My guest today is Laurie Wilson. Laurie is a former homeschool debater; she was also the 2002 and 2004 national collegiate debate champion and is a recent graduate of Patrick Henry College. Laurie, welcome to the program.
Thanks, Dr. Farris.
Laurie, what skills do you feel you learned through your experience in high school debate?
I think that the most important skills that I gained through high school debate were the ability to research, to think logically, and to present a clear and concise argument. When I first came to Patrick Henry College, I was amazed at how well I was able to research, to formulate an argument and a thesis, and to be able to look through books and decide exactly what the author's representing in their main arguments. But however, despite all these skills (which were extremely important), I think the main thing that I gained through debate was the ability to speak comfortably with individuals, not only on a personal level, but also before large groupsbeing able to get up and stand before large audiences, to communicate clearly, to appear calm and confident and interact with them and know exactly what to say and how to hold their interest. And I think this, of all the skills, is the most important thing that students can learn through high school debate.
Laurie, thanks so much. Parents, you might want to consider getting your children involved in formal debate. The benefits are invaluable. I'm Mike Farris.
To find out more about high school debate and how you can order the Home School Legal Defense Association's debate textbooks, visit our website at http://www.homeschoolheartbeat.com. Or call toll-free 866-338-8614.