Heading into another school year! You may have started a few weeks ago to beat the heat or may be starting after the U.S. celebrates Labor Day, but the cultural ramp-up to a fall semester feels clear, even to year-round homeschoolers.
Look for teams and contests to help give your school year some beyond-the-curriculum sparkle. See if your co-op or homeschool group has a team, group, or challenge for your kids, organize and coach a team yourself, or look for individual opportunities for your kids. Local libraries often know of competitions or sponsor their own. 4H also sponsors competitions.
There are competitions for STEM, critical thinking, art, music, Shakespeare, public speaking, chess, math, Latin and more.
When kids enter a contest individually or participate on a competitive team, benefits may include:
- Meeting new adults and kids - friends!
- Learning presentation skills
- Learning how to meet deadlines and requirements
- Creating projects rather than just learning from textbooks
- Receiving recognition for achievement and effort
- Spending time in new places
- Receiving coaching
- Finding a non-parent mentor or seeing their parent mentor others
- Developing a network of people with knowledge in their area of interest
- Collaborating with team members
- Deepening knowledge
- Sharpening critical thinking skills
If there is a topic you hope to emphasize in your homeschool or your child or teen has an interest, there may be a team, a challenge, or a competition for it!
Enjoy your Not Back to School parties this year!