Many times I get asked what is required for High School. If your child/student is in 8th or 9th grade, you want to have a general idea of what they want to do. Will they go to college? Into what interest/degree area are they leaning? Do they have a college they want to go to? Are they interested in Dual Credit college courses?
All of these answers are important so that you can plan their High School education. In general, the state education agency has a list of required classes needed for graduation. The state may also have a list of requirements for homeschool families. Once you have a list of these courses, you can start to investigate your student’s college and major interests, and their corresponding degree plans. For example, my son is interested in a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics at University of Texas at Dallas. In order to plan his dual credit courses at the community college, I printed the required courses for the degree plan. Believe it or not, English credit was not required. So I can plan to have him complete his last credit (of 4 total) of English either at home or through the college.
One credit that is required for High School is a semester credit of Speech. For UT-D, they require a Rhetoric credit, which appears to be a step above a Speech credit. As my son is not a confident public speaker, I have been researching options for completing this credit at home or through co-op. If you have a student that might excel in this area, you may be interested in Speech and Debate clubs.
To help with this topic, there is a great article through Great Homeschool Conventions on the 8 Benefits of Speech and Debate/Why Speech and Debate by Suzanne in 2015.
- If you would like to complete a Speech curriculum at home, I recommend starting with Rick Green‘s Power of Purposeful Communication. You can get the Combo Pack as well which includes his Living with Purpose. (I do not receive any commission for this recommendation.)
- Check your local homeschool group for Speech co-op classes and/or clubs. In North Texas, we have DFW Speech and Debate that offers Summer Camps and Clubs. It is important to investigate what is available in your area, as they have early registration deadlines in order to participate in the next year.
- In addition, the NMA (the Leadership Development Organization) produces a Leadership Speech Contest every year with monetary prizes. The NMA has local Chapters and Councils that can assist you in getting connected. They have their local contests in early Spring, so usually deadlines to participate are in January or early February. Winners can then go on to compete nationally, fully supported by the NMA. In North Texas, you can e-mail our local contacts: Jean Christopher or the Nokia Speech Contest Chair Peter Burns.
- Check out your local homeschool convention (This Crazy Homeschool Life 2018 List). Many times, they have a Leadership or Speech and Debate group for the weekend that works with high school students. It’s a great opportunity to discover talents and skills, as well as looking great on the high school resume!
- As mentioned above, registering for the Speech course through the local community college, is a great way to get High School and College credit simultaneously.
If you have suggestions for Speech and Debate opportunities, please feel free make recommendations in the Comments section. Thanks so much!