Homeschool High School Electives and How They Help Your Teen Get into College

SUMMARY:  Homeschool high school electives and activities can really help your homeschooled teen get into college. How to share with the colleges is included, for homeschooling to college. This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.

Did you know that homeschool high school electives and activities can help your high schooler get into college?  

Whatever your child is interested in, their high school electives are an important part of getting into college.  And that means following their interests, of course, which is what we all want to be able to do in our homeschooling.

Most colleges want to see teens make efforts to develop their own unique interests.  And to participate in some high school activities, which shows their leadership, or skills in working and playing together with others.

There is no need to pressure your teen to choose specific activities, just so they have those listed on their college applications.  The colleges just want to see that they developed an their own interests or two, and participated in the activities that they were interested in doing.

There is so much more to homeschooling high school than just meeting your college admission requirements.  

Our teens want to explore the world around them, follow their interests, and delve into new subjects. There's nothing better than watching your teen delve into a subject of interest, seeing that wonderful spark as it is ignited....  

Colleges want to hear about their applicant's interests and special skills.  And often, your teen's activities can also lead to that all important college recommendation letter. 

Sharing Electives with the Colleges

Sharing electives helps the college admissions dept. get to know your student and her accomplishments.  This can happen right on the application, through the homeschool transcript, or as part of the college essay. 

On the Application -  There is a section for listing activities, volunteering, etc, right on the common application.  It is easy to do, just filling in the blank...

On the Homeschool Transcript - Special interests can be made into electives courses, and listed on your teen's transcript.

In the College Essay -  There are essay questions to answer here, for sure, but the colleges also want to hear about your teen's unique interests and skills, as well.  Depending on the essay question that your student chooses, the college essay can be a place to share special interests as well.  

So,  back to the fun of electives..... Here's what we did for my daughter's high school activities and electives:  

encouraged my daughter to explore her interests and to try out different activities that she might be interested in.  Isn't that what homeschooling is about anyway?  

(Note - We are an only child family, so we had more time than most families for outside activities. These are just ideas to get your started)

Here's some ideas for electives/activities and how they helped my daughter get into college.

Assisting in a Science Class

In middle school, my daughter was particularly interested in science, so when an opportunity to assist in a science class came up, we went for it!  

My daughter developed her confidence through this experience.  

The  teacher helped her to assist with the science labs, and to lead one class by herself each semester.  She liked doing this, but decided that she didn't want to become a teacher after all!  She wanted to explore being a leader in another way..., and maybe not in science...

This TA experience resulted in a  college recommendation letter from the science teacher.  It was helpful, in addition to the Counselor Recommendation letter that we are asked to send in.  

Irish Stepdancing

My teen started irish dance in 3rd grade, and then continued with it through high school.  This was an interest of hers, and her friend was in the class.  She took irish stepdancing until 17, then took a modern dance class.  

We included the irish dance activity in the college application, as she had done this for over nine years. And she showed a progressively developed skill.  

This showed perseverance and a skill in an area of interest, which is one of the things that colleges are looking for. 
Modern dance was also a help in our homeschool, as it was a great way to get in PE.  These activities can be counted for PE credit.

Irish also helped in another way...

One of our prospective colleges asked for an essay on multicultural issues.  My teen decided to share her experiences in irish dance, and how she had learned about the irish culture, and developed an appreciation for cultural differences.

Video Production  

My teen wanted to learn how to make her own videos, so we just made our own homemade course for that.  It was easy. We just kept track of the hours that she spent researching and making videos. 

Vidomaking was the most fun activity that we did together, during her senior year.  It developed her skills in photography and videomaking, added to her college application, and  helped her to develop organizational skills as well. 


My daughter loved volunteering at our local Museum of Flight, for a couple of summers.  She worked with others to make a video, and helped with their camp program.  Volunteering is such a great way for teens to gain experience, and our college choices loved to hear about her volunteer efforts.  

There are so many places to volunteer and learn leadership skills in our communities.  Parks Depts. have youth boards, and counselor-in-training programs.  

Then there is the YMCA, YWCA, Scouts, church and co-op activities, and Speech and Debate, etc.  Leadership skills is something that many colleges look for, as well as special interests and electives. 

Youth and Government

Then my daughter heard about a Youth and Government delegation that was led by a homeschooling mom, in our area.  So my daughter joined.  She ran for office, starting with secretary, then committee chair, then VP. What great experience for a teen!

She also went, with her delegation, to district and state events, where she got to serve in other roles as well.  She found a number of friendships there.  And this resulted in another college application recommendation letter! So helpful!

Youth and Government is offered in 33 states.  I highly recommend it, if your teen is interested in leadership and/or wants to learn about state government.

What are your teens interested in?  

What are their favorite high school electives?  
And I love hearing from you, too, so feel free to leave a comment or even two. 

Are you wondering about transcripts, assigning high school credit, and all those other important details?

After helping my homeschooled teen get into each of the colleges she applied to, I wrote this book - and it guides you through planning high school at home and helping with college applications, too.

Below is the book and the table of contents.

For more information: Homeschooling High School with College in Mind. 

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition,   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

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  1. The Irish Step Dance class looks like it was a ton of fun!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  2. Thanks, Jill R.! I love reading the posts on the Thoughtful Spot, full of great ideas. Hope you have a nice Memorial Day weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

  3. Awesome post! I can't believe I am getting close to having high schoolers again.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. Wow, Dawn Rebekah, high schoolers again! You must be quite the expert. I hope that your second time with high schoolers is a great one! Thanks for stopping by,


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