Monday, January 12
Ever since Mia participated in the spelling bee as a Kindergartener in Ohio Virtual Academy, I've been pressuring NVVA to allow younger grades to participate in bees. No response but "sorry, we don't do that." I'm completely unimpressed with this school and don't recommend it to anyone who was hoping to rely on their school for any social opportunities. We've relied completely on church and the rec centers over the years for group activities that I didn't have to organize myself.
Speaking of which, I figured that was the only way to get my kids in a bee before 6th grade. So a few months ago I approached the RISE Resource Center about enrolling as a home schooling co-op in the Scripps Spelling Bee. It costs quite a bit to enroll, so I wasn't sure they'd want to, and my back up plan was just to do an informal one at my house. But they wrote back a few days later and said they'd paid the enrollment fee, and told me my new username and password!
There was already a sponsor in our area- a person who will pay for the local champion to go to nationals, so I was very thankful I didn't have to worry about finding anyone for that, too.
I got to learn all the rules and proctor the bee. It was so fun to look into the kids' eyes as they concentrated so hard. I was worried that I would mispronounce something, or have to judge something that someone disagreed with. I worried that being the mom of three of the kids would be weird- that I'd have to somehow prove I wasn't favoring them, but it turned out to be very straightforward. All of the kids were so excited, and the parents were so supportive and positive. It went very smoothly for a room full of bee novices.
Bree was in about 10 rounds, Anya hung on for about 20 rounds, and after about 25 rounds, it was down to Mia and a very dedicated 7th grade boy, whose parents were on the front row, and had commented on how nerve-wracking the experience was for all of them. Mia and the boy must have done at least 30 words each before they even got to words they had to think about. His parents had been sitting on the edges of their seats and straining to hear, but after a while they were reclined on each other looking quite relaxed. It took a long time, but they finally started getting to words that made them think. The other boy got out on a word he most likely knew, but just got confused doing the order or the letters of apologize. (Or apologise- he could have done either. Weird, huh?)
So Mia had to finish the round, and then spell the Championship round word correctly, and then she won! It turned out perfectly, because Scripps won't allow someone her age to go to nationals, so the 7th grade boy still got to advance, and we didn't have to feel too bad for his blunder or losing to a 4th grader.
Good job, girl!