I know you’ll enjoy this guest post by my friends at 7SistersHomeschool.com. Be sure to check out their fantastic homeschool electives for high school.
Homeschooling high school years are the best years of all! While building a transcript and serious life preparation can be intimidating, high school is FUN because of the electives! Electives are enjoyable because they expand your teens’ interests, abilities and experience.
One word of warning: Don’t think that your teen MUST have a prescribed set of electives in order to have the proper transcript. There’s really not one set of BEST electives that fit every homeschooler because:There’s not one right way to homeschool. The “best” set of electives for your teen will be the set that best fits his or her strengths, interests and goals.
Homeschooling teens is such a good educational decision because you and your teens get to choose the educational electives that are the best fit for them. To put it simply:
The BEST electives for your homeschool are the ones that help YOUR TEEN develop into the person God has in mind.
In choosing electives, you are helping your teens develop into the persons they should be, but you are also helping them develop awesome transcripts. Many colleges look at 4 things on the high school transcript:
- Level of academic rigor of courses
- Level of performance (GPA, SATs/ACTs)
- Level of personal development/Kinds of electives (because they are building a freshman class, they want to know the kinds of students they are considering- electives tell them that)
- Level of commitment (extra-curriculars, especially long-term involvement extras; and competitions)
With that in mind, here are 5 categories to consider as you choose the best electives for your teens’ homeschool transcript:
Electives that explore an intriguing interest. If your teen loved chemistry, an advanced chemistry would be an excellent elective. If your teen loves Civil War history, a history elective with in-depth exploration of the topic would be a perfect elective. If your teen loves singing, voice lessons make a wise elective.
Electives that uncover an undiscovered interest. Don’t just run with already discovered interests. Most teens don’t fully know what they are interested in. (In fact, as we work with teens we often hear them say that they aren’t sure what they like or what they want to learn.) Choose some out of the box (but not killer-level) courses just to explore. Consider things like human development, field studies on astronomy (learn the constellations, etc- don’t go in for the physics on an exploratory elective), an out-of-the-box world language (think Cherokee or Celtic) painting, or poetry writing and reading.
Electives that attract an admissions officer’s attention. For this one, you’ll need to look at some local college websites (or college websites your teen may be interested in outside your area). See what kinds of electives they are looking for. Often they want to see a social science like psychology or sociology; this kind of information is empowering when you are choosing your electives for the year.
Electives that delve into career discovery. You really, really don’t want to skip this one. Why spend thousands of dollars on college if your teen doesn’t have a clue about what his major should be? Make sure you include an actual career exploration course. Other good career discovery courses include apprenticeships and courses that explore a career (for instance, a course on early childhood education or personal training).
Electives that leap into life skills. Show that your teen can function in the real world. Courses like home maintenance and home economics have not gone out of style. Courses that prepare for life but also have academic value (like human development or anatomy and physiology) are fabulous, too.
What if you aim for at least one elective from each of the 5 categories over the course of the 4 years of high school? That would be a great guideline, but remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school! When you include courses that are a good fit for your students, you’ve found the BEST electives for them. You’ll end up with homeschool high school graduates with stellar skills and terrific transcripts!
Meet six 20+year veteran homeschool moms who helped each other make it all the way to high school graduation! Vicki, Sabrina, Kym, Marilyn, Sara and Allison make up 7SistersHomeschool.com, providing ebook curriculum, coaching, and encouragement for homeschoolers everywhere. Firmly committed to the truth that there is NOT ONE RIGHT WAY to homeschool, 7Sisters develops curriculum that is adaptable to a variety of levels and promises NO busywork and NO overkill. Sharing with others via blog posts, social media and The Homeschool High School Podcast, your “big sisters” will help you along on your homeschool adventures. “But I don’t understand the “7Sisters” name,” you may say. “When I count the sisters, I only get to 6…”That’s because when you join us, YOU are the 7th sister!
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I completely agree with the importance of Life Skills and Career Discovery. Thank you for the article! Creative Electives has a great high school elective, Intro to 3D Modeling. They really take into account Life Skills and Career Exploration throughout the semester. It’s a diamond in the rough.