When my children were in high school, electives were among their favorite courses. This was more than likely due to the fact that we allowed them to decide on some of the courses they would take. While our state required that we included a few years of the more common electives such as a foreign language, PE (we used their participation in sports as our PE courses) and computer science, the remaining choices were up to us. This flexibility opened up great opportunities for my kids to pursue things that were of interest to them they may not have otherwise been able to explore in a traditional school setting.
There were courses that each child did which included:
• Home Ec – Included skills such as cooking, sewing and home care
• Shop/Industrial Arts and auto mechanics – We knew that they all needed to know how to use tools and be able to do basic repairs and maintenance on their homes and cars
• Latin – In addition to the required foreign language (they all took Spanish for 2 years), they also took a year of Latin. We felt that basic knowledge of Latin was helpful in their other studies such as English and science.
• Consumer Math – This course helped them learn essential life skills in managing money
• Speech/Public Speaking – We wanted the kids to know how to do formal presentations because you never know when you will need to do it. Even though we did not have a large audience to present speeches to, what we did was to record them on video and then I would have them critique their own work looking for things they could improve upon.
• Logic – My children took this course at the same time as they took speech which helped them to not only present information in an orderly manner but decipher information, distinguish fact from fiction and draw their own conclusions.
• Music/choir – Because I am an avid music-lover and play a few different instruments, I wanted to share this passion with my children.
• Art – All my children are very creative, and we wanted them to be exposed to all kinds of art forms.
• Digital Photography – In this day and age, everyone seems to love to take pictures and my kids were no different.
• Bible Study – We are a Christian family and knowledge of the Scriptures and church history is very important to us.
• Etymology – We spread this course out over 4 years as they only worked on it for a brief time each day.
• Career Education – This helped my kids explore their skill strengths and check out the many choices available.
• Nutritional Health – Health is not a required elective in our state, but we felt it was important.
• CPR/First Aid – Another important skill we wanted to be sure they had.
• Keyboarding – In addition to computer science, we knew that good typing and keyboard skills was important for their future.
• Safe Driver's Education – My husband was a Smith Safe certified instructor, so naturally we included a safe driving course in addition to their Drivers Ed training.
While the list above was enough for graduation requirements (we counted a majority of them as ½ credit courses), my children chose the below as additional electives (I noted which child did what). By their course selections, you can probably see what types of things they were interested in at the time. Some of these courses could have been used as core subjects but we had all of those, so they were added to their transcripts as electives.
• Botany (#2 son & daughter)
• Software Development Basics
• Business Computer
• Website Development
• Microsoft Office
• Marine Biology
• Basic Blacksmithing
• Historical Conservation
• Wilderness Survival
• Fashion Design
• Child Development
• Textile Arts
Here are some more interesting electives that we did not do that may appeal to your child:
• Animal Husbandry/Veterinary Science
• Forensic Science
• Interior Design
• Film Making
• Graphic Arts
• Business Math
• Business Law
• Office Skills
• World Religions
• Creative Writing
• Study Skills
• Test Prep
There are so many more choices available. And even if you are not able to find a "boxed" curriculum for an elective that you child might like to do, don't let that stop you. Your student could take a class outside the home or perhaps you know someone that is knowledgeable on the subject that would be willing to teach your student. Or you could use the internet, library and other resources available to create your own course. That is what we did with many of our courses.
Electives are a fabulous way for your child to develop new skills, discover new talents and get ready to explore the world.
If you are still looking for an elective to add to your classroom, you can check the Homeschool Buyers Co-op electives category HERE.