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This is another post in my Homeschool Methods series. (See last week’s post on Unschooling.) Today I have an awesome post from Bethany Ishee on Relaxed Eclectic Homeschooling. You can learn more about Bethany at the end of the post. I love how she describes her style of schooling and really relate to it.
You wake up one morning and decide to give homeschooling a try, now what?
If you head over to Google and start searching for homeschool information, you’re likely to be overwhelmed with methodologies, ideologies, materials, and opinions.
How can you possibly process all these options and choose just one? It’s difficult and sometimes impossible.
My solution to the homeschool cacophony was to take a relaxed, eclectic approach in our homeschool.
What is Relaxed Eclectic Homeschooling?
I wouldn’t suggest Googling relaxed, eclectic homeschooling either since I’m sure you will find an avalanche of ideas and definitions. That’s one of the wonderful characteristics of the homeschool community; there is no shortage of opinions.
What do I consider as characteristics of our relaxed, eclectic homeschool?
- We don’t adhere to a school year, nor school year round.
- We use a variety of materials, i.e., workbooks, videos, online resources.
- We follow our timetable and don’t worry about being “behind.”
- Every day, every week, every month looks different.
- A field trip is as valued as a completed math chapter.
- We’ll drop everything on that first warm, spring day to enjoy the sun without worrying that we may get “off track.”
How is Relaxed, Eclectic Homeschooling Different?
Relaxed homeschooling is about enjoying life and not replicating school at home. My home is not a school; therefore, I don’t strive to recreate a school experience for my children.
Being a relaxed homeschooler allows you to live and learn in a way that fits your family, not as someone or something else dictates.
Our eclectic homeschool has evolved from many methods, including Charlotte Mason to unschooling, and we like it that way. Being open to all methods and materials means we are seldom bored.
Primarily, I try to create a life of learning that doesn’t require checkboxes and worksheets.
Why Do I Love Being a Relaxed Homeschooler?
It’s simple, freedom.
- I’m free to use whatever book I wish.
- We can decide to spend the day playing games and watching documentaries, instead of finishing math or completing copywork.
- I’m free to change resources if something isn’t working for a child.
- I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time trying to schedule our homeschool day and year.
- There is no worry that everything I choose to buy or use must conform to a methodology.
Give Relaxed Homeschooling a Try
If pressed, I would say many homeschoolers fall into this category by accident. We start with high ideals and goals, but then life happens, and we adapt.
We want to follow a schedule, but the stomach virus ravages our family for weeks.
We would love to a have a succinct label to easily define our learning to strangers, but we don’t want to be called out by the purists for not meeting their expectations.
I would be nice to believe a particular method will provide a seamless, gap-free education to our children, but we know that is impossible.
Instead, we go with it. We live our lives of learning with our children in the way we desire.
Drop some of those expectations and give relaxed homeschooling a try. It may be just what you needed.
About the Author:
Bethany Ishee is a middle-age homeschooling mom of six who woke up one day and realized she had lost herself somewhere along the way, probably under a pile of laundry. Her relaxed, eclectic style of education draws upon unique experiences, great conversations, books and more books. Her goal is to encourage moms to find and make time for themselves amidst all the laundry and kids. You can find her at her blog, www. BethanyIshee.com, and posting randomness on her Facebook page.
Follow along with my homeschool Methods series this Summer. Each week I will bring you another guest post from a homeschooler and the method they use.
Need more homeschool support? Check out my book The Quick Guide to Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum.