Lessons from the 24th Week

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.

TeenPact 2020

TeenPact 2020

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.

This practice competition is a fundraiser. Our children get money from friends and family based on the number of hours they practice, e.g. $1 per hour. The top orchestra is traveling to Austria and the Czech Republic this summer and they need all the financial help they can get.

Box Game TeenPact

They love the Box Game, a way to get to know each other before the seminar begins.

TeenPact was awesome as usual. The Spelling Bee was a huge learning experience. You know what that means, right? It hurt a lot. We learn when we hurt.


“This Will Make You A Better Teacher,” They Said

Our son missed “writers.” Seriously?!? I told him before the Bee it was OK to misspell “hydrargyrum” or “synesthesia” or “xylyl” or “Lascaux,” but not the first 300 words, which I consider easy/intermediate and totally doable. He knows these words. He knows them in his sleep. So I took it harder than he did.

The biggest takeaway? My son is just a boy. I need to cut him some slack. Connecting the brain to the mouth 100% of the time while going through puberty is a tough proposition. Other kids were missing easy words, as well.

In fact, the first contender who got eliminated was a former champion and he misspelled “crowd” even though he knew how to spell it. Poor boy! He was so upset with himself, he did not pose for group pictures afterwards. His mom could not console him. As an 8th grader, he knew that was his last chance to qualify for Regionals. My heart goes out to him.

My son has two more chances, so at least we got that going for us. And we will build on this experience to become better at how to tackle the spelling list.

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