Classical meets eclectic? What in the world does that mean? Well, luckily, classical is a rather well-known homeschooling method and by throwing in the word “eclectic” I can do just about anything that I like! I’m joking…just a little.
In order to talk about why I chose this method of homeschooling I thought that it would be much easier to talk about what does not appeal to me about the other methods. There is no way that I can cover every method out there so I thought that I would just list what I consider to be the “big ones.”
1. Unit studies: For me, it would be very difficult to stay focused on one topic for more than one day. Actually, I don’t think that I could stay focused on a topic for an entire day. This defect in my character puts unit studies out of my reach.
2. Unschooling: I don’t think that my children would have enough internal motivation to study the things that I deem to be vital to their education. I also get chills down my spine when I read how some families encourage their children to play video games all.day.long. I believe that my children need my guidance in gaining a solid education.
3. Charlotte Mason: I have quickly skimmed the 6 volumes of Miss Mason’s work and there is a lot in there that I appreciate and respect. In many aspects a Charlotte Mason education and a classical education are very similar. I love the idea of living books, nature walks, and working well for small blocks of time (for little ones). I’m not quite sure why this method doesn’t click with me, but I always get the feeling that it is not rigorous enough . However, I am sure that this sentiment is unfounded, and I like the idea of a more formal science program in the younger years.
So, then, what is the classical, or neoclassical, if you prefer, method? I think of it as a method where you go about things systematically, and since I know that I shall do a terrible job explaining beyond that I shall bow out of this now. My advice to anyone wanting to learn more about the classical method is to pick up a book titled The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. I do not agree with everything written, but I do follow about 90% of the plan…tweaking the resources and throwing in other things that I find to be important.
There you have it. Blue Skies Academy follows a classical path in an eclectic manner!