Hobbies for Homeschooled Teens and How They Can Pay Off

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One of the best things about homeschooling through high school is the time and freedom teens have to explore their interests. Hobbies can spark a passion and give teens an idea of what they want to do as a career. These may take them off the beaten academic path, but they can be a great entry into the “real world” and some can even pay off now.

Here are some interesting hobbies (Some you may not have thought of.) and how they can pay off for your teen. 


This is a great hobby for the science minded!

Get a backyard weather station and track the temperature, air pressure, wind speed, and precipitation in your yard. (You can even use an app to share the info with your neighborhood.) 

If you want to go deep, you can train to become a volunteer severe weather spotter through’s SkyWarn Program.

Add meteorology to your homeschool curriculum with online educational resources from’s JetStream (Check out the Lesson Plans tab for fun activities.) or, if you’re really dedicated, take Penn State’s Online Weather Forecasting Certificate for weather enthusiasts. 

How Can It Pay Off?

When you think of a career in meteorology, you probably think of a TV weatherman, but a hobby in meteorology can lead to so many jobs. Pilots and boat captains need to take courses on meteorology, law enforcement uses forensic meteorologists in criminal cases that are affected by the weather, and some industries consult meteorologists when they build weather sensitive facilities like oil rigs. The armed forces also have weather positions for both enlisted and officers.  


This is such a multifaceted hobby and not just sippin’ on a PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte)!

Coffee is a great hobby for the kid who loves geography. Climate, altitude, precipitation, and the soil all affect the taste of the bean so coffee becomes a great way to learn all aspects of geography. Buy good quality single source coffee, and you can taste the difference!

More hands on? Experiment with roasting your own beans (You don’t need expensive materials to get started.) and creating your own blends. Treat it like a science experiment. The time and method and beans you use will change the taste.

Artistic? Impress your friends with your amazing latte art.

How Can It Pay Off?

Show your love of coffee at that coffee shop job interview, and you’ll get the job. (A teen I know did just that.) If you’re more entrepreneurial, start a home-based business roasting your own beans and selling your own blends at craft fairs, farmers markets, or online. Get a coffee cart and hire out your services as a barista for parties, or even open your own coffee shop.


Got a tech-minded teen? Drones are a great hobby! 

Taking aerial photos of your neighborhood or hiking and taking overhead shots of the beautiful landscape are the most popular part of owning a drone. Hone your flying and photography skills and hang your prints, or take an overhead shot of your grandparents’ house and give it to them for Christmas. 

More hands on? You can build your own drone and tinker with it until it meets your specifications. You’ll learn about wiring, motors, and how to solder. 

Want to add your drone hobby to your homeschool curriculum? If you’re 16 or older, you can study for your Part 107 License. (You’ll need this if you want to make money with your drone.) Among other things, you’ll learn aviation weather, drone maintenance, radio communication procedures, and airport operations.

How Can It Pay Off?

Getting into drones can be expensive, but it’s a hobby that can definitely pay off. If you’re over 16 and have your Part 107 License, you can start making money now. The Drone Blog has details on turning your drone hobby into a side hustle.

If you’re looking for something full time, drone operators are used in so many industries. Real estate, construction, mining, the film industry, law enforcement, search and rescue, farmers, news outlets, and the military (and more!!) all hire drone operators. 


Here’s one for your crafty hands-on teen! 

How many times have you imagined a specific outfit but can’t find it anywhere, or you love a dress or shirt but would love it more in a different color? Or you found a fantastic pair of pants, but you wish you could make the legs just a little shorter? Sewing can give you that freedom. 

Not sure how to get started? Some craft stores offer lessons, or check your local library’s website. Some offer free access to websites like Creativebug with sewing lessons for every level. Some libraries even offer free access to sewing machines. 

Creativebug – Craft Classes & Workshops – What will you make today?

How Can It Pay Off?

Make all your own clothes! You’ll never be without that perfect outfit. Want a part time job through high school? Become the neighborhood tailor and do alterations for friends. Or make homemade gifts and baby clothes and sell them at craft fairs or farmer’s markets.

Sewing can lead to a career as a tailor or seamstress, a designer in the fashion industry, or an online business selling custom outfits and your own patterns. 

Video Games

Got a gamer? Then you’re probably already familiar with this hobby.

A video game hobby can foster an interest in more than just playing video games. 

Once you learn what you love about a game, you can start developing your own. Sites like Yoyo Games offer free Game Maker platforms. Make easy two-dimensional games, script out your own adventure games, or take on the challenge of making a multiplayer game.

Want to add it to your homeschool curriculum? Tackle the tutorials on your own, or sign up for Yoyo Games’ GameMaker for Education, a curriculum with lesson plans, student tasks, and tutorials.  

Interested in the artistic side? Grab a digital art tablet, and learn how to create your own landscapes and characters using free digital painting programs like Krita. You can add digital painting to your homeschool curriculum by using online courses, some even free, from places like Udemy. (Check your local library’s website. They may offer free access to Udemy or other learning platforms.)

Learn 3D animation with Autodesk Maya,me-products (Homeschooling students can get it for free!) (You can also find Maya courses on Udemy.)

Want to share your love of gaming? Start a blog reviewing your favorites or stream on YouTube or Twitch.

How Can It Pay Off?

Video games might seem like just a way to entertain yourself, but there are so many careers in the video game industry. Love writing? Become a journalist and write reviews for a magazine or scripts and dialogue for games. Artistic? Become an animator or design the game cover art or merchandise. Love the computer side and coding? Become a software engineer. Want the bird’s eye view? Become a designer or producer. Just want to play? Testing video games is an actual job. 

Many colleges, like LSU, offer programs in Digital Media Arts and Entertainment where you can learn all aspects of video game design and development.

Hobbies Always Pay Off

Sometimes a teen spends years pouring himself into a hobby but doesn’t pursue it as a career. That’s ok! Having a hobby doesn’t always lead to a job in that field. Just having a hobby pays off in the real world because it shows teens they can become passionate about something. It teaches them to learn independently, gives them an interesting topic of conversation (great for parties and job interviews!), and provides skills that will help them, even in unrelated careers. 

Does your homeschooled teen have a hobby? Has he found a way to make it pay off?


Jodi married her high school sweetheart, and for over twenty-five years, she and her husband Scott have traveled the world while homeschooling their four children. Three of the four have graduated and successfully entered the adult world (and make great examples of the benefits of homeschooling).

Jodi and her youngest daughter Dan share their journey homeschooling high school on Instagram @DuckCrossingHomeschool. Drop by! They’d love to meet you!

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).