Eclectic or relaxed homeschooling is a popular style of homeschooling where home educators take bits and pieces from a variety of different methods. It is a style that many homeschoolers default to after they get to know which programs work best for their children. Often, they will evaluate their students’ learning styles and watch closely to discover where their talents and interests lie, and then design a curriculum around those considerations. An eclectic or relaxed homeschool day might include some time using math software; journal or letter writing; reading from a periodical based on their area of interest; a science experiment in the kitchen; playing a trivia-type geography game; pursuing hobbies; taking a 4-H class or going to an interest club of some sort; and, listening to a parent read a more challenging novel before bedtime.

STRENGTHS

  • students can be educated in a way that best suits their unique needs and abilities
  • most flexible homeschool method
  • has the most resources available since most materials from other methods could be used
  • a popular homeschool method, so it isn’t difficult to find other homeschool parents to share ideas and resources with
  • considers the unique qualities and talents of the students to help maximize their interest and motivation to learn

POINTS TO CONSIDER

  • well-suited to seasoned educators who are more able to decide what methods would mix well, what adjustments might need to be made to a curriculum, or what might work best for their unique child
  • with more flexibility and available resources, a newer homeschooler may feel overwhelmed with all the choices available
  • an eclectic or relaxed homeschooler may discard a homeschool resource too quickly in a quest to find what works best for their child, without taking the time to understand the program better and make good use of the resources they’ve invested in
  • focusing on a student’s area of interest might leave another subject area inadequately covered for post-secondary entrance criteria
  • a growing brand of eclectic schooling is “hybrid” homeschooling, which combines part homeschooling and part traditional schooling (public or private)

RESOURCES

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