Around the Horn: Traditional School vs. Home School, Part 2

If you did not read Part 1, Please feel free to do so.

Give a prediction or statement in reference to the growth of programs

Callaway–I think as Bible Quiz continues to grow, the percentage of traditional school teams competing will grow as compared to the number of home school teams.

Douglas–I am especially concerned about some who would like to see home school programs and home schoolers eliminated from AACS state and national competition. To discourage their participation in my mind is inconsistent with a biblical worldview. I am a graduate of a traditional christian school and have spent 18 years working in traditional christian schools. I currently home school my children and believe that both approaches are vital to the cause of Christ.

Richardson–There are many good homeschool teams on the rise. Woodside had a bad year or two, but I think they’ll be more improved this year. I think Old Paths will have some of their best years without Grace and Tim. And Calvary is expected to be the next best Florida team.

West–I see differences in theology and membership taking away opportunities and competition from Bible Quizzers. In my mind, the primary element of Bible Quiz is to encourage as many students as possible to learn as much Scripture as possible and have fun doing it. I am especially worried about those who would use a church split as a reason to exclude a brother or sister from participating in Bible Quiz. I’d rather see a team from two churches participate in an event than tell six individuals, you can’t quiz, because your parents don’t agree on doctrine.

LINDSAY’s Decision
Douglas gives a very good answer. I can’t quibble with it at all. He is probably the godfather of Bible Quiz as far as I can see, and his dedication and wisdom will be appreciated in years to come. He gets not just my respect, but also a point!

What is the primary ingredient in dynasties?

Callaway–It sort of depends on the definition of a dynasty. Was FBCCF a dynasty? They won one national championship and were really good for about 3 years – possibly could be growing larger. Then, it would be a great quizzer that is the primary ingredient who is able to lift everyone else up. However, I would not regard them as a dynasty. I think the closest thing we have in the past few years to a dynasty would be Old Paths, even though they did not win nationals. Then, the primary ingredient is a great quizzing family. Still, I would not regard Old Paths as a dynasty. When I think dynasty, I think Schaumberg of the late 90s early 2000s. Can you name a quizzer off of any of their teams? Maybe. Here, the most important part of their success is having Coach Randy Thaxton. Thus, for me and my house, the primary ingredient of a dynasty is coaching.

Douglas–A great leader to keep the program moving.

Richardson–Stability and a coach. Coaches will enhance the skill of a team, even if the talent is lacking. A very talented quizzer may come along and make a great team for a year or two, but once the talent is gone, the team must have skill. Also, stability is important. A team cannot be unified if there is a fluctuation in power or consistancy and if there is resistance to the newly-founded power.

There are so many ingredients in a dynasty. To me, a dynasty is a team that over 10 years was competitve in their bad years and won it all in their best years. Therefore, a great coaching program is the best thing to have.

LINDSAY’s Decision
Everyone seems to agree that coaches are the #1 ingredient. Is it easier to build that dynasty in a home school or a traditional school? Well, I think history shows that traditional schools have been better, but not all dynasties are created equal. If a dynasty is defined as 4 years or less of strong showings at AACS, then a great quizzer could be the main factor. However, if a dynasty mandates a championship, a little good fortune is a factor. Lately, it seems that participating in events prior to going to the big events is important. Parenthetically, I think until we get one home school dynasty to equal the success of the traditional dynasties, this argument remains theoretical only. While Woodside is close, they still have not equaled the dyasterial success of the Colorado teams of Mike DeVries yet. Over time, they have surpassed in total titles, but they still haven’t produced the top team in successive years. The Thaxton teams from Illinois, the West teams from Florida, the Calvert teams from Tennessee, the Douglas teams South Carolina. These are teams I see as dynasties. And the most likely dynasty forthcoming is the Kentucky team. We still haven’t or don’t foresee a home school-related dynasty. Give me just one team to match them before this becomes a legitimate debate. I must say that I find Callaway’s answer to be the best, so he gets a point.

What type of school did you attend or coach at? Would it have been possible to duplicate the success at the other type of school?

Callaway–I attended a traditional school. For me, no.

Douglas–Traditional — yes

Richardson–I was homeschooled. Yes, the success could have been duplicated at a traditional school, assuming that the people on the team were the same. It is often harder for homeschool teams to come up with the needed funds for the necessities of becoming a great national team. Traditional schools often allocate the BQ team a certain amount of money each year for trips, new boxes, etc. Whereas homeschoolers often have to provide the money for such things on their own.

Well, as a quizzer my success was in a traditional school. I think it would have been very difficult to duplicate in a home school environment. With only one quiz each year, the constant contact made it seem more real, whereas we would have completely died as a team without that daily interaction. As a league director, I have assisted both types of programs and had success with both. I believe that God’s Sovreign placing of each student (and, thereby, each team) in the exact situation would make any success difficult to DUPLICATE in a different encironment. On the other hand, a different team can have different success that wins just as many championships.

LINDSAY’s Decision
When I wrote this question, I was hoping for some personal stories that would kind of detail success as a coach, a day school student, and a home school student. As expressed earlier, I did not get the litany of responses for which I was hoping and I finally gave up on waiting. I think that there is a reason that some parents home school. Those parents (hopefully) feel that God has called them to be the primary distributer of all knowledge to their child. Obviously, a special group of kids in that environment can band together and become a “team of destiny.” On the other hand, some parents, while (hopefully) still realizing that God has given them the responsibility to train their child, feel that there are some areas where a trained professional might be a better immediate contact in a given subject area. This can cause some incredibly trained grammarians and logicians, who use those skills to band together and accomplish special things as a team. And in any situation, a coach can put together a special team. There is no perfect formula for a team. All can be successful. I think all could be duplicated in a different environment, but that is changing the entire complexion of the team, both in personality and function. I guess I just expected so much and got so little. I give the point to West based purely on his effort to do what I wanted.

Scoring Recap– Callaway 1, Douglas 1, West 1. Richardson is eliminated.

What do you think of the statement that Home Schoolers have a huge advantage?

Callaway–The advantage that home schoolers have really isn’t an advantage. Personally, I played a sport every season of the year and also made fairly good grades. And if we’re all honest with ourselves, the best quizzers probably average at the most 30 minutes of studying a day. Now whether or not you participate in other extra curricular activities, everyone has 30 minutes they can study on most days. Home schoolers probably actually do have more time to study Bible verses, but I don’t think that there is anyone out there who is studying 6 hours a day or something.

Let’s see how we can help each other and not hurt each other. If your traditional school is not supportive of Bible Quiz, consider starting a team through your church or a club. If your traditional school has a Bible Quiz program, open it up to home school students. If you have a home school team and know of children in traditional christian schools or public schools who want to quiz, offer them the opportunity. I recognize that the rules of some events will not allow all to quiz, but we now have many open tournaments who are supportive of teams, no matter how they are structured.

I think it is false. As we went through it earlier, both have some advantages and disadvantages. The argument always seems to come back to time. Let me tell you a little story. I have recently started an event (the Independence Day Spectacular) where even old people, like me, can quiz. Now, with the exception of this year where I really slacked (sorry, Grace), I have held my own with most quizzers. I would assert that no student, whether traditional or home trained has less time than me. I don’t want to get into resume sharing, but I usually work about 70 hours a week, have a family to spend time with, I have bills to pay, I serve in several positions at my church, and I am just an ordinary adult with lots of responsibility. And if I am honest with myself, the reason I didn’t do well this year has less to do with my being busier and more to do with not MAKING the time it takes to do well. Everyone is busy. Everyone can do something else. Everyone can make excuses. The fact is that you can become a great quizzer by spending a little time in The Word every day, and since that is what we should all be doing anyway, that is why I love Bible Quiz. Could you do better if you have more time? Sure, but usually that is only useful when you fall behind because of bad time management in the first place, which usually degredates into bad use of your extra make-up time, extending the cycle.

LINDSAY’s Decision
Wow! There is little I can add to any of these answers. They are all great. Maybe because I am now a full-time working adult with a different perspective or maybe because I’m just an age-ist, I pick Douglas and West. Callaway, I really can’t knock your answer at all, but unfortunately, I have to eliminate someone. These answers exceeded my expectations!!

Is there a overarching pattern in Bible Quiz teams and what type of students they have?

Not really, the roots of Bible quiz can actually be traced to clubs formed in our public schools in the late 1940’s and on into the 1960’s. I would love to see us concentrate on how quiz can help us encourage people of all ages to study God’s Word more thoroughly.

Believe it or not, I think the pattern is one of ministries rising and falling. Look about twelve years ago, when I quizzed. How many of the teams that were then challengers are still around and successful? Unfortunately that number is small if it exists at all. I wish that the phasing in of new times would be accompanied by fewer teams dropping out of Bible Quiz. Wouldn’t it be great if we could look twelve years into the future and see 10-12 new teams contending, BUT all of the current contending teams were there also. How great would that be?

LINDSAY’s Decision
Well, it looks like you two compared notes, but I think Douglas answered the question slightly better. Congratulations to all 6 who answered. Phooey to the six who ignored me. Congratulations David Douglas for your victory. See you next time on Around the Horn (if I can get people to actaully reply when I send questions).

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