It is easy to get lost in the academics of high school. There is a lot to think about with making sure the transcript has everything they need to meet the standards to graduate. However, there is more to life than checking boxes. Often times, the things that will be most important to rounding out their education under your guidance. Getting creative with high school electives can be just the thing that sparks an interest for their future.
1. SAT Prep
Even if your student isn't sure if they're heading to college or not, its better to work like you are planning to gg. If they decide not to go, it's not a big deal. However, if you journey through their high school years assuming "they're not college material," and then they decide in the eleventh hour that they really do want to go, then it will be more difficult to get in to the college of their dreams.
We've included SAT Prep using College Prep Genius as a high school elective because it not only prepares my son for those important college entry tests, but it also prepares him with the tools for how to approach any standardized test.
This is so incredible to me. My son has been using the College Prep Genius materials to learn how to master the SAT by studying the types of questions the test throws at students. He raised his score 90 points even though he hasn't made it through the whole course. I'll be excited to see him progress over time as he continues to get better at identifying the logic behind the test. See my full review on the blog today! #linkinbio #SATprep #collegeprep #CollegePrepGenius #homeschool #ihsnet #collegebound #scholarship #studyhard #studyhabits
As we've worked through the entire program, he's raised his SAT score by 225 points. His new score opens doors not only for acceptance into the schools he's interested in, but also for thousands of dollars in scholarships. That is an elective worth pursuing! Forget getting an after school job; get them going on this course of study to raise funds for college.
An overly academic schedule can tax a poor high school student's brain. I know my son loves picking up his guitar and exercising a different part of his brain after a long day of studies. Not only does music soothe the soul, it also opens additional paths for community and relationships in the future. It doesn't really matter whether or not he can make a career out of it. Our home is filled daily with music students because of my husband's love of music. It has connected us to so many friends and kindred spirits.
Last year in Challenge 1, we studied music theory. After a semester of identifying notes, my son was inspired to learn to read music. This is the beautiful fruit of those studies. #classicalconversations #classicalmusic #classicalguitar #ihsnet #homeschool #music #guitar #family #peaceful #peacefulevening
There are so many ways to incorporate music as a homeschooler:
- join a choir (or the choir at your church)
- join a orchestra or band
- take lessons for an instrument or voice
- get together with friends and play
- study music history
- learn music theory
- teach yourself how to play an instrument
A new element of education that we've woven into our studies this year are business basics for young entrepreneurs. I always regret that business skills were not a part of my basic education. No matter what field your student pursues, they'll need to know what makes a business successful.
My son has a couple of jobs, but recently he's been learning business basics as I've helped him start his own membership site where he can share his love of Latin with others. I'm excited that he's learning about hard work, business, marketing, finance, and web design.
Maybe you have a teen with the desire to start a business of some sort. Here are some possibilities:
- A lawn service in the summer or a leaf raking business in the fall
- A house cleaning service
- A blog
- An etsy shop
- A tutoring service
As they get their feet wet building their business, they will gain skills for life that will bless them for the rest of their life. At this time in their life, failing is educational, but later in life, failing can be life changing. Give them room to learn!
4. Computer Skills
With the world shrinking as the internet connects people from all continents, learning to use the internet is an important skill. How many of your kids have learned something amazing from watching a demonstration on YouTube? Why not give them opportunities to find a skill or area that they're knowledgeable about to develop online resources to bless others.
There are so many excellent resources that your students can play around with that will give them skills that are marketable for jobs in the future. Here are some great tools to play with:
- Build a website with Wix.com
- Create a demonstration screen recording with Screencast-O-Matic
- Create an explainer video with mysimpleshow.com
- Create a dynamic presentation with Prezi.com
- Using a tool like ARTHUR can give your student experience for a future in publishing by editing a newspaper for your family or homeschool community
There are so many excellent tools that can really give students great experience for the future.
There are so many directions students can take following the arts. Even if they're not creatively gifted, they can still enjoy the arts in a variety of ways. Take a mixed media or art appreciation class from the Masterpiece Society - one of my family's favorite art resources.
December school looks different than other months. We don't stop school completely; we just adjust. It's time to learn to bake, give, and rest. It's also a time I let my kids pursue special interests in ways they don't get time for during the year. My daughter chooses to paint. I love watching her create and learning about her heart. She puts it all into her creations. I feel so blessed to have wonderful women like @alishagratehouse to draw out my daughter's gifting a in ways I can't. #peace #ihsnet
These are just some ideas for keeping high school electives fun. What creative ideas have you used for electives?
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.