Friday, January 16, 2015

Why Presentations?

For those of you who are Classical Conversations parents, I thought I would share something that I wrote on our local CC blog recently and part of a discussion we had at our tutor meeting. For those of you who are new to hearing about presentations and CC, each child ages 4-6th grade gives a 3 minute presentation each week during class.

I've been thinking a lot about Presentations lately. This is really a great thing that our children participate in during CC! So valuable!

All of this precipitated a discussion at our tutor meeting this morning about Presentations. I tossed out these questions:

Why do we do Presentations?
What are the benefits? The desired results? Value?
How can we {as moms and tutors} model that value to our children?
How can we {as tutors} help the moms with Presentations?

Let's talk about some of the "why" behind Presentations. There is a lot of practical benefit to our children having the experience and practice of speaking in front of their peers 24 times each school year! Think about the cumulative effect of that benefit!!!

All of this made me think about the real bottom line though. The goal in our children being able to speak courageously and confidently in front of their peers is: The Gospel. I quickly looked up a few Scriptures before our meeting started and we looked at the spiritual benefits of our children participating in Presentations each week.

Deuteronomy 18:18, "...I will put My words in his mouth..."
Judges 19:30, "Think about it!  Consider it! Tell us what to do!"
1 Samuel 2:1, "My mouth boasts over my enemies for I delight in Your deliverance."
Acts 4:29, boldness to speak for the Lord Jesus
Acts 9:28, "...speaking boldly in the name of the Lord."
Acts 14:3, "...speaking boldly for the Lord..."
Acts 19:8, "...spoke boldly, arguing persuasively for the Kingdom of God..."
Ephesians 6:20, "... Pray that I may declare it fearlessly..."
Ezekiel 24:27, "...Your mouth will be opened..."
Colossians 4:6, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

For me, I think it boils down to this:

1 Peter 3:15, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

And then I thought of Moses, when God came to him in the burning bush and asked big and hard things of him to go to Pharaoh to deliver God's people from Egypt. Moses came up with a host of excuses ending with this:

Exodus 4:10-12, "Moses said to the Lord, 'O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.' The Lord said to him, 'Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.'"

I find it encouraging that God used Moses, though ordinary and feeling inadequate, to accomplish great things for God's Kingdom. But I would love to know that this is not a hindrance to my children in serving God. I don't want them to be timid or fearful to share the truth of God.

This is the heart and soul of why we do Presentations each week. That our children would grow to be confident, courageous, bold witnesses for the cause of Christ.

Ok, so we get the why - how does that work out in reality. I totally understand we are all busy moms. We have a lot on our plate and sometimes Presentations takes a back seat. Please know there is grace for that. As a tutor group, we talked about being able to announce the topic for next week even in class so it is on your radar earlier in preparing for the next week. I write our memory work on the chalkboard each week and I put the next topic on there so it is at least there and we can be ready to start thinking about it and it's not a surprise Monday evening :)

We talked about the Presentation skill mentioned on the schedule each week. You may find your tutor mentioning those verbally in class to explain what that means to our children. You may find it helpful to consider how you would present a paper and order your Presentation in a similar fashion:

Introduction {of self and topic}
Body {main points}
Conclusion {wrapping it up}

I love this thought one of you mamas shared with me - think of your Presentation as a present. At the end, it should be tied up and presented in a polished finished way.

I'd love for us to work together with our children to cultivate wise and respectful listeners. Let us model being good listeners and asking of good questions. Let us model how to respect the speaker by being an attentive audience.

Personally, I plan on talking through some of these Scriptures with my children to communicate simply why take the time to participate in Presentations each week and the value and benefits we pray to reap in the years ahead.

We are seeing the value even when our children reach Essentials age {4th grade} in having paved the way with presenting. And, of course we know their abilities and capacity to present will grow with them as they grow in age and practice.

1 comment:

Jen said...

I am not a homeschooling mom-never have been-and I don't know much about CC. But I LOVE this! When I went to college, I was so torn about what to choose as my major course of study. My wise daddy (who is now with Jesus) told me "You should study English/communications. If you can communicate well, you can do almost anything." I think those are very wise words! Communication: written, spoken, even non-verbal, is VITAL and an art that has been much neglected in recent years. Stick it out, mamas! It's worth every minute! Happy Friday!