This list of annual national contests is not
exhaustive, but does include major,
established contests in many interest
We have not noted the deadlines because
some are rather complicated with local,
regional, and national competitions.
These are yearly contests. If a
deadline has just been passed, there will be
another one next year. You can use the
time until the next deadline to research and
decide what contests you want to enter and
start preparing ahead of time. You
could even do a sample entry for
Individual or Team Entries
Some of these contests can be entered by
either an individual or a team.
You may want to take advantage of the
cooperation provided by a team effort –
either within your own family or with
Key to Listings
In the parenthesis after the name of the
I = Individual Entry; T = Team
Entry; followed by grade levels.
Incentive Program (I, Preschool-6). Info.
Authors Competition (T, K-8). Info.
• National Council
Teachers of English (I, 8 & 11). Info.
Pen Youth Essay
Contest (I, 6-8) Theme "Does Patriotism
Still Matter?". Info.
Laws of Life Essay
of the American
Revolution's George S. & Stella M. Knight
Essay Contest (I, 10-12). Info.
Grannie Annie (I,
Civil Rights Defense Fund Youth Essay Contest
(I, K-12). Info.
an American Essay
Contest (I, 9-12). Info.
Publishing Contest (I, 3-12). Info.
• National Scholastic
Journalism Contest (I, 9-12). Info.
Spelling and Handwriting
Bee (I, -8). Info.
• National Handwriting
Contest (I, 1-8). Info.
• National French
(I, 1-12). Info.
Science and Technology
Competition in Math, Science, and Technology
(I or T, 9-12). Info.
Olympiads (I, 4-8).
(I or T, 6-8).
Association of America's American Mathematics
Contests (I, 7-12). Info.
• American Regions
League (T, 9-12). Info.
Art of Problem
Solving Foundation USA Mathematical Talent
Science & Technology
Challenge (T, 7-12). Info.
Point Bridge Design
Contest (I/T, 7-12). Info.
(I, 9-12). Info.
Search (I, 12). Info.
Scientist Challenge (I, 5-8). Info.
Today's Youth. Info.
Awards (T, 6-8). Info.
Technical Society TEAMS & NEDC Contests (T,
• National Engineers
Foundation Future City Competition (T, 7-8).
Prize (I/T, 9-12). Info.
(I, 7-12). Info.
• American Computer
(I/T, 7-12). Info.
• Skills USA
Championships Career and technical skills; 77
separate events. Info.
History & Geography
• National History
Contest (I/T, 6-12) Exhibit, documentary,
paper, or performance. Info.
• National Geography
(I, 4-8). Info.
Art, Essay, Photo, Poetry
School Legal Defense Association. Info.
• National Foundation
Advancement in the Arts (9-12) Identifies
artists in the performing, literary, and
visual arts (Cinematic Arts, Dance, Jazz,
Music, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts,
Voice, Writing). Info.
Art & Writing
Scholastic Art &
Writing Awards (I, 7-12). Info.
Art and Crafts
State-Fish Art Contest (I, 4-12). Info.
Day National Poster Contest
(I, 5). Info.
It with Wool Contest
encourages creativity in sewing, knitting,
and crocheting. (I, all ages). Info.
Youth Wildlife Art
Contest (I, 1-12). Info.
Fish & Wildlife
Service's Junior Duck Stamp Contest (I,
Wells Worship Guitar Class Annual Worship
Contest. Write an original worship song. (I,
Child, Adult) Info.
Association Student Competitions. Info.
Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.
Speech & Debate
Forensics and Communications Association Home
school students age 12-18. Formal speech and
• National Forensic
Speech Tournament and Student Congress. Info.
National High School Oratorical Contest (I,
9-12) To develop a deeper knowledge and
appreciation of the Constitution of the
United States. Info.
of the American
Revolution's Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical
Oration Contest (I, 9-12). Info.
• Veterans of
Voice of Democracy (I, 9-12) Audio essay,
"Does My Generation Have a Role in America's
• National High
Trial Championship (T, 9-12). Info.
• National Management
Association's American Enterprise Speech
Contest (I, 9-12). Info.
10 Academic Areas
Decathlon (T, 9-12). Info.
Chess Federation (I,
• National Junior
Horticultural Association Contests (I/T)
Eighteen contests. Info.
Prudential Spirit of
Community Awards (I, 5-12). Info.
Many of the contests listed above have
been reviewed and recommended by the National
Association of Secondary School
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Emily, 3, and Erin, 1, always accompany us
on our Saturday morning routine of errands.
One Saturday we had just finished our
errands and were pulling into the driveway
when Emily asked, "Daddy, can we do some
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Because we have been separated from God by
sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then
rose to life again. If we trust Him as
our Savior and Lord, He will forgive our sin
and give us eternal life.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son, that whoever believes
in Him shall not perish, but have eternal
life." (John 3:16)
"For by grace you have been saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the
gift of God; not as a result of works, that
no one should boast." (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
Immerse your family in God's truth through
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See The Teaching Home's Bible reading
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In This Issue
How To Make Contests
a Learning Experience
• Benefits of
Participating in a Competition
• The Ins and Outs
of a Competition
Contests into Your Curriculum
• Local and State
List of Annual National Contests
Retreat: Christian Family Vacation
• Birch Court
Books: Timely Helps for Your Family
• Basic Christian
Education: Bible Based Curriculum
• Judah Bible
Curriculum: Year of the Bible
In this issue we talk about
competition. This is an issue that
requires a delicate balance in our own lives
and our children's.
On the one hand, if we look at someone
else and think that they are doing better
than we are, we could become discouraged.
On the other hand, we could be challenged
and encouraged by another's good example when
we see what might be possible in our own
May the Lord richly bless your family for
His glory during this New Year!
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
Home is a home-school, family-run
business operated in our home since 1980.
Veteran Homeschoolers Invite Your Family
To Vacation with Them – Back to
Is your family ready for the refreshingly
of pace that others from all over the U.S.
will soon enjoy?
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• Explore the history of
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in a Competition
One of the best ways for children to learn
is to actively participate in something they
care about. Contests are great learning
2. Knowledge and Skills
A competition can provide a practical
learning experience which results in expanded
academic knowledge and improved skills.
The character qualities of persistence and
diligence are called for in working on a
long-range goal such as some contests
4. Direction and Confidence
Entering contests can help children
uncover lifelong interests, gain a sense of
responsibility, learn to think for
themselves, and ask questions – all of
which can boost their confidence.
5. Practical Life Skills
Children also develop everyday skills such
as how to work with others, fill out
applications, follow guidelines, keep
records, meet deadlines, and organize their
A contest implies rewards. Besides
the intangible rewards of accomplishment and
recognition, prizes are offered which are
sometimes quite substantial or are in the
form of a scholarship. Expense-free
travel to a national event might also be
Timely Helps for You and Your Family!
1. Siblings: Making
Brothers and Sisters Best Friends. Go
beyond merely "getting along" to
2. Character: The
Gold Thread. Inspire "nobleness" in
your son through this allegory of a prince
following his "gold thread" through
the forest back to his father.
3. Encouragement: Pocketful
of Pinecones. A homeschool mother's diary
shares her ups and downs and incorporates
practical guidelines for nature study.
Heartwarming and encouraging!
4. Bible: "Then
and Now" Bible Map Book. Full-color
Bible maps with clear plastic overlays of
modern cities and countries make Bible study
interesting and educational.
The Ins and Outs
of a Competition
1. Explain Competition
Teach your child about competition and how
it can spur one on to greater
accomplishments. (See 1
Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians
Whether or not your child wins a prize,
the contest can be used to teach him about
being a good sport by handling success
modestly and disappointment graciously.
2. Prize or Participation
Even if your child doesn't win a prize,
taking part in a contest can be a positive
experience. You can request
participation certificates from the contest
sponsor ahead of time or create certificates
3. Be a Good Example
People, and the press, will often judge
the home-school community by the actions of
home-school students in the spotlight of a
We should teach our children godly
principles and how to be good examples both
as Christians and as home schoolers.
Many home-school students have won
national contests, thereby lending
credibility to home education.
4. Observe the Rules
It takes careful study to understand all
the rules of some contests. If you
have questions, be sure to contact the
Tip: Check out last year's
entries (you can often find these on the
contest's website) to get an idea of what the
judges are looking for.
You may have several deadlines to meet,
the first being your application.
Organize and plan the work on your contest
by breaking the whole into smaller goals and
setting your own deadlines for each.
Be sure to allow enough time to do your
best on the contest and to realize all the
Some contests require an entry fee, and
some contests might necessitate other
expenditures that you should be aware of
before you begin.
Check to see if you need to pay for your
own travel to a national event.
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into Your Curriculum
1. Choose a contest carefully.
You may want to choose a contest with a
certain learning goal in mind. For example,
you may want to use an essay contest to
strengthen writing and reading skills as well
as to expand knowledge of the assigned topic.
Ask your children what topics they would
be interested in pursuing.
The sponsor or purpose of the contest
might affect your decision. If you do not
believe the United States should share its
authority with the United Nations, then you
would probably not want to write an essay on
For a contest to work successfully, you
should know exactly what is needed –
materials, entry fees, contest rules, etc.
You, as the parent, might want to try the
contest yourself (e.g., write a sample essay
on the topic) for full understanding of
3. Learn about the history or
of the contest
This will not only give your children a
valuable history lesson, but it will also
help them gain a greater insight into their
contest theme or subject.
Read books and magazines or listen to
music. For example, if your children are
entering a poetry contest, have them read
different kinds of poetry.
4. Take field trips.
Use any opportunities available locally
which relate to your contest. For
your children are participating in an
environmental protection program, arrange a
trip to a nature reserve.
5. Broaden specific contest
to create a
If your children are entering a writing
contest, have them create artwork or crafts
that relate to their subject; if they enter
an art competition, have them write an essay
about the theme.
6. Maintain a resource-filled
Provide access to dictionaries, atlases,
almanacs, and an encyclopedia.
As well as traditional resources, teach
your children how to safely (under your
supervision) and efficiently use the internet
7. Information Packs.
You might want to start collecting
information on a few topics of interest to
your children. Label an extra large
for each topic and fill it with clippings,
pictures, articles, statistics, notes, etc.,
on that topic.
These information packs will be a great
resource for your children during contest
Many contests will provide educational
information or even lesson plans, as well as
how to comply with the
8. Have your children maintain
Include drafts and final copies of writing
or sketches, and photos of artwork or
projects. These records are great for
the improvement in students' abilities as
well as the work that was done.
9. Furnish a Biblical
Many contests will be secular in
You can furnish a spiritual dimension by
using a Bible concordance, dictionary, or
encyclopedia to study what the Bible says
about your subject.
Acknowledgment: Some of these ideas
were suggested by Laurie Bluedorn of Trivium
of the Bible
How Long Has Bible Class
Been on the Back
Burner in Your Homeschool?
It has been said – and it is true
should be the centerpiece
of a Christian
Judah Bible Curriculum gives you
in teaching your
family the Bible.
Make 2010 the Year of the Bible
in your home
school. Begin today!
Local and State
Support Group Science Fairs
Your support group may put on a science
fair, or you might volunteer to help do one.
For ideas and information on Science
Fair Projects, read articles
online at Home Science Tools website.
Read an article about the benefits
of science fairs (including a basic
outline for a project), as well as practical
tips on setting up a science fair on the
BJU Press website.
County or State Fairs
Consider entering one or more of the many
categories in your county or state fair.
Contact your county Cooperative
Extension System for information on fairs
in your state, or see a list of state
fairs and city
and county fairs.
See our list Annual National Contests in the
sidebar at the left.
We trust that you find this newsletter
informative and encouraging.
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