While some kids shine when challenged with performing in front of peers, others cower at the idea of a public display of their knowledge. Class and school spelling bees can be intimidating for some but provide valuable lessons, not only through the studying of the words they’re being asked to spell but in self-confidence.
It’s not easy for kids to take the stage by themselves, often standing in front of their peers, sometimes in front of a microphone, as they’re being judged on their ability to spell a word. Kids who spell their word correctly breathe a sigh of relief after each round while those who misspelled their word, must hold their heads high as they exit the stage with grace as they join the audience to watch the remaining contestants compete.
How can you get your child ready for an upcoming spelling bee in a realistic way that will allow them to feel confident about their abilities? Here are 5 tips:
- Start a spelling bee at your school with resources from Scripps National Spelling Bee. Work with the teachers and administrators at your school to enroll and receive study words for students, pronouncer guides, rules, and prizes from Encyclopedia Britannica and K12, participating certificates, and more. Schools must enroll in the fall to be eligible to participate in the next academic year’s competition.
- Practice. Spelling-Words-Well.com has long-term and short-term spelling practice strategies for kids along with a printable version of their Spelling Bee Practice Ideas. Merriam-Webster’s SpellIt.com works in conjunction with Scripps National Spelling Bee to serve as a study site for school spelling champions. Depending on the age of your child, these can be helpful in memorizing words. Older kids might enjoy learning about language origin and root words which can always be helpful in deciphering words.
- Be realistic. Spelling bees are competitions. In the end, there can only be one winner. Providing false hope can only increase disappointment when they step off the stage.
- Be supportive. For many children, standing on the stage in front of an audience is anxiety producing. Let your child know that they only need to try their best for you to be proud of them.
- Have fun. A spelling bee isn’t indicative of your child’s spelling ability. Helping your child realize that this fun, friendly competition is a way to learn and practice will make the experience less anxiety-producing and a lot more fun!