What could you spell at age 6?
I honestly can’t remember. I was a good speller but not nearly good enough to make it to the nationals in first grade (although I did manage to win my school’s spelling bee when I was in the fifth grade beating out the eighth graders.) A 6-year-old girl from Virginia just became the youngest person ever to qualify for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Lori Anne Madison is anything but the typical 6-year-old. She started reading at age 2 and completed chapter books by 2 1/2. In addition to that, she is a competitive swimmer who can keep up with (and possibly even surpass) 10-year-old boys on her team. She talks a mile a minute and is the daughter of a college professor and a lawyer. But she’s not really what you might think, either.
She’s not the product of hyper-vigilant parents who push her to excel and do more, learn more, or study more all the time. In fact, she’s not pushed at all, says mom Sorina Madison:
“It was shocking. I didn’t expect all the media attention. We’re private people. We’re regular people. It was intimidating. But I’m happy for her. She loves it and she does it because it’s a passion, and we never push her into anything and want her to make her own choices.”
When it came time for Lori Anne to go to school, her parents tried to enroll her in a private school for gifted children but the school denied admission saying they couldn’t accommodate her accelerated needs, and they recommended she explore home schooling.
There is no pressure for her to win the spelling bee, of course, since she will be competing against teens who have been working at this for more years than she has been alive, but Lori Anne is excited nonetheless. When the NY Daily News asked her how she thought she’d do in the competition, she replied, “Great.”
I’m sure she will.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee will be streamed on ESPN. You can catch the preliminary rounds tomorrow at 8am, semi-finals Thursday at 10am, and the finals Thursday night at 8pm.
Image: Echo News
MORE ON BABBLE