May 8, 2013

The National Geographic Bee

Homeschoolers in our neck of the woods here in Kentucky are thrilled that a local homeschool student won the state-level Geographic Bee in April and is advancing to participate in the national competition in Washington, D.C. later this month!

Participation in the National Geographic Bee is a wonderful educational experience that is open to homeschooled students. This past January it was my pleasure to serve as Moderator at the school-level Geographic Bee organized for homeschool students in our area, and I look forward to serving in that capacity again in 2014. Here are a few tips to help your homeschool support group organize a school-level Geographic Bee in your area.


Registration

In early September, a letter and registration fee are sent by your homeschool support group to National Geographic requesting contest materials and designating a teacher (not a parent of a participating student) to be the recipient of the contest materials. The recipient of the contest materials must be the one who directs the Bee and later administers the qualifying test to the winner. There is a minimum participation requirement of six students in grades 4 through 8 for the 2013-14 school year in order to conduct an official school-level competition. The registration fee for the entire group is $100 and is due in October of 2013. This amount can be divided up equally among all participants, so the more participants, the better!

Date and Time

Announce to your homeschool support group that plans are being made to hold a 2014 school-level Geographic Bee, begin a sign-up list, and later schedule a date and time for the event (probably early January 2014). Working around the schedules of several students to set a day and time for the event can be tricky, so begin working to pin down a date and time as soon as the time frame for holding the school-level Bee is announced. 

Location

Secure a location well in advance for holding the event. You will need a large room with tables and chairs placed in the front of the room for the participants, a podium for the Moderator, and seating for the audience. A name card placed on the table in front of each participant adds a nice touch. A large community meeting room, school classroom, or church class/fellowship room should work well. When reserving the location, allow a couple of hours for the actual event, plus ample time to set up and later clean up the room. 

Get Started!

With this much advance notice, students have plenty of time to study and prepare for the 2014 school-level Geographic Bee... maybe consider having a special focus on geography during the summer and/or the fall months. Click here for complete details about the National Geographic Bee, as well as study tips, resources, and more.

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