- Elizabeth Ratliff, Author -
My name is Elizabeth Ratliff. I am the owner/ creator of Eclectic Foundations. I am a Christian, have been married for 23 years, and am a mother of five. Our oldest two are in college and we’re still homeschooling our three youngest. Thank you for considering Eclectic Foundations. The following is a brief history of our homeschooling story and how Eclectic Foundations came to be.
Our homeschooling journey began in 2006. Like many beginning homeschoolers, I started with the expensive boxed curriculum. Somewhere along the way, I discovered the McGuffey Readers, Harvey Grammars, and other books from the Eclectic Education Series. From that moment, things were never the same in our homeschooling. Once you get your hands on these incredible books, it’s hard to teach anything else. Although I found that many companies offered these books digitally on CD along with teaching suggestions, I never found a complete teacher-friendly curriculum. The only solution was to write my own until I could find what I was looking for. This set off a curriculum tug-of-war in our house. I was torn between writing my own curriculum, teacher’s guide, lesson plans, and purchasing a ready-made program that never quite held up to the standards of the Eclectic Education Series. Since I never found what I was looking for, I have a lot of curriculum already written.
The few companies that offered excellent language arts programs required a huge number of books and had an equally hefty price tag. I’m a big proponent of teaching grammar, but it shouldn’t be the most time consuming and expensive subject in homeschool. I became painfully aware of this fact when teaching our second oldest son. He was in first grade, and I had an expensive, large language arts curriculum. The quality was excellent but there were a lot of components to it. After about thirty minutes of language arts, I was “peeling” our son off the table. We had only finished about a third of our lesson for the day. After several weeks of this, I realized that the best curriculum in the world isn’t going to do any good if our child isn’t able to keep focused. I discovered that much of the curriculum available today was written for Christian schools and later made available to homeschoolers. The result is a LOT of “twaddle” (busy work) designed to keep students occupied all day. Although I had already written curriculum for the older grades, I decided it was time to write something that would work for our younger children.
My incredible husband encouraged me to pursue my dreams with this curriculum. He knew my struggles and assured me that there were probably many other parents with the same frustrations. He was 100% correct! Level B was the first level that I made available to the public. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Level A was written with our two youngest in mind with outstanding results. Currently Levels A through E are available with plans to continue to Level I. Eclectic Foundations has been a huge blessing to so many families. I cannot wait to have the entire series available to you. There are so many wonderful things to do and discover in this Biblically based curriculum.