Choosing homeschool high school electives are a fun part of your teen’s journey or at least it should be. Beyond the core homeschool subjects, electives allow a teen to pursue his passion.
When this time came for my oldest two, I tried to stay out of the process, but I didn’t realize that my boys actually welcomed my input. Maybe some of this comes from my homeschooling them from the beginning. They don’t really mind discussing things with me, but I want them to have the final say in what they chose to study.
Keep in mind this part of high school is about discovery, exploring and maybe creating. Each teen will view this time in high school differently depending on their goals. Some teens are more sports-minded, some academic-minded and yet others may be music and art-minded.
I’ve learned a lot about what I consider to be an elective and I’ve learned that you don’t have to spend a whole lot if you don’t want to. Keep in mind though, this is high school and that means books do cost more.
Build Your Own Unique Homeschool High School Electives
So when I think about the cost of something, I think in terms of what value we get in return. For example, if we pay and only get high school credit that is not necessarily a good deal to me. However, if we pay for something and get some sort of certificate in addition to high school credit, then I’m all in.
The whole realm of what could be studied and discovered can be anything from art and automobile repair to woodworking and pre-med study.
Look at some of these options.
1,2. Home Repair and Maintenance & Woodworking. My first son started off with Home Repair and Maintenance but switched to Beginning Woodworking. Though I felt Home Repair and Maintenance was of much more value, this is again about my son choosing things that he thought interested him at the time.
3. Fine arts includes Ballroom Dancing. At the time it came to choose, my older two sons wanted to do some kind of sports, but we didn’t really have any homeschool sports group that were close. I couldn’t do another hour of driving at the time. What we did have close was an Arthur Murray studios for ballroom dancing. This is one of those things that I viewed as a two-pher. The boys wanted to be with other teens and I wanted them to explore more fine arts. At first, my boys said absolutely NO to ballroom dancing, but the Mr. got involved and told them to try it out. After two lessons with hip young instructors and with other cool homeschool teens their ages, all of my boys took ballroom dancing for a few years. I think they toned their bodies and learned a beautiful art more than they would have if they played sports and they also now agree.
4. Local programs assigning a certificate. When my niece lived with us and was thinking about going into the medical field, I learned a lot about certificate programs. For example, there are different levels of CPR training and it normally is offered to anybody as long as they can perform the duties. This is one of those things I feel is not only practical to learn, but it gave her a glimpse of what it’s like if she decided to pursue something in the medical field. Do you know how many certificate programs there are in every field? Dozens as I began my search. It just takes some digging because it may or may not have a minimum age requirement. Also, it gives a teen has a completed certificate of completion in maybe a vocational field and a teen gets a taste of what a particular field is like. At this age, it is about exploring career options too.
5. Apprenticeship for photography. My other niece was interested in photography and was offered to work with a local professional while learning photography. Again, because she was going to get paid while learning a craft, this is an excellent choice for a teen. They are always looking for ways to make put some money in their pocket. This is a super two-fer and frugal.
6. Check out the local pool. Though I wasn’t interested in my boys working at the local city pool, they are good swimmers and love the water. Today some schools gives PE credit for working as a lifeguard, but this is certainly a doable option for a teen if he or she loved the water.
7. Weightlifting. Yes, I know, but I have all boys and I really do love the fact that studying health, about the muscles and the body can be included in this and I did. I didn’t really follow a course for my first son, but we did convert the garage to a weight room.
8. Create and collaborate with others for a group yearbook. When I was with one group, they determined to do a yearbook to showcase our group’s activities for the year. The high school teens would be the ones heading it up. If a student was interested in journalism, creative writing or art it gave them a way to use their talents. Not only did the teens get credit for the year, but we got a unique yearbook. I liked the fact that the teens had to follow up with homeschool moms to get information and work together to incorporate their ideas.
9. Choir. One group that lived near us had a homeschool choir group. I had one son interested in taking choir, but it had a few too many girls for his taste. I wished it had a few other boys his age, but it was a great option.
10, 11. Foreign Language & Sign Language too. Though foreign language courses can be costly, my boys got to use some of their Spanish when we went South America. This is another example of how I don’t mind paying a bit more for this elective because it’s a great return in not only learning the syntax of a language, but it’s so practical as they travel.
12. Geography and history Unit study. One of my sons also did a half of a semester learning about the country of Turkey. Like his mom, he loves history and geography and not only did he read about it, but he learned about the culture, background, people, art and food. It was fun for him to share with our homeschool group what he learned.
13. Travel. Yes, we intentionally moved to South America for a year and half so that my second son could receive credit for traveling and exploring other cultures. Exploring the Amazon and trekking through mountains is the way my second son rolls. So maybe this idea isn’t so frugal, but it sure was fantastic and he won’t easily forget what he and his brothers learned through their guided science tours in the Amazon.
Don’t forget that (14.) Driver’s Education can be counted as an elective and it’s another two-pher when your kid takes this. Most teens are ready to drive and I am here to testify that having a couple of chauffeurs in the family rocks. My grocery shopping time has never been the same because I rarely have to do it.
These are a few of the homeschool high school electives we have chosen so far. There really is no limit on the topics that your teen can choose.
Instead of focusing on the fear of how to count the hours and credit, focus on what your teen wants to learn because any topic or theme is readily available for your teen to explore.
Grab some other tips here: Free Homeschool High School Planning Sheet (and pssst help for high school too), Accreditation Removing the Shroud of Mystery and Homeschool High School–How to Log Hours for High School?
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