October looms large and what have we learned? Lots. For one, we love middle school. Our children are in 8th grade and 6th grade respectively. Maybe they are more mature or maybe I am more relaxed, but things are going smoothly.
Hiking the Grotto Falls trail
With the pandemic, nobody is living their Plan A, and we are no exception. We wish we could do orchestra again, but alas, they require masks. My children cannot play violin for one minute with a mask on, let alone one hour. This is our second year of not doing orchestra and we miss it dearly. Continue reading »
My children have been participanting in the BHEA Spelling Bee since 2015, I think. BHEA stands for Blount Home Education Association – a homeschool support group in a county other than our own. But, such is life. There is no homeschool group in Sevier County that runs a spelling bee, as far as I know.
Spelling Bee 2021 Participants
We are also members of the Cedar Springs Homeschool Support Group in Knoxville. They used to run a Spelling Bee, but not anymore. They have shifted their focus to science. Continue reading »
Great Words, Great Works represent a list of books, compiled by the National Spelling Bee organizers. These books contain the 450 words which make up the School Level Word List. The organizers have picked these books for their literary value, engaging plots, and vocabulary.
Three titles from the list put together by the National Spelling Bee
The book list, just like the word list, changes every year. This year, they released the list earlier, due to the quarantine. Proactive parents would do well to get these books for their kids as soon as possible.
One thing stays the same: the books are organized by grade and even the first grade books present challenging words. The point is, read them all. Even if you have children in 5th grade and 7th grade, like I will have next school year, you should read them all. Continue reading »
This was THE week we have been prepping for since August – Spelling Bee week. We also traveled to Nashville for TeenPact One Day, a political workshop for homeschooled children. In addition, we had another Science Olympiad practice in Knoxville, for Circuit Lab. Last but not least, the orchestra practice competition started this week.
Our son decided to practice a lot more than what he usually does. Well, when you go out of town for two days, you cannot meet practice goals. He is learning that our goals must meet the reality of the schedule. He has three more weeks when he can strive for the same goal though. Continue reading »
Last year, our son attended his first Spelling Bee. He was in third grade, which is the first year a child can attend a Spelling Bee. On a national level, I see some first graders who make it to Washington, D. C. (usually homeschoolers) and I wonder how they got there. Their parents and teachers must have realized they are so good, they enrolled them and the youngsters blew their older peers out of the water.
BHEA Spelling Bee – January 2017
Precocious kiddoes aside, third grade is where Spelling Bee starts. So how does one prepare for a Spelling Bee? Here are a few ideas: Continue reading »
We attended our first Spelling Bee and it was a lot of fun. My son got out in the third round, but he said he enjoyed himself and wanted to come back next year. As it is, he finished in the middle of the group, which is not bad for his first time and for being a third grader.
A Spelling Bee is simply a great experience in public speaking, recalling information you have learned, working under pressure, using your knowledge of phonics to tackle a new word, and thinking on your feet. I have written here before that vocabulary is the only proven predictor of future success.
My son, second from the right, pays attention during the BHEA Spelling Bee in Maryville.
I was glad the organizers had prizes for all the children participating. Even though it was a good experience for all, receiving a goody bag as soon as they got off the stage took the sting out of the loss for many of these children. Continue reading »