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What is Competitive Speech and Debate all about?

One of the most feared things in life is public speaking. Many would rather die than get up in front of others and talk. Competitive speech and debate helps develop your students into confident communicators who are always ready to speak when called on.

Confident speakers tend to be seen as leaders. As Christians, we need more people who can speak confidently for the cause of Christ and His Kingdom. Club meetings and tournaments help serve this purpose.

How can I add this event to my already busy schedule?

This is not meant to add to your schedule as much as it is to supplement and replace. As homeschoolers, you are free to use Speech for high school credits in communication.

If you are doing a unit study, a speech developed on that topic can enhance their learning experience. In Debate, we study general government or Civics, the Constitution, reasoning or critical thinking, and whatever the topic is for the policy debate year, the students will become quite knowledgeable of that topic.

They can also earn communications credits for debate. Some parents have used speech and debate as the basic curriculum and supplement math, science, and whatever else.

Will LOGOS issue a grade for the students?

For parents who would want help assigning credits and grades, Mr. Vaughn will provide them. Grades will be based on attendance, participation in club, getting assignments and speeches done in a timely manner, and performance at tournaments based on individually set goals.

How much time will the student spend each week on speech and debate?

That will depend on several factors.

The more events students signup for, the more time they will need to spend. For a first year student doing two speeches, you are initially looking at 2-3 hours a week outside of club. After the speeches are memorized and blocked, spending one hour a week making changes and additions is typical. Add debate, and that will add another 2-3 hours depending on how often they do practice debates.

This will continue throughout the year as students will need to keep up on research and any new cases that come up. Add Extemporaneous and that adds another 2 hours or so as students need to keep up on the latest news and drop articles in the common LOGOS file. This continues throughout the year.

Other limited prep speeches will also take about an hour a week. If your student has a light speech schedule, they can expect 2-3 hours initially and 30 minutes to one hour thereafter. If they are doing a heavy schedule for both, they can expect to spend 10-12 hours per week on this. Many will do this in large chunks rather than evenly spread out each day.

What does club time look like?

a. For Speech, we will have group times assigned to go over any assignments as well as instruction on the different areas of Speech; Platforms, Interps, Limited Prep. Extemporaneous competitors will meet as needed to work on speaking and how dropbox articles are coming along. Just before a tournament, we try to set up mock competition rooms so all students can go over every speech they will be competing with.

b. There will also be a separate area for those who need help writing their speeches.

c. For Debate, we will divide into Policy and LD. The times will consist of drills, explanation of debate, honing skills, mock debates, etc. Debaters will be encouraged to have practice debates outside of club as well.

Is there individual help available?

Yes. Individual help is done by appointment, and is at no extra cost. You can set up with any of the coaches, or with Mr. Vaughan. This time can be used to help cut a speech, blocking, tweak a debate case, practice debate rounds or individual debate speeches, anything dealing with Speech and Debate.

What is the cost?

a. For LOGOS Club, registration is $200 for the year for the first student, and $100 for the second student, and $50 if you have a third student. If you have a fourth student, there is no additional cost. You can pay by PayPal, check, or good old cash. You can also pay all at once or in any manner that is agreeable with you.

b. Students must register with Stoa. It is $55 per family.

c. There may be some reading material you will want to purchase at the request of the coaches.

d. Stoa has a tournament dress code. Young men will need to wear a suit and tie and dress shoes. Young ladies will need to wear a dress, business pant suit or skirt suit and dress shoes. Skirts and dresses need to be at or below the knee, and a jacket is also required. Please see the Stoa Dress Code link for more information at

e. Each tournament also has registration fees. This is typically around $40 for up to 3 Speech events with an added cost for entering more, and $40 per person for Debate.

f. If you choose to have your student travel to out-of- state tournaments, there is also a travel cost which I try to keep very minimal. Last year, the average travel cost was around $150-180 per student for a weeklong road trip to California.

How do I sign up?

a. Go to the registration link and fill in all of the information.

b. You must also register with Stoa in order to compete in tournaments. You can find the tournament calendar at These are updated regularly, so keep checking back.

When is the first club meeting?

a. We begin the first Tuesday after Labor Day.

b. Speech will meet at 2pm-5pm. There will be a dinner break from 5-5:30pm (please bring your own food and drink). Debate will start promptly at 5:30pm and go to 8:30pm.