When thinking about and planning out the high school years it is easy to get caught up in the core subjects like math, English, science, and social studies. Many colleges and universities have specific requirements for certain number of credits in each of those core subjects and electives may get pushed aside.
High school is a great time to explore interests. Do you really like art? Maybe you like science? Is there a particular field of science that you really love? Are you gifted with languages? Are you fascinated by another culture and want to study about Russia or China in-depth and learn the language too?
Most colleges and university consider the type of electives studied. They are interested in what classes and subjects a student pursues beyond the basics. This information gives more of a picture of the student. Parents and students should choose electives carefully based on the interests and talents of the students as well as keeping in mind the requirements of potential colleges.
Boobear knew that she wanted to pursue a music major. Music is her passion and we designed courses for her to pursue her passion. We made sure that she had the minimum credits necessary for each of the required subjects for her first choice school.
Boobear and I worked out a course for Piano Performance which included all of her piano lessons, recitals and practice times but also included attending a few concerts. We also created a course called Music History and Appreciation. She studied different musical time periods, read biographies of different composers, and listened to a wide variety of music. Either of the music courses would have met her Fine or Performance Art requirement for her first choice university but we also included Color and Composition from ARTistic Pursuits.
My oldest daughter is a creative soul so she also included courses on sewing and we created a course for cooking. Yes these are life skills but they were also ways to express her creativity. She loves to cook and to sew. She had other electives that were more academic such as Logic, Computer Science, and Overview of Psychology and Sociology.
Turtlegirl has different talents and interests. She wants to pursue a STEM related degree in perhaps Geology or Computer Science. She also loves languages. She seems to have a gift for languages and her transcript will reflect that with courses including French, Latin, Russian and an extra English class. She’ll have more math and science on her transcript and less social sciences. You won’t find any music classes on her transcript but you will find The Elements of Art and Composition. Generally her electives are more of the basics but that is ok because that is a reflection of who she is and what she wants.
Don’t neglect the electives in high school. Don’t be afraid to choose something a little different. Don’t be afraid to limit yourself to what you can purchase in a box. Most of BooBear’s courses were put together using different resources and lots of library books. One of the resources that we found invaluable was Zane Education. We used many of those videos as a jumping off point and supplemented with additional library books.
Check out these blog posts from my blogging friends. They are also blogging about Electives in the High School Years!
- Chareen at Every Bed of Roses with thoughts on Electives in the High School Years
- Debbie at Debbie's Homeschool Corner shares Electives: The Fun Part of High School
- Carol over at Home Sweet Life on Homeschooling High School ~ Electives
- April from ElCloud Homeschool shares High School Homeschooling: Electives and Jobs
- Leah from As We Walk Along the Road shares her thoughts on Choosing Electives for Homeschooling High School
- Kym at Homeschool Coffee Break shares on Customized Education and Electives
- Wendy at Life at Rossmont shares thoughts on High School Electives
- Gena over at I Choose Joy! shares Homeschool High School Public Speaking: Drama, Speech, and Debate
- Cristi from Through the Calm and Through the Storm shares on Interests + Opportunities = Electives
- Dawn Oaks at Double O Farms shares Just What Do You Do with Elective Requirements?
- Jennifer from A Glimpse of Our Life on High School Electives
Do you have a high school student? Do you have a middle schooler and you’re thinking about the high school years? You’ll want to keep watching for the Monthly Homeschool High School Blog Hop! On August 26th, we’ll be talking about math and science!