2022 Spelling Bee

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We finally had the BHEA Spelling Bee. BHEA stands for Blount Home Education Association. This was my second year coordinating the bee. The judges pick the words from the list we received from the National Spelling Bee Organization.

I have two children competing in the bee, but I do not know the words they will get from the judges. We prepare the entire list, 450 words. My job as a coordinator is to communicate with all the parents, give them the word list and the book list, and make sure we have a building, sponsors, goodie bags, prizes, judges, and that the Board stays informed.

The BHEA Board suggested we postpone it for a month, from January to February, so that the pandemic numbers could go down a bit more. We had quite a few people sick – judges, participants, parents. January just was not going to work out.

Spelling Bee Family

Our family before the bee

By the middle of February, everybody was healthy again. The COVID-19 numbers in our area have gone down so much, that the Board even decided to switch masks from being “required” to “recommended” for indoor activities. Continue reading »


2021 Spelling Bee

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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

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 »


Spelling Bee

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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.

BHEA Spelling Bee

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 »