I just returned from driving the girls to Irvine, California, for the largest homeschool speech and debate tournament in history. It was really something: over 500 competitors from 325 families. Are there still people out there that think homeschooling shelters people from opportunities?
Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? Hundreds of homeschoolers gathering together for spirited competition in extremely academic events. The Concordia Challenge (the tournament in Irvine) symbolized the kick off to the year’s competition. We have tournaments laid out through May. Our calendar is packed with competition opportunities, some nearby, some out of state.
My 18 and 16 year old girls are debate partners for a type of debate called “policy” debate. Every year the debate league we participate in chooses a debate topic to prepare cases for. This year the students are debating US foreign policy toward Russia, and value debaters (another format of debate) are debating philosophy of popular sovereignty versus individual rights.
And it doesn’t stop with just debate. There are 10 different speech events, all variations of limited-preparation, oratory and interpretive speeches. My girls are required to prepare ahead of time for these events. Lydia has an expository speech on hunting (we’ll be posting a video soon), and Cynthia is the limited-prep expert of the family. Isaiah, Micah and Noah are all participating in speech, too.
Ultimately, this is the homeschool sport: Speech & Debate. We’ve made it the crux of our home education.
Are you interested? If you homeschool, you really should do this. You can dabble in it or go all-out like us, it doesn’t really matter. The opportunities flow from your involvement. Here are some links that you will find useful:
- StoaUSA (the national league for homeschoolers that we participate in)
- Training Minds Ministry (we are hosting a beautiful camp in August in Estes Park…hope you can join us!)
- Monument Publishing (this is the publishing company we own that publishes the bestselling speech and debate supplies)
Those who think homeschoolers miss out on opportunities are out of touch. Speech and debate has given my family opportunities unimaginable by most families.