Electives in High School: Equipping Teens for Success

My kids loved crafting their homeschool transcript high school electives. These were the courses that THEY got to choose. I mean, they HAD to take geometry, chemistry, civics, and the other core classes. However, when it came to filling out their transcript, it was the electives in high school that really made their hearts glad…and their academic record sparkle!

electives in high school


Electives in High School: Equipping Teens for Success

As you know, the transcript needs to show around 26 credits for graduation. This varies state to state and umbrella school to umbrella school. This is what our local umbrella school recommends for a high school transcript. Check HSLDA for details and our post for specific topics.

Beyond the core classes, you need to show homeschool transcript high school electives for your student. Here are 5 types of electives for the homeschool transcript:

1. Electives in high school required for graduation

These often include fine arts (check out this post for fine arts How-to’s), phys ed, and career pathways (all my kids did Career Exploration Workbook).

Career Exploration Workbook


2. Elective courses that build power in the transcript

If your child is interested in a college major that is based on a core subject, extra (elective) credits will add power to the transcript. (Your teen should also Level-up their core classes in that subject, but that’s another topic.) Often there are textbooks or online courses available for these topics.)

For a budding science major, elective sciences (those beyond the required 4 sciences for graduation) could include: Anatomy and Physiology, Advanced Chemistry, Marine Biology, Astronomy, Environmental Science, Computer Science. (My oldest took Computer Science classes in preparation for his college major- back in his day, they were mail order…).

History and Philosophy of the Western World


For a budding psychology major, electives might include (if not included in required core classes): PsychologyHuman Development, Sociology, Philosophy. (My oldest built some power in his transcript with philosophy.)

Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective

For a budding history major, high school electives might include special studies in missionary work, geography special topics, World Wars, history of … (architecture, fashion, cars, etc). (My second son did several extra history credits in preparation for his college major.)

3. Investigate an interest with high school electives

If your homeschooling high schooler has a special interest, help them develop a study plan and log 135 hours of learning (Carnegie Unit). This might include special studies in creative writing (above what is needed for Language Arts credit), home economics, home maintenance, speech, quilting, agriculture, forensics. (All my teens have taken speech and competed as part of the local homeschool support group’s Rhetoric League. My youngest took Home Maintenance from the local community college. All of the kids have done home ec in some form- whether they were interested or not.)  🙂

electives in high school
My son’s band playing at a fundraiser for a homeless shelter.

4. Develop a gift

If God has given your teen a talent, it should be developed. Log 135 hours of lessons or educational activities in these areas for a credit. This kind of elective credit might include taking art or voice lessons, playing on a soccer team, learning leadership skills. (My youngest is a musician. He wrote his yearly research papers on this history of church music. He plays in church worship team and a Christian rock band. He takes voice lessons, music theory, and piano lessons. All of these are electives for him.)

5. Electives in high school can explore career options

Career exploration is an elective. Log 135 hours of lessons or educational activities per credit. Every teen should have a career exploration credit or two before graduating. This can include Career Exploration texts and learning activities. Activities may include volunteering at zoos, nursing homes, urban schools, libraries.

Apprenticeships are also good career exploration activities; try helping out a veterinarian, classroom teacher, coach, office administrator, etc. (My youngest did some work at a recording studio. Another son helped out at a local video production agency.) Sometimes even a part-time job in high school may count.

What are some awesome homeschool transcript high school electives your homeschooling teens have enjoyed?


electives in high school
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Don’t forget to download our popular $2.99 Kindle book to help you plan the high school years: Homeschool High School: You CAN Do It!



High School Electives: Equipping Teens for Success from 7SistersHomeschool.com

Electives in High School: Equipping Teens for Success



Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

2 Replies to “Electives in High School: Equipping Teens for Success”

  1. I love the name “Career Pathways”. I teach my kids an elective that I’ve never been able to come up with a name I like and that would be perfect.

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