I was a wee bit worried about upper level core subjects approaching high school as a home school parent, but I was more than nervous about the electives. I knew about Apologia Science – yay for answer keys! – Wordsmith, and Beautiful Feet for science, writing and history (and we found even more resources along the way), but what about electives?
What are the options? Where is the curriculum?
I found a few official electives offered in a box or a workbook, but my children weren’t interested. The old public school mentality tried to rear its in-the-box head, “Well, those are your choices, children. This is what is being offered.”
“But doesn’t the word elective mean: something we want to take? Something we vote for? Our choice?”
Ah, I love that homeschooled children think. And ask questions. And challenge (politely).
Yes, it is your choice. You choose, and we’ll figure out how to make it work.
Two examples from their own election of electives:
My son wanted war and my daughter fancied fashion design (not sewing designs –there’s curriculum for that- but studying historical design).
They chose. And this is how we did it.
First, we sketched out a battle plan:
- Books/videos from the library and our local used book store as the input
- Output based on the subject and their interests
My son’s output consisted of using military strategy – gleaned from his readings – against friends and family playing Axis and Allies, sharing tips and tactics of historical happenings with his team members. “It worked for the Battle of _____, so it should work here. First, we …” And typically, he wins. Now that’s effective output!
Designing dress in the fashion of the day, whether that be 1490’s or 1940’s, is more along my daughter’s lines. Studying details of length and neckline, bust and belt, she is applying history to hemline connecting the patterns of fashion to historical thought. Her output: a timeline of design. One page, history. The next page, her interpretation of the time period’s design. Hmmmmm, there’s an idea for a course title on the transcript … Design: Hers and History.
How do we know when we’ve reached the end of the course? Using CreditPro cards, we record hours spent in research and application. For our family 75 hours equals 1/2 credit, 125-150 a full credit.
- Easy on the budget – yay for libraries!
- Easy on the mom – yay for high schoolers!
- Easy on the planning – yay for CreditPro!
- Easy on the summers – yay for easy summers!
And while the children enjoy their passions, they rake up high school credits!