Student Speeches

Submissions for the Senior Class Address will be accepted from participating graduates. Two speeches will be selected.

The speech should be three to five minutes long, must be the student’s original work, and should reflect how being homeschooled through high school has impacted his/her life or helped shape who he/she is. The speech should offer your fellow graduates inspiration and encouragement, and the focus should not be exclusively personal. Speeches will be judged on content, structure, and overall effectiveness.

The deadline for submitting a speech is February 15th.

Suggestions for an Effective Speech

You are writing a 3-5 minute speech. You will be speaking before well over 1,000 people, most of whom are relatives and friends of fellow graduates.


What you choose to write about will be the most important decision because it will affect every aspect of your speech. Consider first your audience. Take into consideration the parents in the audience who have sacrificed greatly to reach this point with their children. Be sure to recognize their efforts and thank them on behalf of all the graduates.

Have something original to say. This is a reflective point in your life and in the lives of your fellow graduates. What have you learned about life? Is there a historical event that helps you put life in perspective? Do you have a favorite quote? Feel free to share something about the centrality of your faith to your future goals and direction, but keep in mind there will be a diverse audience with varying views.

Be humorous! Find a way to lighten the moment with a funny observation or a transparent moment. This doesn’t mean you have to search joke books, but as you have others read your speech, ask them where you could add some lighthearted words to put others at ease (and yourself at the same time!)


Memorize your speech, but there will be a printed copy of your speech available in the lectern.

Use gestures where they are natural to do so. Be sure to make eye contact with different sections of the audience, rather than focusing your attention in one spot the entire time. Keep in mind you are trying to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. Don’t forget to smile occasionally!

Judging Criteria

Speech contest participants will be judged by a panel of volunteers in the following areas:

  • Speech Development
    Structured around purpose, organization (opening, body, and conclusion), support material, immediately engages audience, relevant examples, unified whole
  • Effectiveness
    Achievement of purpose, thanks parents, holds interest
  • Speech Value
    Important ideas, logic, original and meaningful thought
  • Appropriateness
    Choice of words, humorous, precisely fits the occasion, states how homeschooling impacted or helped shape student, avoids disparaging other faiths, political affiliations, and education choices
  • Correctness
    Grammar, word selection, directs attention to thoughts rather than words

To submit a speech, you must be logged in and registered for the 2024 Homeschool Idaho Graduation.

Don’t Hesitate to Contact Us!