Eclectic Homeschooling -shared information from a forum discussion

In my efforts to delete old discussions but keep helpful information on the site, I came across this forum discussion post from 2008.  A member shared her take on Eclectic Homeschooling:

the following is copied from a former discussion:

“This is the “a little of this, a little of that” homeschooling method! We fell into this method because 1) I couldn’t afford to shell out a lot of cash for a boxed curriculum, 2) none of them completely appealed to me, anyway, though reviewing them was exhausting, and 3) we had a lot of resources already available to us. Other than the library (a GREAT resource- you don’t need to buy books), we are avid book collectors and had tons of material to use. If you want textbooks, go to second-hand bookstores and garage sales, but you can use lots of other books, too. National Geographic is a wonderful starting point to raise interest in our world. My children would then use the internet to find out more about a particular country. They liked to use Microsoft Publisher to write reports of what they found. They each put together newsletters/ newspapers, with articles and pictures. My daughter would include related recipes, and book reports on books that were relevant. The CIA World Factbook website is a great source of geography information, and has lots of interactive maps to learn countries, capitals and rivers.

We did use a curriculum for math. We used Singapore math. It is inexpensive, easy to understand, moves rapidly and logically, and it is not a spiraling curriculum (the current trend in American education is to give a little bit of information, and then move on, and then go back to it. The theory is that kids will not be overwhelmed with difficult material because they only get a little bit of it at a time, but in my experience, kids lose the sense of what they are learning that way. Singapore was wonderful up through pre-Algebra and intro geometry. And, of course, we supplemented with life experiences, too, like doubling cookie recipes when learning fractions, and helping to keep my checkbook (“could you list that in my checkbook and change the balance?”).

For history, start off with reading historical fiction- interesting and thought-provoking! Don’t forget music lessons- you can find someone affordable, and it is well worth it. For physical education, the sky is the limit- follow your children’s interests. Sports, swimming, horseback riding, dance, gymnastics. For science, my children took digital pictures of a variety of plants and researched what they were, learned beekeeping, learned the anatomy of a horse (when they later took biology, they both keep relating the human anatomy back to the horse! Backwards for me, but to each his own!), raised various animals, etc.

This is a long post already, but hopefully, you see that school materials are available all around you- use what you have!”