Friday, March 02, 2007

Is Science Olympiad for You?

Our Science Olympiad team, CSI, is the only homeschool team in our state. I believe the reason is two-fold. First, it could be that homeschoolers are not familiar with this competition. It doesn't get the media attention the National Geographic GeoBee or Scripps Spelling Bee get.

The second reason may be that it is a lot of work. A lot! Our two head coaches have put an amazing amount of time and energy into organizing our middle and high school teams. It has literally taken over their families' lives.

There is also time and work required by the students in studying and preparing for their events. They need to also be prepared to step in for other team members in case of emergency. For example, my son found himself competing in Designer Genes at our regional competition even though he was not originally signed up for this event. He only had days to prepare, but he and his team member still fared pretty well.

Then there is the commitment required by parents. I found myself fundraising (yes, money is another factor!), chauffeuring kids all over the city, purchasing supplies for build-it projects, and running to the library for resources. I also found that I had to give a little in scheduling our homeschool curricula. As competition approached, I needed to let other subjects and extracurriculars slide a bit.
If you're willing to make this kind of commitment and can find other parents willing to do the same, I think it's well worth it. Though, I have to admit that I wasn't so sure in the beginning. But, in the end, the kids had great fun and learned a ton!

Whether or not Science Olympiad is for you, it sure is for us!

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