After whining that my Kindergartner was labeled “well below average” last week, I take great interest in this story about Lori Anne Madison, the six-year-old spelling wiz who will be the youngest competitor at this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Lori Anne beat 21 other top spellers to win the Prince William County regional spelling contest in her native Virginia. The win qualified her for the National Spelling Bee, which will be held in Cincinatti at the end of May.
The first thing I noticed when I saw this gifted little girl’s picture was that she and my Isla both sport cute short hair cuts and pointy chins. The similarities stop there.
Lori Anne is homeschooled by her parents. Isla is not. Lori Anne attributes her exceptional spelling skills to having a good memory and being quizzed by her parents. Isla has a selective memory and the only thing I quiz her on is where on earth she left her right-handed mitten, again. Lori Anne can spell the word “vaquero,” Spanish for cowboy. Isla can spell N-O means no.
Lori Anne, according to Jezebel, wants to study astrobiology. If you asked Isla what she wanted to study, I’m guessing she would say “movies” or, perhaps, “sweeties.” But, to be fair, she does say she wants to swim with dolphins, so I could translate that as meaning she’s bound for a successful career in marine biology, but she just doesn’t know it yet.
While her spelling skills are precocious, Lori Anne sounds like a delightful, typical, six-year old. Listen to her explaining why she’s not nervous about competing with older kids:
Lori Anne also says she’s not scared to compete against older kids: “It didn’t make me nervous because … I am accepted by any group. I have older and younger friends. My youngest friend is Reese; he’s three years old. My oldest ones are Shelby and Walker, and they’re eight.”
I wonder if she can spell “ridiculous.” I’ve learned, after becoming an avid blog comment reader, many full-grown adults cannot. I also wonder if she can consistently spell “rhythm” or “weird” correctly on the first try. I can’t.
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