Are we the only people that choose not to wait till our homeschoolers reach high school to start electives? I think this is one of the greatest things about homeschooling. Not only do we get to choose when our kids learn, how they learn, and what they learn- but we can choose to take their interests and their strengths, and apply them to learning in such a fun way!
Even though my oldest little schooler is in first grade this year, we’ve decided to add sign language into our rotation! Even though we don’t officially start until Labor Day, we already went by the library to borrow some fun sign language books and she’s picking it up so fast! It’s just proof that homeschool electives can be fun too!
It seems like there is some sort of debate about the difference between homeschool electives and homeschool extracurricular activities, but they’re all the same in my book- and before high school age. Yet, you may need to know the difference depending on your state’s homeschool laws.
18 Homeschool Electives and Extracurricular Activities
This is one of the easiest homeschool electives to add into your existing curriculum! If you’ve chosen a box type curriculum, then check with them to see if it’s something that they offer. If not, or if you’re just eclectic, ask a friend, get Rosetta Stone, or see if your area may offer beginners classes!
TIP: Depending on the age of your schooler, and your homeschool laws, you can check with the local public school to see if they offer classes for your chosen language. If they do, ask if they offer enrollment for that class for homeschoolers!
This option, of course, depends on the age of your homeschooler, and how advanced you want them to become, but can be learned mainly by books! There are no words or sounds involved, so it’s easy to be able to learn together, and quickly since it’s so hands-on!
Art Classes or Crafting
I think all kids get into art at some time or another. It’s always fun watching them create something! Try your local library, or Facebook groups to see if anyone local offers this type of elective. If not, look into hobby shops, galleries, or brick and mortar shops that sell homemade goods! They can always give you some great tips on finding places.
Think about painting, sculpting, ceramics, drawing, textiles, etc. If in doubt, YouTube and Pinterest to the rescue!
TIP: If your homeschooler is unsure about what they would be interested in, don’t just sign them up yet! Call your local Home Depot, Lowes, Michaels, Joanns, etc. They offer one-time classes (and monthly classes) so that your child can try new things before they commit!
There are TONS of options when it comes to helping your child recognize their potential and grow in it! Whether it be public speaking, speech, journalism, research, creative writing, you can find some type of course or class that you can bank on. Learning more about communications is a homeschool elective that won’t let your child down!
Don’t forget, there are free/cheap options! There are tons of other homeschool bloggers out there (like us) and they want to help you! Look for these courses because they will be full of content that you can trust! Then, always look at competitions and local events that your homeschooler can participate in to grow!
I almost hate to mention this option because it seems so much like a no-brainer. But, it’s also something I wish I would have learned as a kid. And let your child be active in choosing what instrument they want to play.
Maybe you can watch YouTube videos about different types of instruments, read about them, visit a music store, or head to an orchestra. There are no limits when it comes to learning about music!
Even if it’s just the basics, please, PLEASE teach your children about safe kitchen habits, quick/simple meals, or even just more about food. We’ve already written about why you should add cooking to your homeschool routine, but you don’t have to do it yourself!
If you’re not a kitchen guru, see if you have a culinary school close to you. If so, they most likely will offer cooking classes. They make it so fun for children and it’s more than just food, they teach manners too!
We can’t get away from it, so why not let the kids put their interests to work for once, right? If you have a homeschooler who is interested in robotics, engineering, coding, or web designing, you’ve probably got one smart cookie on your hands.
If local schools don’t offer this type of electives, try consulting with someone from a local technical college to see if they allow homeschoolers to participate in any classes. Of course, you can always do a quick search online and find some great options.
TIP: Companies like Tinker Crate offer STEM, Tech and Lab opportunities for kids right in the comforts of their own home! This is a great option for homeschool kids to have hands-on learning each month!
Another option that you can begin in the comforts of your own home. There are tons of YouTube videos, free courses, and even paid online video options where you can learn how to take photos, edit photos and even pose clients!
Have you seen the recent study that talks about the lack of life skills in millennials? It’s really sad. Parents, don’t neglect the simplicity of teaching your kids about money, how to balance a checkbook or budget. Grocery shopping, driving, making appointments, keeping track of your schedule- all important life skills!
This is something that you really can do on your own. But I do know that there are classes for kids/adults who are interested in the aspects of becoming an adult!
When I was in school, there was no such thing as robotics, because if robots were around, they were so futuristic, we didn’t believe it was ever going to come to pass. Back then, we had hard labor classes like welding, woodworking, electrical, and mechanics.
These blue-collar skills are what the boys looked forward to all day long! See if your local public school or technical college offers classes to homeschoolers. If not, see if you have a local elder who would want to teach a trade to a young homeschooler!
Debate is a good homeschool extracurricular that will have your child researching, studying and reasoning. You can both participate reflecting on certain subjects each week, or even see if there is a type of team that your child can join. Some public school teams will meet during after school hours, leaving the option open for you to join!
This seems to be a very popular option for some homeschoolers, especially those who are participating in some sort of schooling within their church. However, this is another option that you may not have to be a particular member of a church to participate.
Check with local churches and see if they offer the option to those in the community to join and participate in competitions, if not, contact a Bible Quizzing Board to see what it takes to create your own team! This is the perfect way to plant that Biblical knowledge to use!
A lot of churches (especially those with homeschooled kids) will have choir options. Most of these will allow non-members to also participate. Most choirs also are able to travel, going to competitions and having concerts for friends and families.
If your child is more of a singular star, enroll them in singing lessons so that they can learn how to use that pretty voice that God gave them!
If your local schools don’t allow homeschoolers to participate in sports or extracurricular activities, see if there is a local co-op or even something like CHEF in your area that allows homeschoolers to participate in sports; basketball, baseball, soccer, softball, volleyball, track, cross-country, swimming, weightlifting, etc.
Dance or Gymnastics
Contact your local gym or fitness place to see if they offer classes for homeschoolers. However, this option is open to anyone and you don’t have to be a homeschooler to look for classes to join. Many children participate in these extracurricular activities after school hours, so it should be easy to find a place.
This is more of a singular game but requires another skilled player to participate to hone your own skills. Thankfully, there are a lot of options out there! Some of them even free! If you have a prodigy, don’t forget to enter competitions!
Your local school may allow your child to participate in this class as a homeschool elective, but if not, call your local theatre or acting agency and ask about options that they offer for classes. If you can get enough homeschoolers you know involved, they may even offer a discount!
Money, leadership, social skills, marketing, bookkeeping; If your young learner has been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, then these are the skills they’ll want to have! Check local colleges or small business classes that your city or state may have.
Other fun activities to keep in mind: karate, biking, hiking, golf, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, tennis, horseback riding, finding a mentor that raises your favorite animals, archery, marksmanship, boxing,
There are tons of options out there that are sure to get your homeschooler excited about learning something new. Then, when they master it, you can add something else to keep things fun!
If you’re looking for community amongst other homeschool moms, join our Facebook Group! Fervent Christian Homeschoolers is a place where you can feel welcome to join in and talk about homeschooling on all levels!
What homeschool electives have you chosen for the school year? What age did you start adding extracurriculars as a homeschool priority?