Adding Fun to Your Homeschool: Contests/Competitions

Intrinsic motivation is a wonderful thing, but sometimes a little contest or competition can get students excited and motivated to do their very best. I have found that when I can tie schoolwork into a contest or competition my children will work harder and turn in work that is above what they typically do for a ‘regular’ assignment. There is also generally less grumbling and excited planning.


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While not every assignment can or should be a competition, there are lots of available options. Writing is one of the easiest subjects to incorporate this strategy. There are quite a few writing competitions available for a variety of prompts and genres, many of them are free to enter. We personally participate in writing competitions with the North Carolina Tar Heel Junior Historians and the North Carolina State Fair. The 4-H program also offers some great writing competitions. Having these prompts and directions can help students be engaged and excited about their writing. It also gives them the opportunity to get feedback from someone outside of the home about their writing. I found that this was particularly helpful to me when one of my children thought that I was too harsh of a critic. The feedback on their entries helped them realize that correct spelling really was important and noticed by other people.

Science is another great area to incorporate competitions. You could participate in a local science fair (or start one) and allow them to work through the scientific process. You could also work on things through Science Olympiad which would allow them to compete on a team in various science activities. Another option that we utilize are 4-H competitions. My children participate in Avian Bowl, Poultry Judging, and Poultry Skill-a-thon as well as other livestock and chicken activities. They also offer competitions in robotics, horticulture, and many other science areas. Students learn to be subject matter ‘experts’ in their fields and spend lots of time studying and learning together.

In addition to writing projects, my children participate in a variety of history projects through the North Carolina Tar Heel Junior Historians program. They are able to make models, film movies, create scrapbooks and more all while learning about North Carolina history. This is a great incentive for them to do their very best. I also appreciate that this particular program is really good at making them cite their sources and learn about good research. There are junior historian programs around the country and I highly recommend checking to see if you have a program local to your area.

If you have a budding artist or photographer there are lots of opportunities for competitions in these areas. My daughter has just gotten into photography after purchasing a camera at a local yard sale. She is going to be using the 4H photography curriculum and the photography courses from to help her grow her skills and then entering her pictures into our state fair, Tar Heel Junior Historians competition, and a 4H spring competition. There are dozens of other small art and photography competitions that your student could enter to display their work and get expert feedback in order to continue to improve their work.

Last but certainly not least, I want to take a minute to talk about public speaking. I believe that public speaking is a skill that is important for students no matter what their career or life goals. As adults they need to be comfortable speaking to a variety of people in a variety of situations. We have found that 4H presentations have been a great way to improve my children’s comfort levels when speaking in front of a group of people. My oldest son has been participating in presentations for about seven years and I have watched him not only get more comfortable during presentations but also flourish in a variety of speaking situations.  He can interact with people in a confident and clear manner. This was a major benefit last year when he was running a supply trailer after Hurricane Florence. He interacted with volunteers, disaster victims, and the people and companies bringing in supplies. More than once people sought me out to tell me how impressed they were with his communication skills. I truly believe that 4H presentations are a big part of that success.

Contests and competitions are one way to add a little fun into your homeschool. Make sure to check back each day this week for a new way to add fun. Also, do not forget to check out some of the other great posts in this five-day blog hop. There is sure to be some help and encouragement for you.

CREW @ Homeschool Review Crew2019 Annual Not Back to School Homeschool Blog Hop

Chareen @ Every Bed of RosesABC of Homeschooling

Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag Adding Fun to Your Homeschool Day

Erin @ For Him and My Family Large Family Homeschooling

Lori @ At Home Where Life Happens Learning Life Skills

Monique @ Mountain of Grace HomeschoolingHomeschooling the High School Years

Monique D. @ Early Learning MomHomeschooling With Autism

Yvie @ Homeschool On the Range 5 Days of Upper Grades Homeschooling

Abby @ Making Room 4 One More – Time Management for Homeschool Moms

Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool5 Days of Homeschool Questions

Amy @ the WRITE BalanceYear-Round Schooling

Annette @ A Net in TimeHomeschooling.

Betty @ Lets Get RealHomeschooling High School

Cassandra @ My Blessed MessEclectic Homeschooling
Kimberley @ Vintage Blue SuitcaseRoadschooling with a Teenager

Yvonne @ The Life We Build5 Days of Relaxed Homeschooling

Destiny @ Some Call It DestinyEncouragement for the Homeschooling Mom

Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up TogetherA Peek into Our Homeschool

Cassie D @ Deputie TribeHomeschooling 6 Taking Care of YOU

Kristen Heider @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach Theme: A Quest for a Great Homeschool Year

Patti Pierce – Truth and Grace Homeschool AcademyMy Favorite Homeschooling Things

Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane5 Days of Nature Study

Jacquelin @ A Stable BeginningHomeschooling my final 4

Christine @ Life’s Special NecessitiesYes! You Can Homeschool Your Special Needs Child

Sally M – Tell the Next GenerationTips for Homeschooling Struggling Learners

Kim @ Good Sweet LoveLast Year of Elementary

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies is doing an amazing sale this month! Buy One year get One Year FREE! We use this for several of our courses and one price covers all the students in your home for as many of their over 400 courses and you would like to use.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

3 thoughts on “Adding Fun to Your Homeschool: Contests/Competitions

  1. I love that you incorporate public speaking into your homeschool! I think it should be a required course – whether someone goes to public school, private school, or is homeschooled. I was required to take a course at Community College and even though I already had lots of practice, it was great to polish up speech writing and the presentation skills.


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