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Targhee

Exams and Competitions

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Does anyone have a compiled list of national exams and academic competitions which you can participate in as a homeschooler? I'm thinking of doing this, unless it's already done. It would be nice to have a reference of which exam/competition, levels, ages, reg. requirements, costs, reg. season, exam/competition season, etc.

I've seen so much benefit for my kids doing Science Olympiad and First Lego League, and I'm now looking at Mathcounts and National Mythology Exam. I'm just wondering what else is out there to help motivate them to do well in their studies. And it always feels nice to place, get an award, and feel the spirit of friendly competition. I'm thinking of a list/table of these things to show my kids now so they can pick things out for next year.

ETA: If you don't know where a list like this is already done, I would love it if you would Please list in this thread AN EXAM OR ACADEMIC/CREATIVE COMPETITION (link preferable) you are familiar with that is homeschool friendly, and I will compile and share with the group.

 

 

 

 

 

ETA: Running List I will add to.  I am trying to compile them in a spreadsheet with more specific info, but for now let's just get the names out there

 

MOEMS            AMC-8             MathCounts             Noetic Math Contest             Math Kangaroo             Purple Comet Math Meet             Math League             Science Olympiad        Science Bowl         National Ocean Sciences Bowl         SeaPerch             First Lego League             Jr FLL             First Tech Challenge             FRC             Odyssey of the Mind             Destination Imagination             NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program             National Mythology Exam             Medusa Mythology Exam             Exploratory Latin Exam             National Latin Exam             National Classical Etymology Exam             National Roman Civilization Exam             National Latin Vocabulary Exam             HSLDA Essay Contest             HSLDA Art Contest             HSLDA Poetry Contest             HSLDA Photo Contest             National Spelling Bee        National Geography Bee       Kids Philosophy Slam         Stock Market Game             Poetry Outloud           National History Day            Boys/Girls State (American Legion)        Model United Nations

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I will go look there, thanks.

 

In the meantime, can the hive help me out by listing competitions/exams they know that are homeschool friendly, with links?

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Math Kangaroo of course and other than that  :bigear:

 

Have you heard of Purple Comet Math Meet?

 

 

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National Geography Bee. You must have 6 participants to register as a homeschool site.

 

Are you familiar with History Bee or History Bowl? 

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Stock Market Game...right? 

 

Poetry Outloud (I don't know what this is, but I belong to a hs support group that participates.)

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Are you familiar with History Bee or History Bowl? 

 

Nope. National History Day is the one I usually see as the history competition. Also Girls State & Boys State and Girls Nation/Boys Nation for high school students. Model UN too.

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Oh, don't forget Destination Imagination and Odyssey of the Mind. I would love to see one of those get started for youngers.

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Nope. National History Day is the one I usually see as the history competition. Also Girls State & Boys State and Girls Nation/Boys Nation for high school students. Model UN too.

 

I participated in Girls State in WV for many years as a camper and counselor, but I was not aware that homeschoolers participated in this.

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Future City

http://futurecity.org/

 

 

This looks GREAT! I'm totally forwarding this information to my homeschool group to see if we can get a team together :). Thanks for the link!

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I participated in Girls State in WV for many years as a camper and counselor, but I was not aware that homeschoolers participated in this.

 

There have been some threads on the high school boards. That said, I've never tried to send a homeschooler or anything since my personal kids are not old enough yet, so I don't know what the difference in procedures would be.

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There have been some threads on the high school boards. That said, I've never tried to send a homeschooler or anything since my personal kids are not old enough yet, so I don't know what the difference in procedures would be.

 

When I was sent our high school got to select three girls to send.  It wasn't a large high school, my graduating class had under 120, but it was something of an honor to get selected. 

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When I was sent our high school got to select three girls to send.  It wasn't a large high school, my graduating class had under 120, but it was something of an honor to get selected. 

 

I went in high school also, but my largish high school had never heard of it or had anyone attend (or if they did it had been years). My mom walked me through the application on my own because she had attended and felt it would be a valuable experience for me. I'm might have had to get a high school counselor or something to sign a form, but we did the entire application process as a family. Since I applied and was accepted as an individual, I don't see how it would be any different for homeschoolers and I don't see anything on the website stating homeschoolers can't participate. It just states that you must have completed your junior year of high school to be eligible. I assume homeschoolers would just have to be selected by their American Legion. I think I recall an interview process outside my school but it has been a long time now.

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It isn't national, but Texas has a *very* homeschool friendly academic competition called PSIA

for kids in 1st - 8th grades. It was designed for private schools, but welcomes homeschoolers.

They offer 19 different academic contests: writing, math, art, music, speech, geography, spelling, vocabulary, science, etc.

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I participated in Girls State in WV for many years as a camper and counselor, but I was not aware that homeschoolers participated in this.

I also did Girls' State when in high school, but that was looong ago. When my oldest was a junior I looked into Boys' State and was given a cost of $760 for him to participate! We decided to pass.

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National Number Knockout

http://nationalnumberknockout.com/experience-n2k/

 

Free competition (but if you pay money, you get information earlier and more information, which is a definite advantage), and definitely homeschool friendly since it was founded by the Bortins and most of it's sponsors are things like Classical Conversations, IEW, HSLDA, etc

 

World Education Games-http://www.3plearning.com/worldeducationgames/

3 day competition, homeschool friendly, free (but is a fundraiser for UNICEF), International. This is an online competition, where kids compete head to head with other kids from different countries. Uses the same game engine as Mathletics, Spellodrome, and IntoScience. Usually can be accessed on any computer or tablet. There are sometimes other events within the year as well. My DD just competed in a UK Chemistry event through the same company-she saw it on their website, e-mailed and asked, and they added her to the homeschool team from Great Britain.

 

Trimathlon

http://www.mathnasiumtrimathlon.com/

 

Free, but you have to go to a participating site to do it, and there seem to be fewer each year. :(

 

 

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These are great!  Thanks for collecting them all in one place. 

 

If anyone has any questions about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, or about running a local homeschool spelling bee, please feel free to ask me.  Our family will have a fourth child competing in Scripps in three weeks.  I've also run our local homeschool bee for the past 11 years (do I get a prize for that?), and pronounced for another homeschool bee, so I am familiar with the competition at all levels.

 

Competition can be very inspiring for homeschooled students.

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We are in the thick of tech week for a Shakespeare production, so I will have to get to compiling these next week.  But thank you all for the ideas, and keep them coming!

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The Concord Review is an academic journal of history research papers written by high schoolers. Getting published by them is considered quite an achievement.

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Which competitions are for young academics like K-2?

 

Both Destination Imagination and Odyssey of the Mind have special non-competitive categories for K-2. My kids did DI's Rising Stars and it was a great experience. You may know you won't be "judged" at the end, but it's still a lot of work and nerve wracking to go before the appraisers. At least in DI, you can also opt for kids that age to compete for real in the elementary level, though it's pretty unlikely that they'd win, it could be a good experience. Not sure about the OM policy.

 

I *think* Lego First has kids that young. I know Math Kangaroo begins in first grade. Technically the National Mythology Exam is for grade 3 and up, but I saw someone mention that they had younger kids do it too. I know when our co-op did it, the younger siblings also took it "for fun" and two of them could have medaled so you could look into that.

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I just remembered this speech contest that I did as a middle school student. It seems to still exist, though I don't know a ton about the organization - it was just something we did as a class. But I won two medals and I remember that writing the speeches was a really great experience. It looks like they may have other contests too.

 

http://www.optimist.org/programs.cfm

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Continental Math League (and most of their subject tests) begins at 2nd grade, and a younger math student could do the test if they wished. CML is a really good one for young kids to do as their first competition, because if you register as a homeschooler, you're automatically a school and they send you a "school award" for your highest scorer-just as they do for a school of 100 kids at a grade level. It didn't take my DD long to realize that 1/1 isn't exactly a big accomplishment and to start working towards the National awards (which basically require a perfect score), but she was really excited at age 6 :).

 

The World Education games begins at K/Reception, but that's one that can be very, very frustrating for young kids because it's speed dependent (and I swear, when my DD was in that age group that some of those kindergartners could type faster than I could!).

 

 

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Still working on compiling this.  Life just keeps happening even though I have all these things I want to do!  I will post when finished.

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I just remembered this speech contest that I did as a middle school student. It seems to still exist, though I don't know a ton about the organization - it was just something we did as a class. But I won two medals and I remember that writing the speeches was a really great experience. It looks like they may have other contests too.

 

http://www.optimist.org/programs.cfm

 

They have speech and an essay. I have had 3 of my co op students (one being my daughter) win this at State level - a nice $2500.

 

I posted contests on my blog (fundafunda.com/blog) for a number of weeks  - for a while I shared one contest a day on social media and then blogged about all 5 at the end of the week. Then I got too busy doing contests (I coach our Science Olympiad team) and so that fell by the way but there may be a few listed there that haven't been mentioned yet.

 

Our homeschool group, and my own kids have done a lot of the ones mentioned (including the hacking one!) and I can say the benefit the kids derive is enormous, even when they don't win. But the kids in our homeschool group do win. Many of them have won  or placed in contests - and a wide variety of contests! It would be great to see more homeschoolers doing contests. Almost all are homeschool friendly.

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Allow me to pout for a moment. So many of these require that you be a U.S. resident, and are not open to U.S. citizens living abroad :(

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Looks great!, BUT:

 

Note: Home schools, online schools, after-school programs, clubs and associations, gifted and talented programs, and other non-classroom groups are not eligible at this time

I took a sec to look bc we have had a child win an honorable mention. Homeschool students are eligible for the upper level division (the only one I looked at bc that is what we have done. http://thechallenge.dupont.com/essay/rules/eligibility.php )

 

I wonder if you looked at the teacher awards?

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I was looking at their K-5 elementary program:  http://thechallenge.dupont.com/elementary/rules/eligibility.php Thanks for making the distinction.

 

I went and looked at the site.  Their distinction actually makes sense bc at the younger ages it is an entire classroom creating a single project.  I don't even remember a younger age category.  I just asked ds and he said that there wasn't anything younger than 6th grade the yr he submitted his entry.

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