December 10, 2010

Can you Spell SMARTY-PANTS?

Just before Christmas, our homeschool co-op held its annual spelling bee. The spelling bee is a source of much anticipation and, sometimes, consternation in our household. And, although it is very difficult to find extra study time during this busy time of year, there is certainly some "cramming" of spelling words that takes place in the day or two before the big bee.

Anna Marie reached an educational milestone: As a high schooler, she is no longer eligible for the official spelling bee. I guess that makes her OLD. However, Kathleen and Andrew eagerly jumped into the game.

First grader Andrew competed in the "Little Kids Bee" which is designated for kindergartners through third graders, although younger children may also participate. Spelling with determination and grit, never getting rattled, Andrew won second place—his first spelling bee medal! Go, Andrew! He is excited that he has two more years of eligibility in the Little Kids Bee, although there are some amazing spellers coming up in the ranks behind him.

Seventh grader Kathleen participated in the "Official Bee"—the nerve-wracking, nail-biting bee which sends the winner to compete in the All-City Bee. The official spelling bee pits fourth through eighth graders against one another over some ridiculously difficult words. The competition was fierce, and Kathleen pulled off an impressive fourth place spot. She has won second place in the past, so she's shooting to improve and snag first place next year. It will be a battle, but we know she can do it if she sets her mind to it.

Andrew, second from right, with some of the Little Kid Bee spellers.  
Down to just three competitors. Andrew (right) looks pretty serious.
Hey, look, Mom! I'm still in this Bee!
John and Andrew battle for first place.
It's over! Andrew wins second place. Great work, First Grader! 

Kathleen (second from right) is all smiles at the beginning of the Big Kids "Official" Spelling Bee.
Kathleen is still looking pretty calm, as the spelling bee has dropped to four very tough competitors. Ultimately, Kathleen earned fourth place in a group of spelling whizzes.

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