Grade Levels High School Homeschool

Possible Courses for Fulfilling High School Electives

My last post here at Hip Homeschool Moms was about the Anxiety Over Homeschooling High School. My daughter is currently in eighth grade which has me doing extensive research into what we need to be doing for her upcoming high school years. The 4 years of high school become more critical than most other years because they are what sets the stage for your teenager’s future beyond grade school.


One of the things that is new for high school are electives. Just what is considered an elective for high school? High school electives go beyond the core classes of English, math, science, and history. Electives supplement the educational years with classes that interest your teenager and prepare them for their adult lives.

High school is a time where your child should be exploring their interests in an effort to find a career path that is right for them. It is also a time where your teenager needs to learn to be ready for adult life. Therefore teaching life skills as high school electives is a good idea as we all need to be able to take care of ourselves.

Since this is a new concept to me, and may be for many of you preparing to enter the high school years, I have compiled a few resources for ideas on what you can choose as electives.

1. Over on our Hip Homeschool Moms Facebook wall in December I posed this question: What types of activities, courses, topics have those with experience #homeschooling high school used to consider as electives? Click here to view this thread and all the wonderful answers that our HHM Community had to offer.

Also for more topics pertaining to the high school years you can visit our Facebook Community Discussions Page for High School. New links are added to our Facebook Community Discussions pages weekly so feel free to stop in and see what is new!

2. HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) has a great pdf on their website with a list of topics/courses of study that compiled as possibilities for high school electives.

3. I too have compiled a large list of possible topics/courses of study over on my website, StartsAtEight. Along with the list you can find a little more in depth look at electives, as well as a link to a follow up post I did with some detailed choices my teen and I have made for some electives and what specifically we are using to fulfill those credit hours.

Please feel free to chime in via a comment with your suggestions, and things that you have been successful or unsuccessful with pertaining to high school electives. I am always gathering and learning and would love to hear what other information you have to add to my research! 🙂

Heidi is a 35 year old, happily married wife to one self proclaimed computer geek. Through their 14 years of marriage they have added 3 children: Chloe (13), Jayden (10), and Ava (6), as well as 2 dogs: Muffin and Oscar, to the mix. When not totally engrossed in homeschooling, or taxi service for the children Heidi likes to read, blog at Starts At Eight, and chronicle their lives in photos, as well as working at new hand projects like gardening, knitting, and crochet. You can also catch her on Twitter, and Facebook!

About the author


Heidi lives in upstate New York where the winters are long & cold, but where she truly appreciates the lack of extreme weather such as tsunamis and hurricanes! Her house is filled up with her loving husband of 17 years, 3 busy children, & 2 dogs (Muffin & Oscar). Homeschooling started out as a trial run with a child beginning 2nd grade, & almost 9 years later has become a lifestyle which brings great joy. You can often find her behind her camera, or working something out in Photoshop. With 3 children homeschooling multiple ages is the norm in their house. You can find her writing at on her own blog, Starts At Eight where she often focuses on homeschooling high school, elementary unit studies, and books/reading.


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  • Having graduated 4 from homeschooling, we have done lots of electives over the years. Some included: choir (our support group has an excellent choir), youth group worship bands, sports (mainly soccer and horseback riding, but with some other sports thrown in), drama, automotive apprenticeship, as well as more academic subjects (Intro to Psychology, Human Development, Logic, Bible, and others). To see more, visit There are other blogs related to high school electives as well.

  • There’s a terrifically large list of homeschool high school electives in the Curriculum Directory at! I can’t believe the scope of elective curriculum available to homeschoolers these days. Everything from Agricultural Science to Programming. The average high schooler in public school only WISHES they had access to the variety of things that we do. It’s really a boon!

  • There is also American High School Of Correspondence
    13 mandatory books and 5 electives.
    Or prep. for college with 15 mandatory books and 3 electives.
    There is fine art and photography, along with buisness AND MANY MORE.

    • You could do a unit study with dogs as the topic. There are plenty of informational books about dogs covering all sorts of topics: feeding, medical care, teaching/training, grooming, etc. There are also lots of books (literature-not informational) with dogs as the main characters for all reading levels. You could write about dogs (informational essays, short stories, research papers). These suggestions so far will cover science, home ec, reading/literature, and language arts (writing, editing, etc.). You could include economics and math by studying about the cost of caring for and feeding a dog as well as providing medical care. You could easily include art by drawing, painting, or illustrating a short story. You might sew dog clothes for home ec too. Have fun!