December 17th, 2004


Spelling Bee

We were informed early in the week that Evan (10, 4th grade) had won the spelling bee in his class and would be participating in a school-wide bee yesterday. We attended and watched as he placed third in the school among 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. He placed behind another 4th grader and the overall winner, a 3rd grader. Of course, spelling bees are pretty much luck of the draw. The word he misspelled was itinerary. I forgot what the winning word was, but Allie and I both thought the words that came after his were ones he could have easily spelled.

He won a small trophy and will travel (about 30 minutes to an hour away) with the other two winners to another school in January to compete against other charter school students in a spelling bee. Conceivably, we could be going regional or even national, though I'm not counting on that. Not that Evan isn't smart and a good speller, but I've seen the kind of words these contests use! As part of placing in the school contest, they gave him the 2005 Paideia Scripps National Spelling Bee book which lists approximately 3900 words in 26 categories which will be used in the upcoming competition, as well as the national contest.

If Evan shows interest in becoming a competitive speller, I will help him and encourage him to do so. It will help his self-esteem if he becomes good enough to compete, as his performance has already shown that he can. However, this is extra-curricular and I only want him to do it if he wants to. I will post a page from the Paideia showing some of the words from past national contests, very few of which I have even heard, and even fewer of which I could spell. As you will see, this is a very specialized and time consuming "hobby."

I am very proud that he did as well as he did. His gift is one of intellect, and he has shown little interest in physical things like sports, but is already focused on what kind of career he desires. Zoologist has recently received competition from veterinarian, but he is definitely interested, as he always has been, in working with animals in some way. If he could have Steve Irwin's job when he grows up, I think he would take it. Although, I would probably try to persuade him to use a bit more common sense than the Crocodile Hunter does.

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