One of the reasons that we chose Classical Conversations was its emphasis on public speaking. When we started homeschooling our oldest daughter had just experienced her first bout with stage fright. It was a dance recital and she just froze on stage.
Having grown up on stage, civic theatre, dance recitals, and any other reason to be on stage, I was at a loss as to how to handle it. My husband stated he had experienced similar feelings when he was young and therefore he figured she had gotten this genetic imperfection (I say in jest) from him.
When I came across Classical Conversations (CC) at the Indiana Homeschoolers Conference two years ago, the biggest comment that caught my attention was that Classical Conversations encouraged public speaking. Since our family considers public speaking as an important skill and, definitely, a skill that is learned, we were very impressed with this.
So how does CC emphasize developing public speaking skills? Well, each week, during our CC time, everyone, no matter what level they are in, has to prepare a 2 minute presentation to share with the class. Now, that being said, my 6 year old is not doing a PowerPoint presentation on physics or anything, but each week she has a topic such as “what is your favorite type of music” or “tell us about your favorite trip.”
In the early years, the children work on getting comfortable speaking in front of the class. They are not graded or critiqued, though they do occasionally discuss ways to improve their speeches. As the student’s get older they begin to be timed and critiqued to improve their public speaking skills.
We have seen some amazing improvements in our daughter’s public speaking skills so far this year and could not be happier with this part of CC. We look forward to seeing our daughter’s public speaking skills continue to improve throughout the year.