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Simple Home School — Family Breakthrough


Welcome to Loving Simple Living!  I have been waiting all month to write this post for you.  Last Friday, January 27, my simple home schooled daughter Lily participated in a Spelling Bee.  This was earth shaking for our family in two ways.

I Hate Spelling

I have always hatted spelling.  If IQ was based on spelling I would still be in special ed and probably be in an institution somewhere.  It all peaked in Grade 4 (Fourth Grade whatever you want to call it) when I managed to get a F on my report card. This was back when failing was still legal.  I am still scarred because of it.  Nothing made a difference in my education life more than when computers and spell check came along and was required for my papers in high school.  Now, I can proudly say, that I have a college degree because of this great technological advance.  (I am trying to do better, but probably my posts still contain words that spell check doesn’t catch… sorrie ;))

So I started teaching my daughter with home school about 3 years ago and she caught onto spelling right away.  First I thought it was just because all the words were three letters or less….. (I can’t spell all three letter words)  It wasn’t that, she has excelled with spelling ever since.  I think this is because:

  1. She is brilliant and amazing
  2. We do tests oral one day and written the next.  Spelling orally is great brain exercise
  3. All the memorization we do in home school

Either way, her wanting to participate in a spelling bee, and being excited about it was so exciting for me.  There is healing from my childhood hurts in her abilities 🙂  I would have done anything to get away from a spelling bee.  In my vocabulary it was next too ‘the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth‘.  Back in Grade 4 you would have never been able to convince me that my daughter would one day beg to be entered into one.

My Daughter Is Amazingly Shy

I am sometimes worried that people will think it is because I home school her that she is so amazingly shy sometimes, but she was like that long before we started.  She has always been the shyest in the room and I have learned to be okay with it.  Years ago I tried to put her in dance class, swimming class, zoo classes and she would literally just stand there (with swimming, she usually refused to even stand in the water).  My husband and I were very shy kids and still don’t like crowds so this is probably something she just picked up from us.  She isn’t shy all the time.  If she is comfortable, it is impossible to get her to stop talking.  But if she decides she isn’t… there is no amount of convincing that will change the fact.

So, this super shy girl was all excited about going to a place she had never been before, and spelling in front of a whole group of people she had never seen before, with kids she had never seen before!  Needless to say, this was exciting for us all.  Even daddy took off work to come along.


Lily was so exited about the bee she could hardly sleep the night before.  We were one of the first to arrive and she sat counting the minutes until it started.  The room filled and filled and more chairs had to be brought in.  I was nervous.

First grade went and then they called the second grade kids to come up and sit in the front.  Lily got right up and went to the front.  She found the very last chair in the row, but she went right up all by herself.  The rules were read and they started the practice round first.  Each kid had to come across the stage and take the mic and spell in front of the judges table.  It got to Lily and she refused to get off her chair, refused to take the mic.

This really stumped the judges.  I seriously do probably have the shyest girl in the world.  After some discussion with her only nodding and shaking her head in reply they let her stay in the competition because it was the practice round and she agreed to spell once the bee actually started.

So down the line they went again and it was Lily’s turn.  She still refused to get off her chair and walk over to the judges, but she did take the mic.  She was given her word ‘tough’.  … short pause, meanwhile I am hunting everywhere on the 2 pages of words she was supposed to study because I didn’t remember it being on there.  T O G H.  She spoke into the mic!   I knew the girl could spell, but I had no idea she could speak into a mic on stage.

Turns out, being the amazing home school mom that I am, I managed to get 2 of the spelling sheets but there were actually 3.  Tough was on the 3rd sheet that I didn’t get printed off…..

All in all, the day was a great success.  We took the kids to Village Inn for chocolate chip pancakes.  Lily wasn’t to worried about any of it because ‘it wasn’t one of the words I studied’.

and, she can’t wait till next year 🙂



  1. Kari Kari

    love it!!

  2. One of my daughters is also very shy, but she surprises me sometimes.

  3. Kendra Carlson Kendra Carlson

    yay! go lily! and good job mom…way to focus on the important stuff and not get hung up on performance. you’re a great example to her and us. 🙂

  4. What fun! Good job! Chocolate Chip Pancakes are a great way to end the day!

  5. that’s allright… love it…

  6. thanks so much everyone!

  7. Aw. I don’t even know why I’m teary eyed and choking. How precious. I’m impressed – the fact that you didn’t get the last page printed shows that you are way too nervous for her. HAHA

    • it is true. I was super nervous 🙂

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