Homeschool electives are excellent ways to boost learning at home – for all ages!
Make the most of your learning adventures at home with electives that follow interests, add enrichment, and weave fun in to your day.
Check out how my boys and I use electives to rock our homeschool and how you can, too 😊
Take Learning to the Next Level with Homeschool Electives
Most people associate homeschool electives with high school. And while it’s true that high schoolers need electives (especially for their transcripts), many of these homeschool elective ideas are perfect for all ages.
Try including one or more of these electives throughout your homeschool week with your kids. And watch your learning adventures soar!
Since my boys were little, I’ve added at least one elective-type class to our week. It might go along with something we’re learning that month or year.
Or I might add a class that goes along with what my boys find interesting. Unit studies are fantastic for this type of interest-led learning, too.
Here are some of our favorite homeschool electives, but this is far from an exhaustive list. Anything that your kids want to learn how to do or learn more in-depth could be an elective.
Oh, and elective choices are also fantastic for following their passions!
25 Homeschool Elective Ideas
1. Foreign Language
Introducing a foreign language is excellent for all ages.
The best time to teach a new language is before a child is eight years old.
Oh, and make sure to check your state’s homeschool requirements to see if a foreign language is a must for high school.
Also, if your child is interested in college, you’ll want to have at least 2 years of a foreign language.
Two of my boys are using Breaking the Barrier French this upcoming year. Very excited to try this foreign language curriculum! Check out this comprehensive review over at Language Learning At Home.
2. Sign Language
I list sign language as a separate elective because it’s possible to simultaneously learn a foreign language and sign language.
ASL (American Sign Language) is another elective that’s great for all ages.
You can find ASL classes locally and online. Outschool is one place you can find different levels of these types of courses.
3. Personal Finance
Personal finance is a must-have elective for kids.
Your kids should learn how to balance a checkbook, how to avoid gathering too much debt, and how to file taxes. These type of life skills are essential for the future success of your kids!
4. Life Skills
Life skills are great elective ideas for homeschoolers!
Not only will your kids learn what they need to have when they move out of the house, but you’ll also get some much-needed help 😉
It can be simple things, like how to wash clothes or changing the oil in vehicles. Nutrition and home economics fit in here, too!
These types of homeschool electives are wonderful ways to ensure you’ve prepared kids who are ready to face the world.
5. Cooking Class
Cooking is a life skill, but it also can be a separate class.
It might even spur interest in becoming a chef when your child grows older!
One way that you can do this is to allow your child to plan and prepare a meal.
As your child builds confidence with cooking, you can add a meal (or snack) per week.
You can buy a curriculum or take an online class if you’d like to dive deep into cooking.
But with an online search, you can find tutorials for almost any type of food prep or recipe. And you can find a TON of YouTube videos, too!
Learning how to run a business is a big deal!
Many people go to college for business, so it’s a potential career.
Encourage your child to come up with a few business ideas.
After realistically dnarrowing down their choices, they can create a business plan, budget and figure out all the details on starting it.
Check out these online classes to provide your kids with a strong base as an entrepreneur.
7. Wood Shop
Years ago, woodshop was one of the most popular electives in high school, especially for boys.
It’s great for kids to learn how to work with their hands. Completing wood projects is a skill, but it also encourages creativity.
Kids can create picnic tables, bookshelves, picture frames, or whatever they want to make.
8. Auto Mechanics
Your child might have a future as an auto mechanic. Help them explore this possible career choice with this type of homeschool elective.
Auto mechanics can be easy things like changing oil and brakes. Or you might go into detailed works like building a motor.
It’s a homeschool elective class that pays for itself in years to come. And this ongoing online class is a fantastic start!
9. Gardening for Real-Life Homeschool Electives
Gardening is a valuable skill to have. Plus, it can be relaxing and enjoyable. Many people enjoy spending time in a garden, growing flowers, vegetables, and herbs.
You can teach kids of all ages how to plan and plant a garden. Young kids and teens alike should know how to tend to plants. It’s an introductory botany lesson that extends to real life.
Oh, another fun idea is to encourage your teen to have a vegetable garden and tie that elective in with a cooking class. They can use what they grow in recipes or make a business, selling what they grow.
10. Nature Studies
I don’t mean random nature walks, even though those are fun.
Instead, if you have a child who is an avid outdoorsman, learning about conservation and nature is something they might enjoy.
Head to your local conservation department to see if they take helpers or volunteer at a local state park.
11. Theater & Music
Many homeschool families work with a local theater to participate in different plays and musicals.
This activity is an excellent way for your teenagers to get exposure to the theater. Depending on your state, your teen might also be able to participate in your local high school’s plays through their drama club.
Oh, and your kids can even participate in online theater clubs!
Are your kids interested in taking music courses, like for the violin, piano lessons, or guitar? Other considerations are learning about the an orchestra or music appreciation.
12. Survival Skills
Can your kids survive in the wilderness? Do they know how to start a fire without a lighter? And do it with fire safety skills in mind?
Survival skills are fun yet helpful to learn for all ages. You can adapt this class for all of your kids and plan a big camping trip to use all of their new skills at the end of the school year. Make it a learning fun incentive for your family!
Think Outside Boxes are amazing ways to learn these types of survival skills and enjoy other homeschool electives.
13. Physical Education
Homeschooled kids don’t have to go to the typical gym class hosted at local public and private schools each week, but that doesn’t mean physical education needs to be skipped.
Schedule in biking, running, a family game of baseball, or other activities to get their blood pumping!
Here are 5 fantastic homeschool physical education activities to enjoy!
And make sure to consider the sports that your kids participate in, like soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc.
14. Forensic Science
If you have an upcoming CSI addict, you might consider hosting an elective class that teaches forensic science.
While this topic is ideal for high schoolers, middle school-aged kids also enjoy learning about fingerprinting and trying their hands to solve cases.
Take a look inside of the human brain and introduce your child to basic psychology. (As a psychology major, this type of elective course is my absolute favorite!)
During this homeschool elective, your teen might learn about everything from Pavlov’s dog to human development and depression. It might spur a future career!
Teaching your kids the basics of coding before they enter college is a great way to give your teen a head start.
Coding teaches how to create software, apps, and websites. These skills are valuable to have for potential futures. Plus, many teens find coding fun.
Start with some free coding websites and move up if your child enjoys it.
Most colleges requires students to take a basic economics course, so give your teen a head start by introducing economics early.
This type of class teaches how households, governments, and countries use their resources and operate on a financial basis.
Let your teen take a homeschool elective where they learn their away around Photoshop.
They’ll learn how to erase fine lines and blemishes, create a background, swap out individuals, and more. It’s a great skill to have if you love photography.
19. Web Design
Here’s another tech-based homeschool elective idea.
Offer a class to help your teen learn how to create their own website with a custom design using simple software.
Start a website for fun, but remember, this is a potential career as well!
You might want to start your study with Egyptian mythology, but be sure to cover Hittite, Nordic, and Celtic myths. It’s amazing how many times myths are shared or similar.
Does your teen, tween, or child have an eye for photography?
Offer an elective class on photography. And let your child develop their skill and spend time being creative.
This type of learning goes along with the photoshop elective. Or your kids might want to combine photography and web design.
22. Film Making
Do you have a budding director in your family?
Let your child create a film that they write and direct.
This creative elective helps your kids learn new editing skills and techniques and learn how to use different pieces of technology.
Whether it’s for fun or a potential career, film making is a fun elective.
Many high schools offer an architecture or drafting class. You can offer the same as a homeschool elective.
Study famous structures and buildings. And let your child be creative and design homes or buildings.
This type of elective is excellent for a child with great math skills who want to explore their creative side.
24. First Aid
First aid skills are beneficial for everyone to learn. These go hand-in-hand with survival skills. Plus, this type of learning teaches your child how to respond to different emergency situations.
From teaching how to treat small wounds to major injuries, show your child how to respond and help to the best of their ability.
25. Public Speaking
Too many people are afraid of public speaking, but it’s a skill worth honing. (And that’s coming from someone who used to be petrified of it!)
Once you learn how to do so correctly, you’ll never have the jitters or fears of addressing an audience again. Use this elective to prepare your kids for the future.
Try Different Homeschool Electives
When you homeschool, you have freedom.
And that means you can offer your kids a huge range of homeschool elective ideas.
From survival skills to web design, follow what your kids find interesting and offer opportunities for them to expand that interest. You never know what will come from it.
What homeschool electives have your kids tried? And what would you add to this list (including high school electives)? Please share in the comments area below 🙂