How Elected Are Electives?

How Elected are Electives?When our children were little, we had the freedom to flit between interests at will. One month might find us learning ballet, another we would be watercoloring. As our children have advanced into higher levels of learning, we’ve needed to buckle down and choose classes which last an entire year. Mom thinks Latin might be an essential life skill; Pop wants the children to take piano. During all this decision-making, one has to wonder, how elected are electives for our big kids?

I remember back to when I was in high school. Electives were not chosen by the parents, we students chose our classes. You could select from a range of skills: foreign language, drama, music, art, sports, mechanics, woodshop and more. A councilor was assigned to  guide you into which choice might be best, but the decision was up to us. Should homeschooled children be given the same responsibility?

On one hand, I think it is fair to say we know a little more than our children. We have more work experience, life experience, and learning experience. We should be guiding them into which electives they might take. Part of our job, both as parents and home educators, is to lay a strong foundation and teach them to make wise choices.

On the other hand, forced electives quite possibly might kill my children’s desire to learn. Yes, foreign language is an asset. Every university in the US is telling them they need it and benefit from it. But what if they would rather take Russian instead of that Spanish class mom thinks would be more beneficial? What if they want to take coding instead of a spoken language? Hey, it counts!

Instead of forcing electives on my big kids, perhaps I need a new perspective. Together we should be praying over which classes the Lord desires them to take. As a team, we weigh the benefits of each course and the commitment needed. Then, my children need to take responsibility and make a decision.

An important life skill our big kids need to learn is decision-making. This extends beyond which type of ice cream they will eat. They need to be taking part in tough, consequential life choices which affect their future.

As my children continue to grow, I pray they would respect my opinion and hear my advice. I want what is best for them, and desire to help them succeed in life. However, as my littles grow, my responsibility needs to decrease as theirs becomes greater. When they are given a portion of that responsibility, they gain independence, confidence, and wisdom. They are learning to be adults.

“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,”
~ Proverbs 1:5

Your Turn!: Do your children choose their electives?

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10 thoughts on “How Elected Are Electives?

  1. I think it’s a good idea to expose children to as many of these as we can, especially when they’re young, so they can discover their talents and interests. It’s wonderful that there are so many options and opportunities out there today! As they get older, for sure they should have a say in what they do. In our family, the exception would be second language studies. That’s not an option where I live!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was younger, my parents weighed in a lot on what electives I took but still gave me options. Now, that I’m older they let me pick as long as I do pick things. Certain classes they require us to take but others are up to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’re still in the flit stage and will be for some time, but my oldest’s special needs will greatly impact his ability to choose. For now, we’re trying new things. Hopefully we can allow more freedom later, but he knows it won’t always work even when he really wants it to. So frustrating!

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  4. The great thing about homeschooling is that it’s not just Monday through Friday September to may, it’s year round. So my daughter doesn’t have summer off. She has to focus on a few “electives”. I usually pick one that I want her to focus on and she picks the rest. That way we get in the things I think are important and those things she believes are important or interesting. I wouldn’t force a language on her. Right now shes young, so it’s not as big a deal. We are learning sign language and she is doing awesome. When she’s older she will have to find another language to master and I’m very open. I hated Spanish in college, loved french in high school, and picked up Arabic easily. I want her to love the electives she chooses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Year-round schooling is the best; isn’t it? We love the freedom it brings and the ease of our learning.

      We love the notion of you choosing one elective and leaving the others open for your daughter to pick. Great idea!

      Like

  5. I think it’s healthy to let kids pursue their interests, but some electives like music and language are not options for the kids so much, atleast not until they have a good foothold and are mid high school years.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Depends on the pupil and the subject but mostly I think they will appreciate it. My husbands is upset his parents didn’t make him keep up his music lessons. Now that he is a Church leader it would really come in handy, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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