Last week I took Em and her friend Emma (the two Em’s!) to see a free showing of Akeelah and the Bee at the Westport Presbyterian Church. They have movie night every 2nd Friday and this was the first time we had gone.
I laughed, I cried, and I tried to spell every one of those words. The girls sat in the pew in front of me. As the final national bee came to its suspenseful conclusion, the girls were clutching each other in excitement, eyes riveted on the screen.
“Pulchritude,” said the judge on the screen and I quickly recited it out loud.
We clapped along with the audience on the screen and grinned happily. Em had tears in her eyes. “I loved that movie!” She said, wiping at the tears.
“Me too!” I told her, a huge grin on my face.
It brought back such happy memories. In the sixth grade I participated in the school-wide spelling bee and nervously lost to the word carfare. I tried spelling it carfair.
The next year I made it to the county level, and the same the year after that. I don’t remember what word I got wrong in the first county bee, but I do remember the second…alcoholism. I stuttered on the ‘h’ and they thought I said it twice and disqualified me.
And then I was off to San Francisco, to private school, and they didn’t participate in the spelling bee.
After watching the movie, and smiling every time I thought of it and my own childhood experiences, I put out a note on our local homeschool group about it, asking how (or if) homeschool groups could participate.
And before long I was paging through the Scripps Spelling Bee website for details on how to get started. It turns out that for $145, our group of homeschoolers can participate in the spelling bee, all the way to the National Bee, if luck is with us.
Em is not a huge fan of spelling, so I don’t have any pie in the sky fantasies about standing next to her winning the National Bee. What I do hope for is this:
- That together with some other interested moms, we can encourage those spelling-minded kiddos to learn more about a wide world of words
- That we can help build better reading, writing and spelling skills through the study and practice of words
- That we can jump into the etymology of words and discover some of the history and trivia behind their meanings.
- That we will build everyone’s vocabularies and enjoy expanding our knowledge base.
So I’m planning on that for LEARN SCENE classes this fall, and possibly in the spring semester as well. Who knows where this could take us?!