Our family has become faithful users of Andrew Pudewa's products
that are published by the Institute for Excellence in Writing.
I was sold on his products because he teaches students how to write
exquisitely on any subject. These products fit in with my desire
to link our other subjects together whenever possible, thus making
the writing assignments more purposeful. For instance, if we are
studying the Civil War, why not let my children practice their
writing while learning their history?
As a speaker at our homeschool conference, Andrew Pudewa motivated,
taught, and inspired those who attended. Thus, when I saw Speech
Boot Camp: Introduction to Public Speaking, I was ready for
Mr. Pudewa to attack the most feared subject on college campuses
today, thus helping homeschooled students in grades 6-12 to be
more confident communicators before taking the required speech
class in college.
Much like waiting for a sequel in a beloved book series, my hopes
were high as I contemplated purchasing this course. I had really
built it up in my mind, so I wondered if it would live up to my
inflated expectations. Thankfully, I may answer a resounding "YES!" The
program takes the "trainees" through the entire process of speech
delivery: planning, organizing, planning, and applications. Moreover,
three speech types are covered: narrative, descriptive, and persuasive.
Anybody who has given a speech can relate to the title of disc
one: "Into the Fire." In fact, fire may seem preferable to giving
a speech! Next, in discs two and three, we traverse the "10 Mile
Run" and "Obstacle Courses." The training for and perseverance
required to run a 10-mile race can easily be compared to the speech
preparation and delivery process. Mr. Pudewa helps students avoid
speech pitfalls, much like a runner must avoid obstacles to make
a good time. Lastly, in disc four, we make it to the "Finish Line." The
pride we feel upon completion of something challenging like delivering
a speech is much like that of a runner crossing the finish line
in a race.
Regarding Speech Boot Camp, my daughter said, "I was
dreading every moment, but slowly I got more into it and less scared.
The tips were useful and applicable; seeing other people speak
showed me things I didn't like, thus I tried to avoid doing those
in my speeches. I feel like my speaking has improved, and I feel
better prepared." My son commented that this program was "not just
useful for giving speeches, but for talking in general." We all
agreed on our favorite part of the program--the speech examples,
in which we critiqued speeches and discussed them based upon the
requirements and conventions we had learned in the lessons.
This program can be used in a "boot camp" format (a four-day intensive
course) or in a slower, methodical eleven-week course. We used
the slower manner to enhance our learning and to give our students
time to process information and create a speech to be delivered
with accuracy, style, and calmness. In addition to the four DVDs,
you get a downloadable e-book containing reproducible handouts
for students, lesson plans, and evaluation forms. These items make
the program very user-friendly for the parent/facilitator. The
work is laid out for the student, and the easy-to-follow lesson
plans can be adjusted to fit the needs of your family or class.