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Choosing Electives for Homeschooling High School (Homeschool High School Blog Hop)

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Most states require a certain number of electives for high school graduates. Although non homeschoolers might think that the choice of electives is limited for homeschool students, we've found the opposite to be true. We have so many choices that it's sometimes hard to choose just a few. Occasionally we have to pay for electives that traditionally schooled students would have free access to, but there have also been electives that we've been able to do for no charge.

In today's Homeschool High School Blog Hop, we're featuring high school electives. I'm sharing some of the things we've used as high school electives and where we've found some great electives resources.
Ideas and resources for choosing electives for high school



My oldest, Kathryne, has completed two years of high school. When she was headed into 9th grade, I was very concerned about what to count as an elective and how much credit I should give. Does it have to be a year long course? How do I count hours if I want to use a non traditional elective that isn't really a class? What kinds of classes should we count as electives? I took some time to talk with a friend- who also happens to work for our homeschool legal group- to make some sense of electives. She encouraged me to have Kathryne do a variety of things as electives. This gives her a well-rounded look when colleges see her transcript. So we've chosen a variety of different classes over her two years of high school.  One of the first steps in determining electives is to find out your state's graduation requirements and see how many electives are required. Probably you'll have more than enough, but it's nice to know for sure as you are choosing classes and curricula.

Bible

Because we use a Christian worldview based curriculum- My Father's World- Bible will always be included as a class. There is no Bible requirement in our state's graduation requirements, of course, so Bible is always counted as an elective. My friend advised me to not give 100s as elective grades unless I can document actual test or project grades that average to 100, but to really evaluate work and give a lower number grade. Our curriculum gives an actual grade for Bible, showing us what to grade and count so that's very helpful when I go to average grades.

Art

I loved ARTistic Pursuits when I was able to review for them last year, so I encouraged Kathryne to do art as an elective and use one of their high school books. She started out this past year using that, and she made it until Christmas doing the projects in the book. She was getting a little tired of it and didn't like it as much as I had, so we finished out her art elective with art appreciation from Kahn Academy. Kahn has a variety of art history courses, and she chose the Renaissance art.

Early Childhood Education

In Kathryne's 9th grade year, she was my assistant director for our preschool choir program at church. I made her responsible for all of the lesson planning, and she helped in the actual teaching on Wednesday nights. I questioned about how to include this on her transcript because I think it would look good to a college if she considers a degree in the education field. My friend told me that I could count the experience as an elective as long as I documented well what she did. I did that on her transcript, and I saved all of the lesson plans she created in a portfolio. She really enjoyed this elective.

Psychology

Kathryne is interested in doing something in the field of science as a career pursuit. She's always been interested in psychology. So I found this Homeschool Psychology course that she completed as an elective last year. The course was interesting to her, although she didn't really like the way information was presented in the book. She did learn quite a bit, though, and this made a good elective.

Cooking

Cooking was part of a co-op class that we were involved in during Kathryne's 9th grade year. The kids cooked extensively through the US states in one semester and through world cultures in the other. Because it was only an every other week class, I counted it as 1/2 credit. This works well for classes that don't meet every week and aren't as involved.

Schoolhouse Teachers

This year, Kathryne has picked several electives from Schoolhouse Teachers. If you haven't had the opportunity to check out this amazing resource, you can read my review here. For one monthly fee, you can use the classes available for all of your kids. There are classes going on live and classes that have been archived. You student can take the classes in your house, on your own time, for one price. It's been great because electives can get pricey for homeschooled students. When we have to pay for everything separately, it's hard to choose electives that the child likes and that are economical, not to mention electives that will look good on a transcript. I've found some really good electives on Schoolhouse Teachers. This year she's looking at Simply Shakespeare, American Sign Language, and Social Justice so far. There are many, many others available as well.


It doesn't have to be difficult to choose good electives for your homeschooled high schooled student. We've found that the harder thing is narrowing down the choices and picking what's best for our finances and for the transcript. You can get more ideas about electives by visiting the other Homeschool High School blog hop contributors.



Read More on Homeschooling in the High School Years



7 comments:

  1. You've given me some excellent ideas. Thank you. :)

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  2. Sometimes, being a homeschooler means there's too many electives to choose from!

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    1. Yes! Sometimes folks think my kids are so pitiful and deprived with nothing to do, but in reality, there's too much to do!

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  3. When my girls get older, we'll be doing the cooking elective, too!
    --Gena

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  4. Love this blog! High school is really a quite amazing part of our education, as includes electives and extra curriculum activities. If they are chosen wisely it helps a lot to explore children in their interest and passion. Earlier my daughter had completed her high school from the Ogburn High school. The school had provided an amazing and creative list of high school electives.

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