Eclectic Homeschooling

A lot of us follow an eclectic homeschooling approach, even if we don't start out that way!

Eclectic homeschool lets you adopt a pick-and-mix approach and choose whatever learning style suits your child best.

Childhood is not a race quote

I am one of the very few people taught at home myself and now I homeschool my own children.

Being homeschooled myself has let me use the best bits of my Mom's more classical style and add to it a more relaxed approach to homeschooling my own children.

Advice about how to homeschool from a second generation homeschooling family

What is an Eclectic Homeschool?

I have to confess 'eclectic' is a word that I rarely use in real life.

I wonder if it's only me who finds 'eclectic' the sort of word I tend to look up in the dictionary!

However, as with many things in homeschool, it all comes clear once you've actually been homeschooling for a while.

When you come to decide on which home school schedule suits you best, you'll soon find that there are all sorts of different approaches to homeschool education.

Here are some of the homeschooling options you can choose:

choices sign post


1.  A traditional 'school at home' approach.


2.  Learning through Unit Studies. You can see this method in action in three of our homeschool Unit Studies:


3.  Online curriculum. I've suggested a few online sites in my page on free home school materials and would welcome suggestions!


4.  Workbooks to re-enforce and add structure to 'free learning.'


what is unschooling?

5.  Unschooling. In the UK we call this 'autonomous' learning.

Homeschooling allows you to follow the interests of your child and learning is child-led.

John Holt is probably the figure most associated with unschooling, but his ideas speak to all of us who are concerned about the way our kids are educated.

You can see what unschooling looks like in my page on what is unschooling?

Dr Alan Thomas home education research

Eclectic homeschooling means adopting a magpie approach and choosing bits out of all of the above options!

Why Eclectic Homeschooling?

Charlotte Mason quote about self-education

I think you may find that eclectic homeschool is often where you'll end up!

Here are some of the reasons:

School is the norm.

Striking out straight into unschooling and autonomous learning right from the start can be a step too far for you - never mind the children.

  • As you'll see from our our homeschooling day, things change over time. When the children are young, you may find sticking to a strict timetable doesn't fit with reality.
  • If you are homeschooling a child with special needs, an eclectic approach may well help your child succeed far better than a traditional school-style week.
  • And, if you have a look at what my daughter Catherine has written here, you may find what you'd hoped to happen in a day doesn't quite come off!
Catherine's diary of a day in homeschool

Which leads us on to the last and most important point:

Every child is an individual.

Homeschooling's greatest strength is that it allows you to pick and choose what method suits your child best.

Eclectic homeschooling allows you to be a true homeschool scavenger and decide what's best for your child at any particular time.

Homeschooling Start › Eclectic

Homeschooling How › Eclectic

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