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One of the things that I love about homeschooling is how easy it is to involve the entire family. Grandparents, Spouses, extended family and more. Including their involvement particularly when it comes to electives is amazingly easy. Making choices about who will help teach them in the electives they chose strengthens their decision-making abilities on the path to independent learning.
A Case In Point
Take for instance my son interest in electronics. My lad and I did some work together taking apart a clock radio and telephone. It’s been so good those to see the natural bent of two fellows working together to disassemble the different old electronics we have.
I was all set to take pics of their most recent tear down of a CD drive until both of them forbade photos! “NO Pics mom/hun!” My husband has a much different manner of doing these teardowns than I do, and it’s just interesting to sit back and watch. They talk more, experiment less, and take care with screws and anything remotely useful. It makes me happy to just sit back and observe.
Where to Find Electives?
We all know that in schooling you need to cover your basics. Math, English, Social studies, History, Science and Geography. But what about everything else? What do you do about electives? Electives are subjects such as computer skills, typing, shop, phys ed, electronics, music, art and such like.
First, you need to discover what electives your student needs and what their interests are. If they don’t know, you might want to use your knowledge of your child to give them options. For instance, my son has teaching in his bones, will he end up being a teacher? I don’t know. He doesn’t know. But to teach you need to know how to project your voice to a classroom, so he’ll be taking drama this year to learn how to do that.
Second, you want to find a way to support those interests. Paid or free, or even bartered options exist.
One option that I used with my lad when we first started to explore his interests was to use SchoolhouseTeachers.com. With over 350 courses there are lots of options.
I would print off the list of options for him with their descriptions and let him pick. You can go to a specific grade (shows in pictorial form) or use the all courses option (shows as a list like above picture). The advantage is, if your student was just curious and it turns out to not be a good fit, you can choose a different elective.
There are numerous free options online.
Or you might want to utilize your local public school for a class or two. My son did this for music and tech (grade nine), and this coming year will be doing drama, manufacturing and computer tech (grade 10). They offer it, and if the principal allows it, why not use a resource you have at hand?
You could look into apprenticing with a local business if your child has an interest, in essence, making your own co-op placement.
Volunteering is also a great way to pick up new skills. Working for a business with the sole purpose of learning different aspects of the work.