Sixth grade is one of the first grades where your child is presented with options other than core curriculum classes. It is an opportunity for your child to test the waters and see if they really want to take full year courses in an elective as they get older.
If your child is in traditional school there may be a limited number of electives for him to choose from. Examples of these are usually things like foreign language, music, choir, and band.
If you are a homeschooler the list of electives becomes much larger because of the flexibility of home schooling. Basically the sky is the limit. Electives can be a short as a two week cooking class, or a one day seminar at the local veterinarian school in horse and stable management.
Sometimes an elective course might span the entire year, or run over several years. Generally band, music, and foreign languages will run at least a year, often longer. Consider what your child’s interests are outside of basic academics and find ways to let their extra-curricular activities count as electives. Keep in mind that as your child passes into high school, electives become more important and will have bearing educational opportunities after high school such as trade schools, or universities.