A nightly spelling bee for Dad

I’m glad Alexander is in the midst of a writing assignment for school, but I honestly feel like I’m having to compete in a nightly spelling bee with all the words I’m being asked to spell now in the evenings.

spelling test
Creative Commons License photo credit: elginwx

It has been abundantly clear to me for several years that Alexander has similar spelling abilities to his mother: Spelling is very challenging for him. I think this stems from him not being as visually oriented in his natural learning style. I am a pretty decent speller, and I think that has a lot to do with my ability to visualize words. Even when he is asking me to spell words for his writing assignment, I have to visualize them in my mind to spell them aloud. I MUCH prefer to write down a word than to spell it out loud. Really, spelling bees are such a DUMB idea, I wish they were not so common in schools. The ability to verbally spell a word upon command is not an important “life skill.” Of course it is important to write well with correct spelling, but being able to do that is very different from being able to succeed at oral spelling exercises.

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  • Rob

    In a previous circuit of schools I taught in, we had a district wide “spelling bee” where students worked in teams and got to write the word on a piece of paper or dry erase board. That seemed much more realistic.

    I didn’t much care for spelling bees myself. I can spell really well in written form, but no so much orally. I feel your pain 🙂

  • dad

    Rob: That is a great idea to let kids write their spelling words on a dry erase board instead of just saying the spelling out loud. I agree that does make the exercise much more “real world.” I wonder how many schools do this for their spelling bees? Glad to hear that yours did.

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