Homeschooling and the National Spelling Bee

Congratulations to the 2013 National Spelling Bee winner – Arvind Mahankali.  An 8th grader at Bayside’s Middle School 74, he plans on spending his summer studying physics.  But keeping with the homeschool theme on this website, I will add that three homeschooled young ladies won 4th7th and 10th place.  4th place finisher and comedienne, Amber Born, received a standing ovation as she left the stage.

Out of 281 contestants, Arvind won by spelling the word – knaidel.  This young man likes a challenge as his favorite spelling word is sardoodledom.

The Spelling Bee website has a statistics page that is fun to read.  Here’s the percentages and champion spellers’ schooling methods.

School Type
178 public (63.4%)
54 private (19.2%)
25 home (8.9%)
15 parochial (5.3%)
9 charter (3.2%)
This year’s school statistics are typical of previous years’ school statistics.

ABC news posted an article about homeschool participation in the Spelling Bee.  The passions kids can follow in home education was shared by Spelling Bee finalist Mindy Coasert’s mom:

Home Schoolers Lead Spelling Bee By Dean Reynolds

“Education is just the whole day, a way of life,” says her mother, Carol Cosaert. “It’s not just a few hours in the day.”

Unlike public school students with their strict schedule of subjects, Mindy can dwell as much as she wants on spelling.

The author also went into contest percentages:

Even though students taught at homes make up just 2 percent of the entire school age population, they are more than 10 percent of the finalists in this year’s national spelling bee. They will make up an even higher percentage at National Geographic Society’s National Geographic Bee.

Of course, there’s always the pooh-poo’ers too, as shared by Paul Houston of the American Association of School Administrators. All of these kids in the Spelling Bees aren’t being paid to love spelling words. But Mr. Houston has a bit of a $$ interest. Bah, humbug.

I leave you with one of my favorite author’s opinions about the English language.

…ours is a mongrel language which started with a child’s vocabulary of three hundred words, and now consists of two hundred and twenty-five thousand; the whole lot, with the exception of the original and legitimate three hundred, borrowed, stolen, smouched from every unwatched language under the sun, the spelling of each individual word of the lot locating the source of the theft and preserving the memory of the revered crime.

Mark Twain’s Autobiography

Kudos to all the kids conquering our mongrel English language.

Cross-posted at Home Education Magazine’s News & Commentary


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