Damn you, homophones!


I’ve been hyping my 8 year old son for the 3rd grade spelling bee. He seemed really enthused about the prospect of spelling bee fame and glory, including a trip to Washington, D.C. for the national spelling bee. We’ve occasionally been practicing for fun in the car. Well, today was the first of a series of eliminations. He participated in the class spelling bee for a chance to compete against the winners of all the other 3rd grade classes.

You can imagine the dismay he felt as he got in the car this afternoon and broke the news of his defeat. He started crying. Aww… I felt really bad for him. I’ll never forget when I was 7 and lost the spelling bee because I forgot to say the “u” in beautiful. Of course I had to ask what word led to his loss… Jeans. Jeans? Seriously? (at least that’s what my mind responded). I was shocked because he’s always been an avid reader with an expansive vocabulary. Well, let’s just say the kid’s too damn smart for his own good. Being that he is my little junior scientist, he automatically thought of the word “genes”. Apparently, he was too far from the teacher to hear the definition and did not ask her to repeat herself because the homophone “jeans” had not even occurred to him (perhaps it was too elementary for his mind? ha ha). Go figure.

You know, I certainly share his frustration. He is capable of spelling far more difficult words yet he did not even make it past the class competition. Oh well. All I could do was tell him I understood his frustration and encourage him to prepare for next year. I bet he won’t make that mistake again.


One Response to “Damn you, homophones!”

  1. 1 anonymous

    Poor thing! I can see it now – he was probably too excited to ask them to use the word in a sentence. I feel for the smart kid who gets boxed in by technicalities and other nonsense, but such is the stuff of life. It’s a life experience though, and it will make him even more sharp and detail oriented, and not just for next year’s competition. Sorry his little heart got broken!

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