What Does an Eclectic Homeschool Look Like

There are many methods of homeschooling, and the eclectic style is generally a combination of at least two methods.  It doesn’t have to be any certain methods combined.  The word “eclectic” literally means:  deriving ideas, styles, or tastes from a broad and diverse range of sources.  So, eclectic homeschoolers may  take an idea or two from the Charlotte Mason method and then add an idea from the traditional method and add yet another idea from the Montessori method.  There are endless ideas and opportunities with an eclectic style.

 

Who can benefit from an eclectic style?  Just about anyone.  Not every family will fit into a single mold.  God made us each very different.  Because of this, not everyone looks at homeschooling in the same way.  And just as each family is different, so is each child.  So, a family of six children may use different methods.  To lessen the stress, the mother may find it easier to use a little of this and a little of that for each child rather than having Suzie follow the Charlotte Mason method and Johnny use the Montessori method while Annie learns in a traditional setting.  It would make much more sense to simply incorporate bits and pieces of each method into the homeschool as a whole, thus teaching eclectically.

 

Since an eclectic style is simply a combination of methods that works for your family, each eclectic homeschool may look very different.  There’s really no one way to be eclectic.  That defies the very meaning of the word!  Be eclectic, different, unique, whatever you want to call it… but be yourself!

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Mistakes I Have Made as a Homeschool Mommy

Although I have only recently begun my journey as a homeschool parent, I have already made several mistakes.

 

Mistake # 1:  Buying way too many workbooks/textbooks 

When we first started homeschooling, I probably bought about twelve textbooks and workbooks combined.  For my kindergarten son!  After a few weeks, I realized that even though my son learns quite rapidly and is very advanced for his age, he doesn’t need all these workbooks.  And, he doesn’t like them either!

 

Mistake #2:  Trying to mimic a public school in my home 

Just about every new homeschool parent goes into “teacher” mode when she first starts educating her kindergartener.  But why are we homeschooling if we want to play school?  Kids need us to be parents – not teachers.

 

Mistake # 3:  Not taking my child’s natural learning preferences into account 

My son is a visual and hands-on learner.  Yet I was giving him worksheets all the time.  Worksheets are fine occasionally for him, but I was insistent in the beginning that he do worksheets every single day.  Thinking back, I now know that is why we both burned out on homeschool so quickly.

 

Mistake #4:  Planning separate studies for my children for every subject 

I used to do separate work with my three and five year old children.  Now we cover Science, Social Studies, Bible, Art, and some math as a family.

 

Mistake # 5:  Taking school so seriously

My children are three and five.  They learn best by playing at that age.  If Mommy is too uptight to play and wants them to work all day, it’s likely that the children won’t learn much at all.

 

Life is a learning process.  I am sure these won’t be my last mistakes.  But I will try my best not to repeat these things in the future.  We all want what is best for our children.  But we have to remember that they’re still children, so we need to let them be….

Ins and Outs of Homeschooling

You have made the decision that homeschooling is right for your family. You are at peace with your decision, and yet you are starting to feel anxious and perhaps a little overwhelmed.

 

Firstly, you must investigate the homeschool laws in your state.  Each state in the USA has its own specifics when it comes to Home education.  You need to know what is required of you where you live.  A good place to start is http://www.hslda.org.

 

The next step is to withdraw your child from school if he or she is currently enrolled.  The withdrawal process is usually quite simple.  You will need to fill out a withdrawal form indicating your reason for withdrawal.

 

Then, you will need to meet with the attendance officer and file an intent to homeschool.  In some states, forms may be filled out online and you may not need to actually meet at the office.  But, you need to check the regulations where you live.

 

I highly suggest that you have copies made of each paper that is filed with your school district.  This will benefit you if there are ever any issues.

 

Now, you are legally set to homeschool.  Just make sure you follow up with any additional requirements in your state such as providing samples of your child’s work throughout the year, achievement exams, and so on.  Remember that each state is different, and homeschool laws are subject to change.  So, I recommend that you keep current with your state laws.

 

Finally, I want to encourage you to keep homeschool records regardless of whether your state requires.  Why?  This is to secure proof in case any problems should ever arise.

 

Although in my opinion parents should have freedom when it comes to educating their children, there are certain requirements that go along with home  education.  And, in order to exercise your right to homeschool, you must abide by the laws of the land.  Hopefully these tips give you more insight!