Monday, February 21, 2011

But what do I name it?

Several times I've mentioned, half-jokingly, that I might give my method of homeschooling a name. Well, I've thought about it quite a bit, and I'm becoming more & more convinced that it is what I want to do.

You see, the term Eclectic Homeschooling seems to imply indecision and randomness. Most who claim to be Eclectic Homeschoolers are either eclectic in material choice only (meaning they stick to one method, but choose materials from various sources) or they seem to see being eclectic as temporary, a means to an end. So many say they are eclectic because they haven't yet decided which method will work best, or that they chose eclectic because they couldn't decide between the methods they wanted.

I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with any of that. I'm simply saying that those descriptions don't work for me. None of them fit me, my way of homeschooling, or my reason for identifying as an Eclectic Homeschooler. So, I thought maybe now is the time to name MY method. There are principles & ideas, a philosophy of my own, at the heart of my method. My choices in materials, topics, even subjects are specific, thoughtful, purposeful, not at all random or convoluted. Even if I'm the only one that ever uses my method, I feel that it deserves a name of its own.

Saying that I'm an Eclectic Homeschooler seems to just confuse people. They aren't sure what that means. If they know someone else that claims to be an Eclectic Homeschooler, they often assume I do things the same way as that person. You can't just say "I'm an eclectic homeshcooler" and have that be it. It doesn't provide a clear picture of your style. Many people then ask for clarification - what do you mean by 'eclectic'?

Plus, maybe if I put it in writing - a book or website explaining the educational philosophy & principles and how I put them into practice - I could just point people toward a resource that explains it, instead of trying to explain my views again & again. When I have the time to sit & focus, I can be quite eloquent & provide a detailed explanation. However, trying to explain how & why we do things a certain way for one subject, without explaining the full philosophy & principles behind our entire method, can be difficult. Doing it spur of the moment, on a forum or in a short conversation, can be downright impossible (level of difficulty changes depending on my mood, my level of focus, if I have a headache or am sick, etc).

So, I think I'm going to do it. I just need to figure out a name that accurately describes my method. It will take some time to get it all written out, but I really think it will be worth it.