Planning Homeschool Electives in the Summer

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I don’t know about you, but homeschool electives are some of my favorite homeschool activities to plan. They often fit all the requirements of being “meaningful, memorable, and fun,” but…if I don’t keep myself in line, they can also be pretty costly.

Luckily, I have a history of figuring out ways to save a buck here and there and have some pretty awesome resources for saving on homeschool electives (and more!). Even better? I’m going to share those tips with you! (didn’t see that coming, didja?? #sarcasm)

Please note, this article was originally published in 2022. It was updated in 2024, so some of the offers have changed since.

Deciding Homeschool Curriculum & Electives

I am very much the type of person that gets distracted by sparkly things. And, by “sparkly things,” I mean “opportunities for fun and learning.” When I’m figuring out my kids homeschool curriculum and homeschool electives for summer and beyond, I need to first make sure I set myself up for success…and not crying & overwhelmed kiddos. To achieve this, I do a few things…

Figure out a Budget

Whether the sky’s the limit or I’m on a budget, I need to first set a budget when figuring out homeschool electives. After all, homeschool travel is an important part of our lives and I need to make sure to leave funds for those adventures.

Figure out a Focus

It’s very easy to want to do all.the.things. It’s exciting, I get it. As an adult who went through the public school system, I wish I had as many options as my kids have when I was younger. It’s not about me, though. It’s about the kids!

Once I figure out my budget, I ask my boys what sorts of homeschool electives they’re interested in. If they happen to provide way too many suggestions that are even possible, I then have them give me a list of the top 3 electives they’d like to take in the coming year. That helps a lot!

In addition to nailing down the elective focus, I also like to figure out whether they have a preference of doing in-person or online classes. Living in New Jersey, we often have some pretty chilly winters (if you live in the midwest or north of this, I’m sorry – it’s cold for us, but nothing compared to your winters!)

matthew doing a homeschool buyers club activity on his laptop
“When in doubt, cheese it up!” Matthew, age 8, loves art and is hoping I’ll get this art curriculum for him.

Figure out a Plan

Once a budget and focus are set, it’s time to come up with a plan! I like to print out an actual calendar and, with pencil, mark off times and days that we already have activities or such scheduled.

Yes, I take it old school and do paper and pencil. It helps me to visualize our days and make the process easier for me. Then, once I have the paper schedule figured out, I love it over to my Homeschool Planet calendar because then I can easily access my calendar no matter where I am!

Since the core academics (math, reading, science, history) come first in our home, I first mark off time for those. Then, I write down any upcoming medical appointments or planned travel. Once those are taken care of, it’s time to figure out homeschool electives!

homeschool buyers club logo, formerly homeschool buyers co-op

Homeschool Electives

Ok, you have the plan, now it’s time for fun!

If I’m not mistaken, there are generally two routes to go when it comes to figuring out homeschool electives in the summer (or anytime, really): online electives or in-person electives.

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In-Person Electives

We happen to live in an area that has lots of in-person activities to choose from. Some may say there are too many, but that’s another story for another day. When I’m looking for in-person activities for my kids, and I want to make sure they’re quality, I utilize the following to help narrow down my choices:

  • local community groups on social media
  • local homeschooling groups on social media
  • homeschooling friends
  • friends with kids

Those 4 resources have always been helpful when I’m looking for quality & trusted in-person activities. As much as I’d like to suggest using general online review sources like Google or Yelp, I just cannot. After having first hand experience of a business trading Google reviews for free merchandise, I just cannot trust those online reviews.

Sidenote: many local places will offer homeschool discounts! Plan ahead and print out your free homeschool ID card in advance here.

Summer Camp at the Homeschool Buyers Club

Online Electives

When it comes to online electives, one of the first places I’ll always look for suggestions is the Homeschool Buyers Club. Not only do they have a plethora of options when it comes to homeschool resources, but they are all either discounted or come with special perks you won’t find through other sites.

For example, when planning ahead for your upcoming school year, the Homeschool Buyers Club has a number of free trial programs that can allow you & your kids to get a taste of online homeschool curriculum and homeschool electives before making a purchase.

matthew scrolling through homeschool buyers club
Let your kids scroll through the options with you! It’ll let them participate in the decision making process and give them some ownership of their education.

Summer is here, and what better way to get a jump-start on homeschooling than with free trials on top of curriculum. Explore new programs and tools that will help your child succeed this upcoming year and beyond. Here are a few programs that the Homeschool Buyers Club is offering with free trials:

  1. Excalibur Solutions STEM Academy (30 day free trial)
  2. Homeschool Piano (30 day free trial)
  3. ABC Mouse (30 day free trial)
  4. Accessibyte (14 day free trial)
  5. Nessy (7 day free trial)

Homeschool Buyers Club Discounts

While you’re taking the time this summer to plan your upcoming homeschool year, might as well take a look at all the curriculum options Homeschool Buyers Club has to offer, right? We’ve bought a few different curriculums through them and have been pleased with every purchase. I totally love that I’m able to save money on quality homeschool curriculum and love their rewards program!

Here are some homeschool curriculum areas that might be of interest to you:

Homeschool Electives Made Easy

If you can’t tell, the Homeschool Buyers Club is definitely one of my favorite resources for saving on quality homeschool electives and curriculum. Not only am I able to buy well-known (and recommended!) products, but the “mom on a budget” part of me appreciates the savings. They make it so easy!

One more tip! You know how your favorite grocery store will run sales from time to time. Sometimes your kids favorite frozen pizza is half off, sometimes it’s not?

Well, the Homeschool Buyers Club is similar. Definitely check their site often because the savings offers (and freebies!) change from time to time and you certainly don’t want to miss out on something awesome.

Until next time, stay safe and enjoy quality time with your family,

- Elizabeth (and the kids. and the husband. even the dog.)

Elizabeth Dukart is a proud Georgia-based born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.

Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She can also be found in her Facebook Group: That Homeschool Family Hangout.

When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!

Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!

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