6 Ways to Teach Public Speaking in Homeschools

Homeschooling almost always creates a better environment for learning than does any other form of education.  The lessons are able to be individualized for our students.  The activities can be tweaked to have better appeal.  And you can’t beat those class sizes!

However, there are a few subjects which are actually less intuitive to teach in a homeschool than in a regular schoolroom and public speaking is one of them.

6 Ways to Teach Public Speaking in Homeschools -- You want to teach public speaking? In homeschools? Guess what?!? It's fairly easy... with a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking. Here's how!

How in the world can homeschoolers teach a subject at home which has PUBLIC in the name?!?!?

Teaching Public Speaking in Homeschools

It’s very natural to teach our kids how to craft beautiful speeches from the comfort of our homes.  It’s NOT as intuitive to figure out how to allow our kids to practice giving those speeches to an audience larger than their siblings and their grandparents.

However, there are some GREAT ways to give our homeschooled kids opportunities to practice their speeches in public.

Here are 6 Ways to Teach Public Speaking in Homeschools:

1 – Church

Ask your youth pastor if it’s possible for your child to do some speaking at church – either in youth group or during the service.  Some possible ideas are to read scripture, lead the prayer, or even give their speech in front of their Sunday School class.

Our youth group students lead a worship service once a month at a local nursing home.  The teens are the ones who do the special music, give testimonies, do devotionals for the residents, and interact with them afterward.  These are all wonderful ways for kids to improve their public speaking skills.

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2 – Co-op

Public speaking is a GREAT class to offer if you belong to a co-op and you get to suggest subject ideas. I came up with that idea in a co-op we were part of a while back and as soon as I suggested it, I was nominated to be the teacher. LOL  So be careful.

Actually, it ended up being a really fun class to lead.  We had several painfully shy kids in the class so I called it Courageous Communication.  I basically taught the kids about various types of speeches such as persuasive speeches, personal experience speeches, and demonstration speeches.  In the class, the students had the opportunity to practice these speeches in front of their peers.  Most of the kids started out fairly nervous but by the end of the class, their skills had grown tremendously!

3 – Public Speaking Club

If you aren’t part of a co-op, consider creating a public speaking club with your kids and a few of their friends.  Again, you will probably be the one to lead the club – at least at the beginning.  But this is a great way to give homeschoolers a platform for learning how to speak in public.

6 Ways to Teach Public Speaking in Homeschools -- You want to teach public speaking? In homeschools? Guess what?!? It's fairly easy... with a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking. Here's how!

4 – Institute for Cultural Communicators (ICC)

If you want to give your kids the ability to share their faith and speak in front of an audience, then consider looking for an ICC group in your area.  My boys were part of ICC for a short time and they learned a lot about crafting speeches and holding the attention of their audience.  This was also a great way for them to practice their active listening skills and to learn how to give constructive feedback which was sandwiched between two compliments.  Great experience!

5 – Toastmasters’ Youth Leadership Program

Toastmasters is a way for adults to get together in the context of a small group and practice their public speaking skills with each other.  Toastmasters also has a Youth Leadership Program which teaches kids communication as well as leadership skills.  Their focus is to help their members “learn to overcome nervousness when speaking in front of groups, to organize and present ideas logically and convincingly, to listen carefully to the ideas of other students, and offer helpful advice.”  Toastmasters programs exist all over the country.  Look for one in your area, join an online club, or consider starting a group yourself.

6 – Ignite 30 Day Video Challenge

Another way to learn how to overcome the fear of public speaking is by videotaping your speaking. This is something that we can do right along with our children.  Something that’s really helping me right now is basically an online toastmaster’s group. It’s called the Ignite 30 Day Video Challenge by Niamh Arthur. It’s completely free – but each day, participants are supposed to post short videos (2 minutes or less) of themselves speaking on camera.

I’ve learned so much participating in this challenge and have already gained a lot of confidence speaking in front of others. It’s a little bit different than public speaking but a very similar concept which also generates fear. 🙂  If you’re interested, here’s a video about homeschooling that I’ve created during this challenge.

If you’re interested in getting on the waiting list for the next FREE 30 Day Video Challenge you can do so here.

I hope those ideas help to get you started. Public speaking is one of those subjects which can be a bit tricky to teach as homeschoolers.  But with a little out-of-the-box thinking, you can see that there are lots of really great ways for us to teach this subject to our children.

Have you attempted to teach public speaking in your homeschool?  What are some other subjects you’ve had to rethink a bit in order to make them work outside of a school environment?  Please leave a comment below.

6 Ways to Teach Public Speaking in Homeschools -- You want to teach public speaking? In homeschools? Guess what?!? It's fairly easy... with a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking. Here's how!
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17 thoughts on “6 Ways to Teach Public Speaking in Homeschools”

  1. Fantastic ideas! A few of my boys have absolutely no problem with public speaking (ahem, hams!) but my oldest resists. So happy to find these suggestions-thank!!

  2. These are great ideas! Thank you! We had show and tell for our homeschool group at our local library every month. This was great for the younger as well as the older children. We would switch things up with book reports from time to time that were very informal, but informative and fun. No preparation, just get up there and tell us a little bit about the book you read and if you’d recommend it. There was no pressure to publicly speak, and it drew in the most hesitant of children. Library time was a highlight of the month.

  3. These are great suggestions! Another option is the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (ncfca.org) – a national Christian homeschool speech and debate league. To equip students to think critically and then effectively articulate those thoughts, NCFCA uses various types of competitive opportunities and communication training, such as speech and debate.

  4. These are fantastic suggestions for adding in public speaking for homeschooled students! I know that when I was being homeschooled in high school, or co-op had a public speaking class like you mentioned! I think they also had a debate class and both classes were great for helping homeschoolers gain more confidence before public groups.

  5. Andrew Jackson

    Homeschooling has become a big trend, and I think a lot of kids and parents are getting a great education doing it. I’ve worked with a lot of kids who have been homeschooled and they’re very bright. They also tell me they want to learn some of the skills that aren’t taught in school anymore, like leadership, dealing with challenges in life, and other personal and social skills.

    When kids have a mentor or someone that believes in them and coaches them, it’s amazing how fast they can learn and excel! https://www.preparemykid.com

  6. I was excited to read this post, until I realized that the link for the Ignite 30 day Video challenge suggestion just lead me to a website for “Light Up Video Marketing” which appears to be trying to sell me something. Very disappointing. 🙁

    1. Sorry to disappoint you. I offer tons of free content on my site but there are times when I recommend things that aren’t free as well. Niamh’s Ignite Video Challenge is free but that’s only offered at certain times each year. It’s a great resource! You can be notified when she does her next challenge if you sign up for her waiting list here: http://www.niamharthur.com/

      Or, follow some of the other advice in this post which is always free. 🙂

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