Your style fits best with an "Eclectic"
approach to homeschooling.
Most educational methods and philosophies dictate, to some extent, what, how, and when a student should learn. This often leads to a "one size fits all" approach, where the student is expected (even required) to conform to the chosen teaching methods and curriculum. Many children do just fine under such conditions. However, some children do not.
Many homeschool parents are looking for a more flexible, individualized, and often, a more child-centered way to educate their student. For these
homeschooling parents the answer is simply to "mix and match" various educational options, resulting in a personalized, "Eclectic" homeschool
Parents may choose to use only certain parts of a curriculum. They may modify a homeschool philosophy to better suit their child's temperament
and abilities. They can choose materials that complement their child's learning style. They can allow their child to progress through curriculum at his or her own pace, regardless of the grade-level assigned to the materials.
Parents can also create or "pull-together" their own tailored curriculum to meet the various needs and interests of each of their children; including
the use of library materials, online resources, hands-on experience, and outside classes or tutoring.
An eclectic "mix and match" approach to homeschooling obviously requires more preparation time and more research effort on the part of the homeschooling parent than would be needed to follow a prescribed curriculum. Homeschool parents who are very short on time or have several students may only be able to mix and match for certain subjects. Math is often the subject where a "Mix and Match" approach is most
needed: where finding curriculum that matches your child's learning style can mean the difference between success or struggle.
In general, homeschooling parents often start out using a prescribed homeschool method or curriculum, but become more Eclectic over the
years, as they become more comfortable in their role as "Teacher" and more confident in their ability to understand and meet their particular
child's educational needs. Also, after trying out a few materials that don't work very well with their student, parents become more "in tune" with what
works and what doesn't work ... and more adept at choosing materials that will be appropriate for their child.
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Eclectic Homeschooling --
"Mix and Match" to meet your child's needs.
by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006
Weaknesses of an "eclectic" approach
- Requires a lot of research on the part of the parent.
- Can become pricey as you go through the "trial and error" process to discover the right materials.
- Can leave gaps in child's education as you switch back and forth between programs.
Strengths of an "Eclectic" approach:
- Parent can cater to each individual child in their family.
- Students don't get bored with their materials as they are always changing.
- Allows the parent to try all different kinds of materials and philosophies to see which suits the individual child.
- Works well for families of children with varying needs and personalities.
- Enables a parent to pull from many kinds of resources thus the parent is not limited to one curriculum.