Junior Speech Tournament in Colorado Springs

You may have seen this video from a couple years ago. We have a few others, too: Tabitha & friend, Michael, doing Amelia Bedelia, Hannah doing Junie B. Jones, and Noah and friend, Michael, doing Calvin & Hobbes. These were all taken at the year’s Junior Speech Tournament in Colorado Springs, and the next one is scheduled for November 5, 2011.

Our family has attended the Junior Speech Tournament in Colorado Springs since 2003. It is a fabulous idea developed by Kim Anderson (author of Coaching a Club). Here’s a quick synopsis of how it works.

Though the idea started with Mrs. Anderson, these tournaments are run by high school students. This year Benjamin Griffith, 2011 Duo National Champion, is heading it up. Competitors who are competing in speech and debate are eligible to judge rounds (restrictions: must be 16 or have competed at least 2 years). This is especially nice. Parents are able to run around with their cameras and camcorders, like I was filming my then-4-year-old twins a couple years ago (the video above). The one-day event attracts homeschoolers from across the state, sometimes even from out of state.

From now until November 5, our family will be preparing. The older kids and parents help the little kids pick pieces to perform. We help them cut the piece and make it into a full speech. The 4-8 year olds do something less involved, like the Berenstain B Book above. More complicated pieces tend to fill the 9 to 12-year-old’s likings.

After cutting the piece, we help the children recite them properly. Memorization is always difficult, but not impossible. We praise, praise, praise their every effort. Our family gatherings are often “practice nights” before prayers in the living room, everyone getting up and reciting their speech.

There are actually six speech events at the Junior Speech Tournament. Literature Interpretation (humorous, dramatic and duo) is similar to what I described above. Also available for competition are Junior Impromptu, Expository and Original Oratory. These events make the Junior Speech Tournament a well-rounded, awesome experience for homeschool kids.

By the time November 5 rolls around, we’re ready to roll! The kids dress up in their suits and the older kids (their coaches) lead them to and from the rounds. The families that gather have great fun for the day, a wonderful event we love every year.

Interested? Check out the Junior Speech Tournament registration page. Even if Colorado Springs is a long distance for you, I’d encourage you to make the trip. The entire Jeub family will be there, camcorder ready. It is a day well spent.

About Chris Jeub

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