A couple of weeks ago, the boys brought home notices of the upcoming spelling bee for 3-5 grades. Jacob is in 3rd and Kenny in 5th so it involved them both. They had to have permission to participate and they would first have a written test. The top 9 from each grade would go on to the school spelling bee and the winner there would then go on to the district spelling bee.
Both boys grumbled but I signed the paper for both insisting they try. Jacob is an above average speller and I knew he was very likely to get into the school spelling bee. I think he has missed maybe ONE spelling word on a test all year. Kenny....well, the poor kid tries hard. He, unfortunately, got my dad's spelling ability (er...lack thereof). It is naturally hard for him, but he works really hard. Kenny definitely has talents that Jacob doesn't have. I thought it important for both to give it a try.
Jacob was in the top 9 of his grade so he was entered in the spelling bee which was held today! :) We practiced the list they sent home and he did well with it. Some words were on the list and some not. The poor kid was so nervous! He didn't want to get out of bed this morning because he didn't want to do the spelling bee. I encouraged him as best I could- reminding him that winning or losing didn't matter- it was getting up there and trying that was important.
Waiting for the spelling bee, he- and all the kids- were so nervous! You could see all of their legs shaking and moving.
Jacob stood up there and bravely spelled his first word- h a r s h "harsh"- correct! (sorry for the poor picture- I was a ways back and just had my crappy cell of course. I have GOT to get a new camera...) He sat down and went onto round two. He was given the word "doze". Unfortunately he heard (and repeated) the word "dose" but they sound so close that the judges didn't notice the mispronunciation. So he spelled d o s e. And he was out. (Despite it being only the second round, we was not the first eliminated, either!) I could tell as he walked back to sit with his teacher he was broken-hearted and started crying. His teacher comforted him and it was all I could do not to cry- not because I was disappointed in him but because I felt his pain so strongly. I had to hold it in because I didn't want him to think I was upset with him- it is just my heart broke with him because he was so sad. I hugged him tight and told him how proud I was that he got up there and was brave and did it. So many words after that- even much harder ones- he could spell and he knew it so he was sad, but that is life. You win and you lose and that is how it goes.
Just a few minutes later, another girl from Jacob's class, Savannah, was eliminated- she went to sit with the teacher as well so Jacob scooted down and Savannah sat down- also crying due to her elimination. So Mrs. J comforted her. It broke my heart. She ended up with this row of sad kids. It is so hard to be brave and get up there in front of all of those kids and parents and so disappointing when you are out. A few minutes later, another kid joined Mrs. J in her "consolation row". I tried to capture Mrs J with those 3 but Savannah was trying all she could to stay out of the picture. (Mrs J mentioned that most of the 3rd graders in the spelling bee came from HER class!)
After school he told me in the car that he was "purple"- because he was "red"(mad) and "blue"(sad) which makes purple. I again stressed that he did such a great job- because he really did, it was just a mistake and misunderstanding. But, that is how spelling bees work!
In honor of his big day and being so brave, we had his favorite dinner- Spaghetti. Then we had our weekly Family Home Evening and I made these special Valentine's day treats (because tomorrow we have all our normal Tuesday craziness so celebrating tomorrow is out of the question....)
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