At The Well Trained Mind, Susan Wise Bauer sums it up better than I could so let me quote her here:
Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves. This classical pattern is called the trivium.
The early school years are labeled as the “grammar years”. The middle years as the “logic years” and the latter years as the “rhetoric stage”. Classical education focuses on history, science and language. Each is studied in an intermingled fashion to create a coherence of the subjects. Classical education students usually learn either Greek or Latin as a foundation for their education.
Charlotte Mason is also a three pronged approach: atmosphere, discipline, life.
Mason believed that students learn from the atmosphere around them in everyday life. Discipline applies to the morals and values a child is taught as well as the discipline implemented in the home. The first two prongs begin long before a child becomes school aged.
The third prong, life, is taught through the use of living books. A living book is a book written in a narrative nature that is factual and educational. These books allow children to explore and learn in a relaxed style without the memorization of facts and dry textbook learning.
This is where most of us fall! Eclectic teaching is simply pulling from various sources to create a curriculum that works best for you are your children.
I personally do a little bit of each style so I am definitely eclectic!
Whet style do you adhere to most?