Friday, August 16, 2019

A Quest for a Great Homeschool Year: Electives in our 2019-2020 Homeschool Year

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What is an elective? In high school, electives are often those considered outside of the main course of study (English, math, history, science, and foreign language). Electives can be those chosen by the high school student that relate to their interest like choir or playing an instrument for fun, improving a skill, related to a future career, or even something along the lines of economics or study of laws and government.

Examples of electives include:

  • Study of World Culture 
  • Church History 
  • Marketing
  • Accounting 
  • Creative Writing 
  • Public Speaking 
  • Graphic Design 
  • Drawing 
  • Home Economics
  • Debate 
  • And more
In one's homeschool, there are so many options and ideas that it might even seem overwhelming. After all, if our children are involved in the day-to-day tasks of helping to keep, manage, and run the home, they will be learning about cooking, budgeting, and more just through daily interactions. As the very classes that students need to become successful homeowners are often those that school districts cut first (home economics courses like sewing and cooking or woodworking), that makes homeschooling and incorporating electives all the more important. 

Electives are where we get to have a lot of fun in picking courses, resources, and materials. With our oldest son's goal to become a photographer, we are able to select from a variety of courses through that allows him to build the skill set he needs to accomplish this goal.

High School


Our teen has shown a keen interest in starting his own photography business so why not take the time to learn the basics of photography during his homeschool year? The online Photography class at covers the functions of a camera, composition, and elements of design. It also provides the opportunity to take photographs that fit the week's themes over 30 weeks.

There is also a Photography Challenge course that our son can take if he so chooses that has the child take one or more photographs based upon the weekly challenge topic. Some of these topics include:

  • School
  • Winter
  • Hobby
  • Textures
  • Landscapes
  • And more


At the elementary level, electives are not necessarily seen as something separate. In a public school setting, children are still introduced to art and music on a somewhat regular basis. While homeschooling, younger children have a lot of time to explore topics that interest them. Perhaps they wish to learn how to play the piano or they are involved in Sunday School that puts on plays at church.

Both our younger children enjoy arts and crafts and we have studied several artists in the past when learning about different art styles. We used Learning About Art from which introduced our children to different artists like John James Audubon, Albert Bierstadt, and Grant Wood and different techniques for drawing simple pictures. They also studied more techniques and learned how to use different mediums like water color crayons, pastels, and clay with ARTistic Pursuits' Art for Children: Building a Visual Vocabulary and Art of the Ancients.

How do you incorporate electives into your homeschool? 

Not Back to School Logo 2019

Not Back to School Blog Hop 

This week I am joining up with the Homeschool Review Crew for the Annual "Not Back to School" Blog Hop...5 Days of Homeschool.... Please visit the other members to see what they are sharing this week.


  1. I love the flexibility to add interesting and varied electives to our homeschool and build on our children's passions.

    1. Yes! I love when their passions can turn into possible career choices!