Cognito Speech and Debate Club

The Richland Area Speech & Debate Club (a.k.a. “Cognito“) is finishing their 2010-11 season of training and competition in homeschool forensics.  It has been a good year of growth in public speaking skills for all of our students.

Last week, four of our varsity students competed in the Regional Tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana, and one qualified for National competition in Massachusetts!  We are so proud of all of them!

But even as we close out this year, we are looking forward to next year.  To that end, we will be holding a planning meeting on May 19 for next season’s Cognito Speech & Debate Club.

We would like to invite you to consider getting your family involved in Homeschool Speech and/or Debate for the 2011-12 school year.  It has been said that 95% of the population would rather die than give a speech—-in other words, they would rather be the one in the casket, than the one giving the eulogy at a funeral!

If our children are going to be able to stand up boldly in their generation and speak up for the values and beliefs that we, as Christians, hold dear, then we realize that we need to equip them.  Homeschool Speech & Debate is an effective tool for building the character, confidence, and critical thinking and communication skills that our children will need to take into the world in which they will live as adults, to be able to serve Christ in the marketplace and make an impact for the Gospel.

Here is a link to a trailer and a film clip for a video about the homeschool speech & debate league that the Cognito Speech & Debate Club is part of:  NCFCA–National Christian Forensics and Communication Association.  It will give you a taste of what our students are involved in.

We can truly say that God is using homeschool forensics to prepare young people to be His voice in the world, as we see NCFCA graduates assume places of leadership in our country as government officials, lawyers, teachers, editors, authors, filmmakers, engineers, etc.  It is noteworthy to mention here that Alex and Brett Harris, authors of “Do Hard Things” are former top-ranking competitors in NCFCA.

For the 2011/2012 year, Cognito Speech & Debate Club plans to meet every other Thursday near Hillsboro. We will have Speech classes for Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced students aged 8 – 18+, in addition to Debate classes for the older students.

The Speech classes include:
+ Interpretive Speech, which is a form of drama, learning how to act out a piece of literature, either humorous or dramatic, or duo (with a partner)
+ Platform Speech, which includes Original Oratory, Persuasive, and Illustrated Oratory
+ Limited Prep Speech, which includes Impromptu, Extemporaneous, and Apologetics

Some parents, especially those with younger students, elect to simply attend the Speech & Debate classes without getting involved in competition. Other families decide to take advantage of the additional opportunity for development of public speaking skills that competition adds to the learning process.  Competitions can include local community contests hosted by the American Legion, VFW, Optimist Club, etc., as well as NCFCA tournaments against other homeschoolers from across the Midwest.

Whether you want your children to simply overcome shyness and learn how to speak before others with poise and confidence, or you want them to master the skills of competitive debate, you will find that the time and energy your family commits to Homeschool Speech & Debate will reap incredible benefits for the rest of your students’ lives.

Please consider joining us at Cognito Speech & Debate Club, and let us know that you are thinking about it, so that we can be praying with you about your decision.  It will help us in planning our program for next year if we know that there are other interested families out there!  Also, please contact us at any time with any questions you may have.

God bless you,
Mary Jo Keller
Colleen Manning

Contact Cognito Speech & Debate Club

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