Elective Course Descriptions


Read my article: Making the Most of Extracurricular Activities

To help you prepare your child's high school transcript, here is a list of elective course descriptions used by a local public school. Generally, public schools and colleges will not accept these courses as meeting the requirements of high school math, science, history, and English but they can be used as credits for electives. If in doubt, check with the school.

Note: 1 credit = .5 unit or 1 semester of work, 2 credits = 1 unit or 2 semesters of work.

Course descriptions and credit values vary from school to school. The descriptions below are given as examples only. As the “principal” of your homeschool, you have the ability to create your own course and assign your own credit values.

Accounting I (2 semesters, 2 credits): Basic principles of accounting (analyzing daily transactions, journalizing, posting, financial statement preparation) applicable to sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporate forms of business ownership. Personal and business banking practices are also included. Practical application of accounting principles is given through the use of computer software. Personal income tax preparation is also presented.

Adult & Family Living (2 semesters, 2 credits): A study of the life and activities of the family. A realistic picture of what it means to be a family member with emphasis on the areas of preparation for marriage, the roles of husband/wife, child care and development, and special emphasis on experiences that bond the family together such as developing traditions, fostering family time with conversation, balancing work, family, and celebration of holidays.

Aerobics (1 semester, 1 credit): Designed to increase physical fitness level. Activities include high & low impact aerobics, step aerobics, walking, stair climbing, abdominal workouts, and muscle conditioning.

Agriscience I & II (2 semesters, 2 credits): Introduce students to the broad scope of agriculture and agricultural related industries. Provides students with the necessary skills, information, and opportunities to experience a variety of occupational and educational clusters. This course includes orientation to Animal sciences, agricultural power and technology, animal science, and plant science. Livestock project recommended.

Animal Science I (2 semesters, 2 credits): Curriculum provides information, knowledge, and skills associated with careers related to animal production and animal science. Provides laboratory, lecture, and competitive activities through the FFA to students interested in veterinary medicine, livestock production and nutrition, genetics, and laboratory techniques.

Art I (2 semesters, 2 credits): Foundational course covers two dimensional work such as drawing and design, color mechanics, and painting. Second semester covers three dimensional work in pottery, sculpture, and mixed media.

Art II (2 semesters, 2 credits): Students will prepare a complete portfolio showing a mastery of basic techniques in 2D and 3D assignments.

Art II 2D (1 semester, 1 credit): Basic techniques of drawing and painting through the elements and principles of design. Watercolor techniques will be introduced as well as the introduction of mixed media techniques.

Art II 3D (1 semester, 1 credit): Basic techniques in hand-built pottery such as coil, slab, throwing and glazing. Paper, wood and wire sculpture techniques along with fiber designs introduced.

Art III 2D (1 semester, 1 credit): Concentrates on areas of applied design using various techniques of drawing, painting, mixed media and printmaking.

Art III 3D(1 semester, 1 credit): Concentrates on 3D projects in advanced pottery techniques, found-object assemblages, 3D canvases, and fiber arts. Emphasis on imagery and recycling.

Art III Studio Art (AP) (2 semesters, 2 credits): Portfolio of work in drawing required at the end of the year to demonstrate: “Quality” -6 actual pieces that will be matted, “Concentration” - Slides of 16 pieces of artwork developed on a chosen subject and “Breadth” - Slides of 20 pieces of artwork showing a variety of technique, interests, and assignments.

Art IV Studio Art (AP) (2 semesters, 2 credits): Portfolio of work in drawing, painting, and three-dimensional pieces required at the end of the year to demonstrate: “Quality” -4 actual pieces of artwork which show the student’s very best ability, “Concentration” - Slides of 16 pieces of artwork developed around a specific subject and “Breadth” - Slides of 20 pieces of artwork including 8 drawings, 8 works on color and design, 2-4 works of sculpture, pottery or 3D projects.

Art History (AP) (2 semesters, 2 credits): A full-year, introductory college course in history of art (primarily Western art with some attention to the art of other cultures). The student will examine the history of art including basic information about artists, schools, and movements. The curriculum deals with chronological periods, specific dates along with the subjects, styles, and techniques of particular works of art.

Astronomy (1 or 2 semesters, 1 or 2 credits): Students will learn to identify the major stars and constellations by study and observation. The fundamental concepts of astronomy will include an overall introduction to astronomy, a brief history of astronomy, gravity and space travel, and planetary orbits. A study of telescopes, the nature of light and how astronomers use them to explore the universe is included. Second semester includes a deeper study into the theories and concepts of astronomy. Major topics will include the structure and processes of the sun and the characteristics and formation of various types of objects which make up the solar system. Students will also learn the classifications and life cycles of stars as well as techniques used to measure their temperatures, distances and motions. A student project is required.

Audio Visual Productions (1 or 2 semesters, 1 or 2 credits) Students will be responsible for producing and televising the daily announcements and creating a video yearbook.

Botany(1 semester, 1 credit): Complete survey of the plant kingdom starting with bacteria and ending with flowering plants. Students will learn to identify plants as well as understand the structures and functions of the various plant parts. Also examine the role and economic importance of plants to man and the environment.

Business & Computer Technology (2 semesters, 2 credits) and Business & Computer Technology Internship (2 semesters, 2 credits): Provides student with actual on-the-job training and work responsibilities directly related to the occupational objectives learned in the classroom. Curriculum consists of: word processing, spreadsheets, desktop publishing, presentation graphics, job interview, and various office procedures needed in a workplace. Leadership, teamwork, and critical thinking skills are used in the work experience.

Business Law (1 semester, 1 credit): Help student recognize legal problems and utilize professional counsel. Instruction will include: law and society, enforcement of the law, making contracts, using credit, contract of employment, kinds of insurance, how to own or lease property, business organizations, and will and estate planning.

Business Management/Ownership (2 semesters, 2 credits) and Business Management/Ownership Internship (2 semesters, 2 credits): Provides student with actual on-the-job training as in the field of management and the opening of a business and work responsibilities directly related to the occupational objectives learned in the classroom. Curriculum consists of: management skills, leadership skills, marketing research, finance, buying, merchandise control, and knowledge of opening a business.

Business Math (2 semesters, 2 credits): Designed to develop competency in mathematics for consumer and business use. Topics include budgeting, banking, credit, investing money, purchasing of cards and housing, life and health insurance, salaries and taxes, wise money management, and business careers.

Careers - Employment Skills for the 21st Century (1 semester, 1 credit): Five units that progress logically from the first steps of career planning to the adult responsibilities of living on one’s own. These include: planning your future, entering the world of work; developing your skills and understanding; becoming a wise consumer; and meeting your adult responsibilities.

Child Development (1 semester, 1 credit): Designed to provide basic knowledge of how children develop. Attention is focused on skills needed for both parenting and child-related careers. Using a theoretical framework, students study physical, cognitive, social-emotional development through observation, application and projects.

ComSci: Advanced Computer Technology (1 semester, 1 credit): Students will use the computer as a tool for in-depth concentration to prepare for employment and for personal use. Advanced word processing, advanced spreadsheet, advanced database and personal information management will be covered in this course.

ComSci: Computer Technology (1 semester, 1 credit): Students will use the computer as a tool for learning, collaborating, and communication. Students will learn computer skills that can be applied to school work and personal use. Word processing, spreadsheets, data base, and presentation applications will be covered. Students will use the Internet, scanner, and digital camera as tools to enrich work.

ComSci: Desktop Publishing (1 semester, 1 credit): Introduce student to activities that can be accomplished with desktop publishing software packages. Student will design brochures, flyers, pamphlets, logos, business cards, letterhead and other documentation common to an office setting.

ComSci: Multimedia (1 semester, 1 credit): Students will use computer as a tool to plan and use presentation technology. Students will complete projects using presentations, animation, sound, hypermedia, and digital pictures. Additional media may include newsletters, web pages, and video production.

ComSci: Programming (1 or semesters, 1 or credits): Students learn Visual Basic, Basic C, or C++.

Concert Choir (2 semesters, 2 credits): Performance of a wide variety of music, ranging from “pop” to classical. Music theory and reading skills included. Students will attend all rehearsals, performances,a nd competitions.

Concert Band (2 semesters, 2 credits): Explores traditional band repertoire with possibilities of learning a secondary instrument.

Contemporary Issues: 1 semester, 1 credit. The purpose of this course is to broaden the mind of the student and generate concern for humanity. to make students aware of what is happening in the universe. Focus is on the various news media; people, economics, politics, and social events.

Creative Writing for Publication (2 semesters, 2 credits): Students will have the opportunity to express themselves in a variety of writing types. 75% of course will be spent in creative writing of poetry, dialogue sketches, character sketches, vignettes, and short stories, 25% of course spent learning how the publication industry works and how to actually get paid for your work.

Debate (2 semesters, 2 credits): Emphasis is placed on communication skills, research skills, small group theory,and a variety of presentation technique which are taught and utilized. Competition participation is expected.

Drama (2 semesters, 2 credits): Intro to theatre includes a wide assortment of dramatic activities and acting exercises. Acting technique and fundamental elements of play production will be explored.

Drama II, III, IV (2-6 semesters, 2-6 credits): Drama II includes a review of the Fundamentals of Drama I. The focus will be geared to the development of performance techniques as well as advancements in stage movement and characterization, audition techniques, play analysis, and play production. Drama III includes the exploration of character and the refinement of acting technique. Drama IV includes advanced characterization and scene analysis, specific types of plays, and an understanding of acting styles and productions. Play production participation required in all years.

Drivers Education (1 semester, 1 credit)

Economics (1 semester, 1 credit): An Introduction to the study of micro and macro economics. Students learn practical applications of the American business system.

Economics (AP) (2 semesters, 2 credits): Microeconomics places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, and includes the study of factor markets and the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Macroeconomics places emphasis on the study of national income, price levels, fiscal and monetary policy, and international trade.

Family & Consumer Science (2 semesters, 2 credits): This course is a program involving community, employers, students and the school. The development of work-related skills is emphasized in classroom instruction. The employer provides a laboratory where students may practice skills and develop expertise in a real employment situation.

Family & Consumer Science - Work (2 semesters, 2 credits): Prerequisite - current enrollment in Family & Consumer Science. Students must work in a family or consumer science related occupation.

Foods and Nutrition (1 semester, 1 credit): An in-depth course designed to increase basic knowledge and skills in nutrition, consumerism, menu planning, preparation, and preservation of food. Attention is also focused on developing social and entertainment skills.

Foreign Language (2 to 8 semesters, 2 - 8 credits): Year I include fundamentals of grammar and culture. Pronunciation practice, dialogues, grammar, composition, and conversation. Year 2 is a review of basic grammar plus intro of future and past tenses. Includes selected readings, composition and conversation, as well as cultural study. Year 3 includes language proficiency and cultural awareness while reviewing and broadening their grammar foundation. Oral and written activities. Year 4 is culminating course which prepares student for AP exams.

General Business (1 semester, 1 credit): An introduction to economics, business, management, automation in industry, career planning and training, consumer information, money management, banking and loans, savings, stocks, bonds, insurance needs, labor and government’s role in business.

History of Native Americans (1 semester, 1 credit): A study and comparison of the various geographical cultures, spiritual aspects, and lifestyles of the Native American tribes of North America and the impact of the European arrival on native peoples. Current issues facing the Native American in contemporary society will also be examined.

Horticulture I (2 semesters, 2 credits): Curriculum is concerned with the culture of plants in greenhouses and other controlled environments. Competencies are important in establishing, maintaining, and managing ornamental horticulture enterprises.

Housing & Interior Design (1 semester, 1 credit): The focus of this course is to increase basic knowledge and develop skills in living space and its design, home selection and finance, housing exteriors and interiors, selection and purchase of furnishings, and employment opportunities in the area of housing and home furnishings.

Industrial Arts I & II - Woods (1 or 2 semesters, 1 or 2 credits): Introduces student to the safe and proper uses of woodworking equipment. Basic wood working techniques, joints and design functions are also covered. During this class, each student will complete four projects using the stationary power tools. Semester 2 includes a continuation of all of the above plus four more projects.

Industrial Arts I - Drafting (1 semester, 1 credit): Introduces the student to the tools, lines, lettering, and basic drawing techniques found in the drafting field. The main emphasis is on the machine parts area of drafting.

Industrial Arts II - Drafting (2 semesters, 2 credits): Develop advanced skills in drafting and mechanical design.

Internet Language - Independent Study (1 or 2 semesters, 1 or 2 credits): Students will study independently to learn various internet languages including HTML and Java in order to create web pages for school. Students will also use various multimedia tools in the web page design.

Introduction to Law I (1 semester, 1 credit): Designed to improve understanding of fundamentals principles and values of our Constitution, laws, and legal systems. Includes Introduction to Law and the Legal Systems, Criminal Law and Juvenile Justice, Tort Law and numerous enrichment activities, discussion of current events in law and a field trip to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary (boys) and Eddie Warrior Correctional Center (girls).

Introduction to Law II (1 semester, 1 credit): Covers family law, housing law, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and consumer law.

Introduction to Publication (1 semester, 1 credit): Introductory journalism course which includes historical perspectives as well as instruction in the techniques of production for newspaper, magazines, TV, radio, advertising, etc.

Instrumental Music (2 semesters, 2 credits each): Courses include Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, String Orchestra. Each course explores the repertoire and improves technique.

Journalism (2 semesters, 2 credits): Offers the student experience in various types of writing, editing, and layout design. Students are responsible for publication of the school yearbook or newspaper.

Keyboarding (1 semester, 1 credit): Instruction include learning the keyboard using the touch typing method, speed and accuracy mastery, and developing skills by hands-on production of letters (personal and business), tabulation and reports.

Literature of the Old Testament (1 semester, 1 credit): A study of Biblical allusions in epic stories, heroes, poetry, epigrams, fables, and riddles.

Marketing Education (2 semesters, 2 credits) and Marketing Education Internship (2 semesters, 2 credits): Provides student with actual on-the-job training and work responsibilities directly related to the occupational objectives learned in the classroom. Curriculum includes marketing concept, advertising and promotion, display, economics of marketing, human relations of marketing, and selling.

Music Theory (2 semesters, 2 credits): The study of elements of music through sight-singing, reading, writing, music analysis, playing, ear-training and music composition. Focus on the development of fundamental aural, analytical and compositional skills, while providing a solid foundation in intervals, scales, chords, metric/rhythm patterns, in relation to the major-minor tonal system.

Personal Clothing Management (1 semester, 1 credit): Offers learning experiences in selecting, buying, and constructing clothing. Focus on wardrobe planning, time and money-saving techniques, clothing career and maintenance, children’s clothing, and altering ready-to-wear. Designed to encourage student creativity as well as build practical skills.

Physical Education (1 semester, 1 credit): A well rounded study covering many different types of physical activity, as well as contributing to the student’s mental and social development. Includes basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and other sports.

Physiology - Sports Medicine (2 semesters, 2 credits): The students will study the detailed anatomy, identification, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. Basic hands-on principles of athletic training and sports medicine are covered. Incorporates two college-level classes: Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries and First Aid.

Psychology (1 semester, 1 credit): A study of the individual’s personality, behavior, and general makeup that has resulted from environment and heredity. the learning processes, types of behavior, emotions, mental health, and mental illness are studied. The AP course (2 semesters, 2 credits) exposes students to the psychological facts, principals, and methodology associated with each of the major subfields within psychology.

Recordkeeping (1 semester, 1 credit): Includes handling business funds of a service business by keeping checking account records, analyzing daily business transactions, computing sales taxes, discounts, and payroll; interpreting business forms; and some journalizing and posting. Recordkeeping activities will also apply to student’s personal financial records. Personal income tax preparation is also presented.

Russian History (1 semester, 1 credit): A study of the Russian civilization with major emphasis on the formation of early Russian state, the Czarist period, the Communist era, and the transition from Communism to a democratic state.

Sociology (1 semester, 1 credit): Examines how people act, react, and interact within society’s groups. Also studies the social problems of adolescence through adulthood.

Theatre Production (2 semesters, 2 credits): Students will gain an appreciation and understanding of acting styles and techniques with specific emphasis given to each semester’s current production. Additional units will focus on directing and auditioning. Participation in plays required.

Turnabout Tutoring (1 or 2 semesters, 1 or 2 credits): Unique opportunity to earn credit while helping others. After a training period, tutors travel to elementary and middle schools one hour each day to tutor selected students in reading or math.

Vocal Music (2 semesters, 2 credits each): Courses include: Solo Voice, Concert Choir, Acappela Choir, Chamber Choir. Performance of music, music theory and reading skills included. Students attend rehearsals, performances, and competitions.

Weightlifting (1 semester, 1 credit): Designed to improve students physically in preparation for all sports or for self-improvement. Includes techniques and instruction in conditioning, strength training, and power lifting.

Zoology (1 semester, 1 credit): Deals with the external characteristics of animals. Topics include: identification and classification of animals starting with the lower level animals up to the higher orders, animal behavior, living environments, and basic comparative anatomy (mainly skeletal).

There are many more courses you could choose from. Check out course descriptions by doing a search online using the name of your state + high school course description.

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