a lot like what I’ve been doing with my preschooler but I didn’t really know what to call it :)

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing what you do & how you do it. Although my older girls do more traditional curriculum, my younger ones & I are dong more of what you’re doing. I appreciate your thoughts.

  3. says

    Thank you so much for this post! We are starting our first official year homeschooling my 5 year old and this is exactly what we both want to do. He loves to learn and I just want to cultivate and facilitate the endless possabilities. Thanks again!!
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