Good luck finding what works for you and your family and have fun shopping around. The rainbow resource Guide and Love to learn bith offer a great fun selection to get started with. Perhaps you can give a copy or the RRG (its huge) to inquisitive family and ask for thier advice. That should keep them busy for a while
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
Before 2nd grade I found the Well-Trained Mind, and fell in love! We started it right away, but quickly adjusted it to our lifestyle. Now we follow science and history as outlined in TWTM, and play with the other subjects as we see fit. You can visit www.welltrainedmind.com
It is too structured for me, but it is a great guide to education if you are not going the unschooling route and want to school.
I definitely reccommend using your 'own' curriculum. This way it will fit your lifestyle and your child's needs exactly. As for your school board mil, she needs to remember you are giving one on one instruction to your child whom already trusts and loves you!
Have fun, is my best advice!
We tried unschooling for a while and my kids did not like it. They fought a lot and seemed unhappy much of the time. They like to me have a plan. For a while I tried coming up with activities all the time for them, but that got to be a pain after a while, so we tried Five in a Row.
Different things work for different families.
Right now I have a book from the library entitled Real-Life Homeschooling: the Stories of 21 Families Who Teach Their Children at Home by Rhonda Barfield. The families range from unschooling to fairly rigid curriculum; from single-child-families to those having 11 kids. It's been fun to read. It's helped me to see the range of what works. Seems like the important things are to love your kids and not burn yourself out. Other than that there's no set formula.
Heavenly, are other homeschoolers questioning your Eclectic Method? I've noticed nonhomeschoolers think there's a handful of options available. They're blown away by the variety available. Maybe you could come up with a set answer to trot out for these folks, like, "We plan to use the Eclectic Method. This means that we will be selecting individual items from a wide variety of sources in a way that best fits the ever-changing needs of our growing children. We were attracted to the Eclectic Method by its dynamic nature...blah blah blah." (It helps if you can speak in caps and include alot of lingo from corporate mission statements. People then assume you are Speaking on Authority.)
The problem with that is I am now faced with doing my own lesson plans and blending things together. I had thought this year would be less planning and juggling. Ah well