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We need another Eclectic thread!

post #1 of 313
Thread Starter 
To quote the lovely MyLittleWonders:

"Come one, come all ... you know you are out there. Like TV too much to be completely Waldorf? Too structured for unschooling? Too relaxed for structured hs'ing? Like the Classical approach to history, but have no desire to learn nor teach Latin? Delay a little too much to be early academics, but not enough to be delayed academics? Not "pure" in philosophy/methodology enough to fit in anywhere? Tried on a myriad of hs'ing hats, and decided none of them fit quite right? Well, this is the place for you!

...

Anyway, I wanted to create a little space for those of us that have our feet maybe in a few different areas, but don't fully fit in any. "




Hope you don't mind that I quoted you, MyLittleWonders. You worded your post just perfectly!

Lately I've been feeling like I need one thread where I could just ask all of my questions or get all of my thoughts/worries out to others who might understand! So ... can we start another one of these?
post #2 of 313
I'm in! I've found too much value in the various approaches/methods/etc to adhere to just one.
post #3 of 313
I had forgotten I wrote that. I'm here ... though we lean more towards relaxed classical, we are still quite eclectic in our approach (I don't think the classical board would have us ).

We are schooling year-round. The boys and me all need the structure - it seems to make our days go more smoothly. Dh is joining us while he is home on summer break. After a month, we decided though that we need a shorter session during the summer (or when he is home) so we have time to do other things in our day (like clean out the garage or work in the garden or prepare his classroom for the fall or maybe something fun ). But, we definitely need to make sure we are doing something at least 5 days a week - and we have the boys practicing reading every day (or at least that is the goal).
post #4 of 313
i'm in, i just only started researching the different methods, but already know this is where we'll be fitting in. ATM we are still undecided whether we will continue to homeschool after the preschool level, but dh and i are pretty open to all ideas, and have decided that the best way to determine if hsing is right for our family is to explore our options with preschool homeschooling and see how well ds and i like it. Dh will be helping out too, but at this point i am only asking him to teach ds hindi, maybe go out for 'field trips' on his off days and maybe help ds with puzzles,etc when i am out shopping on his off days.
post #5 of 313
We're definitely eclectic. We're just starting out and I'm still learning a lot but I've been researching non-stop since February.

Classical/Neo-classical
The parts I like from this style are:
  • Trivium - grammar, logic and rhetoric stages
  • History repeated 3 times, in more depth each time (Ancients, Middle Ages, Renaissance/Reformation, and Modern Times)
  • Coordinating the Sciences with above (Biology, Earth Science/Astronomy, Chemistry, and finally Physics/CS)
  • Reading Great Books
  • Not underestimating my child, although I still do sometimes and she continues to amaze me
There are several things we won't be following out of the classical method, but I do fit in perfectly with the WTM boards, even though I'm extremely relaxed in many ways.

Unit Studies (Five in a Row)
My family loves FIAR, I'm a creative mom and we love the fun and memorable activities. The books we row quickly become loved favorites and DD wants me to re-read them again long after we row them. The occasional lapbook is fun. We never know what we'll learn next.

Charlotte Mason
I keep meaning to research secular Charlotte Mason more, but from what I know, we do some aspects of CM. I do short mini lessons for my daughter. We are surrounded by nature and love examining wildlife, fauna, and natural wonders around us. We go for hikes and go bird-watching and flower identifying often. We read a lot of books. We're working on narrations.

Unschooling

My laid-back personality with no tests, schedules, specific bed-times and going with the flow of what DD wants to learn is a bit unschooly. This style appealed to me most when I first began thinking about homeschooling early this year, so I have a dozen unschooling books, but in the end, I just have too much fun teaching my daughter stuff like reading, math, and history, so right now we're not truly adhering to this method. I unschool myself everyday though.
post #6 of 313
I'm in! Love the intro, MyLittleWonders....thanks for that (even though you don't remember writing it. hee hee). I'm not Waldorfish at all but we are close to being a TV-free house. I don't watch any....just not interested & would rather fiddle on the computer or read.... & my kids only watch about an hour a week. In all my obsessive research last year I discovered that I lean way towards the unschool-ish side of the spectrum but teacher-man dh wasn't having that. This year will be our first attempt at some organized learning with DD1 being 6.5 (no preschool either) so we've somewhat delayed. If I had it totally my way we'd wait until around 8 but I'm cool with compromise.

So what's on our agenda? Math with MUS, art with Artistic Pursuits, science by whatever we fancy at the moment (some ideas include birdwatching, books & discussion about the human body, silly experiments), reading & writing by, well, just reading books & writing things. DD1 loves to write questions to me, I answer in writing & then I write her a question, etc. It's really pretty fun because we get goofy with our Q & A's. I've also recently decided to scrap SOTW & just read history books & put stuff on a makeshift timeline. The girls are really excited about this!

Most of this will be done with DD1 but I have a younger daughter, too, who is 4.5 (5 in December). There won't be any expectations on her but I know she'll join in when we're doing something fun or silly. She's starting to sound out words so as her interest piques in reading, I'll help her out with that. Hopefully, though, she'll just want to play & keep DS (age 2) occupied.

And....I'm in love with so much Charlotte Mason has to offer. We'll definitely be doing short lessons & tea time (even though we may be listening to U2 & talking about nothingness) but I appreciate the idea of a gathering between lunch & dinner to regroup & reconnect. This tends to be the hardest time of the day for me being a SAHM. Nature is a big part of our life, too, but we'll just continue doing what we do. Gardening, taking care of houseplants, biking down to the river & taking walks and just playing outside. Again, I may start a birdwatching journal but that may end up being more for me. I come from a long line of birdwatchers but have never had the desire until recently.

I'm actually looking forward to DH going back to school so we can get acquainted with our new lifestyle.
post #7 of 313
we fit in here. we are structured in the sense that i have educational goals throughout each month & year... but i have no loyalty to any method, style, or publisher. although i do purchase curriculum for subjects, i only use them as a spine usually & we rarely follow any textbook as instructed. lately my passion is collecting books. if i had to choose a homeschooling style we most identify with, i'd say we definitely lean heavily toward literature based learning. we love reading together, so it seems natural to choose literature to learn about science and history, etc. anyway - i'll look forward to following this thread
post #8 of 313
Does anyone wish that just ONE hat fit them? There's just so many people who know what is right for their families, be it Charlotte Mason, Unschool, Waldorf, etc....that I just wish I could grab one of these hats and say "it fits me perfectly."
post #9 of 313
: Still trying to figure out exactly where I fit.
post #10 of 313
This is our first year homeschooling 1st grade, and I've come to accept that what we're doing is not going to fit into a particular methodology.

We are making family rhythm a priority vis a vis Waldorf, as well as doing learning blocks where we focus on one subject for a couple of weeks rather than trying to do a little of everything every day. We've also adopted a modified Waldorf Head/Heart/Hands schedule to our day and practice the idea of each day having its own activity (Baking Day, Painting Day, Wash Day, etc.). We're also doing two foreign languages (Spanish and ASL) conversationally throughout our day. Waldorf we don't do: I usually read stories instead of telling them (sorry just don't have that many props or enough time, flying by the seat of my pants mostly) and delayed reading/academics (this is complicated tho as she flew thru PS K at 5yo and so our district would not allow another year of K---that's why we're doing 1st gr. her 5-6 year).

I also really like the literature and narration aspects of Classical education; we've always read "great books" as part of our family culture, so this is pretty easy for us to integrate into homeschooling.

As far as unschooling---she needs a lot of structure right now, so I'm willing to create that with her input. In the future, I hope that she'll be more independent and ready to take over on choosing her course of study. We go through a charter and have to meet standards, so right now unschooling just isn't quite right for us.

We also integrate the workbox (tho we use hanging files in her own portable file box) so that when she's bored on a "day off" or we don't want to do a Main Lesson Day, she can choose relevant activities from the box to challenge her. It's basically a "busy work" box with worksheets, games, activity suggestions, etc. I don't think we could use this as a standalone method, tho.

Besides all of that, we are choosing to make the arts and sciences an integrated part of our curriculum. I know the 3Rs are priority at this age, but....music is math! and art is language! So we spend A LOT of time on music and art. She also says that she wants to be a scientist, so I'm giving her focused science stuff in addition to nature observation, etc.

I love this thread, I'm glad there's an Eclectic space now! I definitely feel like that's place for us as we're definitely not "school at homers" nor Waldorfers nor unschoolers yet draw a bit from each methodology.
post #11 of 313
Thread Starter 
This is great! I'm glad we have so many that would like to join in on this thread. :

I'll definitely be posting more later! YAY!
post #12 of 313
I still want to hang here even though we are going more structured this year! In fact, our dd will attend part-time public charter school. Since it is at her request, can we say we are child-led? LOL We've done a mix of random exploration, structured curriculum, and online classes over the years. This year will be a mix of 2 classes (math and science) at the charter high school, history with her grandfather following History Odyssey ancients level 3, Lightning literature grade 8 with an online discussion buddy, Artes Latinae on the computer, continuing some Michael Clay Thompson books, Spanish club with homeschool co-op, piano, choir, horseback riding, a mom and daughter art class. Help! This is going to be a crazy year. LOL Oh and I can't forget math club and 4H and the friend we are going to do some random science experiments with for fun. Oh and she wants to work on her swimming and take up running too.

I look forward to seeing this thread grow. Anyone else with kids heading toward (or doing) high school level work? I'm starting to figure out how to document stuff for a high school transcript.
post #13 of 313
Oh us! We fit in there somehow! I make up nice structured schedules every fall so I can throw them out the window within 2-3 days! I spent this weekend reorganizing all our wonderful books and materials into lovely, neat organized sections of organizationalism that are so organized and neat and ready to go...bet we don't use half this stuff when we decide to go on a field trip or just read a book instead!

This year(I'm teaching fifth and first grade "this" year) we plan on using Language Lessons for the Elementary Child/Little Ones(Charlotte Mason) and Step by Step Grammar(structured), Harcourt for Math(workbooks) but we also use Noble Knights of Knowledge(Waldorf). We use FIAR periodically to switch it up. We have tons of science curricula...but I don't know why because we unschool science! I have a tendency to think good Dover coloring books(and discussion) are valid lessons. Even with my ten year old.

We throw unit studies in at random and use a combo of last minute library books and Usborne World History for...well, history.(Is that what the term "living books" means?) Usually I "use" a style for ages before I discover it has a name! We were Waldorf for years before I ever knew there was such a thing!(....except not really...because we watch a lot of tv)

Oh, and we want to do Minimus latin this year. I'm having trouble finding a reasonable teacher's book though(look, I don't speak latin, I need the teacher's book )
post #14 of 313
We're moving more and more toward unschooling. I'm not writing up any specific plans this year. I have a list of goals, based on a couple things I'd like to work on with the kids and a bunch of things they've said they want to do, and we can check back in with that when we need to. Other than that, I've rearranged and organized all of our resources so I actually know where they are and can grab them quickly, and I think that's going to be the biggest help this year. I've got all our books organized by subject, two art bins organized by drawer, and some shelves for our microscopes, cards, etc. Rather than figuring we'll work on reading for half an hour in the morning, for example, I know where all our workbooks, early readers, alphabet cards, and phonetic and phonological books are, so when dd says she wants to read, we can pull whatever she wants out right away and she can go to town on it. She might play with reading for three hours one day and then not touch it for a week. I've noticed they both work in fits and spurts that way, and the down time is when they really process the information they absorbed earlier.

Our influences for the upcoming year are Earth*School, Oak Meadow K and first, Montessori, Usborne science and history, a handful of museum passes, and three shelves of classics and fairy tales.
post #15 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Lily View Post
: Still trying to figure out exactly where I fit.
: Me too. Guess we fit together, at least.
post #16 of 313


On the one hand, I feel like I'm "not homeschooling yet" because it's the summer and all the kids are home, including the two who plan to go to school next year. So I feel like I shouldn't "do school" with DS until DD1 and DD2 are in school, and like I stopped "doing school" with them when DS finished up with school in June.

OTOH, I'm currently homeschooling all 3 of them for the summer! We're reading, we're making new board games (and making up new ways of playing old ones), gardening, crocheting, etc. Most kids around here are in camp, and this summer I've got all three of them home and relatively unstructured. Plus the lady doing "history club" scheduled the first 3 sessions over the summer, so I guess I've started that with DS as well.
post #17 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess ConsuelaB View Post
Oh us! We fit in there somehow! I make up nice structured schedules every fall so I can throw them out the window within 2-3 days! I spent this weekend reorganizing all our wonderful books and materials into lovely, neat organized sections of organizationalism that are so organized and neat and ready to go...bet we don't use half this stuff when we decide to go on a field trip or just read a book instead!

This year(I'm teaching fifth and first grade "this" year) we plan on using Language Lessons for the Elementary Child/Little Ones(Charlotte Mason) and Step by Step Grammar(structured), Harcourt for Math(workbooks) but we also use Noble Knights of Knowledge(Waldorf). We use FIAR periodically to switch it up. We have tons of science curricula...but I don't know why because we unschool science! I have a tendency to think good Dover coloring books(and discussion) are valid lessons. Even with my ten year old.

We throw unit studies in at random and use a combo of last minute library books and Usborne World History for...well, history.(Is that what the term "living books" means?) Usually I "use" a style for ages before I discover it has a name! We were Waldorf for years before I ever knew there was such a thing!(....except not really...because we watch a lot of tv)

Oh, and we want to do Minimus latin this year. I'm having trouble finding a reasonable teacher's book though(look, I don't speak latin, I need the teacher's book )
Princess, I want to be your best friend. I feel like I already know you and your name made me lol!

This desribes us pretty well. I am the most laid back hser I know but not so much that I unschool...all subjescts anyway. With dd I unschooled until I felt like it wasn't enough, each subject was added as needed. She's in "third grade" and is up to MUS, Lifepac Language Arts, and new this year we're going to try out SOS for science and history. We'll see how it goes. We're also part of a co-op and make random unit studies out of what I feel like doing or what's going on (Going to the zoo? Lets study the animal kingdom! It snowed? Lets make snow candy and read Little House in the Big Woods!)

Ds1 is in K this year and has been in preschool for the past two years (he had speach delay and got his therapy there) and is pretty used to "school work" So I'm starting him with MUS and Lifepac as well since I know it and he's seen dd doing it so it makes him feel big.

DD2 is still in preschool but askes to be homeschooled. His teacher is AMAZING and I'm not sure if I'll let him come home this year. I told him he could go to school and be himeschooled. How's that for eclectic?

We also FIAR from time to time but even that was too structured for me !

I'm so excited to have a name. I am eclectic. Ahh. I'm home.
post #18 of 313
I just want to say that I've enjoyed reading all of your eclectic agendas! My IRL hs'ing friends are very school-at-home so I tend to feel out of place. Wish you all lived near me!
post #19 of 313
Eclectic for sure. We don't "Do school" but there is skill work that my Dd is expected to do everyday, well if not everyday then at lest every now and then and well if that doesn't happen then at least we all know there is skill work that exists and should be done.
skills are:
Reading (She can read now and is reading herself to sleep at night *sigh)
Writing (handwriting is the hardest for her)
arithmetic (we use Math U see but I am so eclectic that I didn't buy the manipulatives rendering many of the pages useless)
and music (music is b/c she wants to learn to play an instrument so I think it is important to keep that as valuable as the others)
post #20 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by justmandy View Post
Princess, I want to be your best friend. I feel like I already know you and your name made me lol!
Great! You're not in Oregon by any chance are you? ( --> : me too, or I did when there was space to do so)
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