This month’s Homeschool High School Hop’s theme is about Electives. I have chosen to talk about some classes that some people may consider elective, but for us they are essential. I’d love to share with you How to Include Public Speaking During Your Homeschool High School Years.
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Public speaking is a life skill that we feel is important for all of our children to learn and practice. It’s one of those types of skills that is hard to do at home, though. Certainly, there is some work that can be done at home–writing the speeches, memorizing them, and practicing in front of your family. But the true way to attain mastery of the skill of public speaking is to present in front of a real audience.
My oldest son, who is now in high school, is involved in three types of public speaking: Drama, Speech, and Debate. Today I’m happy to share with you how you can help your homeschooled high schooler with drama, speech, and debate.
We are blessed to have a wonderful Christian theater organization in our area called Christian Youth Theater. Every year during the school year there are three musicals presented, and three 10-week class sessions that the kids are involved in. They also have summer camps. The classes are for ages 6 through 18. And the shows are for ages 8 through 18. I have written about some of the musicals that my kids have been in. Here are a few links:
It has been an incredible experience for all the kids that are involved. If you have an opportunity to get involved in theater (especially by a Christian organization), I highly recommend it!
Speech and Debate
We have another wonderful organization that we work with called the Institute for Cultural Communicators, or ICC. It’s international, so you can start a chapter in your own town if you don’t have any other way to learn and practice public speaking! ICC’s mission is to train and mentor Christians to lead. They provide a wonderful curriculum and weekly or bi-weekly chapter meetings for ages 6-18 to learn the skills and practice speaking in front of each other.
Then, there are other opportunities throughout the year to speak in front of the community. In addition to my high schooler learning how to write and present different types of speeches and being pushed to present them in the community, he is also a student leader in our chapter which gives him leadership opportunities with the younger kids.
Every spring ICC holds tournaments so the kids can get feedback on their speeches. And they can also participate in debate. This past year was our first time to do debate. We still have a lot to learn! But it was a great experience, and now that my boys know how to prepare for it, I think they will keep improving each year. Debate is really a wonderful skill both for learning to research a topic, but also for learning to organize and speak your thoughts quickly.
I encourage you to find a way to include public speaking in your high schooler’s repertoire. The sooner they can learn these valuable skills, the better it will be for them the whole rest of their life.
IEW Intro to Public Speaking course
Related Homeschool High School Posts:
Post #1: The How-To Book – Details on How to Start Homeschooling High School
Post #2: Choosing the Coursework– What classes should my student take in order to graduate?
Post #3: Using a 4-Year High School Planner– Love this for keeping everything organized during the High School Years
Post #4: Our Curriculum Choices– Find out What We Use for Homeschooling High School