A Thoughtful Approach to Homeschool Electives

By Stacy Farrell

“Know thyself.” This famous quote, inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, was attributed to Thales and recorded among the notable sayings of the Seven Sages of Ancient Greece.


We experience true satisfaction when we fulfill the purpose for which we were created.

Electives give our children an opportunity to live out this purpose as they develop skills and talents beyond their basic academic courses.

Electives can be fun.


There are traditional elective courses such as art, music, and theater, but don’t get trapped by institutional thinking.

Don’t be afraid to “think outside of the box.”


As you are able to interact in your community again, consider faith-building activities such as:

  • serving at a nursing home or homeless shelter,
  • leading a neighborhood Bible study, or
  • playing an instrument with the worship team at church.

Track your student’s time invested and skills developed.

Depending upon your state’s requirements, you may be able to count these activities toward elective credits.


Strong communication skills are a distinct advantage in the marketplace. Adding an elective speech or writing course can help your student land a job.

If you struggle with a reluctant writer, I have good news.

Even children who resist formal writing instruction often blossom when given informal writing assignments such as creative writing exercises.

Did you know that we created a coloring book edition of our popular creating writing resource, Creative Freewriting Adventure?


We homeschooled our two sons K-12.

I believe the Lord called us to raise them to be men who understand the times and know what to do (1 Chronicles 12:32).

In keeping with that objective, we chose our electives strategically.

Speech and debate competitions were a major focus throughout high school.

To prepare for tournaments, our sons studied more than 100 apologetic speech topics.

From a life-skills perspective, this also helped them prepare to answer faith-related questions with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

Another strategic focus for us was philosophy.


Studying philosophy changed the way our family views the world.

Suddenly, we began to understand the origins of the crazy culture wars raging all around us.

If you’re looking for an elective that will equip your children to combat the lies and confusion that will inevitably bombard them, study philosophy from a biblical worldview.

Teach your students to write skillfully, think critically, and speak clearly as they explore the world of ideas with Philosophy Adventure.


God delights in His children.

He delights to give good gifts.

But anything that causes us to forget Him—anything that celebrates the sin He paid the ultimate price to abolish—should automatically, voluntarily, be rejected by His children.

If we are Christ-followers, we are called to be standard-bearers in all we do. We must not forget this.

Help your children choose electives with an eye on eternity.

Blessings on your family.

With love and joy (Phil. 1:4),
Stacy Farrell
Writer | Speaker | Teacher

As a consultant and writer, Stacy Farrell has spoken at a variety of homeschool conferences and has published articles in leading Christian and homeschool magazines. Prior to homeschooling, she wrote a broad range of material for corporate, Christian, and non-profit clients. She also managed a law firm that specialized in civil rights litigation and constitutional law. Today, she loves to help empower homeschoolers to recover territory lost by “fuzzy thinking” and low expectations.

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