The Spelling Bee

Posted: January 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

My kids are smart.

Joey is a builder and makes insane designs with train tracks and wood blocks. He puts things together in ways that boggle my mind. The little guy can also match pitches so well my college music ed major self would be green with envy.

Emma is an artist. She loves to draw and put together “her fashions” in unique ways. She also shares Joey’s pitch matching skills and loves to sing.

Andy is a problem solver and a story teller. The challenge will be getting him to use his powers for good instead of evil.

Laura is the one I think of as being traditionally smart. She gets the best grades and reads the  most books. She does her homework without being asked and she ALWAYS reminds me to sign her assignment book.

In December, our school system gave a written spelling test to students in grades 5-8. They also wrote an essay about the importance of being good spellers in the age of texting, and Tweeting, and spell-check. The top 25 scorers were invited to participate in the oral spelling bee for our district.

Laura got in.

Not only did she get in, but she had the highest score of all the 5th graders tested. Out of the top 25 there were only 2 5th graders. (Her bff was only a point or two behind her.) We arrived at the Spelling Bee location and checked in. Students drew numbers to determine their order. I had to chuckle when Laura drew number 1.

Once everyone got in and got settled in their seat, county officials went over the rules and ran the kids through a test run to get them comfortable with the process. When it came time for the first word the pronouncer (our superintendent of schools) said, “Speller 1, are you ready?”


Then slowly Laura shook her head no.

Laughter erupted and broke the tension.

Well it seemed to break the tension. I was still on the edge of my seat. Don’t get me wrong, I know my kid is smart. However, I still had that “Dear God don’t let her get out on the first round, on the first word!” thing going on.

Her word was salami.

My kid knows her highly spiced meats. She made it past the 1st round.

Next word, round 2? Guitar.

I quickly had the “Dear God don’t let her get out on a music word in the easy round/how embarrassing I teach guitar” thing happening.

My honor was saved. She got it right.

Several more rounds…kids dropped out but Laura kept right on spelling her words correctly.

In the end it was Laura and 4 other students…all of which were 8th graders. She finally misspelled and was out. Her word? Vibrato *facepalm*

That said, I’m super proud of her. She did a fabulous job and totally geeked out over her new dictionary. She even got a trophy for her high score on the written test.

  1. Mandy Flora says:

    Hey! I never commented, but Ive read all your posts! Great job, keep it up!

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