4-H as High School Elective Credit

Sometimes the scariest thing about homeschooling through high school is giving credit to classes. I solved elective credits with 4-H. I loved using 4-H as our high school elective credit and it’s not as hard as you might think!

4-H as High School Elective Credit

How to Determine a Credit

Before you can choose any elective class, you need to know how to determine a high school credit. It’s not complicated.

  • If using a textbook or 1 year curriculum, 75% completion is considered 1 credit.
  • Anything else can easily be determined by hours spent on the subject. 150 hrs = 1 regular credit, 180 hrs = 1 lab course credit

Most of our non-animal 4-H projects usually come up to 0.5 credit or 1 semester course. In a public high school, students would take Ag or Home Economics classes each semester. 4-H is similar to this experience.

Ag Class: Animal Projects

Most everyone thinks about animals when they hear 4-H. Although 4-H is way more than animal projects, animals are a huge part of 4-H. My children have enjoyed chickens, horses and goats. Not everyone can own livestock, so there are also projects for dogs and cavies.

Animal projects are a lot of responsibility, which is a great skill to learn as well. If you have the space and your child is interested, it’s a worthy high school elective credit. You can check out how we do Animal Science here.

My daughter does own a horse, but because I don’t want to pay for transporting the horse, she participates in the Horse Science and Horse Judging projects. So yes! there are ways to encourage that horse lover without owning a horse. Hippology and Horse Bowl are also fun options!

Using 4-H as high school elective credits is a great option! Animal projects are a huge part, but so are non animal projects.

Ag Class: Non-Animal Projects

4-H has so much more to offer than animal projects. My son spent three years doing the small engines project. In this project he rebuilt lawn mower engines, gave demonstrations and illustrated talks, lead small engine meetings, and ran a lawn care business.

Welding, woodworking, leather craft, entomology, agronomy, and horticulture are some of the other non-animal Ag options. 4-H offers curriculum for all these projects and it’s very affordable!

Shooting Sports

Our family took up archery while living in Hawaii and have continued the sport here in New Mexico. Both my high school students received P.E. credit for their archery project. 4-H is focused on leadership skills first and foremost. Every project requires public speaking and record keeping. If archery isn’t what you are looking for, there are rifle, shotgun and pistol projects as well. 

Home Economics Class

4-H includes ages 9-18 respectively. Students who start out young have a slight advantage for scholarships and leadership opportunities, but that doesn’t mean that those that start in high school aren’t eligible for those opportunities. My ten year old has participated in both the sewing and baking projects. In the past we have also done food projects that teach about food careers and hosting parties. There are so many home economics and life skills classes to choose from to include sewing, fashion design, baking, preserving, consumer shopping, public speaking and so much more. 

Leadership Skills

Like I said, 4-H is HUGE on leadership skills and producing leaders for the future. Not only do the kids have a lot of opportunity to practice public speaking, but they run for offices on county, state and national levels. The clubs are taught parliamentary procedure for proper meeting structures. They are challenged on all levels in speaking competitions, quiz bowls, judging events and more. 

 In 4‑H, we believe in the power of young people. We see that every child has valuable strengths and real influence to improve the world around us. We are America’s largest youth development organization—empowering nearly six million young people across the U.S. with the skills to lead for a lifetime. 


This lovely lady above is my introvert, unlike her mother. 4-H has stretched her to do things she never thought of. She’s been a club officer and even got the chance to go to National’s with her horse science illustrated talk. Her brother had the incredible opportunity to attend National 4-H Congress! There are so many programs and avenues to pursue through 4-H and it adds a wonderful high school elective option. 

Felicia Johnson

About the author

I’m Felicia from The Zoo I Call Home. Daughter, wife and mama. I’ve been homeschooling now for 17 years! I have eight kiddos ranging from infant to 19 years old. I love helping other homeschool families find what works best for them with no comparisons to anyone else!

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