An Eclectic home school education will look differently from family to family. An eclectic family will pick and choose their style1 of homeschooling depending on the subject and interest level. Eclectic homeschooling may consist of a traditional text for math, literature based studies for history, hands on activity based unit studies for science and unschooling for language arts.
An eclectic home school education can also be termed an identity directed education. I believe the Elijah Company (no longer in business) is the first to use that term. At least that is where I heard it first. It is educational choices based on the identity of the child.
Not child centered... the parent still plays a major roll in what is studied, but the manner of study is decided based on the interests and strengths of the child.
Students can work independently or in groups according to the abilities and learning style1s of the family. Families can pick and choose their favorite curriculum from different publishers.
Student can choose a interest driven approach to the areas he is passionate about... and choose textbooks from a favorite publisher to cover basic materials that he may not have an interest.
Actually since this is my preferred method... I can't really think of too many cons. I suppose the decision making process could be considered a con. If you are using a complete curriculum the choices are made for you. However the freedom to choose a text for one subject and still enjoy delight directed studies for other subjects is very freeing.
For our family as my boys reach high-school age I find that they are ready for more of a traditional approach to some subjects. And it actually relieved my shoulders of some work!
If a students interest do not lie in history or science it can seem like a monumental task to teach these in any type of self directed study. Ever try to convince a teen boy that something he does not think is important can be interesting? Futility is the word I come up with.
What ended up happening is mom is researching what activities would be good for this study and mom is collecting books and scouring the library catalog. I don't know about your house but in mine.... MOM is busy!
Yet... history and science is not something I'm willing to let go. He NEEDS to know how this country is founded. He NEEDS to understand basic Biology and Physical Science. I decided not to reinvent the wheel. The paces (or any traditional text) allows us to cover the basics of a topic and the student can then focus more time on his passions.
If your child has a passion for geology for instance... you may be able to cover that topic with more interest led activities and “real” books.
If biology is a bore... for this same student, work through a biology text. With an eclectic home school education the basics are covered and your student has the enjoyment and the experience researching his chosen topic of study.
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