19 December 2013

Day 46 / 103 - Spelling Bee

With very little preparation, our local county homeschool association formally registered for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  As a result, we needed to have a Spelling Bee amongst our community where the winners would advance to the Raleigh County Bee which is held in January.  All of it came together very quickly at a normally rushed and busy time of year.  My children participated in the community Bee, although if you asked them why, they would both probably respond with:  My mom signed me up for this.  I didn't want to do it.

My children were both on the younger end of their divisions, so my intention for them was to participate for experience.  My daughter had 150 words to study, and in a week's time she mastered the 100 for her grade level.  My son had 200 words to study, and in a week's time he mastered the 100 for his grade level.  I didn't require them to learn more.  The words were challenging (panache, derivative, netiquette, etc.).  Most of these words they were unfamiliar with at the start of last week.

I could not have been more proud of their participation.  Of the words that they knew, they spelled each one confidently and correctly.  They were not the winners of their divisions (which I'm sure they are breathing a sigh of relief, because if so they would need to continue onto the County Bee) but they both performed very well in their respective divisions.

However, what I loved the most about our participation in this Bee is seeing my children's ability to learn.  I've mentioned before (here) that I've never used a spelling curriculum.  Never.  I've never given them formal weekly spelling quizzes.  We don't use spelling software games on the computer.  Nothing.  We read.  And, we have the ability to 'go look something up' when we want to learn about it.  My children, in one week's time, taught themselves how to spell 100 challenging words.  My children are discovering they have the ability to learn most anything.  In my mind, that is education at it's finest.

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