We are not HSLDA members. Can my children participate?

Yes! Our contests are open to all homeschooled students ages 7-19. If you are unsure whether your manner of schooling qualifies as homeschooling, please contact our Contest Coordinator at contests@hslda.org with a description of your circumstances.

I’ve graduated high school but am still within the 7-19yr old age range. Can I participate?

Recent high school graduates may participate in the summer Photo Contest immediately following their spring graduation, but may not participate in HSLDA contests after that. Instead, we encourage you to look for artistic opportunities in your community or at your college. HSLDA wishes you all the best as you launch into your future!

My child’s birthday falls during a contest. What age category should my child participate in?

The age category is determined by whatever age the student is on the mid-contest date. Students should participate in the age category based on the age that they will be on the date below:

Essay Contest:  October 1st
Art Contest:  February 1st
Poetry Contest:  April 1st
Photo Contest:  July 1st

My child is younger than 7yrs old but is very gifted. May he or she participate?

We appreciate that many younger children are able to produce beautiful entries for the various arts in which we offer our contests, and we think it’s wonderful for them to begin developing those talents early.

The goal of our contests is to offer an opportunity for homeschooled students to be recognized for the excellence of their work, so the contests are for homeschooled students in K-12th grade. Since most children age 4 and some children ages 5 and 6 are not yet in kindergarten, our contests are not the right forum for them to exhibit their gifts and talents at that time.

However, we would encourage younger children to pursue their interests by thinking about the contest theme prompts and preparing an entry. When the contest winners are posted online, they can view the winning entries and discuss them. What is good about the winning entries? What aspects do the younger children like that they could incorporate into their future entries? This allows the children to enjoy and benefit from the contests even before they are old enough to participate.

We live abroad. Can my child still participate?

Yes! Please note that we do not accept foreign checks, and please consider mailing your entry well before the postmark deadline. We have had international entries arrive after the judging was completed, so please give your entry the necessary time to arrive.

My child is submitting two entries. Do I need to include two entry fees?

Yes, each entry requires an entry fee. Multiple entry fees may be combined onto one check or money order. For example, if two children are each submitting two entries, you may include one check for the total amount of the four entry fees.

If the postmark deadline falls on a Sunday, when do I need to mail my child’s entry?

If mailing through USPS, please ensure that you child’s entry reaches the post office with enough time to be postmarked on or before the contest deadline. Deadlines are always the first of a month: if the first falls on a Sunday and the post offices are closed, please be sure the entry is mailed on Saturday to meet the deadline.

We missed the postmark deadline! Can my child still participate?

Please contact the Contest Coordinator at contests@hslda.org

How much may I be involved in my child’s entry?

The rich student-teacher interaction is one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling, so we encourage parents and co-op teachers to be involved but ask you to respect the following guidelines:

The “hands-on” work of each entry must be entirely done by the student. Students are encouraged to brainstorm and discuss with parents or co-op teachers but may not receive specific corrections to their work.

For the written contests, the grammatical construction and language of each essay should be entirely done by the student. No assistance in editing or proof reading is permissible.

My child has not yet learned how to type. May I type their essay or poem for them?

For students ages 7-10, parents/friends may type the child’s entry for them. However, the child must have written out the poem or essay and the typist must type exactly what is written, not correcting for errors in spelling or grammar. The child is welcome to sit with the typist and instruct him or her in any spelling or grammar corrections the word processor suggests.

My child has special learning needs. Do you have a designated category for these students?

Upon the advise of our Special Needs Consultants, we do not offer a designated category for students with special learning needs but do allow certain accommodations.

More Information on Contests for Special Needs Children >>