The National Christian Forensics and Communications Association takes up the vast majority of my oldest son's time during the months of February and March. If fact, he'll be gone every weekend in Mar. from Thursday to Sunday afternoon learning how to communicate effectively, defend his faith, and debate topics that effect every area of the political spectrum. To say that he enjoys it would be as vast an understatement as saying that if you jump off your roof, you may hit the ground. He LOVES it!
For those of you who don't know what the NCFCA is, allow me to elaborate. The NCFCA is a national debate and speech group, specifically for homeschoolers. There are speech and debate clubs around the country who train homeschoolers to present themselves professionally, proficiently and gracefully. Each club holds tournaments to practice what they've learned. Then, each state holds state qualifiers to determine who should advance to the regional tournaments and from there, they progress to the national level, where scholarships abound.
I'd like to clarify that the scholarships are the result of the hard work that these students dedicate themselves to, but they are not the end goal. The end goal of the NCFCA is to train our young people to successfully learn to speak in a concise, clearly defined way so that when they go out into the world, they will successfully defend their faith in a way that is not offensive, but uplifting and clear to any who wish to hear about Christ and salvation.
I'll be focusing on the Team Policy debate, simply because that is what my son focuses on. The NCFCA also has many speech students, as well as Lincoln/Douglas debaters. If you'd like to learn more about what those are, you can look for more info by simply googling the terms. Tons of info to be had....
I believe the second greatest benefit to the NCFCA are the resolutions that the young people debate about. I cannot stress enough the research skills, and the international political knowledge, that my son has gained from this organization and his experience with the NCFCA. For those of you who don't know what debate resolutions are, I'll explain a little more. Debate resolutions are merely WHAT the students are going to debate about. Each year we are given three resolutions to chose from, and then the parents who are members of the NCFCA vote on what they'd like the students to debate about for the following year. Last year's was: "The U.S. federal government should significantly reform it's foreign policy toward India". This year the resolution is: "The U.S. should significantly reform it's foreign policy toward Russia". Three year's ago, the resolution was that the "US should significantly reform it's environmental policy", just to clarify that resolutions don't always revolve around another country, but instead our own policies.
The reason that significantly is highlighted there is because every debater must write an affirmative argument that significantly changes the U.S. policy toward Russia (this year). The policy change MUST be significant. They must think about it, and research each area of policy with this country, why it's in place, and what legislation will change, effect, or improve the current relations significantly. This year's resolution covered everything from the smallpox virus that only the US and Russia hold, to the Jackson-Vanik amendment, to stopping NATO expansion and even all the way out to cyber security.
They must also research a depth of policies because they do not know what their opponent at any given debate may have written their affirmative argument about. This is called "negative" arguments, when you are arguing against someones affirmative argument. Make sense? What's so cool about that is that my son now knows more about every aspect of the debate information that I've ever even heard of!!! My child is could speak with knowledge to even the most seasoned Congressmen about the US policies toward Russia.
The other thing of importance to know about the NCFCA is that your child will never be put into a position of arguing for or against a subject that is directly opposed to their own personal beliefs or the ones that they are being raised with. You need not worry that your 12-17 year old will be forced to discuss the "merits" of abortion, homosexuality, capital punishment or any other topic that a young child or young person simply shouldn't be forced to accept or reject at their ages. You can rest assured that they will still have the right to make up their own minds when they are old enough, and mature enough, to do so.
Here is just another example of what the MSM doesn't share with the public. Homeschoolers have so many options today that the media ignores simply because it doesn't create the image they want projected about homeschoolers. I could sing the merits of the NCFCA all day, but I'll settle with telling you that I've heard young people praying for the "Untouchables" in India because they realize the inhumaneness of it through last year's debate resolution. I've heard them debate about morally imperialistic nations and the horror of nuclear weaponry. I've seen hundreds of debaters celebrate when only two can win. I've seen hundreds of speech students cheer and clap when only one can win. I've seen them console one another, and encourage one another. I have seen my son willingly give up hours of his free time to devote himself to research so that he's prepared for his tournament. I have seen my son laugh so hard his sides hurt during humorous speeches and I have cried as I watched students give Apologetic speeches...with only three minutes of preparation time!
I would encourage any homeschooling family to research this organization. The enrichment you will receive are so far outside of merely speaking and debating that I'm not sure it could be covered in a book, must less this little blog.