Feb 242008
 
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I survived my week and of course it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared it would be.  My son tied for 3rd in our local homeschool group spelling bee.  I was so happy for him. He says he wants to try again next year.  I think he’ll be inspired to study harder. 

I obtained a copy of the Rules for Local Spelling Bees.  The preface notes that the rules have been revised and to "Please note, in particular, changes in requirements for eligibility." It is my opinion, that the eligibility requirements will make it difficult for homeschoolers to participate in the bee. Here is the specific rule that will greatly affect homeschoolers.

1. Eligibility

(8) The speller must not eschew normal school activity to study for spelling bees.  The Scripps National Spelling Bee defines normal school activity as adherence to at least four courses of study other than language arts, spelling, Latin, Greek, vocabulary, and etymology for at least four hours per weekday for 34 of the 38 weeks between September 1, 2007, and May 24, 2008.

I understand the spirit of the rule.  I’m ok with not allowing the speller to eschew normal school activities to practice spelling, but we personally do not spend 4 hours per day in our schoolwork if we don’t count language arts, spelling, Latin, and Greek.  So, I guess it’s a good thing we don’t have to worry about going farther this year.  But what about next year?  I doubt that this will ever be something that I really should spend my time worrying about, but I really think this rule is unfairly targetting homeschoolers. 

The rules go on to say that any competitor can be disqualified up to a year after the bee and have to forfeit any prizes.  How would a homeschooler prove that he had complied with the rules? I have records of work completed every day in Homeschool Tracker, but I haven’t been using the time feature.  Should we count our outside playtime as P.E.? Should I add chore time to a new subject called Life Skills? 

Just food for thought.

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  2 Responses to “Scripps Spelling Bee Rules”

  1. I would break out the educationese to deal with this one. Start tracking those life skills and PE. Also include all of the time your kids spend reading, even for fun, as "values education" (or history of science if it's even vaguely related) instead of as reading, and any time they spend doodling as art, any time spent listening to music as music appreciation class, and any time spent in church as religious education.

  2. We count chore time as Life Skills/Home Economics. And all the sports they play in and outdoor playtime is most definitely counted as P.E. 🙂

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