Creative Electives for Your High School Student

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Thoughtfully-chosen, creative electives can be very powerful tools for your student for a variety of reasons.

Are you one of the "brave ones" who is facing, and planning on, teaching your child at home through high school?

Actually homeschooling through high school isn't as scary up close as it seemed when you might have been contemplating it years ago.  My personal experience is that, when it was time, God provided whatever courses/teachers/programs we needed.  Just NOT before!

A solid, college-bound high school program these days should include a core curriculum of math (4 years), science (3-4 years), English/Literature/Language Arts (4 years), Social Studies (3-4 years) and foreign language (3-4 years).

The Power of Electives in Your Student's High School Plan

Thoughtfully-chosen, creative electives can be very powerful tools for your student for a variety of reasons.Normally, electives are not as rigorous as classes in the core curriculum, but they are often at least as interesting and fun (or maybe even more so!)... Thoughtfully-chosen electives can be very powerful tools for your student for a variety of reasons. For one thing, they are often the major way teens make "real life connections" to their education (think of the "Why do we have to learn this, anyway?" question).  Additionally, they are a way to:

  1. round out your student's education,
  2. introduce them to a future career possibility, or
  3. help them develop interests, talents or gifts they have.

If you're getting ready to get classes going this year, you've most likely gotten your basics down pat.  However, you may be scratching your head as to what to study to fill out a useful semester.

Read  How to Ensure Your Homeschooler
Thrives in High School

The list of creative electives below is just the tip of the iceberg

I'm presenting it here to hopefully get your creative juices going!  If you find something interesting here, your next step would be to develop a program of study on your own (unit study style) or search for a pre-made curriculum. Whatever route you take, make sure to keep records of time spent, materials used, projects completed and any other effort put forth, in the form of a paper document or portfolio.  You will want to have a record available when it's time to get those transcripts ready for college!

  • auto mechanics
  • childcare
  • work study
  • horticulture
  • small business-related
  • in the south - battle re-enactments
  • fashion concepts - design, construction, marketing, etiquette
  • CPR certification
  • photography (beginner and advanced)
  • music - learning an instrument or studying specific time periods
  • sculpting
  • calligraphy
  • cosmetology
  • nutrition
  • cooking - meal planning, cost of food, nutrition, dietary guidelines
  • sign language
  • wood-working - from building small items (bookshelves) to constructing larger projects
  • marathon training
  • writing - journalism, news reporting, novels, children's books
  • art
  • political process - campaigning
  • animal husbandry
  • interior decorating
  • landscaping
  • typing
  • theater
  • filmmaking
  • animation
  • website design
  • video game design

Additionally, HSLDA has an exceptional article on utilizing both electives and extra-curricular activities in a well-balanced high school program.

  • Contrary to popular belief, Life Skills is not a "fluff" course, or at least it doesn't have to be. (Just ask today's 20-somethings today who struggle with "adulting") Sadly, and quite surprisingly, I discovered that my own kiddos lack a bit with some basic skills that they will need once we launch them into the world 🙁  Recently, I've added a course from SkillTrek to beef up their own real-world education. Take a look at their offerings here.
Read  How to Assign High School Credit to Life Learning Opportunities


Read the other posts in the Easy Guide to Homeschooling High School series:
Homeschool through high school is both possible and exciting! When the time comes, or even if you find yourself in that season now, use this guide to ensure this experience is enriching for both you and your child.



Do you have any other ideas for creative electives for high school?  Please share them with us!

Not feeling exactly "empowered" to homeschool high school?

Well then, you're in the right place! Subscribe to the site and instantly get a pack of goodies to get you started - valuable info and tools to get you on the right foot! YOU can homeschool high - and I can help 🙂

11 thoughts on “Creative Electives for Your High School Student”

    1. You’re welcome, Jennifer! Do you have high-schoolers at home? Think you’ll use any of these ideas or have others? I’d love to know how you might use the info… 😉

      Have a great weekend!


  1. These are great! I love that, as homeschoolers, we can give our children the chance to explore really unique interests like this. Even at a young age, my 6 year old is really showing an interest in building/home design. She asks to watch HGTV as much as she does cartoons (a source of a bit of conflict with her brother who couldn’t care less about home design, lol) and loves to play with Google Sketchup to design rooms. I could easily see her exploring architecture as a high school elective. When you get time, I’d love for you to come check out my corner of the blogosphere at


    1. Heather, how neat is that?! Your daughter is already into home design?!!! She’s (and you – lol) got an exciting future ahead! And I really love your blog: the tea party menu had my mouth watering, as did the spicy kale recipe, and the gluten-free eclairs… (guess you can tell it’s almost time to make supper ’round these parts…)!
      Anyway, thanks again for stopping by, and I hope you have a terrific week! 🙂


  2. Wow what a collection of things for homeschooling parents like us. My little daughter showing signs of getting to like web development and designing. She likes HTML a lot now …


  3. I was looking for photography classes as an elective for my homeschooled daughter. She loves to take the photographs all the time, so I had decided to explore her interest. Now she has started online photography classes at The Ogburn Online School.


  4. There is a great company called Creative Electives with a High School elective, Intro to 3D Modeling. It’s a fun course… check it out!


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