Around the Horn: Traditional School vs. Home School, Part 1

OK, let me enlighten you with a story. First, Brant contacted me a couple of weeks ago, saying someone had forwarded him an excellent idea for an “Around the Horn.” Being the obedient little boy my mommy raised, I decided to send out questions. Only, instead of sending questions to four people, I thought the subject matter warranted a different kind of game altogether. Because there are at least 3 points of view (those home schooled, those in a day school, and coaches), I wanted to have a winner from each group and then have a final run-off. Because the following people did not respond, we will not have such a tiered effect: Home schooled students Jeremy Barker, Seth Phillips, and David Tyrrell; Traditional student Dustin ManWarring; coaches Jack Bamford and Andrew Scott. So, if you see any of these people, ridicule them greatly for ruining the first ever, playoff format Around the Horn. Here are the six people who did answer: Coach Dan Ellenwood, Coach David Douglas, traditional students Brant Callaway, David Marriott, and Matt West, and home schooled Breanna Richardson. (Can we at least say that traditional day students are much better at answering this homework assignment?)


In the next nine years, who will win more AACS championships? total events? –Home School Programs or Traditional Schools

Callaway–Traditional schools should win more of both. I think home schools are right now at the zenith of their Bible Quizzing power – even though a traditional school team did win EVERY big tournament last year.

Douglas–I would expect it to be about even.

Ellenwood–By far, home school programs. As a general, not a scientific, observation, they seem to be better at it because of their higher commitment of time and energy.

Marriott–Since I am supposed to guess, I would say Home School programs. It is just my opinion, but it seems as though Christian schools in general are struggling with attendance issues. Subsequently their sports, fine arts, and extracirriculars are also suffering.

Richardson–Even though I think of all the teams, PVKY is the most likely to win AACS, there are more “good” homeschool teams. I’ll say Homeschoolers!

West–I think AACS will be mostly traditional schools, as it is tougher for home school programs to participate there. I do think it depends on how you define total events. Also, does a church team count as either? They could have students that attend both. I think there are presuppositions in this question which negate the ability to answer with assurance.

LINDSAY’s DecisionI feel like West is trying to demean me and my question. So, he clearly is out. As Callaway pointed out, “of the last 14 national champions, eleven have been traditional schools.” I really think it has to be that way. This question is impossible to predict, so I think Douglas’s answer is just as good. Ellenwood, Marriott, and Richardson, I really think you are incorrect. Point to Callaway and Douglas.

What is the main advantage for traditional students?

Callaway–The main advantage is you have more people to choose from. Traditional schools can pick the best and brightest to recruit the hardest to be on the team.

Douglas–If a good coach is in place it is easier to sustain a traditional school program because of the number of students available to quiz and the assurance that new kids will be able to step in as the current quizzers graduate.

Ellenwood–No answer

Marriott–The main advantage for Christian school kids is that they can have an actual quizzing class if they so desire. Also, it seems as though Christian schools have an easier time integrating all their quizzers into a team.

Richardson–They have a teacher dedicated to teaching/coaching Bible Quizzing. For example, the main person that listened to me quote was my mother, but she was also very busy schooling three of my siblings too. I attended CFCA’s Bible quiz class a couple times and they had time set aside that the quizzers would be solely dedicated to listen to you quote. Of course, in our one hour practices once a week we had 15-20 minutes to quote, but none of us ever used that time wisely, unfortunately.

West–Every advantage is an over-generalization, but I often hear a few major ones credited. However, I think none of those mentioned is the biggest advantage. The real advantage is the perpetual, separate existence of the program. Yes, some traditional teams die out. The fact is, however, that a well-organized school will keep the program around, even when factors change, like good students graduate, the coach leaves, or other things.

LINDSAY’s DecisionMost of these answers are severely truncated, but I think I posted the gist. Callaway and Douglas copied each other’s notes, but I think Richardson and Marriott seem to have the best answers.

What is the main advantage for home school students?

Callaway–In theory, home school students would have more time because they are less likely to participate in extra curricular activities and they don’t have to deal with wasted time at school like typing class or health – they can just go study verses instead.

Douglas–More freedom to travel to events during school year.

Ellenwood–The main advantage for home school students is the time element. Home schoolers can set their
own schedule and thus spend a good bit of time each day on Bible quizzing. Many traditional students play a season or
two of a sport which is another huge time commitment with practices every day, traveling to games two or three
times a week, etc.

Marriott–Obviously their main advantage is one of time. I have been homeschooled and I have attended Christian school. Although I was busy as a homeschooler, it did not compare to my high school schedule.

Richardson–Their family. Often a homeschooler’s family will be fully supportive in Bible Quizzing, go on long trips as chaperones, and be the primary motivator and listener.

West–The one I always hear is time. Having worked at a Christian school, I have found that many teachers covet their class time. See, the real issue isn’t time, but rather the perceived value of one minute of class time. Maybe that is why I wasn’t meant to work in a school. I have always felt that if a student is doing well in my class and there is something they are doing that is beneficial in any way, go ahead and do it. (By the way, Bible Quiz is beneficial). Unfortunately, the number of people who work against Christian school teams can be vast. The advantage that home school students usually have is there are no other teachers fighting the political battle for more time of not missing class. The sport argument I hear has never convinced me–most home school students I know play more sports than traditional students.

LINDSAY’s DecisionWow, this is a diverse list. Everyone mentioned time, but since Marriott has experience in both, I found myself belieing him the most. Callaway has a great way of phrasing the time issue, so I give him the humor point. Richardson and West have stellar answers, so a regular point to both of them.

Which environment lends itself to the least attrition?

Callaway–I would imagine home schooling because there aren’t as many other things to be involved in if you are home schooled.

Douglas–On a year-to-year basis the traditional school probably loses more students to other activities. This is regrettable and directly linked to leadership’s failure to support quiz programs through scheduling, publicity, and monetary means. On a long-term basis, I believe Home school programs have a greater tendency to face attrition since they are usually built around a few key families. Once a family has finished schooling its children the program will often wane and even disappear.

Ellenwood–Probably home schoolers. They seem to focus on things they enjoy so they spend the time and are committed to them. Traditional school kids have all their friends not involved in quizzing telling them it’s not worth the time and effort to do quizzing, let’s go do this instead, etc.

Marriott–Homeschool teams rarely have to worry about church or school politics and kids leaving to other ministries.

Richardson–Traditional School. Once a family picks a school for their child, they are more likely to stick with the same school than they are church. The biggest threat to the consistancy of my team, was losing members of the team and coaching staff that moved churches.

West–Unfortunately, this is a problem for both. Let me bring it to a statistical approach. If one family leaves a home school group, that usually has a profound effect. If one family leaves a traditional school, that usually is very overcomable in many ways. I guess I have to say that traditional schools struggle less with attrition.

LINDSAY’s DecisionThere are basically two questions within this one that I did not see when I wrote it. I think the fact is that David Douglas answered both of these questions so wonderfully that there is little that I can add. He gets a point. However, Ellenwood answered the up front annual question the best. Point to him. West answered the other way with statistical fact. Therefore, I give him a point. All would do well to look at Douglas’s answer.

Scoring Recap– Callaway 2, Douglas 2, Richardson 2, West 2, Ellenwood 1, Marriott 1. Ellenwood and Marriott are eliminated.

Check back later for Part 2.

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