Why S-P-E-L-L?

Spelling bee competitions - What’s in it for your child?

I use autocorrect and spell check more often that not. It’s easy, quick and reliable. But in the process I do feel that there are times that I lost touch with spelling words out, and sometimes end up taking some words for granded.

Technology as you know has made things easier and humans lazier! Another example would be not being able to remember phone numbers now. Honestly, I could spell out the phone number of my first crush from school but cannot recollect numbers of my close friends now.

These examples clearly indicate that the need for memory or the opportunity to develop it has considerably decreased. And this is where people usually bring in how Spelling Bee helps children remember better and exercise their memory muscles.

But let me take the bull by the horn and tell you, Spelling Bee is not just about rote learning, it has so many more facets. And also tell you that acing a Spelling Bee does not necessarily mean that your child’s literacy journey is complete.

When your child starts preparing for a Spelling Bee, he or she is entering an interesting world! They understand that words like problems also have roots, that like most things in life even words follow a pattern, and find that there are various ways to remember something that you want to. These things no doubt give the analytical part of the brain a run for their money.

They find that there are English words that are derived from other languages, and discover how those languages behave and especially sound like. They stumble across words for emotions they knew that they had but could never find a word for it. They also understand that all languages are interconnected and also more importantly that we’re constantly learning.

Yes, they learn words! And how beautiful are words, are they not? Spellings are to words what lyrics are to a song. And the more words they learn, the better they tend to express themselves and which results in better communication.

They learn about managing their time, drawing out plans that are long term and learn a lesson that the journey is as important as the destination. This makes this realize the importance of planning and execution.

And obviously, they learn about competition, about performing in front of a crowd, about pressure, expectations, heartbreak and finally that life does move on. This just adds to their character and self - confidence.

In the end, one could argue that why make children go through all this trouble? Why create such pressure or competition and so on? But we never see this questions rise, when they take up sports, do we? And this is where we could use a different perspective, there are children out there in this world who would love nothing more than be lost in the world of words and we should strive to let them explore before they be lost in the web of autocorrects and spell checks.

So if you see the spark in your child, or if you want to just take them through a journey of learning and self-discovery, then make them prepare for a spelling bee competition.

Trust me, it may not be the end all destination in knowledge gathering but it sure will be fun and an interesting phase in their life.


Aroah Sunil

Creative contributor at Spellbytes. A linguaphile, blogger and above all, author of the published book 'Crescendo'.

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