100 High School Electives

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100 Ideas for High School Electives 

Note - This post includes affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our homeschool, if my daughter wasn't already in college!  Please see my disclosure policy.

There is so much more to homeschooling high school than just core studies.  One of the main reasons that we homeschooled all the way was to foster our daughter’s interests and grow her gifts.  And as she approached high school, they became her high school electives.

Having the time to delve deeply into my teen’s interests was priceless.  I encouraged her to explore her to try out different activities throughout her homeschool years.  Isn't that what homeschooling is about anyway? 

High School electives also brought the fun into our homeschool.  My favorite one was her Irish step-dancing class, where my hubby and I got to watch them all perform each year on St. Patrick’s Day.  What are your teens interested in?  Where do their gifts lay?  

Here are 100 ideas to consider for high school electives and high school activities.  I hope this list gives you ideas for your teen.  Many high school activities can be made into high school electives.  

100 High School Electives and Activities

Animal Care – Help with family’s animals, assist at the Humane Society, do an animal project 4H, compete at a state fair.  This can easily be made into an elective.

Athletics – Are your teens interested in sports?  Many Parks Department have leagues and classes, as does the YMCA, etc.  Some public schools allow homeschoolers to join in their sports activities as well. –States that offer this option include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.  For more information, HSLDA has a link here – http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/E/Equal_Access.pdf. 
Parks Department Leagues, YMCA, etc.

Archeology – Take a course at the community college, or make your own.

Art  -- We did a number of classes from our Parks Dept.  The YMCA offers them as well.  My friend’s teen enjoyed Artistic Pursuits from www.christianbook.com 

                   A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels Video Art Course - Also available as separate semester courses.

 --  Tricia Hodges is offering this full year long course in Art, perfect for a solid art elective for your teen!  Or get the semester versions, just click above to explore all the options for high school chalk art.  They have lots more art courses to choose from here.  Just click around to see all of them.

Get your fine arts requirement done (for college bound teens) with this wonderful video art course!  Perfect for independent study.   No need for a long list of supplies.  Just get some paper and some chalk pastels and you are all ready!  

 --  Ultimate List of Favorite High School Art Resources by the Hodgepodge Mom, and it includes a year long high school course in Art Journaling

Art Appreciation

Automotive Repair

Bible Quiz
 – link - http://bq.ag.org/  This program- offer competitions at the district, regional and national levels in bible memorization skills.  My daughter’s friend competed locally, then had the honor of doing it on the national level, and she enjoyed it very much. 

Blogging – Set up a blog for your teen, or have them set it up themselves.  What a great way to get your teen writing!

Book Club – Attend your local library’s club, or make your own.

Botany – 
Eva Varga has a great course in botany here - Botany - Plenty O'Plants - EvaVarga 

Boy Scouts – Earning badges, and progressing in boy scouts, such as eagle scouts, is a great activity for leadership development www.scouting.org  

Business Management – This could include running an etsy shop, taking a course, or making your own.

Business Math

Career Exploration – This can be an elective for high school credit.  Some ideas for this include interviewing family members and friends re their careers, doing online research into careers of interest, arranging to visit a site of interest. 7 Sisters offers a complete course in Career Exploration Curriculum Bundle, highly recommended.

Car repair – Learn along side dad, help with car repairs, take a class, etc.


Ceramics - Our parks dept. offered great classes in ceramics, which my teen enjoyed since middle school.

Chalk Pastels - 
Make your own fine arts course with Tricia Hodges's Art for All Ages Chalk Art Bundle.  To reach American Landmarks, just click the link above.

American Landmarks Chalk Pastels_604x964(1)

Cheer - Cheer classes and or competitions   

Child Development –  The 7 Sisters offer a complete course in EarlyChildhood Education.   Assisting in a church nursery, babysitting, helping in a co-op class, or helping with younger siblings over time can all contribute to the learning.  They also offer tons of other great courses here. Just click around to see them all!



College Planner - We made our own course in College Planner, which included college prep activities, ACT test prep, college visits, and more.  All of these activities can count as high school credit!  Homeschooling High School with College in Mind is a do-it-yourself handbook with lots of help for getting your teen into college.  It can be used to make your own College Planner course.

Comparative Religions

Computer Studies – Online, Programming, Web Design, etc.  Making a website, and blogging can count as web design.

Composer Study

CPR-First Aid


Creative Writing – Why not take a creative writing break? We did this as one of our favorite high school electives.  I am a writer, so I taught my daughter the basics, then we made our own homemade course with NaNovWriMo.  I just share that as a reminder that you can teach your skills and hobbies to your child and make your own electives!  

Another way to go is to use One Year Adventure Novel – www.oneyearnovel.com, or pick another resource such as Learn to Write the Novel Way from www.christianbook.com. This can also become an English credit.  Creative writing is a great way to build up your teen’s confidence in putting words on paper.   It’s fun, too.

Dance – My daughter enjoyed studying irish dance at a local dance studio for many years. There are many kinds of dance to consider, ballet, jazz, liturgical, etc.  We started out with parks dept classes in preballet.  What fun I had watching my little one learn to dance!

Desktop Publishing


Financial Management

Fine Arts - My friend used this program by a veteran homeschooler Harmony Fine Arts 

Fitness Coaching 

4H - www.4-h.org/  They offer a variety of activities to develop kids and teens’s citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills.  My daughter participated in their annual competitions at our state fair each year, and enjoyed photography, art, knitting, baking, and more.  This gave her outside feedback on her projects, which was priceless.  Find a local 4H club here - http://www.4-h.org/get-involved/find-4-h-clubs-camps-programs/.

Furniture Refinishing

Gardening – Building a veggie garden, studying gardening online, planning a flower garden, helping with garden maintenance at home can all count.


Girls Scouts  www.girlscouts.org/

Graphic Design

Gymnastics – My daughter took lessons at our local gymnastics center. This was a great way for her to build strength and it also showed perseverance on the high school transcript, as she did this over a number of years. (Usually you would only include the high school activities on the college application.)

Hand Arts


Home Economics – Cooking dinner once a week could become a ½ or full credit in home economics, depending on whether it was done for one semester or a year.  Making a recipe notebook, trying out new recipes, etc.  Lots of potential for homemade courses here.

Homeschool Scouts – www.homeschoolscouting.com To find a listing of homeschool troops, click here – www.homeschoolscouting.com/homeschool-troops.

Homeschool Sports Network –  http://www.hspn.net/homeschool-sports.asp.  To find a homeschool sports program in your area, check out this website, which has a list of states that offer sports around the country.


Interior Decorating

Itsy Shop

Jewelry Making



Leadership Activities

1. Youth and Government is a hands on way of learning about state government, gaining speech and debate skills at the same time.  They meet in small groups, as delegations, then compete in district events, while learning about state government and how a bill becomes a law.  Meanwhile they practice debate skills, leading up to the statewide Youth Mock Legislature.  All the teens gather together at the youth legislator and enact the roles of legislators and vote on mock bills, written by the teens themselves.  This program is available in 33 states across the country, and is sponsored by the YMCA.  They even elect their own youth governor each year! 

2. TeenPack Leadership Schools  www.teenpact.com This is another well established leadership program which provides groups and workshops that equip teens to become leaders in politics, society and citizenship.  They offer state classes, four day classes and a national convention, too. Their classes are held in 41 states at their state capitals.  Many of my teen’s homeschool friends participated in these events and learned a lot there. They looked forward to it every year.  To register for a state class click here - https://teenpact.com/events/

3.  Counselor-in-Training Programs – The girl scouts, boy scouts and camp fire programs all offer counselor training to teens.  Then they assist in summer day camps for younger kids.

4.  Volunteering – Help at a food bank as a family, volunteer at a pet hospital, or the Humane Society, assist at a library as a volunteer page, help to lead a class at co-op, etc.  By recording your teen’s hours, volunteering can be made into a homemade elective course.  

5.  Parks Department’s Teen Board – Many parks departments have youth teen boards, who meet regularly to plan activities for younger kids, and that is a way to learn leadership skills.

6.  PoliceExplorers  Many police departments offer this program for high schoolers.  It includes lots of volunteer opportunities and leadership training as well.  Our family friend has been involved it this program for years, and is gaining helpful experience, that may lead directly to a career in law enforcement.

7.  Speech and Debate - NCFCA – National Christian Forensics Communication Association – This is the longest standing nonprofit organization that offers speech and debate activities for homeschooled high schoolers.  They meet locally in chapters, compete regionally, and hold a national championship yearly.  Lots of my teen’s homeschool friends participated in this, and loved it.  

Life Skills

Marine Science


Martial Arts – Many studios offer homeschool classes in martial arts.  One of my teen’s friends is a student of martial arts, and it was a great way for him to develop discipline.

Music – Music lessons, composer studies, Squilt - http://www.homegrownlearners.com/squilt/, playing in a band or orchestra, singing in a choir, performing, attending performances call all lead to a high school credit in music.  Our area had a homeschool choir available.

Music Appreciation - My friend, Tricia Hodges, from Hodgepodge used this course an recommends it 20th Century Music Appreciation Course.

Music Lessons

Nature Study  

We loved doing nature study, too.  How about one of Cindy's nature study courses, such as 
Incredible Creeks from Shining Dawn Books?  



Office Skills



Philosophy in 4 Questions - A whole credit of philosophy, by 7 Sisters, highly recommended.  No busy work, and from a Christian perspective.

Photography – I taught my daughter photography, from age 8, and we did this together for many years, and it later became a homemade elective.  There are also online courses in photography, and some parks dept’s offer classes as well.

Photo Shop

Physical Education



Psychology - Introduction to Psychology - A Christian Perspective - from 7 Sisters Homeschool

Research Skills



Sea Scouts


Would you like some resources for making your own high school English course?  
Make your own course, with novels such as these, for example:

These books include the original text, with a parallel translation of modern English on each page.  Having the parallel text made this learning so much better and understandable for my teen.

Sign Language

Social Media - Advertising


Speech and/or Debate - NCFCA– National Christian Forensics Communication Association link - The longest standing nonprofit organization that offers speech and debate activities for homeschooled high schoolers.  They meet locally in chapters, compete regionally, and hold a national championship yearly.  Lots of my teen’s homeschool friends participated in this, and loved it.  They also hold short film and writing contests.

Speech 1 - Public Speaking and Practical Life Skills - by the 7 Sisters, also highly recommended.

Small Business 

Stoa – Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate – This national organization offers Speech Events, Debate Events, and Tournaments here http://www.stoausa.org/  State Organizations are here.  http://www.stoausa.org/about/stoa-state-links

Theater and Drama – Take a class, usher at a drama production, join a local community theater group.  My nephew participated in a homeschool drama program offered by his co-op.  

Video Courses - Tricia Hodges, from the Hodgepodge, has an extensive list of high school video courses in High School Homeschool Video Courses, including American History, Visual Latin, Economics and so much more!

Video Making - We made our own course in video-making, a true joy to do with my teen.  It became a one-half credit elective on her homeschool transcript and was tons of FUN!

Voice Lessons

Volunteering – Such a great way to gain experience, build up confidence, leadership skills, and to try new things.  Some places to consider – Church youth activities, church nursery, the public library, nursery room at co-op, the Humane Society, Girl Scout or Boy Scout day camp, Parks department special needs programs, mission trips, nursing homes, church camps, day care or preschool, food bank, YMCA, YWCA, etc.  

My daughter volunteered at our local library one summer, and enjoyed it.  They were already set up for volunteers there, so it was easy to set up.  Some museums are also set up to offer teen volunteering.  This led to a recommendation letter that we sent along with our college application.

Web Design

Weight Lifting

Word Processing

World Cultures

YMCA – www.ymca.com  They have a link there that will list all of the YMCAs in the US and will give you a guest pass to one to visit nearby.

HSLDA also has an extensive list of possible high school electives here http://www.hslda.org/highschool/Elective_Possibilities.pdf

Nothing like watching your teen as they discover and explore their special interests during the all important teen years!  

I loved doing activities and electives with my daughter.  I followed her interests, and did not load on extra electives or activities just to show them to the colleges.  Instead, we made time for her to develop her gifts and talents as it fit into our homeschool days and our family’s schedule.

What are your favorite high school electives for your teens?  What would you add to the list?  If you share one, I will do my very best to add it on!  Please share in the comments.


Have you seen my book yet, on Homeschooling High School with College in Mind

It's a simple guide to college prep for homeschoolers, with tips for making the whole college admissions process easier.  

Kindle and Paperback  

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Get my best tips on planning for your teen's years for learning at home and following their interests! 

"Betsy's book is a terrific resource for homeschooling parents who are planning to send their teens to college.  As a homeschool upperclassman advisor, I can attest that the information is spot on.  Also the book is chock full of resources with links and lots of helpful forms.  Be sure you are ready to take notes while you read!"
.......Vicki Tillman, from www.7sisters.com

Would you like more information on this book?  There is more here.  

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Subscribers will get the first chapter free! 

Click here to get yours!

Have you seen Tricia Hodges's video courses in art yet?

Taught by a master artist, and offered by Tricia Hodges, mom of 5 blessings who are all homeschooled.  This is a full one year course, ideal for your teen who is interested in art.   Get your fine arts requirement done (for college bound teens) with this easy to use video course!  

Perfect for independent study! No need for a long list of supplies. Just get some paper and some chalk art pastels and you are ready!

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

This is a part of the iHomeschool Network blog hop, 100 Things!  Lots of great information from other veteran homeschoolers, who also have 100 things that they love, to read about, related to homeschooling.

Note - This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.

Thanks for stopping by,


Betsy is mom to her 20 year old daughter whom she homeschooled from day one.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting

Want to stay in touch?  

This post was shared on my favorite linkups here.

Copyright, 2017, All Rights Reserved


  1. My teen would love for me to create an elective around Shakespeare. Art is another love of hers, so I was glad to see you included resources for me to explore. Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Your ideas for electives sound both creative and fun! Thanks for stopping by Leah Stanford, and I hope this list is a help to you! My daughter loved doing her electives, especially the one with Youth and Government. Have a good evening,

  2. I love this....I am just starting the journy of homeschooling 3 high schoolers. Super excited about this.

    1. Hi Kim Clifford! Nice to meet you and thanks for stopping by. I hope this list encourages you on your journey, homeschooling high school. If you want to take a peek at more of my posts on high school, feel free to click this link -https://betsyhomeschoolconsulting.blogspot.com/p/college-news.html - It includes posts on getting started with high school and more. Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving!

  3. Great list for my future! I tweeted this out for you��

    1. How nice of you, Jennifer @HifalutinHomeschooler.com! Thank you and I hope this list has something wonderful on it when your child reaches high school!

  4. What a HUGE list of ideas! I start homeschooling high school next year. A post like this gets me excited about it!

    1. Thank you, that is so nice to hear, Mary@notbefore7! I wish you a great rest of your middle school homeschool, and it is wonderful to hear that my list is an encouragement to you. That's why I blog, and I love the name of your blog, not before 7!

  5. Love your list. I am going to link back to this page from my blog in an article on electives.

    1. Thank you, Lisa M. Nehring! That is so kind of you and much appreciated. I hope this list inspires many homeschooling families to help their teens to fine and enjoy great high school electives and activities. Nice to meet you, Lisa, and what is your blog called?

  6. Child Evangelism Fellowship also trains youth between 13 and 18 to run traveling vacation Bible camps (Five Day Clubs) during the summer and to assist similar clubs in the public schools (Good News Cubs). The training can add up to a class in Child Evangelism.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing that, Sharon Johnson. Is that program available all around the US? If so, Sharon, please let me know and I will add it onto the post. Happy to, and thanks for sharing and stopping by!


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