We are finding ourselves more and more immersed in the world of speech and debate. My daughter had been asking to join debate since she was 12; I finally got her in classes when she was 13, and she turned 14 just before her first tournament. She is in her second year of speech and debate.

I saw this picture recently, which helps describe any endeavor that requires effort and hard work:

Reposted from: The Busy Homeschool Mom

The path forward is fraught with bumps, failures, disappointments, trials, mistakes and even complete 180 degree turns along the way— but the general trend is upward.

Upward means moving forward and up, not backwards and down.

It takes perseverance, fortitude, resolve, determination, patience, and hard work to move from one point to the next.

Ultimately each new skill mastered, each new word learned, each new speech, is a step forward.

When we view our lives and whatever we do as unto the Lord, that any success is for His glory, and to relinquish our disappointments in His hands, we open the door to grow and learn and move even more forward.

Each bump in the road is the potential to be a character-producing bump. 

Speech and Debate stretches us, parents and kids alike, in new ways. The students are learning to debate important topics, understand an opposing view, speak in front of a wide range of audiences, learn how to research and construct arguments, learn current events, just to name a few of the skills they are gaining.

As a parent, I am challenged on a new level of parenting and teaching, as my children acquire and practice these new skills. Parents also serve as coaches and volunteer judges, and that is also stretching.

It may sound daunting — but my suggestion is to go and watch a tournament, and that is one of the best ways to understand what this is all about. We participate in the NCFCA league– and tournaments are all around the country. (Go to www.ncfca.org for more information).

It is not easy. It does take time. It requires commitment and effort. It costs time and money to travel to tournaments.

But it is worth it. No doubt, speech and debate is one of the best activities we have done, one of the best homeschool choices we have made.