I don’t use a history or social science curriculum. My son loves history too much to be bound by any particular text book. When he had a choice between going to Disneyland or a tour of Civil War battle sites, he choose Gettysburg. He isn’t limited to the Civil War period either. He’s learned quite a bit about the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean, Tudor England, World War I, World War II, and post Renaissance Europe.
The only profession he has ever expressed an interest in (and I’m talking even about the four year old fireman stage) was college history professor. Since he is a high school freshman this year, I pointed out that he might want to demonstrate his history skills by entering a contest. He’s decided on the National History Day contest. However, there are quite a few opportunities available to homeschoolers and I’ve listed some of them below.
First Freedom Student Competition
The First Freedom Student Competition is a national essay contest, offering 9th – 12th grade students nationwide an opportunity to compete for a $3,000, $1,500 and $750 award, as they examine religious freedom, its history, current importance, and relevance in their lives.
National History Day
National History Day’s core program is a national contest for students in grades 6-12. The students conduct extensive research related to an annual theme and present their findings in one of four categories: exhibits, documentaries, performances or papers. Students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills while creating their entries.
The Center for the Book
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with Target Stores and in cooperation with affiliate state centers for the book, invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre– fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves.
American Foreign Service Association
Analyze and explain how the members of the Foreign Service promote United States national interests by participating in the resolution of today’s major international issues
National Peace Essay Contest
In this exercise, you are the leader of a United Nations task force on youth and conflict. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has asked you to develop programs that (1) prevent young people from turning to violence, or (2) help them to rejoin their community after a conflict. Base your program on an analysis of two foreign conflicts—at least one case should be post-Cold War— in which young people were involved in the fighting. At least one case should include efforts to prevent young people from fighting or help them rejoin society after conflict comes to an end.