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“Hey, Hannah. Have you considered which high school electives you would like to study next year?”
“Hmm, can I hear a few options?”
Hannah starts 9th grade next month, so we are busy focusing on creating her high school plan. We have all of her core classes (language arts, math, history, science, and foreign language) planned. Now we just need to add in a few electives.
High School electives are some of my favorite classes to plan. They really make a student’s high school plan unique. Many high school students, homeschool and public school, take similar core classes. Electives are one way to tailor their education to their interests and goals.
Most high school homeschoolers will take anywhere from 4- 8 electives. The final total number depends on after-high school goals and potential college requirements.
High School electives generally fall into a few categories:
- Personal interest
- Career exploration
There can absolutely be overlap between the categories!
Academic high school electives are a way to dive deep into core subjects. They offer students the opportunity to go beyond the standard courses. In some ways they can marry a student’s academic skills and interests. My husband took every math class our high school offered. He was naturally interested in math, so this was perfect for him.
Personal interest electives are a way to learn more about something that a student is passionate about.
Career exploration electives are a great way to learn more about a potential job. I have known that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher since second grade, so I took child development and elementary tutoring electives in high school.
High School Electives
- Creative Writing
- British Literature
- Environmental and Natural Resources
- Veterinary Science
- Marine Biology
- Forensic Science
- Technical Theater
- Vocal Music
- Music Appreciation
- Instrumental Music
- Art History
- Consumer Math
- Personal Finance
- Business Law
- Health and Fitness
- Community First Aid/ Emergency Response
- Sports Medicine
- Home Economics
- Child Development
- Early Childhood Education
- Culinary Skills
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Web Design
- Computer Coding
- Video Game Design
- Film making
- Graphic Design
- Computer Animation
- Network Engineering
- Computer Applications
- Fashion Design
- Interior Design
- Automotive Mechanics
- Electrical Engineering
- Wood Working
- World Religions
- Criminal Justice
- Political Science
Where to Find High School Elective Courses
High School electives for homeschoolers can be found in a few places. The internet is full of classes that are completely online! It is also possible to find courses in person. Some homeschool co-ops offer elective courses. Private companies, such as musical instrument shops, offer lessons too.
Outschool.com – Outschool.com classes are taught online via group video chat. The teachers choose which classes they want to offer, ensuring that they know the material well. Classes begin all the time, so the course selection is always changing. Some of the options include: Hogwarts School of Drama, Manual DSLR Photography 101, Code and Crochet, and Creative Writing.
Many of the classes span only a few weeks, so they do not contain enough hours to make up an entire elective credit (approximately 120 – 180 hours). To make up a full credit, you can combine several classes within the same subject.
KhanAcademy.org – KhanAcademy.org offers a few academic electives such as Statistics and Probability, Art History (even AP Art History!), Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science.
Khan Academy is a great resource because the classes are 100% online AND are 100% free.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com – A SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership includes access to core classes and electives for all grade levels, including high school. Some of the current elective offerings include: Accounting, Film Making, Fun with Cooking, Hands-On Architecture, Hands-On Design Fun, Home Economics, Logic, Photography, Art, Bible, Podcasting, and Web Game Design.
Some of the SchoolhouseTeachers.com courses are completely online and others require the parent to teach the downloadable text.
AllinOneHighSchool.com – AllinOneHighSchool.com is the high school version of Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool. Courses are completely free! Each day student’s log in to complete the daily assignment. Current elective offerings include: British Literature, Art History, Music Appreciation, and Oceanography with lab.
Elective curriculum can also be purchased and then taught at home by the parents. This works better for some subjects than others. For example, I have zero musical talent, so even an amazing curriculum is not going to help me teach piano.
HomeschoolBuyersCoop.org – HomeschoolBuyersCoop.org offers popular curricula at a discount. The selection rotates pretty frequently, so be sure to check often if there is something in particular you are looking for.
What high school electives are your student’s most interested in studying?