Did you know that homeschooling isn’t just homeschooling? There are many types of homeschoolers and each homeschool looks different. When I first started out I would have called myself a Classical homeschooler. Now I would call myself more of an Eclectic Homeschooler. What exactly do these terms mean, and how do you know what type of homeschooler you are.
Personally I prefer a more eclectic approach to homeschooling, meaning that I like to incorporate several different styles depending on the subject. For example, I tend to stick to more traditional methods for core subjects like math, English, and reading. But I also like to think out of the box for things like science, literature, and history. We also enjoy blending in unit studies wherever they might fit in.
I started out as a very school at home homeschooler. We had our stack of books (even some school textbooks), our lessons plans all prescheduled for the year, and a full planner to follow. As the years passed I learned to be more flexible, to understand that what works for one child might not work for another, and to realize that every homeschool is different. This is why I have slowly shifted from being a school at home homeschooler to an eclectic homeschooler.
What Makes Me An Eclectic Homeschooler
1. I incorporate multiple homeschool styles.
This is the core of being an eclectic homeschooler. Everything else I list are examples of the various items I have implored along the way that demonstrate how our eclectic homeschooling looks. Hopefully this will help you to think outside the box for yourself, especially if what you are doing isn’t working!
Having learned that what works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another, I have branched out to try new things when something isn’t working. This has led us to a place where we are using various different homeschool styles in our homeschooling.
2. I believe in memorization and drill work.
This is part of the foundation of a classical education. The premise being that you work in building blocks, starting with the fundamentals in each subject (the Grammar Phase). I feel this is very important with things like Learning Multiplication Facts.
However, when it comes to history, if I were using the classical method I would go chronologically. Instead of doing history in chronological order, we have used many unit studies, curricula, and have focused a lot of energy on using history through the reading of historical fiction.
3. We follow where the curiosity leads.
This is more of an unschooling thing, and I have done this most with my youngest child. She can get super fired up and into one topic, immersing herself completely in learning everything she can about it while shutting most things out.
There have been many times we have put the daily work away to explore a topic. In the end she has learned more than I probably could “drilled” into her. And while I believe drill work to be important for certain things, I have definitely learned that making room for other types of learning is important.
Need help finding your homeschool style?
I have just the thing for you! Check out the quiz below (simply click on the image) to help you decide what might work best for you!