“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” -Colossians 4:6
I am a writer. I love words. I love to study and then to share all that I have learned with others. Before I was a mother I was a parent educator, a social worker and a intervention specialist. In all of these things, the focus of my work was education. And that requires strong communication skills. The problem always was for me that I am a writer and not a speaker. But its so important for us to be able to be confidant and sure in both.
So it really excited me when I found a Christian speech and debate group for homeschoolers not far from my home. My husband and I agreed our kids needed this piece in their education. We signed them up three years ago. We haven’t regretted it once. Our kids love it (they are 10, 6 and 4). My oldest went in with a terrible fear of public speaking and slowly but surely has progressed into a young man who loves to speak! My little ones too. Its a season that is full of excitement, pressure, lots of trips to the library, reading and studying … When its over my oldest son laments that it ended too soon and begins to plan for the year to come. I had been wanting to find something that could offer us more though; let me tell you how happy I was to have found The Art of Eloquence. 🙂
Who is The Art of Eloquence? JoJo Tabares began this company when she met another homeschool mom with a painfully shy daughter (sounds like me as a child!) and having a background in Speech Communications herself, was convinced to teach a class to a group of homeschool children. When she couldn’t find anything that fit the criteria she had for a curriculum, she decided to write her own! Art of Eloquence is unapologetically Christian in its teaching of effective communication skills;their mission being to teach youth how to stand and defend their faith while honoring the Lord in all they do and say!
We were super blessed to receive, for review Say What You Mean: A Creative Speech Course, for our family. As I mentioned before, for a few years now my kids have been in a speech and debate club locally so there was exposure to this before we received this course. My two younger ones (4 and 6) tend to be shyer so finding creative and fun ways to encourage and exercise these skills in the “off season” was very important to me. My older son (10) has certainly gained a real joy for speaking (especially impromptu) and seeing as he tends to struggle a bit still with speaking in front of an audience, this is a great way to allow and encourage him too!
If you are new to studying communication and public speaking this is a great program for you! We received the ebook from JoJo and my oldest son really dug into it right away. He signed up for 4H with a group that meets at our church once a month, hoping to have some opportunity to practice speaking and this book, I think, really inspired him. Not only does he love to speak but he also loves art and loves the Word of God so between the scriptures (KJV) and the artwork, on many levels, this was a material that allowed learning in a variety of styles. This is a Christian-based, 18 week course that teaches impromptu and prepared speeches! Did I mention how much my oldest loves impromptu speaking? Oh my, is this ever perfect for him!
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”-James 1:19
As we began with this, we were reminded of the eleven things that are needed in order to make an awesome presentation. Some of these are:
- eye contact
- speak up, speak clear, articulate
- give specifics
- be animated, get excited!
There are 18 presentations to be made throughout this course, each lesson building upon the previous one. There is a grading chart provided so that progress can be charted as the course is completed. If you have more than one child, you might want to make copies of the chart before you begin. Grading is simple, a scale of 1 to 10. Of course not every skill is used in every presentation that is done so we need only grade what applies as we go along.
There are also some great resources provided, online, to review. My sons favorite links have been ones that allow him to watch speeches (debates even) that other kids have presented. Talk abut a great way to inspire; kids learn smooch from watching others and how powerful is it when they see someone their age, maybe older, giving an amazing speech to an audience.
It was even recommended to record speeches to give better feedback and I have to say my son really enjoyed the opportunity to see for himself, the speech he gave. It also allowed him to gain insight into his volume, body language and focus. (My son is 2E and its amazing how he watches his recorded speeches and points out to me how he was distracted by something; he got too quiet, he mumbled here or there….) This truly is a great way to encourage use of all of his senses, while he grows and learns in the art of speech.
“Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2
One of my son’s favorite lessons was on duct tape. Yes, you heard it right. The second lesson was 101 Uses of Duct Tape. My husband and my oldest son LOVE duct tape. Its the answer to all of our problems (so they say). Its also a great material for turning cardboard and paper rolls into swords and shields, you can make great weapons of warfare with it. This was an impromptu speech but there were others throughout the weeks (we are still completing this course by the way). Another favorite was on the Benefits of Having a Pet (they can eat your vegetables when mom isn’t looking Lol). We loved the variety of topics for speeches in this course; this also includes built in pages for note taking as students research their topics and some great encouragement along the way like this:
Be humble but bold for what you believe in. That is the best way to persuade. Have fun!
As one who continues to have a fear of public speaking, there is so much I am learning as we complete this course. And it is beautiful to watch my kids have FUN while they learn! In this day in age when communication, I think, is not what it should be, its so important for our kids to learn how to be good communicators. Often I know I get busy with those “important” subjects like math and reading and writing, and I forget how valuable good communication skills are. No matter how old our kids are, they simply must learn this fine art! It doesn’t get simpler than this either! Every lesson starts out with a Bible verse that relates to what is being taught. And overwhelmed, super busy mommas? There is NO preparation needed; in two hours each week your kids get a fabulous and FUN lesson in speaking.
“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.” -Proverbs 15:4
Did I tell you how much we love this course yet? If not….We LOVE this course!
And because we believe so much in the value of what is taught in these materials, JoJo has offered a super special offer to all of you, my friends, that you can check out here. For the next few days, my friends, you can get this amazing speech course at a 40% discount by using coupon code: WBH40 at check out!
In addition to getting a 40% discount on this incredibly fun way to learn speech making, we want to give you even MORE! After you order your copy of Say What You Mean: A Creative Speech Course, just email JoJo at: firstname.lastname@example.org to request your FREE BONUS GIFT!
This offer is only good through midnight EST on Sunday, December 13th!