Wednesday, July 29, 2015

High School Electives—The Fun Part of High School!

The foundation of any high school education includes the four core subjects: math, science, social studies, and English.  Because my state, Alabama, requires four credits in each of these subjects for public schooled students, I hold the same standards for my homeschool planning  and Emily will be taking these four core subjects every year. This leaves 2-3 credits a year of electives.

Choosing electives can be fun because the student has more input in what he or she wants to study. Electives allow the student to explore different areas of interest and to focus on his or her particular strengths, and even begin to prepare for a future career or college major.

Some of Emily’s elective credits will include additional classes that I require of her or classes that are also typically taken by traditionally schooled students, such as PE and Health.

A common concern about homeschooling high school is that a home environment will not be able to provide the many options that a public school can. I’m finding that not to be the case at all. Emily actually has the opportunity to study in areas that are not even options at our large local public school. These are a few of the options we will be using or considering:

  • Foundations in Personal Finance (Dave Ramsey DVD program): Although personal finance is a common course in public school, I doubt if what she would take there would be as solid or enjoyable as this course.
  • Spanish: We’ve used a variety of online resources for Spanish, including Mango Languages, Homechool Spanish Academy, and Middlebury Languages. This year, Emily will be using the Destinos course, which includes free online video, audio, and quizzes as well as a textbook and workbook that I purchased very inexpensively at Amazon.
  • Logic: There are lots of resources for this, but I don’t think it’s a typical PS option.
  • Landry Academy: Emily will be taking an online Psychology class this fall through Landry Academy. Landry offers many many course options, including some very unusual ones. Emily is interested in Criminology, so she is excited that Landry offers classes in Crime Scene Investigation, Criminology, Sociology, Forensic Anatomy, and Terrorism/Homeland Security. We discovered that if you purchase “generic” classes a year or more ahead of time, a semester course can cost as little as $58 (plus books).
  • Sports and classes through local homeschool co-ops. I may teach a public speaking class through our cover school and am keeping my eyes out for other class options, since it can be more enjoyable to do some classes in a group.
  • Dance classes (will count as part of PE)
  • Art: We love the Artistic Pursuits books that include both art history and technique.
  • Bible Study and Apologetics
  • Community Theater

As you can see from this ever-expanding list, there are more subject areas and possibilities than we’ll even have time for. Homeschooled students have a flexible schedule that allows them to do job shadowing or other career exploration activities instead of being confined to a classroom from 8:00-3:30. They have the opportunity to design their own courses using the internet, library, and mentors.  Instead of being fearful of the responsibility of homeschooling, I’m excited about the opportunities!

Read more about Electives and Homeschooling High School at Homeschooling High School Blog Hop!

Homeschooling High School Blog Hop 2015 

Read More on Electives in the High School Years

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