Planning high school classes for your homeschooler can be stressful enough. When you add the idea of a number of elective classes and how you are going to complete those, it can become even more stressful.
If you haven’t read the first post with suggestions for typical electives such as physical education, art, language, and music, you will want to read Homeschool High School Electives Options Part One.
There is a large variety of topic areas and ways in which to study these areas available for homeschoolers. Textbooks and online classes are available, but hands-on opportunities are widely available as well.
There is one online option I’d like you to consider that we used for a number of subjects recently. I like it because you can choose from a huge variety of subject areas, my son was able to work independently, and the more subjects I bought the more of a discount I received.
This program is called the Plato Career Technical Education Library. My son was able to select a number of elective courses to take online that interested him (and would have been difficult to complete in another manner).
Here is a list of what is available – the title of Career Technical Education Library is somewhat deceiving when you like at the nature of all the options available:
- Accounting; Introduction to Finance; Principles of Business; Marketing and Finance; Marketing, Advertising, and Sales; Personal Finance
- Principles of Manufacturing; Principles of Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; Principles of Hospitality and Tourism; Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
- Applied Medical Technology; Principles of Health Science; Health; Physical Education; Psychology
- Game Development; Computer Programming; Graphic Design and Illustration; Principles of Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications; Principles of Engineering and Technology; Web Technologies, Introduction to Social Media
- Drafting and Design; Fashion Design; Professional Photography
- Principles of Architecture and Construction
- Art History and Appreciation; Music Appreciation; Sociology
- Principles of Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security
- Child Development and Parenting
My son enjoyed his classes and I enjoyed the extra time and money it freed up for me. You can only get the discounted prices for individuals and homeschoolers at Plato Courseware at Homeschool Buyer’s Coop (affil).
They have these electives and core subject areas as well if you are interested in pursuing online classes in Math, Science, Language Arts, etc.
Classroom Options for Homeschool High School Electives
Another option is to take non-credit classes in the evenings at the local public community college or adult evening non-credit classes at different high school locations in your local public school system. These are non-credit classes because they are not part of the regular curriculum offered in these schools, but that also means they are cheaper for you. They can count as credit for your student on your high school transcript.
A look through our local public school system reveals adult evening classes taught at different high school locations for nominal fees with classes lasting a few weeks to three months depending on the class, usually once per week.
Some examples of these classes are photography, cooking, painting, and calligraphy.
At our local community college, non-credit evening classes include many languages with different levels of abilities and interests from Italian to Arabic to Russian and Korean to Chinese, Spanish, and French.
There are also Public Speaking, Jewelry Design and Photography, Sewing and Interior Design, and Cooking and Cake Decorating classes.
I encourage you to do an internet search or call up your local school system or community college and ask them how you can view the catalog of courses they have available.
Hands-on and Experiential Homeschool High School Electives Options
Along with the online courses my son took, he and my older son took advantage of local programs for hands-on experiences that we applied toward their electives. Some of these experiences were shorter than others, so they were combined with online classes to add up to the required number of hours to be able to count it as a 1/2 credit or semester long elective class. Other experiences took a great deal of time and added up to the required number of hours to be able to assign it 1/2 credit on the transcript all on its own.
Boy Scout Merit Badge Booklets and Worksheets
There are number of merit badge booklet titles with worksheets you can print off and fill out to use as a foundation for an elective course. The merit badge booklet can be found at a local or online scout store or the library and serves as the meat or information component. There are printable worksheets available for each merit badge booklet where your student can enter answers to key questions about the topic of study and document activities completed in conjunction with the research component of the subject. Here is the website to print out these worksheets – Merit Badge Worksheets.
Depending on what other materials you are using for specific electives, you might want to include some or all of the material in these booklets. You might want to combine some of these booklets for one elective as well. We have a done a combination of things between online classes and these booklets.
Topic areas include everything from American Business, entrepreneurship, Game Design, Programming, Gardening, Landscape Architecture and Plumbing to Animation, Moviemaking, and Auto Maintenance.
I mentioned in another post that the Explorer’s Program offers extensive opportunities for electives and future career exploration and extra curricular activities. You can use this program as part of an elective or as the elective itself if enough time is put into it.
Check with your local area online for searches of the Explorer’s Program or your local Boy Scout office (the Explorer’s program is an outreach of Boy Scouts). I had another son involved in the Police Explorer’s program and loved it. He was considering a career in law, military or government having to do with criminology or public safety. He enjoyed what he learned in the program but also the hands-on opportunities such as police car ride-alongs, assisting in training at the local police academy (he role played as a criminal or a citizen as needed), worked at teen alcohol and drug awareness programs, and participated in a regional competition using skills he had learned against other Explorer Posts.
The Explorer’s Program website has an Activity Library with activity ideas and printable Career Opportunity Worksheets centered around topics related to career exploration areas. You can find a button for the Activity Library at the Explorer’s Program Home Page with a list of Career Fields and subtopics to explore on the left side of the page. Within each Career Field will subtopics with activity ideas and a Career Opportunity Worksheet.
Here is a list of available fields to explore:
- Arts and Humanities – everything from photography and visual arts to music to animation
- Aviation – anything to do with aviation
- Business – anything to do with conducting business
- Communications – everything to do with media, journalism, web design, broadcasting
- Engineering and Technology – all kinds of engineering
- Fire and EMS – fire, EMS, search and rescue
- Healthcare – medical and veterinary care
- Law and Government – still working on this page
- Law Enforcement – police enforcement and criminology
- Science – includes engineering and other science areas
- Skilled Trades – these are your vocational areas of study
- Social Services – Mostly education with a focus on instruction and learning styles
- A Separate Life Skills Section with its own subtopic areas
If you missed the first post about other Elective options, read Homeschool High School Electives Options Part One.
Also, to read the rest of the Homeschool High School series of posts, click here to start at the beginning of our series with Why Homeschool High School? Each post is connected with a link to the next post in the series at the bottom of the post.
And as always, if you find these tips and ideas helpful, please share with the buttons below or leave any questions, comments, or resources you have found to assist you in studying electives!