It’s Spelling Bee Season

It’s Spelling Bee Season

Across the nation, homeschoolers and gov’t schoolers alike are lining up to test their memory and language skills. Homeschoolers have traditionally been over represented as finalists in these competitions. Here’s one story of a 2nd-timer who is also a homeschooler. I’m sure there will be many more.

Vocabulary has been very, very good for the McFall family.
Joshua A. McFall’s victory in Monday’s Tribune Chronicle Scripps National Spelling Bee makes him the first back-to-back winner of the competition and has given his family multiple wins…
The 13-year-old student with the Trumbull Education Association of Christian Home Schools (TEACH) has been home-schooled for most of his life. Read more…

Claim: Bee winner not homeschooled

Hat tip: Ken Shepherd’s blog
The Quick and the Ed’s Sara Mead responds to my post on the dramatic showing of homeschoolers at the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee. She writes:

But here’s an interesting thing: Evan O’Dorney, the Bee’s top finisher, who [sic] Coulson refers to as a “home schooler,” is actually a student of Venture School, a public alternative school run by the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. While most of students’ learning is independent and/or home-based, they attend the school in person and meet with the public school’s teachers weekly, and also take state accountability assessments like other California public school students.

And the fallacy for today is: false dichotomy.
While Mead attempts to create an either/or distinction between homeschooling and the home study program of Venture school, she is mistaken. Read more…

In defense of homeschooling

For years, I’ve been a spelling enthusiast. Even as far back as elementary school, spelling is something that, for whatever reason, always came easy to me. So when I found out about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, it brought back a lot of memories. As a former two-time champion speller among Christian high schoolers in Georgia, I know a little about the pressure those kids faced last week — though I must confess my utter cluelessness about the words the finalists were asked to spell.
When it was announced that the winner was 13-year-old Evan O’Dorney, a homeschooler from California, I was curious to see how his accomplishment would be received. Read more…

Homeschooling Spells Success

CBNNews.com – Homeschoolers aren’t immersed in a structured classroom setting amidst dozens of other students. Most of them don’t even have credentialed teachers or state-approved curricula.
But homeschoolers Evan O’Dorney and Caitlin Snaring don’t feel deprived. In fact, their education at home has given them the freedom and passion to pursue the thing they love to do most…learn. Read more…

Homeschooler Wins National Spelling Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C. 1 June 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) -Yesterday evening, Evan O’Dorney, a 13-year old homeschool student from Danville, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington…
…Is it just random chance that the winner of the national spelling bee is a homeschooled child? Home school advocates suggest that home study has a significant impact on the development of a normal child. Home schooling doesn’t try and make a child fit one specific size or mold. Sometimes kids can be working on two or three different grade levels at once. If they love science, they might be a couple of levels ahead, but if they’re struggling in English, they might go a bit slower to make sure that the concepts are cemented in before moving ahead. Read more…

Homeschooler wins Spelling Bee; Media Yawns

When California homeschooler Evan O’Dorney, 13, won the National Spelling Bee on Thursday night, the nation’s press reacted with a yawn.
Instead of focusing on the winner, The New York Times ran a story about an immigrant from India who lost in the second round of the competition. That boy, Kunal Sah, 12, who is living in Utah, had hoped a victory would secure his family’s legal status in the United States. Thus, the Times managed to use the National Spelling Bee as one more forum for pushing the plight of immigrants.
Not until the middle of the story did The Times get around to announcing the winner, noting only his name and hometown and the fact that the AP reported his victory.
Meanwhile, USA Today and The Washington Post chalked up Evan’s triumph to his penchant for eating fish right before each round. The Post’s Elissa Silverman, in “The Sweet Spell of Success,” ignored completely the fact that Evan is homeschooled, and noted that Evan liked to eat tuna sandwiches from Subway. That’s right. The subheadline reads: “Fueled by Tuna Sandwiches, California Teen Tops 300 students.” Read more…

Another homeschooler in spelling bee

Shoman Kasbekar of Macon carries Georgia’s hopes at the 80th Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.,today, joining a pool of 286 spellers from across the country.
The preliminary rounds of the bee, which consist of both a written and oral portion, begin at 8 a.m. today. Read more…

Why So Many Homeschooled Spellers?

WASHINGTON – What is it about home-schooled students that makes them such competitive spellers?
Of the 286 students who will compete in the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday and Thursday, 36 are home-schooled. While only 3 percent of all students are home-schooled, they typically make up 10 percent to 15 percent of contestants in the national bee. And they love to win. Read more…

Yet Another Homeschooler in Bee

I try not to miss any. If you know of a homeschooler going to the bee that I missed, leave a comment. If you have a link to a news story, leave that too. According to this story, there are 36 this year.
WASHINGTON – Justin Murdock doesn’t just love spelling. He’s consumed by it.
When he takes the stage here at the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday as winner of The Tampa Tribune’s regional competition, the 12-year-old seventh-grader will be carrying the tattered book of words he has been studying for hours every day.
As one of the 36 home-schooled contestants out of the 286 students vying in the national championship, Justinwakes up early every morning to complete his regular studies quickly so he can get to spelling. Read more…

Another Homeschooler in the Bee

ORANGE GROVE — A five-inch thick, 10-pound dictionary sits on the Ruiz family’s coffee table. Also in plain sight in their living room are some word jumble books, a Scrabble game and several notebooks.
Kaitlin Ruiz, a 12-year-old, soft-spoken girl with glasses and good posture, is ready.
The home-schooled daughter of Karen and Robert Ruiz has spent the past three months preparing for the 80th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee with a variety of techniques. Read more…

Homeschoolers and the Bee

WASHINGTON – What is it about home-schooled students that make them such competitive spellers?
Of the 286 students who will compete in the National Spelling Bee next week, 36 are home schooled. While only 3 percent of all students are homeschooled, they typically make up 10 to 15 percent of contestants in the national bee. And they love to win.
Homeschoolers captured first, second and third place in 2000 and won in 2001. They’ve placed in the top 10 every year since. And this year, a favorite to win is Samir Patel, 13, who is home-schooled in Colleyville, Texas. Read more…

Montana bee won by Homeschooler

BUTTE – After nearly four hours, 25 rounds and more than 300 words, Ravalli County’s Sarah Harmsworth was crowned the Montana spelling champion in the 42nd annual Treasure State Spelling Bee held Saturday in Butte. The bee is sponsored by Lee Newspapers on Montana.
“I assumed Tim Best would get it,” an excited Harmsworth, 13, said of third-place finisher and spelling powerhouse Best, 13, whose trip over the word “dermonecrotic” opened the door for Harmsworth and second-place finisher Nicholas Peyton of Bozeman. Best, a homeschooler from Joliet, took second in last year’s bee. Read more…

Another Homeschooler Wins State Bee

(Columbia) March 30, 2007 – Students from all over South Carolina tested their knowledge of geography Friday in Columbia.
“The city of Los Angeles, located in Southern California, is affected by a hot dry wind believed to be named after the canyon through which it often blows. Name this wind.” The answer – Santa Ana. And it earned a Lexington 8th grader first place in the state’s geographic bee – put on by National Geographic. Read more…

Homeschooled spelling whiz wins 3rd bee

Let’s hope the third time’s a charm for Ethan. This boy is in our own local homeschool group!
It took 246 words to whittle the field of 90 spellers down to two during the 12th annual Regional Spelling Bee at the Memorial Art Gallery on Sunday.
And when the 13th round of the spelling bee began, the sparseness of the audience and rows of empty seats gave no hint that a standing-room-only crowd anxiously gathered to see their children compete when the spelling bee began 3½ hours earlier.
Yet the tension was palpable as the top two spellers, Ethan Johnson of Bristol, Ontario County, and Sarah Hofmann, a sixth-grader at Twelve Corners Middle School in Brighton, battled to correctly spell the words that would get them an all-expense-paid trip to the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee in May in Washington, D.C. Read more…

Homeschooler Wins Ga. Spelling Bee

ATLANTA (AP) — A 12-year-old home-schooler from Bibb County defeated last year’s champion to win the Atlanta Daily World/Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee on Friday.Read more…

Homeschooler wins Ala. spelling bee

Nearly five hours into the state?s 80th annual spelling bee, the word ?sempiternal? ? defined as eternal, everlasting ? took on a special meaning for the audience.
But Shelby County eighth-grader Grace Pyo persevered and won the weekend competition by spelling “philately,” which her opponent had missed, and then correctly spelling “cruciferous” to clinch the bee in Round 15. Read more…

Homeschooler wins right to join spelling bee.

When the annual Chester County spelling bee starts this morning at the Chester County Intermediate Unit’s headquarters in Downingtown, home-schooled student Meghan Reynolds will be among those competing.
Meghan, 12, was at first denied a chance to participate in the qualifying bee at the Avon Grove School District’s Fred S. Engle Middle School last month because she is home-schooled. The first round of the bee was deemed classroom activity by the district administration. Read more…

Homeschooler vocabulary champ

Although Lia Campbell looks like an average teenager she is anything but. The 16-year-old Laurel Park home school student is the furthest thing from a stereotypical blonde.
Living dictionary might be a more suitable description. Read more…