Everybody knows that memorizing the dictionary is impossible. My son and I know how much time and effort is required to compete in spelling. What we want to do is provide aspiring spellers with the tools they need to learn more words in less time. We have heard from numerous spellers and parents that the preparation materials currently available in the market are expensive and not as comprehensive as they could be. We hope to offer quality materials at very affordable prices to pass our knowledge on to the next generation of competitors.
OUR SPELLING STORY
My son, Samir Patel, won the North-South Foundation National Spelling Bee in 2001 at age 7 (before it was split into senior and junior tracks). This ignited his interest in spelling; He subsequently competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee from 2003 – 2007, becoming one of the youngest competitors to place 3rd and 2nd at age 9 and 11 respectively. As a result, he was invited to be a "Human Spell-Check" for celebrity spelling bee TV shows in Hollywood, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. He became an icon of the spelling bee and a cover story on him was on the front page of ESPN's website the year after Samir's last spelling bee.
Throughout these years, I spent thousands of hours finding obscure words, learning roots, and developing phonetic patterns for words that came into English via foreign languages. I am now organizing this extensive research into easy-to-follow booklets for aspiring spellers and their parents. Samir's education and career have led him in a different direction, but he was nice enough to help me set up this website!
Currently, we have wordlists available that cover the vast majority of words asked in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. We also offer several booklets covering phonetic patterns for various languages. We are still in the process of organizing our years of research into usable booklets and will continue to release additional materials such as root words, more phonetic patterns, and preparation guides as we complete them.
Ever since Samir made a splash at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, I have been known as "Samir's mom." My name is actually Jyoti Patel. Many people know about Samir, but not me. I received my primary education in England, during which time I studied French and Latin. I later completed my electrical engineering degree in India, during which time I studied some German as well as Hindi. After completing my degree, I worked for several years as an electrical engineer before moving to the United States. My focus in life changed once my son Samir was born.
I started homeschooling Samir by accident. I had bumped into a homeschool mom at a recreation center, and she explained what homeschooling was. Samir was four at the time. Well, informally I had already taught Samir basic phonetics - he was already reading beyond his grade level. I also taught him how to do simple addition, subtraction, and multiplication. I was in the process of visiting schools and felt Samir would be bored since he was already done with what would be taught in kindergarten. So I decided to give homeschooling a try for a year until Samir turned five. To make a long story short, I just kept on going since it seemed to suit him. It was not easy for me since obviously I had not "homeschooled" before, but everything worked out in the end. I personally coached him for the spelling bee as well as the Mathcounts competition. I received an award for being the best new Mathcounts coach; our homeschooling team did very well, and Samir placed first at the Mid Cities Chapter competition. Samir did not take any outside classes for SAT Prep. In fact, based on what he had covered in homeschooling, he achieved a score of 2060 on the SAT when he was 12 years old (and scored a 2370 a few years later in high school). He went on to become a National Merit Scholar and graduated early from UT Dallas.
I am proud of all of Samir's achievements. Now that he's grown up and I am no longer busy educating him, I feel it is time for me to share the knowledge I gained through teaching Samir, and help other aspiring students.