Verity is a Christian organization, created and coached by homeschool parents. We support one another as everyone learns together to communicate winsomely and clearly. Our primary goal is for students to learn how to speak well, and at the same time honor God and others. While competing is fun, winning is distinctly a second-tier goal. 

Verity is a volunteer based club. We are led by our Executive Director, with parents acting in various volunteer roles throughout the year. A parent/caregiver is required to attend with their student(s) and help support our club.

Those leading our club, including our regional and national leagues, are volunteers. While Verity has volunteer coaches and leaders who generously donate their time throughout the year, our club depends on each family’s participation both during club times and our Verity hosted tournament(s). 

Speech events in our league include a wide range of events—something for everyone! The youngest speakers do Interpretation of Literature. Middle school kids choose from events such as impromptu speaking, interpretation, biographical informative, and apologetics. The teens have the most choices— everything from making totally impromptu speeches on general topics and about apologetics to fully-written, memorized and rehearsed speeches on serious topics. Additionally, they may chose from three different interpretation events, each one using a piece of excellent literature to bring to life through words and carefully planned movements. 


We live in an increasingly global society where academia and science are revered and God is mocked. Christians are often silenced by the fear of being politically incorrect, or being labeled as “right-wing fanatics.” Christ-followers are often characterized as “country bumpkins” who cling to their guns and their God. Meanwhile, issues near to God’s heart are being trampled due to a lack of speakers who can break down logical fallacies and eloquently speak God’s truth. We need to equip our young people to meet the intellectual and cultural elite on their turf with intelligence and grace, just as Paul debated the Greeks on Mars Hill, bringing the truth of Jesus Christ into their world by presenting logical arguments in a winsome way to engage the culture with Truth.



All homeschool students, ages 5-18 in the family join for one price. Parents attend meetings, too, and learn and help right alongside the students.

Your child’s age is evaluated as of October 1st each year. Therefore, if your child turns 12 on October 2nd, for Verity, and our regional (CCofSE) and national leagues (Stoa), their age for the year would still be 11.

Our goal is for everyone to learn how to organize their thoughts in order to communicate them clearly and within a designated time frame, and to be able to connect with an audience through the oral interpretation of good literature. Those skills are included in what we call “speech” training, and it’s for everybody, ages 5 to adult.  


Academic debate teaches all the speech skills, but there are many additional skills that debaters must learn. Researching current topics, analyzing issues, identifying logical fallacies, thinking quickly, and working with a partner are just a few of the skills debaters develop. For those reasons we offer two levels of debate, one (Public Forum) is for students ages 10-13,  and the other (Team Policy) is for students ages 12+. We are offering an optional training for Lincoln Douglas Debate that will take place each week before club meetings begin.




Using games, hands-on activities and practice speeches, everyone learns the basics. We split the group into age groups for some activities, and stay together as a larger group for some. The parents are encouraged to try the activities, too. Mocking or insulting others is always forbidden. We teach everyone how to give helpful analysis and kind critiques, and also how to accept such in the spirit of support it is offered. We sometimes end the weekly  club meeting with a few minutes for the students to socialize while the parents meet with me to discuss logistics, additional coaching sessions, etc. Friendships are formed, and parents learn ways to support their own kids’ learning at home.

Everybody receives speech training, from age 5 right up to the oldest teen! For the students who are old enough for debate (ages 10+) they can opt into debate training, as well. Parents help their students practice debate skills at home, and they help make arrangements for partners to work on debate together. Parents also serve as judges at tournaments.


We participate in both regional and national speech and debate leagues. Our regional league is Christian Communicators of the Southeast and tournaments are offered in various locations in VA and NC throughout the year. Tournaments include options for students ages 5+. For students ages 12+, these regional tournaments also qualify for our national league, Stoa.

Stoa tournaments are held all over the country with an invitational National tournament held each May. You can read more information about the national league and how to qualify for nationals, NITOC, on the Stoa Website.

Verity will host two tournaments, one in December and one in March. We encourage participation in both, but the one in December is optional. Each family is unique so we support each child in their individual goals, from attending only Verity’s March tournament to those families who want to attend multiple tournaments and qualify for NITOC.

After joining Verity, you are also required to join Stoa, our national league. This year our regional league, that also offers options for younger children (ages 5+) will not be charging any additional fees and is only requiring participation in Stoa. Please see our registration page for more details and to sign up.


Verity Speech & Debate Club has a meeting on Wednesdays at KingsWay, a church in Midlothian. Please see our ‘About’ page for more information.

2023-24 Registration

Early Bird sign-up:

June 20 – August 15, 2023   –  $175 per child with a $400 family cap

Regular sign-up:

August 16 – October 1, 2023 – $200 per child with a $475 family cap

Registration closes: October 2, 2023

* For families with a child attending activity class during debate times at club meetings there will be a one-time $25 supply fee per family.

Scholarship help may be available upon request. Participation requires joining the national league, Stoa, for a yearly family fee. There is also a fee for the tournaments each family chooses to attend. Please see our registration page for more information.

We have a private Discord server that requires an invitation to join. We ask that you request access to Discord during a club meeting.

For those who do not want to use a Discord App, we offer the ability to see the Discord messages on our website. You must sign up and be approved to have access to this option as well. We ask that all Verity Club Members, even those who use the Discord App, register for our website here.

We work hard to keep our group safe online which requires us to carefully monitor both Discord and our Website.

We also communicate through email. Parents and students are responsible for checking their emails for important club messages, tournament information, and homework assignments. 


Kathryn Shanks is the founder and Executive Director of Verity. She has been coaching homeschool speech and debate students continuously since 2000 when she co-founded the very first homeschool speech and debate club in the Richmond area. Kathryn and Bob have been actively involved in the homeschool community since beginning to homeschool their 4 children in 1988.

Parents and special experts fill in as the other coaches. As the our students advance, parents grow in heir own skills and knowledge, so they step up to help with the coaching duties, first with their own children at home, and also with other students. They are especially valuable  during club meetings when we divide up into age groups.

All families are expected to read and agree to our rules and expectations each year. Those rules/expectations can be found both here and on our registration page.