How To Choose The Best Homeschool High School Electives For Your Student
Many homeschool parents find planning their student’s high school education to be quite intimidating. Public schools only have so many electives to choose from, but when you’re homeschooling there is a seemingly endless selection of choices. With hundreds of options to choose from it can be difficult to narrow it down to just 2-4 per year. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to high school electives, and today I’ll share some tips with you that will help make the task easier.
Consider Your Child’s Plans After High School
The first thing you should consider when choosing electives for your high schooler is their plans after graduation. If they are college-bound, it will be important to look at the admissions requirements for the colleges that they wish to attend. Many have required electives such as a certain number of foreign language credits, and if they already know what they will major in having electives on their transcript that pertain to that field of study can be beneficial.
These days more and more students are choosing to attend technical or vocational schools after graduation or opting for an apprenticeship to pursue a career in a skilled trade rather than attending a four-year college. In this case, electives that prepare them for their chosen career path are more appropriate. Here are a few examples of electives for various career paths.
- Aspiring Entrepreneur- Any student considering starting their own business after graduation should consider these electives, no matter what type of business they are going into- Economics, Personal Finance, Business and Marketing, Bookkeeping and Accounting, Art, Speech (to improve communication skills), Leadership, and Ethics
- Cosmetologist- Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry, and Art
- Farmer- Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Science, Animal Health, Botany, and Agribusiness
- Licensed Practical Nurse- Algebra, Biology, Anatomy, Health, Medical Terminology, First Aid and CPR, dual enrollment in a CNA program, or if available to high school students in your state, an LPN program
- Mechanic- Automotive Maintenance, dual enrollment in an Automotive Repair program at a local vocational school
This is only a small sample of the many options available. To choose electives for various career paths, look at what skills that particular job will require and then look for classes that will prepare them to learn those skills or actually teach them the necessary skills.
Electives That Every Student Should Have
There are some electives that every student should have because they help prepare them for life outside of school. First, there is Home Economics to learn the basic life skills needed to keep a household going. Personal Finance or Consumer Math teaches how to manage money, prepare taxes, and balance a checkbook. Parenting classes should be taken to prepare them for having a family one day, or even to help prepare them for babysitting jobs while still in school. Driver’s Education should be taken prior to taking their driving exam. Health and First Aid/CPR is a great option for a homeschool curriculum for all high schoolers.
Encourage And Nurture God Given Talents
If your child has been blessed with a natural talent in music, art, writing, cooking, or any other special skill you can work that into their education through electives that help to encourage, develop, and nurture their talent. Nurturing their gifts may help them to find their calling in life and lead to a rewarding career.
Think Outside The Box To Give Transcripts A Competitive Edge
If your student does plan to attend college after high school, try to include electives that will make their transcript stand out to college admissions officers. Every day they see the standard generic transcripts with all the typical high school electives such as art, music, and health. Rather than those standard, traditional courses that they’ve come to expect like health have electives such as Human Growth and Development, Anatomy and Physiology, and Fitness Fundamentals on the transcript. Whatever electives you choose, make sure they support your student’s major and that they present the image that your student goes above and beyond what is expected with their studies.
Homeschool high school electives do not have to mimic those of students in public schools, and in most cases, they really shouldn’t. Electives can allow your student to explore interests, develop talents, prepare them for life on their own, give them a good foundation for their college education, or start them on their chosen career path. Consider these things when planning your student’s high school years and tailor their education to their needs.
Download our free High School Course Menu for ideas on what to include in your homeschool!