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Public Speaking! Ugh, just writing these words just make my stomach flutter and not in a pleasing way. Let me tell you, during college I took public speaking and barely passed. The quietness, room spinning, nausea overload and standing in front of the classroom, having all eyes and attention directed at me was one of the most uncomfortable feeling I’ve experience. Unfortunately, this avoidance of communication, may have cost me some opportunities and experiences in life growing up. Something, I don’t want to happen to my children.
Because of this, I’ve always knew I had to include public speaking in our homeschool somehow. We practiced reading our papers and books aloud to eachother in the livingroom. But, I felt something was missing. I’ve looked into libraries programs, but schedules conflicts; paid in-person classes, but those are sooo expensive and the scheduling didn’t work for us. So, overtime, this particular skill was pushed to the back burner.
Fast forward to 2023 and with perfect timing, IEW published an Introduction to Public Speaking curriculum that is geared towards 6 graders and up. An online – pre-recorded resource that provides structure and practice for developing skills in speech-writing, memory techniques, and delivery.
What is Introduction to Public Speaking?
Introduction to Public Speaking costs $99 for a 12-week video-based course in which middle and high-school students learn memory and delivery techniques as they write and present five different speeches:
- Grade/Age: 6th Grade+
- Parent Involvement: It is meant as independent work, however depending on your child’s needs, parent involvement may vary
- Schedule: There are 12 pre-record live classes that are set up to be completed within 12 weeks. The average class video is about 1 hour. Every week there is a specific goal to achieve.
- Product Format: Forever Streaming or DVD
They teach that the structure is identical in all speeches, the purpose differs.
- Self-introductory, in which they tell who they are
- Narrative, in which they tell a story
- Expository, in which they inform or explain
- Persuasive, in which they convert or motivate
- Impromptu, which are prompted by special occasions
The course package includes:
- A Student Packet with 3-Ring Student Binder which includes a packet of handouts with source texts, checklists, and other resources, along with four tabbed dividers for organizing student work | Download a sample
- A Teacher’s Manual which includes images of all student pages along with teaching tips, whiteboard notes, teaching tips, and student samples | Download a sample
- Portable Walls for the Public Speaker
- 12 video lessons (in forever streaming or DVD format) in which Andrew Pudewa (the Founder of IEW) instructs students on the art of public speaking
IEW Products is known for explicit step-by-step structure, video instruction, writing imitation, KWO, and checklists in their courses and, thankfully, that same approach is applied in their IPS curriculum, which makes it very easy for me to sit with my son and learn along side him and, most importantly, he knows what to expect.
My most favorite part is the critiquing. We are observing other students’ (via the recorded lessons) speeches and we are analyzing their delivery; their poise (posture and gestures), contact (eye contact) and, locution (voice) and we discuss what positive changes should be made by the speaker to improve their speech.
Further, my son gets to critique himself. How? He records himself giving a speech! Full transparency, this part of the lesson can get a bit emotional, so as parents we have to be very thoughtful and kind with OUR delivery when giving constructive criticism.
This is what we do: He records and critiques his work in private, then he asks me to review and critique his work on my own, then we compare notes. I love that self-evaluation is embedded into the curriculum and its accepted by him; very little “Mommy, why are you making me do extra work?!” Thank you, IEW.
Although, IPS for Middle and High Schooler is meant to be completed within 12 weeks, realistically and in our home, it will take us longer than that. This is not a reflection of the program, its more about our own home life schedules.
Additionally, if you have upper elementary students, I can see this being used with them as well. Most likely, when I officially implement this course into our school schedule, I will use it as a family subject. For your information, they are two grades apart.
IEW is catering to most children and there is room for adjustment based on your home schedule and specific child’s needs. The whole program is based on clear instruction, clear expectation, and a focus on developing and effective speaking presence. The main goal is to teach children how to communicate their thoughts and ideas in a clear, concise, and engaging manner.
The Introduction to Public Speaking curriculum is very affordable. The knowledge learned and applied is a very real-world useful skill for any student (homeschooled or not), adults included.
If you are new to IEW and need help getting started, I’d recommend starting here on their website. And if you are trying to decide what product would be best for your student, their IEW Pathway is a great resource.