I had the pleasure last week of being a community judge at a qualifying competition of the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association. What is that, you ask? Here is the mission statement that I got from the website of the NCFCA:
The National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) believes that formal speech and debate can provide a means for home schooled students to learn and exercise analytical and oratorical skills, addressing life issues from a Biblical world view in a manner that glorifies God. To provide these opportunities to home schooled students, NCFCA shall facilitate qualifying tournaments throughout the country and the annual National Championship.(my emphasis)
And glorify God they did! What an absolutely incredible experience. One day I judged a Dramatic Interpretation contest. There were 8 students who participated in this round and they were all fabulous. At the end of the round we had to rank them in order from first to last. Last sounds so harsh because even the "last" student was still great! Some of these kids had us near tears with their interpretations of literature (and I mean that in a GOOD sense :).
The next day I judged a round of two-person debate. Not having had any debate experience, I was a little nervous about this one. The topic was such that it even took me a few minutes to figure out what they were talking about! This, too, was very impressive.
Overall I have to say that these kids knocked my socks off! They were dressed very professionally, they were incredibly polite and very talented. A friend of mine had told me about this group in the fall but I didn't sign up because the group meets every week about 45 minutes away from here. After seeing the caliber of students at this event, I might just take the plunge next year and sign the kids up! After all, they could use a speech credit for high school and it sure would beat the speech class that the junior college offers. Been there, done that...it was awful!
These groups are all over the country so if you ever have a chance to join one, even for just one year, I have to believe that your kids will come out of it for the better. The two friends I have who are in it now say that this is the best thing they have EVER signed their kids up for.
I'll have to remind myself of this next August when it is time to sign up :)