Greetings, homeschoolers!

I hope you have all had a wonderful start to your school year! I am thrilled to announce that it is officially SPELLING BEE SEASON 2020!!! 

For those who don't know me: I’m Laura Ann Tipps, and I am the Alabama Homeschool Spelling Bee Coordinator. I competed in spelling bees from 4th to 8th grade, advancing to the Alabama Spelling Bee all five years. I made it to the National Spelling Bee in 2004 and 2005. Since then, I have volunteered as a judge, pronouncer, and coordinator. I LOVE the spelling bee, and I am passionate about getting homeschoolers involved and helping them succeed!

How Does It Work? 

For students in public, private, etc. school, participating in the spelling bee is pretty straightforward, starting with classroom bees, then leading to school and county bees. Alabama homeschoolers, on the other hand, are considered part of one "Homeschool County" in the state. Just like Etowah, Jefferson, or Blount Counties, etc., we get one representative at the Alabama Spelling Bee. The winner of the Alabama Spelling Bee travels to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Spelling Bee!

Who can participate?

Any eligible homeschooler (read about eligibility here, and there is no minimum age) is welcome to participate as long as they are registered with a school group that is enrolled with Scripps. Enrollment is expensive and is not cost-effective for most groups and co-ops. I think two or three enrolled last year.

To remedy this...we created a group called Learning at Home. Its sole purpose is to facilitate spelling bee participation for homeschool families. Without it, families whose school groups do not enroll would face enrollment expenses on their own. 

When you register through Learning at Home, you receive the official study materials Scripps has released for this year. Please note that these change from year to year and are essential for advancement in the competition. With your Learning at Home registration, you will also receive study tips and FAQs that I've compiled over the years.

How Do I Register My Student(s)? 

It’s super easy to register with Learning at Home and get started on your 2020 spelling bee journey! All I need is some basic information and an $8 fee per family. This means that, no matter how many eligible students you have, all you pay is $8. This helps me recoup the Scripps enrollment fee, as I do this on a volunteer basis.

Once I have both your registration information and your $8 fee, I will send you the study materials and study tips. Here is the information I’ll need, which you can send to me by email:

  1. Name of Parent or Legal Guardian

  2. Name(s) of Speller(s) in Household

  3. Grade Level(s) and Age(s) of Speller(s) in Household

  4. Phone Number

  5. Homeschool Group/Covering/Co-op (if applicable)

The following PayPal link has my information and the $8 amount plugged in already: https://www.paypal.me/LauraAnnTipps/8. I also have a Venmo account. 

If you need to send a check/money order instead, please let me know and I will provide you with a mailing address.

The deadline to register with Learning at Home is December 31, 2019. After that, registration will be available for an increased fee of $10. 

Register ASAP to have as much study time as possible!

Final Notes

Please share this information with your homeschooling friends! My goal is to grow participation every year, and I'd so appreciate you helping me by forwarding this email or posting online.

Social Media: I have created a Facebook group where we can have discussions, ask questions, post links and photos, share tips, and where I can post reminders about deadlines and upcoming bees. It's a private group, so just request to join, make sure to answer the questions, and I'll approve you! Here's a link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/220575671725180/

Finally, feel free to contact me with any and all questions about the spelling bee! Even if spelling isn’t your student’s strongest subject, the spelling bee is a great way to learn skills that will help them improve, not to mention the potential for growth of self-confidence, healthy competitive spirit, and friendship. The spelling bee changed my life for the better, and I’d love to help your students get the most out of this experience!

Blessings,

Laura Ann Tipps
Coordinator - Alabama Homeschool Spelling Bees
(256) 504-2768