The Value of Spelling Bee Competitions: Benefits Beyond Spelling

The term “spelling bee” generally conjures images of throngs of students with placards gently hanging around their necks, anxiously waiting in their seats on stage for their turn to traipse up to the single standing microphone, nervously waiting for the moderator to reveal their word, and scan every cell in their brains for roots, prefixes, suffixes, and word origins to be able to correctly spell that word aloud, which thereafter the audience erupts into applause.  

The cycle continues until the final student spells the winning word… confetti flies through the air, cheers are deafening within the auditorium, and that spelling bee champion accepts their hard-earned victory with two fists thrown straight up into the air.  

The Buzz About the Spelling Bee Phenomenon

It would be extremely difficult to keep your eyes dry if you were the proud parent of that child who has thrown hours and hours of work into preparing for this very moment… it is a truly priceless moment for parents and children alike. 

Glory With a Side of Benefits 

Aside from the credit that accompanies winning a spelling bee competition, there are countless benefits that can be gleaned from the preparation process itself. Preparing for a spelling bee encourages students to read insatiably. The best way to come across unfamiliar words and learn them is to read across as many genres and types of writing as possible. From novels to magazine articles to newspaper clippings to blogs, to textbooks… the spelling bee contender is not only expanding their vocabulary at invaluable lengths but enhancing their cognition and intelligence while doing so.  

Spelling Bee

It’s Not Just About Spelling 

Though most people assume that preparing for a spelling bee is just the rote memorization of words, there is actually so much more complexity that goes into the process. Students engage in etymology, or the study of word origins and how they have changed throughout history.  

Hopeful contenders voraciously study Greek and Latin roots and how they have affected the language we use today, they learn multiple meanings of words and how they are used in different contexts, and they gather the various grammatical usage of different words. This acquisition strongly enhances literacy skills, which will take them far beyond the stage. 

Life Skills and Competitive Spellers 

Think back to the scene described at the beginning of this post. Being asked to spell “crustaceology” or “esquamulose” in front of a packed auditorium while standing alone under a bright spotlight is an incredible experience for learning to perform under pressure.  

Students learn invaluable public speaking skills along with self-confidence and self-regulation. They must learn to think quickly, keep their nerves in check, and enunciate properly. Speaking in front of a crowd can make many adults nervous, so children who gain experience with this at a young age are more likely to become more and more comfortable with it as they grow up. 

Spelling Bee contest

Exercise for the Mind 

Just like our muscles, our brains require stimulation to remain strong and healthy. Students in the throes of preparations for spelling bee contests are learning strings of words repetitively, as well as word origins, definitions, and usage rules which boost their memories and enhance their cognitive skills. It is a brain workout that will leave the brain in tip-top shape to perform more difficult tasks. 

98thPercentile and YOUR Speller 

Here at 98thPercentile, a fast-growing online educational platform, we value the priceless benefits students can attain from participation in a spelling bee. We are hosting our very own Spell Kahoot competition for students around the country to engage in the rigor and triumph that accompany such a contest. Spell Kahoot combines the excitement of a traditional spelling bee with the fun and exhilaration of the beloved classroom game Kahoot. 

You can learn more information and register your child for free to take part in this groundbreaking 100% online spelling competition!

Just Spell It 

Spelling bee competitions impart invaluable life and social skills to its hopeful contenders. Not only do students spend weeks or months preparing and learning the value of hard work, but they must learn to be patient and wait their turn, accept defeat if it occurs, and still be able to cheer their fellow competitors on.  

With preparation and hard work, spelling bee participants have the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful experience that, who knows, may even lead them to a sweet, sweet victory.  

Try our free trial classes today!


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3. 5 Ways to Help Kids Fall in Love with Grammar

4. English Activities for Kids – Fun, Free, and Engaging