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.

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 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!

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