100 High School Electives







 Summary:  Sharing 100 ideas for fun and engaging high school electives for your homeschooled teen. #homeschoolhighschool #highschoolelectives.  This post includes affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our homeschool, if my daughter wasn't already in college!  Please see my disclosure policy.

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There is so much more to homeschooling high school than just core studies.  One of the main reasons that we homeschooled all the way was to foster our daughter’s interests and grow her gifts.  And as she approached high school, they became her high school electives.

Having the time to delve deeply into my teen’s interests was priceless.  I encouraged her to explore her to try out different activities throughout her homeschool years.  Isn't that what homeschooling is about anyway? 

High School electives also brought the fun into our homeschool.  My favorite one was her Irish step-dancing class, where my hubby and I got to watch them all perform each year on St. Patrick’s Day.  What are your teens interested in?  Where do their gifts lay?  

Here are 100 ideas to consider for high school electives and high school activities.  I hope this list gives you ideas for your teen.  Many high school activities can be made into high school electives.  


100 High School Electives and Activities


Animal Care – Help with family’s animals, assist at the Humane Society, do an animal project 4H, compete at a state fair.  This can easily be made into an elective.

Animal Science for High School - Earn a homeschool high school credit in animal science.  It can make a great homeschool elective.  Details on that are here.

Athletics – Are your teens interested in sports?  Many Parks Department have leagues and classes, as does the YMCA, etc.  Some public schools allow homeschoolers to join in their sports activities as well. 

States that offer this option include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.  For more information, HSLDA has a link here – http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/E/Equal_Access.pdf. 
Parks Department Leagues, YMCA, etc.

Archeology – Take a course at the community college, or make your own.

Art  -- We did classes at our Parks Dept.  The YMCA offers them as well.  My friend’s teen enjoyed Artistic Pursuits from www.christianbook.com.  There is also an Ultimate List of Favorite High School Art Resources by the Tricia Hodges and it includes a year long high school course in Art Journaling.

Art Appreciation

Automotive Repair

Bible Quiz link - http://bq.ag.org - This program- offer competitions at the district, regional and national levels in bible memorization skills.  My daughter’s friend competed locally, then had the honor of doing it on the national level, and she enjoyed it very much. 

Blogging – Set up a blog for your teen, or have them set it up themselves.  What a great way to get your teen writing.

Book Club – Attend your local library’s club, or make your own.

Botany

Botany

Eva Varga has a great course in botany here - Botany - Plenty O'Plants - EvaVarga.  She is an accredited science educator and a homeschooler. 


Boy Scouts 

Earning badges, and progressing in boy scouts, such as eagle scouts, is a great activity for leadership development www.scouting.org  

Business Management – This could include running an etsy shop, taking a course, or making your own.

Business Math

Career Exploration
Career Exploration – This can be an elective for high school credit.  Some ideas for this include doing online research into careers of interest, arranging to visit a site of interest.

7 Sisters Homeschool Curriculum offers a complete course in Career Exploration Curriculum Bundle.

Car repair – Learn along side dad, help with car repairs, take a class, etc.

Carpentry

Ceramics - Our parks dept. offered great classes in ceramics, which my teen enjoyed since middle school.

Chalk Pastels 

 Video Art Course
American Landmarks Chalk Art  

This chalk art book is more advanced, ideal for high schoolers, and it can pair very well with your American History studies. 

Simple Start in Chalk Pastels Video Art Course

Taught by a master artist and offered by Tricia Hodges, mom of 5 kids who are all homeschooled.  This is a full one year course, broken into semesters.  Get your fine arts requirement done (for college bound teens) with this easy to use video course!  Perfect for independent study.  

Cheer - Cheer classes and or competitions   

Child Development 

7 Sisters Homeschool Curriculum offers a complete course in Child Development.  It is worth 1 high school credit in health, and covered development from birth through old age, from a Christian point of view.  

Choir

Coding


Computer Studies – Online, Programming, Web Design, etc.  Making a website, and blogging can count as web design.

Composer Study

Cooking

CPR-First Aid

Crafting

Creative Writing – We did this as one of our favorite high school electives.  I am a writer, so I taught my daughter the basics, then we made our own homemade course with NaNovWriMo. 

Another creative writing resource is the course called the - One Year Novel -www.oneyearnovel.com, or pick another resource such as Learn to Write the Novel Way from www.christianbook.com. This can also become an English credit.  Creative writing is a great way to build up your teen’s confidence in putting words on paper, essential for learning good essay writing skills. 

Dance – My daughter enjoyed studying irish dance at a local dance studio for many years. There are many kinds of dance to consider, ballet, jazz, liturgical, etc.  We started out with parks dept classes in preballet.  What fun I had watching my little one learn to dance!

Desktop Publishing

Early Childhood Education

7 Sisters Homeschool - Early Childhood Ed Course:

Vicki Tillman, MA, homeschool blogger, teacher and counselor wrote a course in Early Childhood Education Add power to the homeschool transcript, prepare to be a good homeschooling parent, and provide enriching career exploration, while doing this course, which is FUN!

Fashion

Fine Arts - Have you seen Harmony Fine Arts?  

4H - www.4-h.org/  - They offer a variety of activities to develop kids and teens’s citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills.  My daughter participated in their annual competitions at our state fair each year, and enjoyed photography, art, knitting, baking, and more.  

This gave her outside feedback on her projects, which was priceless.  Find a local 4H club here - http://www.4-h.org/get-involved/find-4-h-clubs-camps-programs/.

Furniture Refinishing

Gardening – Building a veggie garden, studying gardening online, planning a flower garden, helping with garden maintenance at home can all count.

Geology

Girls Scouts  www.girlscouts.org/

Graphic Design

Gymnastics  -  My daughter took lessons at our local gymnastics center. This was a great way for her to build strength and it also showed perseverance on the high school transcript, as she did this over a number of years.  Usually you would only include the high school activities on the college application.

Hand Arts

Health

Home Economics – Cooking dinner once a week could become a ½ or full credit in home economics, depending on whether it was done for one semester or a year.  Making a recipe notebook, trying out new recipes, etc.  

Homeschool Scouts – www.homeschoolscouting.com To find a listing of homeschool troops, click here – www.homeschoolscouting.com/homeschool-troops.

Homeschool Sports Network –  http://www.hspn.net/homeschool-sports.asp.  To find a homeschool sports program in your area, check out this website, which has a list of states that offer sports around the country.

Horticulture

HSLDA also has an extensive list of possible high school electives here http://www.hslda.org/highschool/Elective_Possibilities.pdf

Interior Decorating

Itsy Shop

Jewelry Making

Journalism

Landscaping

Below are our favorite leadership activities for homeschooled teens:

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES:

1 Youth and Government is a hands on way of learning about state government, gaining speech and debate skills at the same time.  They meet in small groups, as delegations, then compete in district events, while learning about state government and how a bill becomes a law.  Meanwhile they practice debate skills, leading up to the statewide meeting.

 This program is available in 33 states across the country, and is sponsored by the YMCA.  They even elect their own youth governor each year! 

TeenPack Leadership Schools  www.teenpact.com This is another well established leadership program which provides groups and workshops that equip teens to become leaders in politics, society and citizenship. To register for a state class click here - https://teenpact.com/events/

Counselor-in-Training Programs – The girl scouts, boy scouts and camp fire programs all offer counselor training to teens.  Then they assist in summer day camps for younger kids.

Parks Department’s Teen Board – Many parks departments have youth teen boards, who meet regularly to plan activities for younger kids, and that is a way to learn leadership skills.

PoliceExplorers  Many police departments offer this program for high schoolers.  It includes lots of volunteer opportunities and leadership training as well.  Our family friend has been involved it this program for years, and is gaining helpful experience, that may lead directly to a career in law enforcement.

Speech and Debate - NCFCA – National Christian Forensics Communication Association – This is the longest standing nonprofit organization that offers speech and debate activities for homeschooled high schoolers.  They meet locally in chapters, compete regionally, and hold a national championship yearly.  Lots of my teen’s homeschool friends participated in this, and loved it.  

Life Skills

Marine Science

Marketing

Martial Arts – Many studios offer homeschool classes in martial arts.  One of my teen’s friends is a student of martial arts, and it was a great way for him to develop discipline.

Financial Literacy
Math Electives  

Financial Literacy is a course that can be done as an elective.  It introduces the world of personal finance through textbook learning, videos and articles, plus interactive exercises.  

It is similar to consumer math, but it's focus is on personal finance, preparing your teen to manage their money, come graduation.

Music – Music lessons, composer studies, Squilt 

Playing in a band or orchestra, singing in a choir, performing, attending performances call all lead to a high school credit in music.  Our area had a homeschool choir available.

Music Appreciation - My friend, Tricia Hodges, from Hodgepodge used this course and recommends it - 20th Century Music Appreciation Course.

Music Lessons

Nature Study  - We loved doing nature study, too.  How about one of Cindy's nature study courses, such as Incredible Creeks from Shining Dawn Books?  


Oceanography

Office Skills

Online Classes: 

cropped-funda_funda_academy-1.png

Funda Funda Academy offers lots of choices for online, fun elective courses, as well as many semester long or year long courses in core studies areas, too.  Click here to reach their high school homeschool elective courses.

For advice on selecting electives for your teens just click here - How to Select Electives for Your High Schooler.

Orchestra

Painting

Philosophy

Philosophy in 4 Questions by 7 Sisters Homeschool - 1 credit of philosophy by 7 Sisters Homeschool, with no busy work, written by an MA in Philosophy, who is the homeschooled son of Vicki Tillman from 7 Sisters. This course is done from a Christian perspective.

Photography – I taught my daughter photography, from age 8, and we did this together for many years, and it later became a homemade elective.  There are also online courses in photography, and some parks dept’s offer classes as well.

Photo Shop Photography

Physical Education

Plumbing

Programming

Psychology
Psychology - Introduction to Psychology - A Christian Perspective - from 7 Sisters Homeschool 

Having a social science course like this one, can help your teen build a well rounded transcript, just like the colleges are looking for.  This course counts as a full credit.

Research Skills

Robotics

Sailing

Sea Scouts - My daughter's friend did this, learned so much about boating, sailing and leadership too.  It is a program offered by Boy Scouts,.

Sewing

Shakespeare -- Would you like some resources for making your own high school English course? Make your own course with novels such as these, for example:

No Fear Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet These books include the original text, with a parallel translation of modern English on each page.  Having the parallel text made this learning so much better and understandable for my teen.

Sign Language

Social Media - Advertising

Sociology

Speech and/or Debate  

NCFCA - National Christian Forensics Communication Association link - The longest standing nonprofit organization that offers speech and debate activities for homeschooled high schoolers.  

They meet locally in chapters, compete regionally, and hold a national championship yearly.  Lots of my teen’s homeschool friends participated in this, and loved it.  They also hold short film and writing contests.

Speech 1
Speech 1 - Public Speaking and Practical Life Skills A course by 7 Sisters Homeschool, which teaches the valuable skill of public speaking, which is often a part of lots of jobs and careers.

Small Business 

Stoa – Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate – This national organization offers Speech Events, Debate Events, and Tournaments here http://www.stoausa.org/  They do debates and meet regularly to prepare.  State Organizations are here -  http://www.stoausa.org/about/stoa-state-links

Theater and Drama – Take a class, usher at a drama production, join a local community theater group.  My nephew participated in a homeschool drama program offered by his co-op.  7 Sisters Homeschool offers a course in Acting and Directing.

Video Courses - Tricia Hodges, from the Hodgepodge, has an extensive list of high school video courses in High School Homeschool Video Courses, including American History, Visual Latin, Economics and so much more!

Video Making - We made our own course in video-making, a true joy to do with our teen.  It became a one-half credit elective on her homeschool transcript and was tons of FUN!

Voice Lessons

Volunteering  - It is such a great way to gain experience, build up confidence, leadership skills, and to try new things.  By recording your teen’s hours, volunteering can be made into a homemade elective course.  Some places to consider:

- Church youth activities
- church nursery
- the public library
- nursery room at co-op
- the Humane Society
- Girl Scout or Boy Scout day camp
- Parks department special needs programs
- mission trips
- nursing homes
- church camps
- day care or preschool
food bank
- YMCA, YWCA, etc. 

Help at a food bank as a family, volunteer at a pet hospital, or the Humane Society, assist at a library as a volunteer page, help to lead a class at co-op, etc.  

My daughter volunteered at our local library one summer, and enjoyed it.  They were already set up for volunteers there, so it was easy to set up.  Then that helped her get a job part time, to help pay for her college expenses.  Really!  A win!

Some museums are also set up to offer teen volunteering.  One of ours did and that led to a recommendation letter for my daughter, who volunteered at that museum, and that was sent along with our college application.

Web Design

Weight Lifting

Word Processing

World Cultures

YMCA – www.ymca.com  They have a link there that will list all of the YMCAs in the US and will give you a guest pass to one to visit nearby.

Another great place to get more information and ideas for high school electives, as well as ebook based elective courses is 7 Sisters Homeschool.  

Click here for details - An Authoritative Guide to High School Electives by 7 Sisters Homeschool.

Summary:

In our house, we followed our daughter's developing interests, but did not load on extra electives or activities just to show them off to the colleges.  Instead, we made time for her to grow her gifts and talents as it fit her and our homeschool days.

There is nothing like watching your teen discover and explore their special interests during the teen years, don't you think?  What would you add to this list?  I enjoy reading your comments either here or on Facebook.

Do you have a college bound teen in your house?  Homeschooling creatively with FUN electives helped my teen get into college. She was accepted by each of the colleges on her list, with scholarship offers. 

Here's how I helped get her there....

Have you seen my NEW Complete Guide to college for homeschoolers yet? 



and 
Barnes and Noble $11.99

Kindle is coming!

It lays out 10 easy steps for homeschool to college, and covers everything you need to help your teen get into the college of their choice, with 7 NEW chapters. Recommended by Lessa Scherrer, a certified college counselor and a homeschooling mama of 3.

Create your own unique and nurturing high school program for your teen and showcase their accomplishments to the colleges. 

The 17 Chapters include:

>Chapter 1 - How to Start Homeschooling if you are a Newbie
>Chapter 2 - 101 Reasons to Homeschool High School
>Chapter 3 - Researching and Getting Started
  Chapter 4 - Planning High School and Making a 4 Year Plan
>Chapter 5 - Choosing Your High School Curriculum
>Chapter 6 - Three Ways to High School Credit
>Chapter 7 - Making Your Teen's Transcripts
>Chapter 8 - 100 High School Electives
>Chapter 9 - Making Homemade Courses
>Chapter 10 - Writing a Winning College Essay
>Chapter 11 - Course Descriptions and Reference Letters
>Chapter 12 - The Common Application - Your GUIDE
>Chapter 13 - Preparing Your Teen for College Writing
>Chapter 14 - Dealing with College Testing SAT/ACT
>Chapter 15 - Top Sources for College Scholarships
>Chapter 16 - Dealing with “Those Questions” from Others
>Chapter 17 - Don’t Forget the FUN!

>There are 12 downloadable high school homeschool planning printables plus a transcript form for you to just fill in.

The kind of transcript form that the colleges are used to seeing.



For more info: 


- 2nd Edition




Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy


Betsy is mom to her now college grad daughter whom she homeschooled from preschool to high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd edition..   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting.


Want to stay in touch?


Copyright, 2016
Revised 2019, All Rights Reserved


This post is a part of the iHomeschool Network blog hop, 100 Things.  

12 comments:

  1. My teen would love for me to create an elective around Shakespeare. Art is another love of hers, so I was glad to see you included resources for me to explore. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Your ideas for electives sound both creative and fun! Thanks for stopping by Leah Stanford, and I hope this list is a help to you! My daughter loved doing her electives, especially the one with Youth and Government. Have a good evening,

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  2. I love this....I am just starting the journy of homeschooling 3 high schoolers. Super excited about this.

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    1. Hi Kim Clifford! Nice to meet you and thanks for stopping by. I hope this list encourages you on your journey, homeschooling high school. If you want to take a peek at more of my posts on high school, feel free to click this link -https://betsyhomeschoolconsulting.blogspot.com/p/college-news.html - It includes posts on getting started with high school and more. Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving!

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  3. Great list for my future! I tweeted this out for you��

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    1. How nice of you, Jennifer @HifalutinHomeschooler.com! Thank you and I hope this list has something wonderful on it when your child reaches high school!

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  4. What a HUGE list of ideas! I start homeschooling high school next year. A post like this gets me excited about it!

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    1. Thank you, that is so nice to hear, Mary@notbefore7! I wish you a great rest of your middle school homeschool, and it is wonderful to hear that my list is an encouragement to you. That's why I blog, and I love the name of your blog, not before 7!

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  5. Love your list. I am going to link back to this page from my blog in an article on electives.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa M. Nehring! That is so kind of you and much appreciated. I hope this list inspires many homeschooling families to help their teens to fine and enjoy great high school electives and activities. Nice to meet you, Lisa, and what is your blog called?

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  6. Child Evangelism Fellowship also trains youth between 13 and 18 to run traveling vacation Bible camps (Five Day Clubs) during the summer and to assist similar clubs in the public schools (Good News Cubs). The training can add up to a class in Child Evangelism.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for sharing that, Sharon Johnson. Is that program available all around the US? If so, Sharon, please let me know and I will add it onto the post. Happy to, and thanks for sharing and stopping by!

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