I find it ironic that homeschooling parents encourage young children and elementary-age learners to explore their interests, yet as the middle and high school years loom on the horizon, the tune often changes.
When it does, students, parents, and educators tend to concentrate on core courses (with good reason) while pushing strengths and giftings—and often real-life learning—aside. Often those life experiences offer learners the lessons and skills most needed for their future.
There is another advantage of pursuing electives of interest. Not only do high schoolers receive credit, but these pursuits also help reduce the stress of typically tougher core courses.
By their very nature, electives provide avenues for personal growth, renewal, and skill acquisition.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the middle and high school years provided the same real-life educational opportunities found in the younger learning years? Homeschooling makes that possibility a reality.
Interest leads to higher-quality content and greater retention in both core and elective classes. With this knowledge in one hand, grab a cup of coffee or a thick creamy milkshake with the other and invite your high schooler to brainstorm with you. In the course of the conversation, listen to what he or she would like to study and how those interests could be enhanced or accomplished with real-life experiences. Experiential learning in high school is just as valuable as it was in the elementary and middle school years.