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Creative Electives for Your High School Student

Editor’s Note: This post is part of our 5-day series: Your Easy Guide to Homeschooling High School. Read through to the end for links to the other posts included in this series.

Are you one of the “brave ones” who is facing, and planning on, teaching your child at home through high school?

Actually homeschooling through high school isn’t as scary up close as it seemed when you might have been contemplating it years ago.  My personal experience is that, when it was time, God provided whatever courses/teachers/programs we needed.  Just NOT before!

A solid, college-bound high school program these days should include a core curriculum of math (4 years), science (3-4 years), English/Literature/Language Arts (4 years), Social Studies (3-4 years) and foreign language (3-4 years).

The Power of Electives in Your Student’s High School Plan

Normally, electives are not as rigorous as classes in the core curriculum, but they are often at least as interesting and fun (or maybe even more so!)… Thoughtfully-chosen electives can be very powerful tools for your student for a variety of reasons. For one thing, they are often the major way teens make “real life connections” to their education (think of the “Why do we have to learn this, anyway?” question).  Additionally, they are a way:

  1. round out your student’s education,
  2. introduce them to a future career possibility, or
  3. help them develop interests, talents or gifts they have.

If you’re getting ready to get classes going this year, you’ve most likely gotten your basics down pat.  However, you may be scratching your head as to what to study to fill out a useful semester.

The list of creative electives below is just the tip of the iceberg

We present it here to hopefully get your creative juices going!  If you find something interesting here, your next step would be to develop a program of study on your own (unit study style) or search for a pre-made curriculum. Whatever route you take, make sure to keep records of time spent, materials used, projects completed and any other effort put forth, in the form of a paper document or portfolio.  You will want to have a record available when it’s time to get those transcripts ready for college!

  • auto mechanics
  • child care
  • life skills/preparing for adult roles
  • work study
  • horticulture
  • small business-related
  • in the south – battle re-enactments
  • fashion concepts – design, construction, marketing, etiquette
  • CPR certification
  • photography (beginner and advanced)
  • music – learning an instrument or studying specific time periods
  • sculpting
  • calligraphy
  • cosmetology
  • nutrition
  • cooking – meal planning, cost of food, nutrition, dietary guidelines
  • sign language
  • wood-working – from building small items (bookshelves) to constructing larger projects
  • marathon training
  • writing – journalism, news reporting, novels, children’s books
  • art
  • political process – campaigning
  • animal husbandry
  • interior decorating
  • landscaping
  • typing
  • theater
  • filmmaking
  • animation
  • website design
  • video game design

You can find even more ideas in this article by the Examiner, and HSLDA has an exceptional article on utilizing both electives and extra-curricular activities in a well-balanced high school program.

Plus, our friends at the iHomeschool Network have even MORE ideas for bringing school subjects to life ~ or life to school subjects ~ here!

HomeschoolingGuideCome back every day this week as we add to Your Easy Guide to Homeschooling High School:

Day 1 – Get a Plan

Day 2 – The Power of Creative Electives

Day 3 – Beyond Books: Developing Leadership Skills in Your High Schooler

Day 4 –  Your High Schooler Should Needs to Watch These Before Graduation

Day 5 – Tools for the Teacher: How to Ensure Your Teen Has a Thriving High School Experience


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Do you have any other ideas for creative electives for high school?  Please share them with us!


How to Homeschool Creatively

Find even more wonderful ways to inject some creativity into your homeschool here! Just click on the picture.

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Pat is a Yankee city-girl who has been adopted by the sleepy, sunny south. Married for 30 years and the mother of 5, she woke up one day recently to discover she reached the stage of life where she is the “older woman” described in Titus 2:3-5. A coffee lover, the purchase of a coffee shop a few years ago was her personal foray into the small, family-owned business arena.Today, PatAndCandy.com is her outlet for packaging up and sharing the nuggets of wisdom God and life experiences have taught her.
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7 Responses to Creative Electives for Your High School Student

  1. Kari May 25, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

    There is a great company called Creative Electives with a High School elective, Intro to 3D Modeling. It’s a fun course… check it out!

  2. Chris James November 16, 2016 at 2:07 am #

    I was looking for photography classes as an elective for my homeschooled daughter. She loves to take the photographs all the time, so I had decided to explore her interest. Now she has started online photography classes at The Ogburn Online School.
    Chris James recently posted…Online Learning: The Best way to achieve a Better TomorrowMy Profile

  3. Dina September 11, 2016 at 10:55 pm #

    Wow what a collection of things for homeschooling parents like us. My little daughter showing signs of getting to like web development and designing. She likes HTML a lot now …

  4. Heather at Fearful to Fearless January 25, 2016 at 10:08 am #

    These are great! I love that, as homeschoolers, we can give our children the chance to explore really unique interests like this. Even at a young age, my 6 year old is really showing an interest in building/home design. She asks to watch HGTV as much as she does cartoons (a source of a bit of conflict with her brother who couldn’t care less about home design, lol) and loves to play with Google Sketchup to design rooms. I could easily see her exploring architecture as a high school elective. When you get time, I’d love for you to come check out my corner of the blogosphere at http://fearfultofearlessblog.com

    • Pat January 25, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

      Heather, how neat is that?! Your daughter is already into home design?!!! She’s (and you – lol) got an exciting future ahead! And I really love your blog: the tea party menu had my mouth watering, as did the spicy kale recipe, and the gluten-free eclairs… (guess you can tell it’s almost time to make supper ’round these parts…)!
      Anyway, thanks again for stopping by, and I hope you have a terrific week! 🙂

  5. Jennifer August 8, 2015 at 6:56 am #

    I love this list! Thanks for posting!

    • Pat August 8, 2015 at 7:13 am #

      You’re welcome, Jennifer! Do you have high-schoolers at home? Think you’ll use any of these ideas or have others? I’d love to know how you might use the info… 😉

      Have a great weekend!

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