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Just offered my next year 10th graders a choice of electives

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I told them that they had the choice of Art History or something of their choice - and that they needed to think about it now so that I could start looking around to see if I could find resources to accomodate them. They all looked at me with their mouths open. Was this not the right age to suggest this? Aren't kids supposed to have some idea of their interests at this age?


And ideas on how to jumpstart them, or some elective websites to let them look through to get ideas?


DD wants to be a vet, the boys don't have a clue.

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Here's a link of Elective Course Descriptions that might generate some interest.


You might ask them what they would most like to do or learn and build a course around that. Can your daughter volunteer at an animal shelter or vet's office? Design a course around that. Does someone want to learn to work on the car? Build a kayak? Learn to knit, draw, or crochet? The possibilities are endless!




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I gave them several homeschooling catalogs and had them mark kits and projects and things that they were interested in. They spent an afternoon browsing and marking and then handed it over to me.


I took the things they marked as indicators of what they were interested in learning more about.


For instance, one son marked a series of robots and solar powered cars. I decided to put together a robotics unit for both. It has been a huge hit.


Another son did not find much in the catalogs but expressed an interest in photography. We have now incorporated one big photography assignment into their fine arts component for high school credit.


Some things we have planned for the future:

Auto Maintenance

Human Anatomy/Health



Ceramics (local art studio)



Consumer Math or Accounting

Computer courses taken online from the cc

Computer animation


Hope that gives you some ideas or directions to look for.


Barb-Harmony Art mom

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Was this not the right age to suggest this?


It's plenty of a fine time to offer this. The great majority of high schoolers plan their entire high school career without the help of their parents. Obviously, the schools have some requirements, but a lot is left open to the students.


I think some of us homeschoolers (me included!) tend not to let our kids have the freedom they should have, instead micromanaging a bit too long. Of course, there are plenty of ps kids who have parents that stick their nose into things they shouldn't (class schedule, college applications, homework, etc) also. And of course we HAVE to do so a little more since we're the ones that have to choose materials, present assignments, etc. But I think we do a little too much at times.


I think it's GREAT that you're giving your kids options. I hope they find something just right for them individually :)


ETA: btw, my son wrote a paper just yesterday that I looked over today. I got EXCELLENT ideas of what to discuss with him about next year. I'm so excited.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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I thought I wanted to be a vet when I started college. The thing that cured me and sent me back to botany was a semester working in a vet clinic. I found I really disliked the large animal work, and really disliked the kind of people that brought animals into the small animal part of the clinic (my poor doggy Fluffy). It's funny b/c now I live on a ranch and deal with large animals all the time!


See if your daughter can volunteer at a vet clinic. She may not get to do anything glamorous, but she could see up close what it is really like and if she can imagine herself doing the work.

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I love the electives list website - I'm going to have them look at it. What a long list - a little intimidating.


Harmonyartmom-what catalogues would you recommend? - apparently I don't get any anymore - isn't that odd...


Caryl - my dd has already been hanging out at our vets for a year - she went in every week over the summer to watch surgery and we try to get her in once a month or so during the school year. Nothing grosses her out. He is a small animal vet though - I KNOW she will not like cows. She is also heavily into 4H dog (there is a lot of studying involved) and has a new puppy to train for this summers competing. Most of the other girls involved already want to be vet techs. My dd is very smart but not exactly a riser-to-challenges, I fear she will end up with the rest of them at vet tech school (no offence at all intended, she is just too smart to settle for that). I never have counted any of this as school though, just extracurricular activity.

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Since you are talking science:

Carolina Biological I swoon over this catalog....so many possibilities.

HomeScience Tools

Science Kit


I know there is a bird course through Cornell University that might interest an animal lover. I can't remember the name of it either so maybe someone else can help there.


Not sure if this would be of interest:

Pitsco-all kinds of hands on kind of science stuff even teacher's plans


Those are our usual suspects when I am trying to mine for interests.



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It sounds like your daughter is in a good place where she is volunteering. It's funny how experiences turn us in our lives. At the place I worked it wasn't so much that anything grossed me out, but that the large animal work was HARD! (Dirty, monotonous, difficult), and that the small animal work catered to a clientele I didn't think I would ever want to cater to! If the experience had been different, I probably would have ended up a vet. I guess we should remember that with our kids- that there are a multitude of good paths to take and good places to end up academically.


One thing I've been doing with electives is finding things they already are doing and flesh out a course from it for an elective. For example, my oldest decided she wanted to train a horse (she's already an accomplished rider, so this is not as out there as it sounds). She's now got the horse, and she's been devouring DVDs and books on training. With a little fleshing out, I'm creating a really good course from this interest.


To give me (and them) some more ideas, this past summer I downloaded some high school course descriptions and snagged some of the more interesting ones for them to look at. These also give me some help in writing course descriptions.


Kareni - Thank-you for the link. It's a good list.

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