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Contests Open to Homeschoolers

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kid contests
Contests are a fun way to motivate kids to go that extra step in showcasing what they've learned. Some families get such a kick out of entering contests that they build their homeschool year around writing themes for different contests.

We've rounded up over 50 annual academic and creative arts contests that homeschool students can enter. Be sure to click through each page, as we don't list contests more than once - but some contests fall under different categories. While all information is current, as of November 2017, be sure to check websites for additional details. Some contests have different deadlines for local, regional, and national eligibility.

Be sure to check eligibility and rules for homeschool participation in each contest. Determining grade level eligibility may be tied to the types of classes your child is taking. For example, you can say your child is in 8th grade, but the contest may add the rule that the student cannot have taken more than 2 high school level classes while still in middle school.

7+ General Creative Problem Solving Contests

  • Academic Decathlon
    A series of competitions that includes giving speeches, writing an essay, and taking exams in art, economics, literature, math, music, science, and social science.
    Grade: 9th - 12th
    Deadline: Varies by area

  • Davidson Fellows
    The Davidson Fellows Scholarship awards scholarships to extraordinary young people who have completed a significant piece of work. Application categories are Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and Outside the Box.
    Ages: 18 and younger
    Deadline: February

  • DECA Challenges
    DECA's Challenges provide DECA members (and non-members) opportunities to demonstrate the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom through innovative challenges in partnership with several corporate partners. Each challenge has a unique focus and specific set of require tasks.
    Grade: K - 12th
    Deadline: Varies by contest

  • Destination Imagination
    A Destination ImagiNation Challenge is an open-ended exercise that prompts students to use creativity and teamwork to solve a problem. Every season, teams of up to seven members focus on designing and creating solutions to challenges.
    Grades: K - 12th
    Deadline: March

  • Kids Philosophy Slam
    Students are asked to write, create poetry, music or artwork regarding a philosophical question posed each year. Homeschoolers and special needs children are encouraged to enter.
    Grade: K - 12th
    Deadline: February

  • National Marbles Tournament
    This is a national marbles contest, open to contestants who have won a locally recognized marbles contest. Held in New Jersey.
    Ages: 7 - 15
    Deadline: June

  • Odyssey of the Mind
    Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving program that engages students in their learning by allowing their knowledge and ideas to come to life in an exciting, productive environment.
    Grade: K - 12th
    Deadline: Varies by local organization, usually in December or January

  • STEM Video Game Challenge
    Inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama's initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, the National STEM Video Game Challenge is a multi-year competition whose goal is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games.
    Grades: 6th - 12th
    Deadline: January

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March 30, 2020


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