What is an eclectic homeschool program? It’s a homeschool program deriving from various homeschooling styles, methods, philosophies and tastes. Basically, it’s a bunch of different homeschool curriculum and ideas woven together in a complimentary way. I design my own homeschool program based on the needs of my child, the basic subject areas and our interests. The Educational Philosophies that have most influenced our eclectic homeschool are Classical and Charlotte Mason.
Why go eclectic?
I began homeschooling because of our ADHD child. Early on I realized we needed more creative materials and a more flexible schedule than a boxed curriculum could provide. After all, that’s the whole reason I started homeschooling! There is absolutely nothing wrong with a boxed curriculum if it works for you. But we became VERY frustrated early on because the work load was too much. In addition, it got very expensive very quickly trying to find “the right fit”.
Buy used. I found most of these at our local curriculum sale and spent around $100. Later, I spent about $50 at another curriculum sale. Now, I just need to buy a few additional readers as we go.
Our 6th Grade Curriculum for 2014-2015
- Catechism-57 Stories of the Saint
- Math- Teaching Textbooks
- English-(Tan Book)– Learning Language Arts through Literature
- Science-Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics
- History- The Story of the World: Vol. 1
- Geography- Around the World in 180 Days
These are my main curriculum for the year. However, this is an eclectic homeschool so there’s more to tell.
I’ll be adding a bit of the culinary arts to our homeschool with Raddish . My child loves to be a part of cooking and preparing foods. This year we got the Food for Friends box. I know for a fact that this will tie in nicely with some of the service projects we plan to do.
The box we used last year was kitchen science. It not only had some great science experiments to do but recipes and cooking skills as well. Read my full review on The Curriculum Choice.
We do our science at co-op. Last year we did Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. This year it’s Chemistry and Physics. He reads the text independently and then does the experiments with co-op. He’ll also getting speech and debate and an engineering class too!
The co-op really blesses us. It takes a few subjects off my plate while my child receives extra classes that I wouldn’t be inclined to teach. It also provides us a wonderful community.
Books, Books and More Books…
The image above is not our full booklist. He’ll read six chapter books and several living books to compliment Ancient History. We’ll do art projects and actives for most of these civilizations and time periods:
- Ancient Egypt
- Assyrians & Babylonians
- Ancient Greece
- Ancient China
- Ancient India
- Ancient Africa
- Ancient Rome
How will we use the curriculum in our eclectic homeschool?
1. We don’t use every page of every text. Instead, I use these products as tools to meet our goals for the year. I am the teacher and not the books. They serve us and not the other way around.
2. We set the pace. For example, we are still finishing up Math 6. When we are ready we will go on to 7. It’s gotten really stagnant but I have my reasons why I am sticking with it. His math has gotten a little rusty over summer, so in a few weeks I’ll test him. If he can pass into seven we will move on to seven. If not, we’ll keep working in six.
3. Many subjects are integrated. Art, Ancient History and Literature are all interconnected this year.
In addition to on line resources, we use lots of reference materials in our homeschool. Sometimes I create my own notebook pages and supplements to achieve a complete program. This year it’s my goal to make and use :
- Art History Timeline Figures for Ancient History- Cave Paintings to Fall of Rome
- Saint Notebooking Pages
- Book Report Pages
- Nation Notebook Pages- Similar to my State Notebook Pages but for World Geography.
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How do you stay on track?
Routine, routine, routine. This is the mantra I have to tell myself each day. I follow an order of events as opposed to a time schedule.
I don’t plan exactly what page we will be on each day. But I do write up a scope and sequence for the whole year. This way I know how far I should be in my plans at any time and can make adjustments.
I mainly use my planner as a record. Usually, I record what we do as we go. I always write things in pencil. This year, I’m using The Ultimate Homeschool Planner. It has wonderful scripture reflections and quotes in it so it will be the perfect thing to start each day with.
Another way to measure success and stay on track is by writing educational goals and objectives for your child.
Our 6th Grade Goals and Learning Objectives:
- Catechesis- Study the lives of 6 new saints in depth. Accomplish a service project inspired by each. Learn the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Do a small study on the beatitudes during Lent.
- Math- Become proficient in multiplication and division facts. Follow Teaching Textbooks 6 and 7 course objectives.
- English- Finish Seton English 5. Attend semester 1 Co-op program for speech and debate. Complete 6 book studies with book reports. Do one major research paper. Cover 4 literary genres to include poetry. Practice writing with dictation selections from each of the 6 book studies. Work to improve handwriting skills weekly using copywork. Develop and improve research and writing skills.
- Attend Co-op for Science and Engineering.
- History-Explore and expand understanding of Ancient history and civilizations through art and literature. Record ideas and inspirations in handmade journal. Cover 12 different civilizations and add them to a timeline. Write a major report at the end of the year on a civilization of choice.
- Geography- Research facts on 10 new countries. Research and learn about the major continents to include: topography, animals, economy, demographics, major countries, natural resources. Write a report at the end of the year on a country of choice. Learn new geography vocabulary terms.
- Art-Explore art through Ancient History and experiment with at least 10 different media applied to 10 different projects inspired by ancient art.
Share with me your goals for the year by entering this awesome Apologia Basket Giveaway!ends 8/8/14