Little Guy participated in our homeschool co-op Spelling Bee about a week ago. We got the news that the spelling bee was happening right after Christmas. There was a notice on the co-op calendar about a meeting to get all the information.
Little Guy wasn't so sure about being a part, but once I told him that participating in this would mean that he was pretty much finished with his spelling curriculum for the year he was all in. Oh man, we didn't know what we were in for!
When we arrived at that first meeting we were handed a list of 500 words. These words were no joke. I had to get onto a website which could pronounce some of them for me. While inside my head I was saying, "Wow! This is a lot to learn for a 9 year old." On the outside I was telling Little Guy, "No problem, we will just break down this list into manageable sections."
The next bombshell is the fact that the spelling bee is to be exactly one week from that day! What?!?!? Little Guy has to learn 500 words in one week. YIKES! I couldn't even look at him because I knew he was ready to shoot me.
Next they told us that all ages and grades would compete together which meant Little Guy could be competing with everyone up to 8th grade. Oh well!
We went home and studied like crazy. Little Guy studied morning, noon and night. He studied in the car, his bedroom and while he was eating. He wrote all 500 words in postcards so he could easily flip through and study.
The day of the spelling bee... we had an ice storm. Well, not really an ice storm, but we had enough "weather" that they closed everything. In Mississippi, if we see a snowflake everything closes.
So we were given another week to study. Poor Little Guy was so exhausted that his brain was fried. I told him to take a break. Occasionally I would see him running through those cards.
A week later the date came. The room was filled with kids from 4th - 8th grades.
The kids were lined down those chairs and given a number. The moderator called out each child's number and gave them a word. The child was to say the word, spell the word and then say the word again.
I can't tell you how nerve wracking it was. Every time it was Little Guy's turn I think I gripped a bruise into hubs' arm. 5 rounds.... 10 rounds... The kids were dropping. At 13 rounds all of the 7th and 8th graders had been eliminated. 15 rounds... We were down to five kids.
Then we got to the 18 round and we were down to four kids. Little Guy got his word. The word was "fortification". Little Guy paused and wrote it down on his leg. He wrote it correctly and knew it but when it said it he skipped the second "i". He knew it immediately, but it was too late. And the rules are the rules. He turned in his number and sat down. We winked at him and gave him a thumbs up, but he was bummed at himself.
The bee continued until round 23 and one of Little Guy's friends won on "loquacious".