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Coaching Your Student

As you prepare for the 2023-2024 Stoa competitive season, we know that it can be challenging and sometimes overwhelming. Often as parents we feel inadequate to coach our children in speech and debate, but like so many other subjects in your homeschooling journey, with some time and effort you can teach and coach them. With that in mind here are a couple of suggestions to get you started:

First, consider getting involved with a local club to help you with coaching. There are many established clubs with experienced leaders on our Stoa website [insert link here]. They offer a structure that will help you in the coaching process, create a strong foundation and provide a supportive community. It will also give your students a place to build camaraderie and give them some sparring partners to build their skills. Clubs are vitally important in a student's development.

Second, remember that God has entrusted your children to you, and we believe you are more than capable. Stoa wants to come alongside to help you coach your students, or even help you run a club.

In some cases, you may want to hire an outside coach or alumni to help you with your students. There are wonderful alumni and private coaches which can sometimes serve an important role. However, it’s important to choose a coach that is the best fit for your family and your values. If you choose this direction, we recommend looking for a coach that teaches with a biblical worldview and has a focus on technical skills, character development, and spiritual maturity. It’s also vital that they understand and support the rules and mission of Stoa, in order to foster the healthy spirit of competitive collegiality that makes Stoa such a rich and wonderful community for its members.

This season, Stoa has added a Student Code of Conduct to Family Membership. Be sure to review it with your students and ensure that any coaching, from clubs to private coaches, include teaching and upholding it.

We hope this helps as you navigate these important steps and please don’t hesitate to ask for help or resources.

Your Stoa Debate Committee


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