Category: Arts & Crafts

Encouraging Children: Contests For Homeschoolers

homeschool_contests

Updated: June 2017

Academic, Artistic, Service Oriented, STEM and other contests and challenges that are specifically for homeschoolers or allow homeschooled students to enter.



Academic Contests:

HSLDA Contests:

Who: Homeschooled Students

Dates: One contest per quarter –

 

Dream Quest One Writing and Poetry Contest: 

Poetic Power Poetry Contest: 

 

 

Khan Academy 

Who: 18 and older

Dates: June 22nd – August 1st

What: 10 minute video explaining a complex subject – math, physics, engineering, etc…

Prizes: $300 for 9 finalists, $3000 grand prize, possibility to get hired to work for Khan making teaching videos

Breakthrough Junior Challenge 

Who: Ages 13 – 18

Dates: September 1 – October 10th

What: Make a short film about a big idea in science or math

Prizes: $250,000 scholarship + additional prizes

Artistic Contests:

HSLDA Art Contest:

Who: All Homeschool Children

Dates: Dec – Jan each year (Winter Contest)

What: See site for formats. Original, hand done art – 2D only.

Prizes: First – $100, Second – $75, Third – $50, Honorable Mention: $25

Doodle4Google

Who: All children K – 12 can enter

Dates: September 14th – December 2nd, 2016

What: Using any artistic medium, create a work of art in and around the word Google.

Prizes: $30,000 Scholarship, grant for school for technology (homeschoolers still get some, but much less), Chromebook Laptop, Android Tablet.

Reading Programs:

Pizza Hut

Who: K – 6

Dates: October – March

What: Set a reading goal and then meet that goal each month.

Prizes: free, one topping personal pan pizza each month the reading goal is met.

STEM Contests:

Science Olympiad:

Google Science Fair:

Who: Children / Teens (ages 13 to 18)

Dates: Feb 21st – May 18th

What: Similar to a science fair, enter experiments, observations, engineer creations, etc…

Prizes: $50,000 Grand Prize. Various other prizes for regional winners and the special category winners (LEGO Educational Builder, National Geographic Explorer, Virgin Galactic Pioneer, The Scientific American Innovator, and more)…

Encouraging Children To Be Productive: How I Teach My Children To Sew At A Young Age

Encourage Your Children To Sew - Here is How!
Encourage Your Children To Sew – Here is How!


The photo above is my 4 year old daughter holding her first sewing / embroidery project. This post is about how I got her and her sisters started sewing, now my 8 year old has an Etsy shop, and her soon to be 7 year old sister is now joining her in sewing for it.

I had already started sewing with my oldest daughter (age 7 at that time) and I wanted to engage my just turned 6 year old and my almost 4 year old. They were ready to try, as they had both spent the past year watching sister sew and had been using sewing / lacing cards similar to these:
Stephen Joseph Lacing Cards-Garden
Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Pets
Lacing Shapes

Tali loves her pillows that SHE made.
My 6 year old loves her pillows that SHE made.

You can also make your own lacing cards:

  1. Get a medium thickness piece of cardboard.
  2. Glue a large, fun picture on the cardboard (we used kitties from an old kitty calendar).
  3. Cut out around the picture.
  4. Using a hole punch, punch holes about 1 inch apart around the edge of the picture / cardboard. Be careful not to do the holes too close to the edge of the cardboard or they will rip with a little tugging.
  5. Attach a piece of yarn to one of the holes. Make sure it is long enough to go around the card a little more than one time.
  6. Put a piece of tape around the end of the yarn at least 3 times.
  7. Cut the tape into a point.
  8. Show the child how to sew!

Children’s Beginning Embroidery

I came across some really basic embroidery kits in a catalog and realized that would be the best way to get them started and give them their first taste of real sewing. This is the kit we used: Stamped Embroidery Kit Beginner Samplers 6″X8″ 3/Pkg-Huggable Animals

Here is a very similar kit on Amazon that looks super cute – I just added it to our wish list: Jack Dempsey Stamped Embroidery Kit Beginner Samplers, 6 by 8-Inch 3-Pack-Outside Fun.

These kits come with a large needle (that isn’t too sharp), the embroidery thread, the design all laid out on the cloth, a hoop, and instructions. The designs are simple and something they really like.

I would sit with them and show them how to make the first stitches, then hold their hands for awhile while they tried it. They usually weren’t ready to go it on their own the first time, but after a couple of sewing sessions, they were ready to try their first solo stitch.

When they were done with the project, we ended up cutting out a piece of felt to match, turned them wrong side together, sewed the edges, turned them right side, stuffed them, and turned the embroidery project into little pillows. The pillows are still one of their favorite things!

Basic Things Children Can Sew By Hand

Once the children learned how to stitch with their embroidery kit, we moved on to a couple of sewing projects. We got the following book from the library, but I would recommend purchasing it because it comes with patterns: Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make .

Some things we made include:

  • Garden apron
  • Pin cushion
  • Stuffies
  • Cell phone holder
  • Pillows
My oldest with her best creation yet.
My oldest with her best creation yet.

Once my oldest daughter had learned to sew through a handful of the projects in this book, we then started her making little velvet pillows and opened an Etsy shop. We have just sold a couple of them, but it has encouraged her to keep wanting to sew, keep her productive, and show one of many ways she can earn money in the coming years. We are now adding larger, throw pillows and fun, drawstring bags to her shop over the next couple of months! Like or favorite her shop so you can be informed when she adds the products.

The Evolution of Mom

10 Things For Children To Do This Summer Under $10: #3 – Arts and Crafts With What You’ve Got

10 Things Kids Summer Under $10 Art
A great idea for a rainy summer day!

Last week, we played at the park – a great, simple, and usually free activity. However, as much as we would like to be outside every day in the summer, the reality for most of us is that we just can’t. Sometimes it rains (thank God), sometimes someone doesn’t feel good, sometimes we all just get burnt out, or like many moms, sometimes we just have work to do.

Update 2017: Although we do still do some simple crafts for fun and learning, we have upped our game a bit and we opened an Etsy shop with our handmade items: LoveBySarah Etsy Shop.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.

Rain, Rain, It Is OK You Are Here

Two of these things happened this June – it rained, which is a real shock here in Idaho – and mom needed a couple of quiet hours to write. With no money in the budget to purchase something, I looked around at our supplies and found:

And there you have the makings of a classic collage project! I remember doing these in school many years ago.

Basically, you give the children a pile of pictures (mostly magazines), they pick out things that are interesting to them, then they cut out the pictures and paste them onto construction paper.

My children spent nearly two hours looking through the pile of pictures and cutting and gluing. Even the 3 ½ year old was able to do most of the project on her own and was occupied nearly that two hours.

A Little Psychological Insight

One side benefit of this project is that you learn something about your child after doing the project – what they like, what interests them, and why. My girls love pretty girly stuff, like pink bedding and kitties. But I also found that my oldest was becoming interested in weapons. I may want to give her archery lessons in a year or two, but I also realize that a few of the shows they were watching (Star Wars, for one) was more violent than they need to be seeing and so we will wait until they are older to watch such things.

The end result of the project was a great success – two hours of purposeful, useful time and some insight gained into the thoughts and likes of my children.