Jan
19
2011

Opportunities for Homeschoolers

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?

Concordia

Konrad Hack, forensics director at Concordia University in Irvine, is pictured here with 300+ families awaiting breaks to advance.

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.

About Chris Jeub

Chris is the father of 16 children, busily running the family businesses and learning the depths of love along the way.

  • http://creatingtreasures.blogspot.com tereza

    I have a cousin in Brazil who is a psychologist. She is 26 years old and studying for her doctorate. Recently she was applying for a teaching position at a University in Brazil. While she was here visiting she told me about it. She said there was 01 position and 15 people competing for it. The University board gave the applicants 20 different themes to study on. On the day of the test, they randomly drew one of the themes and then for 1 hour the applicants could read or research on that theme. Once the hour expired they had 2 or 3 hours to write as much as they wanted on the theme.

    My cousin said she wrote 10 pages on it. Once the time was up, each contestant had to go up front and read and present their paper. She didn’t get the position but she came in SECOND!

    She was disappointed. I was in awe of her knowledge and stamina! I also assured her the right position at the right time would come along. Not to worry about it.

    I got your book on speech and debate and I am beginning to understand what it is all about. I also realized that my children and I have been practicing speech and debate for a while without knowing what it was “officially” called. :) They are under 8 y.o. and we do a lot of plays, bible memorization, talks on themes, discussions, and presentations on their art work or lessons. It’s fun. It’s amazing how at ease they are in front of any audience. :)

    Thanks for your ministry. :) and congrats on your girls! :)

  • http://sobystuff.blogspot.com Sabrina

    You mentioned somewhere (on FB maybe) that young children could get involved via Jr Debate. I’ve been trying to find more info on this for my daughter, either now or in the near future but haven’t had much luck. Any suggestions on where to find that info? She is in kinder now, even if its something she would have to wait a couple years on I would like to look into it (but I believe you had a pic of one of your littles participating?). Thanks!

    • Chris & Wendy

      Junior tournaments are usually locally run and small. In Colorado we have one per year, usually around Oct or Nov, and it is run by students. I’d encourage you to check with your speech and debate clubs through your state organization. I bet there are other parents out there who are either doing it or wouldn’t mind starting something up.