• Heather Barr

Electives and Homeschooling

Am I the only one who finds it easy to gloss over the electives in homeschooling? I mean it is hard enough just to get in all our core class on a normal day without having to collect all the supplies, figure out to teach a whole new class, or try to muster up some kind of creativity! Well mama, I know it's a lot but I am about to share some really important reasons why the effort IS WORTH your time! And also some ways to make it easier.....



~Electives can awaken the learning process to a mode of discovery rather than repetition! Rather you are building with legos, creating a play dough masterpiece, or eating a scrumptious recipe it does not feel like typical learning. However, let's break it down. Legos help to develop creative problem solving skills. Play dough is excellent for fine motor development and strengthening; which contributes to better handwriting. Cooking and following recipes develops direction following and math skills that are relevant to life!



~Music is never a waste of time! Many many studies have shown that music aides in brain development of children. Music education increases standardized test scores and also improves math and reading comprehension. So rather you are enrolling in a local co-op for music class or paying for private lessons your time and efforts are worth it!



~Dance is not just for exercise! Yes of course, it is a great way to get some movement in, burn some calories, and get your heart rate up! But, did you know that dance also relieves stress, improves cardiovascular health, and improves your mental health? When my kids were smaller we took dance breaks twice a day! We would set our timers and when they went off it was time to get our groove on and dance off some energy! We called it brain breaks, but it was literally what would help my kids push through the last few minutes of lessons they weren't thrilled about. Many local dance studios and home school support groups have dance classes! With a little digging I bet you could find a great dance class in your area!



~Life skills can be an overlooked, but important elective for home school students. Especially as our kids get into the teen years. Learning to budget, open a bank account, and change a tire are all skills we often know but forget to teach our kids. Did you know you can put this and many more items together in a syllabus and count it as a high school elective? Why not? More ideas to add to this type of elective class would be: changing the oil in a car, mowing the lawn, locating the fuse box in your house, figuring out how to turn off the house water in the event of a leak, and honestly the list is endless!




One of the best ways to start adding in electives is by asking yourself what does your child enjoy? Ask your child what they enjoy or even what new thing would they willing to try? Have a brainstorming session that starts from a list and go from there. Start simple and add more electives as you get more comfortable. Here is a list of some elective ideas for your homeschool: Bible, communications, debate, cooking, chess clubs, hiking clubs, running, soccer, basketball, current events, carpentry, car mechanic, theater, graphic arts, filmmaking, computer skills, woodworking, gardening, home decorating, fashion design, travel, and honestly the ideas are limited only by your imagination! Just remember electives are meant to be fun, engaging, and encouraging learning through discovery!



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