While many Christian parents desire to raise their kids with a Biblical worldview through their education, they are unsure if homeschooling is the best fit for their family. There are SO many options for educating children today, from pure homeschooling to homeschooling with co-ops to homeschooling with more of an eclectic approach, that parents may feel a bit overwhelmed and unsure of which model is best for them.
Over the next several months, I will be sharing wisdom from seasoned moms, experienced with specific educational models, to find out the advantages and disadvantages of each educational model.
In this article, we will look at homeschooling with an eclectic approach and discover different options for instructional support within homeschooling, such as co-ops, online classes, and other programs, to see what an eclectic approach to homeschooling can look like for you family. We will also get a glimpse of how parents can use this eclectic approach to continue to strengthen their kids faith and relationship with God.
It was my pleasure to interview a dear friend and wonderful mom of three, Louise. She has homeschooled her children ages 11, 13, and 19 for nine years, using an eclectic approach to homeschooling. She desires to lead her kids closer to Christ and always seeks the Lord for guidance on what is best for her family in the homeschooling process.
How did you decide to start homeschooling?
I was one of “those” folks that thought homeschoolers must be crazy! We were very content having our kids in a Christian classical school, but God obviously had other plans.
I would say that I was “nudged” into prayerfully considering the idea of homeschooling our kiddos. I truly believed that I was not equipped to home school “especially high school,” but I can declare today that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called. Praise His name! I have become totally dependent on Him because of things that I have learned on this adventure.
What advantages do you see in homeschooling?
- Freedom and time to integrate God into our learning and day.
- Spending precious time with our kids (they grow up way too fast!)
- Opportunities to help and equip our kids to be life long learners.
- Freedom to go at our kids pace of learning.
- Freedom to allow them to learn in the style that fits them best
- Allowing them time to pursue their passions while still covering the academic requirements required if they do decide to go on to college/university.
- Freedom to take vacations when we want to!
With so many options out there in the homeschooling world, how have you decided what works for best for your family?
There are so many wonderful options out there to educate and equip our kids for the future that basically I try and go to the Lord in prayer for help. His Hand is already outstretched for the lives of our children, so I just ask Him to show and guide me, to give me wisdom and knowledge. Amazingly “doors” open and shut along the way as I research and explore options. I even have folks ask me “how do you find these things?” and I just point upward. Because I ask, He gives!
What co-ops have you joined, and how have they helped support you in the homeschooling process?
In our homeschooling journey we have sought community, mainly for our kids to find friendships, but also, as I mentioned above, I need help in teaching my kids certain subjects. (I am not equipped to teach everything myself, especially the likes of latin and logic!) I have explored some wonderful one-day-a-week co-ops where like-hearted parents, mainly mothers come together, teaching different subjects and offering a community of support. I did not ever receive a peace about those, but God did bring us to Classical Conversations, a national organization offering a structured classical approach to education, meeting one day a week, and PACES: Paideia Classical Community, a two day a week classical program.
Just before starting to homeschool, we were introduced to the “classical” approach to education, and the more I learned about this approach, the more that I became excited to bring this model into our homeschooling journey. In both of these places we found community, friendships, and structure to our educational journey as we hope to equip our children to think well, have the ability to dig for and find truth, and to communicate it well to the world.
What online homeschooling options have you used with your kids, and how have those options supported you in the homeschooling process?
While having a great academic framework with the afore mentioned co-ops, we have also enjoyed the benefits of not having to leave the comfort of our home by partaking in online classes. Here are a few that we have used over the years.
High School Math Live: www.highschoolmathlive.com
Singapore Math: www.singaporemathlive.com
Self-paced Bible and History classes: https://veritaspress.com/
Engineering, Pre-Physics, and Life Skill classes: www.outschool.com
History/Geography/Science/Bible using Minecraft: www.gameacademy.com
What other curriculum or educational programs have been a benefit to you with homeschooling over the years?
Latin Tutor Mr Micheal Moore (Contact Info: 479-409-4207)
Art classes/Buffet style classes: https://www.extraordinaryeducation.org/
Sign Language classes/Buffet-style classes: www.hisclasses.org
Community Bible Study: https://houstonwoodlands.cbsclass.org/
Houston Homeschool Athletics: http://houstonhomeschoolathletics.com/site/
Moms In Prayer: momsinprayer.org
How has homeschooling with an eclectic approach helped you raise your kids to know, love, and follow the Lord?
Using an eclectic approach to home schooling our kids has given us freedom to make sure that God is in the center of our school week and in the pages of the textbooks that our kids learn from. From being a part of a Community Bible Study, which allows us as a family to study Gods’ Word in depth with age-appropriate workbooks and groups, to making sure that most things pertaining to our kids education and learning is grounded in God’s truths, allows us to point to God and teach our kids His ways.
My hope is to try and create an environment that allows God’s truths and promises to be weaved throughout their lives, not just on Sundays, but in everything they do.
To a parent wanting to try homeschooling with a more eclectic approach like yours, what would be your biggest piece of advice?
PRAY! Since starting this adventure I have to say that I have tried to pray without ceasing. Also wherever I go, I try to find at least one other praying mom to do a Moms in Prayer group.
God wants to walk this journey out with you. His hand is already outstretched for your life and the lives of your children, and He has wisdom, knowledge, guidance, and good things for you. It is there for the taking. Just Ask! By taking the eclectic approach it has made me ask Him at every turn of this journey, what is the next best thing for our kids, Lord?
Thank you so much, Louise, for sharing your wisdom and heart with us! I love how you depend on God for everything! You have given us such good information and resources as well! Praying God uses this wisdom and these valuable resources to encourage us parents, as we seek His special plan for educating our children for His Kingdom.
If you have questions about an eclectic approach to homeschooling, feel free to contact me, and I can share her contact information. For more great information and resources on homeschooling, check another great Interview with a Homeschooling Mom and Homeschooling with Co-ops.