Marvelous Monday – Electives

     Kendra and I have covered almost the entire spectrum of homeschool subjects.  However, we would never be able to cover all the dozens of possible electives you and your children may want to cover.  Cooking.  Woodworking.  Electronics.  Computer Programming.  Horticulture.  Cooking.  Animal Husbandry.  Needlework.  Auto Repair.  Pastry Chef.  The list could, and does, go on and on.
     I really am not going to cover any specific electives, but rather I want to encourage you to embrace the idea of exploring electives with your children.  No matter your children’s ages, they are going to show interest in a variety of subjects.  Homeschooling is the perfect venue for allowing them to explore those interests.  Some of their interests will be quite short lived.  That’s okay!  Other interests may develop into long term pursuits and might even develop into a potential business! 
     Homeschooling allows you to develop your own course of study.  Don’t be afraid to count some of your children’s interests as an elective course, no matter their age level.  For a passing interest, check out books from the library, or find a friend who might be able to share their skill with your children.  Perhaps you could work out a trade.  There’s no need to push or prod, just provide your children with what materials they need (within the confines of your budget of course) and let them go. 
     Remember, a loss of interest along the way does not mean that their experience was a failure.  Any money you invested was not wasted.  Though their interest in that elective didn’t develop into anything serious, it was still a valuable learning experience. 
     If your children are older, say about 12 or so and up, I would take the time to document their pursuits.  Write down the titles and authors of any books they use as references.  Record the number of hours they spend working, and document what they are doing.
     For example, when my daughters were in high school, we had several dairy goats.  Because I was pregnant and then nursing, they became the main workers in our little dairy.  They learned animal husbandry, assisting with delivering kids (including some very complicated births), care of newborn kids, proper feeding and housing of dairy goats, proper milking techniques, safe milk handling, pasteurization, handling raw milk, bottling and storing of milk, diagnosing and treating nonurgent medical issues, hoof care………you get the idea.  I was able to keep track of all of the resources they used, as well as the hours spent in the dairy barn, out caring for the does and kids, and in the kitchen working with the milk, and was able to award them high school credit for their work.
If you keep good records, your older children’s experiences can easily be transferred to their high school transcript and you’ll have the records to back up the credits you award them for the electives they take.
     In California, high school students are allowed to have a certain number of hours per week dedicated to Work Experience, which they earn credit for.  Your high school student’s elective choice just might blossom into a small home business.  Allow some of those hours to be credited for Work Experience.  (Be sure you know the applicable laws in your state.)  
     Be bold!  Allow your children to explore their interests and allow those interests to be a part of your homeschool.
     Click on over to Kendra’s to see her Marvelous Monday – Electives post.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

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1 comment to Marvelous Monday – Electives

  • We had so much fun with electives.  Building fences, raising livestock, 4H, church leadership, collecting and identifying leaves, field trips, guitar lessons.  Some of these were listed under electives, others as extensions of various subjects.  My son even got credit for part time jobs he had in the local library, construction, welding, pecan sales, care of the elderly, etc.  The result:  1 well rounded, loving, intelligent man.  I cringe when someone says that home school kids are not well socialized.  In reality, they are the only kids you find that can converse with others of any age level on many subjects.  I am sure that once in a while there are “misfit” type home schoolers just as can be found in public school but that is not the norm.  Keep up the excellent work you are doing.  It is so important.