It is estimated that around 3.7 million children are homeschooled in the United States today, and this number continues to grow with each passing year. One of the many reasons for this growth is that parents are starting to realize that there are a variety of homeschooling methods available to them.
The Eclectic Homeschooling method is one such example, so let’s take a closer look at what exactly it entails!
To learn even more about various homeschooling approaches, check out 10 Different Homeschooling Methods You Need to Know.
What is the Eclectic Homeschooling method?
Eclectic Homeschooling is a highly individualized educational method that allows parents to mix and match resources, curriculum and homeschooling methods to best suit the needs of their children.
With Eclectic Homeschooling, there isn’t just “one way” or method used, so each household must explore all options before settling on any specific style.
Most homeschoolers end up adopting an eclectic approach after a few years in the trenches, realizing that different subjects lend to different approaches.
This method would be best for families that desire a relaxed homeschool using a variety of homeschooling approaches and resources.
How do I get started?
If you consider the Eclectic Homeschooling method for your family, consider some essential things before getting started.
This way, you can be sure that you choose the curriculum that works best for your child’s unique needs instead of simply following a “one size fits all” approach!
How do I find resources?
Many Eclectic Homeschoolers use online resources as a way to mix and match teaching methods.
Some families prefer traditional textbooks, while others may find that online modules or videos are more effective at conveying information.
There is no “right” answer here, but most Eclectic Homeschoolers tend to use various resources to ensure they aren’t getting too locked into one style of learning.
Since each family has unique needs for homeschooling, it is essential for each family to self-reflect and decides if Eclectic Homeschooling will be the best option.
This method would be best for families with naturally curious children and always hungry to learn more. Young learners who have a lot of energy and love trying new things will enjoy this method most, but it can work well for any family regardless of their child’s age or learning style.
What Are the Pros?
- Flexible: Eclectic Homeschooling is relaxed by nature because it allows parents to mix and match different resources while also customizable to each family’s specific needs.
- Individualized: Each child’s education can be tailored specifically for them based on their unique strengths, weaknesses, interests, etc. This makes this method ideal for young learners who are still developing their skills.
- Multi-modal Learning: Homeschooling with the eclectic method allows parents to integrate multiple educational tools into their lessons, which can help children retain information in various ways.
- Best of the Best: Eclectic Homeschooling allows families to pick the best of everything; parents don’t have to settle on an education method that is mediocre or lacking in one way or another.
- Practical: This method allows parents to utilize one curriculum for multiple children, modifying where need be. As a result, parents can save money.
What Are the Cons?
- Mixed Bag: Since this method is so flexible and customizable, it can often be overwhelming to try and find a balance between all of your child’s needs. Parents may also struggle with integrating multiple resources into one cohesive program for their kids that covers everything they need to know.
- Time Consuming: Eclectic Homeschooling requires a lot of time and effort from parents because they must research resources and make sure to integrate them into their children’s education in a meaningful way. Because there is no specific curriculum or “one size fits all” approach, this can be very time-consuming for families who are not used to this way of learning.
- More extensive Knowledge Base Required: Eclectic Homeschooling requires a more profound knowledge base from parents, so it can be challenging to implement if you are not already well-versed in the various educational approaches out there.
- Possible Higher Cost: Eclectic Homeschooling also tends to cost more because families must purchase many different resources and integrate them seamlessly. While this is an investment for most families, it is not sustainable for those unable to afford the upfront costs.
- Lots of Experimenting: Eclectic Homeschooling requires trial and error to see what works best for each family. Because there are so many resources available, it can be very refreshing at first; however, parents may soon find themselves overwhelmed with all the options they have in front of them.
- It Takes Time to Find your Rhythm: Eclectic Homeschooling can be tough to get into for parents who are not used to this way of learning. It is an adjustment at first, so it may take families a while before they find their “rhythm” when it comes to general homeschooling, including the eclectic approach.
We are Eclectic Homeschoolers, and I created a list of my favorite books that new homeschoolers should read. You can find an abbreviated list on the sidebar of most pages or you can check out my article, 10 Must-Read Books for New Homeschoolers.
- The Homeschool Front
- The Intuitive Homeschooler
- Eclectic Homeschooling
- Eclectic Homeschooler
- SEA Homeschoolers
- Brave Writer Podcast
- Wild + Free
- The Homeschool Sisters Podcast
- Homeschool Unrefined
- Off-Trail Learning
- The Homeschool Solutions Show with Pam Barnhill
- Read-Aloud Revival
- The Homeschool Front
- The Eclectic Homeschooler
- Mama YaYa Homeschools
- How We School
- The Waldock Way
- Homes Sweet Homeschool
- The Homeschool Convert
- Teach from Home: The Eclectic Homeschooling Method
Popular Curricula & Teaching Materials
Eclectic Homeschoolers use a variety of resources and curricula depending on their needs. The following are the most popular resources they use:
- Brave Writer
- Story of the World
- Scientific Connection through Inquiry
- Institute for Excellence in Writing
- Royal Fireworks Press & The MCT Language Arts Curriculum
- Pandia Press
- Carrier Shell Curriculum
- Beautiful Feet Books
- Khan Academy
- Beast Academy
- Singapore Math
- Rosetta Stone Homeschool
- Build Your Library
- Teachers Pay Teachers
- Homeschool blogs that offer free and paid printables
- Secular, Eclectic, Academic (SEA) Homeschoolers
- Classical/Charlotte Mason/Eclectic Homeschoolers Extraordinaire
- Relaxed Homeschooling
- Wild + Free Groups
So what’s the verdict on Eclectic Homeschooling? It sounds like a great idea, right?
But the best approach to homeschooling is the one that works for you and your family.
Eclectic Homeschooling is a highly individualized education method that allows parents to mix and match resources to suit the needs of their children.
With Eclectic Homeschooling, there isn’t just “one way” or curriculum which will be best suited for every household, so each must explore all options before settling on any specific style.
And if you’re interested in learning about other homeschooling approaches, don’t forget to check out my blog post, 10 Different Homeschooling Methods You Need to Know.
What homeschooling method do you think would be best for your child? Let me know!
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and sometimes purveyor of vintage goods. She’s an Enneagram 5w7, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.