You may think this post will be about judging others or how I was missed judged or something like that.

But, No!

It is about being a Judge in a home school debate class:

This class is more like a political science class then anything else. The class consists of home schooled high school and a few middle school students. This program is a nationally recognized program that is run by the parents of the students.

The kids that debate take old issues that have been argued in Congress or the Senate and have been passed or maybe not passed and rework them. The students write up thier own ideas of how to make things work better for the policies and then they argue them.

The last couple of years the class has debated issues such as:

Medical Malpractice, NATO, and Emigration Reform….This year the students are debating whether or not Sanctions should be placed on India. Every team has a different approach………Human rights for the Dalits , a work study program in the US, Free trade in India and on and on.

You get the idea….right?

As a parent, I pretend to happily go to class with my son and listen to brilliant kids argue their brilliant cases. I am to pick a winner of the debate. I should know why I picked the team I picked and why the other team didn’t win………I should know what each team member should work on to make them a better team. I need to know what they did well and most of all I am to UNDERSTAND the whole thing.

I am to tell the students, in person, why I think what I think. I should stop the debater when he or she makes mistakes………I am to rate them as first, second, third and fourth speakers….decide how they did on their persuasiveness, organization, delivery, how the evidence worked for me, how well they cross-examined the opponents and refutation………… and ,to me, worst of all, I am write all this out on an official NCFCA form.

Every time I do this I feel like I am being weighed………… in public……….ugggg!!

The students debate on stock issues and reforms and transparencies and harms and definitions and Policies and Advantages, and disadvantages and core issues, and inherency, and, and, and, and………………..when I listen to all this I think my head is going to explode!!!!!

I use to think I knew a little bit about something and then ‘we’ joined this club and I became a parent judge……….I listen to these brilliant kids that know these brilliant words that I have to sometimes (try) to write down so I can look them up later or worse ask one of my kids what it means………..because I forget!!! or I just don’t know the word!

I am a terrible speller. I am not a good writer. I get confused easily……. I forget things all the time.


I really don’t know what the heck these kids are talking about! I sit and listen and pretend……….and I think…………..Huh??………..What???….. The who?? Now is India anywhere near Charleston SC? Or is it in NC near Cherokee Valley?



I know I should be fair. I know I should be informed. I know I should kind of know what I am doing. After all, these kids are our future………I have to keep in mind they are debating to win scholarships, get to college and maybe even learn how to lead this Great Country of ours……………not to make me feel stupid.

Now, if I am asked whether this top looks good with these pants…….I am your woman…….or if Susie’s eyes are to close together. I can give you a big………. YES!! You know make up could do wonders for her….


Why the heck is she wearing those shoes with that dress??

But, THIS!!

It is just too darn hard! These kids are just too darn smart! The worst of it all we cannot judge our own kids……….I would be good here because I would know if my kid cleaned his room or not that day. I would know if he worked really hard in school that week. I would know if he was very nice to me and very helpful to his brother and sisters……. then……….

He wins!

If he wasn’t and made me crazy that week………

It is a BIG lose!!

At one time, I use to think I knew a little bit about politics and policies and maybe a big word here and there ……but now…….

I know……….. I know nothing!!

Gee, being a Parent Judge in a home school debate class is really hard.

3 thoughts on “Judging

  1. I would much rather mind Mary E., than judge that debate team, and if I go on, you will tap me for a judge so you are doing a wonderful job. Home schooling is so HARD, I would put em on the bus. Mom


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