WASHINGTON, DC - Ten-year old Katie Hulmich has spent most of the last year preparing for 79th National Spelling Bee, which finally got underway in the nation's capitol today. The pint-sized, tow-headed home-schooler has spent ten hours a day for the past eight months preparing for the spelling showdown, and can fire off twenty-five cent words from 'anastomosis' (the union or connection of branches) to 'zedoary' (the dried rhizome of a tropical Asian plant).
"We thought we had all of the words covered, but then they pull one out of the blue like that," says Katie's mother - and full-time home spelling coach - Beverly Hulmich. "The real challenge for the kids is when they come across a word that they just don't ever use in their daily life." [my em]
The word was 'friend'. The defense rests.
Okay, so it was 5 in the morning and I didn't get this was satire. My bad. I still have a problem with home schooling for the reasons mentioned. There are a lot of well-intentioned folks out there but it's still no substitute for the learning experience of just interacting with large, diverse group of peers.