Maya is pretty good at spelling. Over all she's a pretty bright kid. She gets great grades at school without really having to try and she enjoys learning. For all that, I am very grateful. Her school had a spelling bee today. Last week each class had their own individual spelling bees. The top two kids from each first and second grade class participated in today's bee. Last week's spelling bee in her class was her very first one. She loved it.
She was very excited for this morning. After she won last week she told me about it and said that she would have a spelling bee this week. That was all she said. I assumed (and you know what happens when we assume) that the spelling words were just words from her spelling lists this year. She's gotten perfect scores on all her spelling tests so I didn't think about preparation for today's bee. Yesterday after school she pulls out a thick packets with hundreds of words on it. Apparently these were the words that would be in today's bee. Not enough time to review them all in one night. So I went over words that I thought would be tough for her like "awl" vs "all" and "cents" vs "sense". Things like that. Did we look at every word? No. Most of the words that I saw on there I knew Maya wouldn't have a problem with.
She was so excited this morning. I told her to have fun, even if she misses the very first word. Guess what? She missed the very first word. Not that it was a hard word to spell - it was a word she had never used before. Kids are getting words like frog and clap on the first round. Maya's word was dock. As soon as they said it I was bummed. I knew she probably wouldn't get it. In our family we say "doc" a lot because Matt is a doctor. That is the doc she knows. We never use the term "dock". Like I said, it's not a hard word; it was just unfamiliar. It was a bummer to miss a word on the first round. The winning round words were "everything" and "everyone". Piece of cake. Maya was heartbroken and I found her afterwards crying. She said she wished she could have had a second chance because she knows it. . . Capitol D - o - c. (We practiced words like June and Maine) I explained to her it wasn't a name and told her what a dock was and how to spell it. We sat for a few minutes and I gave her lots of hugs and walked her back to class trying to cheer her up.
It was just bum luck. And you know what? She will never spell "dock" wrong again.