Ditching the Homeschool Methods and OWNING Eclectic Homeschooling

Struggling to figure out which homeschool methods to use? We were too until I did this.

Our first day of homeschooling was here. The books were all lined up ready for my fresh-faced homeschoolers. We had the school boxes full of new crayons, pencils, scissors, and markers. I had made it. After months of wondering if I should do it, I had made the leap. 

I was a homeschool mom! 

I just knew our first year was going to be perfect. I was going to ROCK this homeschool thing. And then, reality hit. That big pile of textbooks I had ordered for my kindergartner? 

It was NOT happening. 

The problem was, I had no idea what other methods to use in our homeschool. I had been a teacher. I was taught myself with textbooks and workbooks, I learned how to teach with textbooks and workbooks. What other methods of homeschooling were there? 

Researching the Homeschool Methods

So, I began researching all of the homeschool methods out there. I am not going to list them here, but if you’re curious and don’t know, you can check out this post to learn more. We went through a Charlotte Mason phase of homeschooling. My heart really wanted to be a Charlotte Mason homeschooler, but the reality is my kids and I are just NOT. We tried a little bit of everything, relaxed, classical, and every method we tried left us wondering what in the world we were doing. 

While one child may have loved a certain method, it didn’t work for all of my kids. 

My teaching style didn’t seem to line up with any one method out there. 

This all left me wondering if we were really even cut out for this homeschooling thing. I mean we couldn’t even find a homeschool method?! What was I doing being a homeschool mom?

Deciding to OWN Homeschooling Without a Method

It was at this point I decided that instead of focusing on one method of homeschooling, we were going to find what worked for us. We had a few Charlotte Mason themed literature programs, we grabbed an online resource for math, textbooks seemed to work for history, and we loved the idea of hands-on science

Slowly but surely, joy began to come back into our home. My kids began to love homeschooling, and I did too. However, I felt like we were hiding this dirty little secret. We didn’t fit in with the classical homeschoolers, and I knew we weren’t cut out to be die-hard Charlotte Masoners. The textbook style homeschool moms may not like the more relaxed approach I was taking with my son. But, we were thriving, and really isn’t that all that matters? So, we kept on going, year after year, and while homeschooling hasn’t always been perfect, the idea of ditching the homeschool methods has worked out perfectly for us. 

Homeschooling is About the Individual Not Homeschool Methods

Every now and then, I begin to wonder if we should have kept up with a certain method, or if my kids are missing out because overall we haven’t kept up with one method of homeschooling. And then I remember that homeschooling is not a one size fits all approach. 

When it comes to being a homeschool mom, no matter which method of homeschooling you use, there is no magic formula to the perfect day. We can’t measure our homeschool success on a method or lifestyle. Each and every family out there is balancing, doing the best they can, and hoping it is enough. 

So, if you are wondering what type of homeschool method you should be using, can I encourage you to do something? Instead of focusing on one method of homeschooling, take a look at your children. 

  • What are their strengths?
  • What are their weaknesses?
  • What are their interests?
  • How do they learn?
  • How do you like to teach? 

These questions may look different for each child, they may look different in each subject. But, this is a great place to start. 

Remember that you do not have to be tied down to one homeschool method or curriculum. These are resources that were created to HELP your homeschool. Not hinder it. They are tools and should be used as such. 

Your kids are individuals. They don’t have to learn the same things at the same time using the same homeschool method. One can enjoy a literature-based approach, while the other may enjoy textbooks. They each have their own method of learning. Embrace that. 

Ditch the one size fits all homeschool method approach to homeschooling. You won’t regret it. Believe me! You may even end the day with a more joyful homeschool 🙂 

About Misty Bailey

Misty Bailey planned on being a public school teacher, not a work at home, homeschool mom to three. But in 2009 God changed her plans! She now LOVES helping and encouraging new homeschoolers and sharing everyday tips and encouragement on her blog Joy in the Journey.

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