Homeschool High School Creatively - With Electives!

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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.  

These then 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 stepdancing 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 lie? 

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, for credit!

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 – 
Parks Department Leagues, YMCA, etc.

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

Art  -- We did classes at our Parks Dept.  The YMCA offers them as well.  My friend’s teen enjoyed Artistic Pursuits from 
--  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 -  

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.


Eva Varga has a great course in botany here - Botany - Plenty O'Plants - EvaVarga.  She is an accredited science educator. 

Boy Scouts 

Earning badges, and progressing in boy scouts, such as eagle scouts, is a great activity for leadership development  

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 Homeschool Curriculum offers a

Career Exploration
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.

Pastels - Make your own fine arts course with Tricia Hodges's Art for All Ages Chalk Art Bundle.

 Video Art Course
American Landmarks Chalk Art - This chalk art book is more advanced, ideal for high schoolers, and it can pair very well with your American History studies.  A great way to complete a fine arts elective credit as well!

A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels Video Art Course - Taught by a master artist and offered by Tricia Hodges, mom of 5 kids who are all homeschooled.

This is a full one year course, broken into semesters, 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.  

Cheer - Cheer classes and or competitions   

Child Development 

7 Sisters Homeschool Curriculum offers a complete course in Human Development.

It is worth 1 high school credit in health, and covered development from birth through old age, from a Christian point of view.  

Other ways to earn child development credits include: 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. 



College Planner - Give your teen credit for preparing for ACT/SAT testing.  We kept track of time spent visiting college campuses, preparing for SAT testing, and studying college study skills.  

That became a one-half credit in College Planner, which each of the colleges on our list accepted.

Homeschooling High School with College in Mind is my do-it-yourself planning book for high school at home.  It also serves as a guide to college for homeschoolers, with tips for college prep and applying to college, too.  

It can also be used to make your own College Planner course, as mentioned above.  Give your teen credit for test prep, essay writing and all the other things involved in applying to college.

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 – 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 creative writing resource is the course called - One Year Novel

Another way to go is to use One Year Adventure Novel –, or pick another resource such as Learn to Write the Novel Way from 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, essential for learning good essay writing skills.  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

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

Vicki Tillman, MA, homeschool blogger, teacher and counselor wrote this course in Early Childhood Education.

 Add power to the homeschool transcript, prepare to be a good homeschooling parent, and provide enriching career exploration, while doing this course, which is FUN!


Financial Management

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

Fitness Coaching 

4H -  - 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 -

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

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.  Read more here.

Homeschool Scouts – To find a listing of homeschool troops, click here –

Homeschool Sports Network –  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.


HSLDA also has an extensive list of possible high school electives here

Interior Decorating

Itsy Shop

Jewelry Making



Below are our favorite leadership activities for homeschooled teens:


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 meeting.

 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! 

TeenPack Leadership Schools This is another well established leadership program which provides groups and workshops that equip teens to become leaders in politics, society and citizenship. To register for a state class click here -

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.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

Financial Literacy
Math Electives  

Consumer Math

Financial Literacy is a course that can be done as an elective.  It introduces the world of personal finance through textbook learning, videos and articles, plus interactive exercises.  

It is similar to consumer math, but it's focus is on personal finance, preparing your teen to manage their money, come graduation.

Music – Music lessons, composer studies, 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 and 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, from a Christian perspective.

This course is written by a homeschooled grad with a Masters degree in Philosophy.

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 Curriculum

Having a social science course, like this one, can help your teen build a well rounded transcript, like the colleges are seeking these days.  This course counts as a full credit.

Research Skills



Sea Scouts - My daughter's friend did this, learned so much about boating, sailing and leadership too.  It is a program offered by Boy Scouts,.


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

--No Fear Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet 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  


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.

Small Business 

Stoa – Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate – This national organization offers Speech Events, Debate Events, and Tournaments here  They do debates and meet regularly to prepare.  

State Organizations are here.

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.  

Acting and Directing
7 Sisters Homeschool offers a course in Acting and Directing.

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 – I mention this one twice as there are so many benefits from it, don't you think?  It is 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.  Then that helped her get a job part time, to help pay for her college expenses.  Really!  

A win!

Some museums are also set up to offer teen volunteering.  One of ours did and that led to a recommendation letter for my daughter, who volunteered at that museum, and that was sent along with our college application.

Web Design

Weight Lifting

Word Processing

World Cultures

YMCA –  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.


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 off 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.

Do you have a college bound teen in your house?

Homeschooling creatively with FUN electives helped my teen get into college!  Is that where you want your teen to be heading?  It is NOT hard to do.

My daughter was accepted  by each of the colleges on her list, including a tier two U and an ivy, with scholarship offers.  She is now a senior almost ready to graduate.   

Here's how I helped get her there....  

Paperback is on Amazon

 Kindle on SALE 45% OFF at $3.95!

My book can help you and your teen with high school record keeping and important things writing that college entrance essay.

It outlines 10 easy steps for homeschooling high school, including all the important details, such as transcripts, choosing curricula, assigning high school credit, dealing with course descriptions, plus encouragement for keeping the fun in it all!

It has 12 newly updated exclusive downloadable printables!

So what's in the book?

Here are the chapters and each one has a printable:

Researching College Entrance Requirements
Planning High School  
3 Ways High School Credit
Making Your Transcripts (Calculating the GPA, etc)
Writing the College Essay
Course Descriptions and Reference Letters, No Stress!
Preparing your Teen for College Writing
Don't Forget the FUN!

"Betsy put me at ease with her encouragement and experiences, and the printable forms are invaluable!"
..............Amy from Rock Your Homeschool.

Did you find something in that your teen might like to try in this list?  I hope it is a help to you!  

We at iHomeschool Network are sharing our creative posts for the bog hop this week.  Reach all the other ideas for creative homeschooling here.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college senior, whom she homeschooled from preK through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting

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