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Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off church "cover" school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

2018 Alabama Spelling Bee Info

Please direct any questions to:
Laura Ann Tipps
(256) 504-2768

Greetings, homeschoolers!

I’m Laura Ann Tipps (formerly Brown), 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 at all levels (except National) as a judge, pronouncer, and coordinator. I LOVE the spelling bee, and I am passionate about getting homeschoolers involved and helping them succeed!

For students in public, private, etc. school, participating in the spelling bee is pretty straightforward: you go from your classroom bee to the school bee to the county bee to the state bee to the National Bee—ideally. J

Homeschoolers, on the other hand, start at what’s called the district level. Some homeschool groups have "school" spelling bees, but these are not part of the competition system—although they're great practice! 

We have four district bees: Huntsville, Birmingham, Auburn/Montgomery, and Mobile/Baldwin. We do not yet have the dates for these bees, but we are working on it and should have at least two out of four by the end of August. The district bees take place during the second through fourth weeks in January.

The top three spellers from each district bee advance to our Homeschool County Bee, which is typically held on the second Saturday in February. So why is it called a “county” bee? Unfortunately, homeschoolers only get one representative at the Alabama Spelling Bee, so we are considered a “county” just like Jefferson, Etowah, or Baldwin.  

Our county winner advances to the Alabama Spelling Bee, where they compete to move on to the National Spelling Bee!

Any eligible homeschooler (read about eligibility here) is welcome to participate in one district bee as long as they are registered with a school group that is enrolled with ScrippsTypically, only a few homeschool groups in our state enroll. It is very expensive and not cost-effective for most groups and co-ops.

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 on their own in order to participate in district spelling bees. 

When you register through Learning at Home, you receive the official study materials Scripps has released for this year. These are basically essential for advancement in the competition.

My goal is to help homeschoolers not only get involved but also to be successful in the Scripps spelling bee system. Therefore, as a member of Learning at Home, you will also receive study tips and FAQs that i've compiled over the years. 

It’s super easy to register with Learning at Home and get started on your 2018 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 small fee helps me recoup the Scripps enrollment fee, as I do all of 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
6.     Which District You are Closest to/Plan to Attend (Birmingham, Auburn/Montgomery, Huntsville, or Mobile/Baldwin)

My preferred method of payment is PayPal. The following link has my information and the amount plugged in already: https://www.paypal.me/LauraAnnTipps/8.

If you need to send a check 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, 2017. After that, registration will be available until the date of your selected district bee for an increased fee of $10.

Please share this information with your homeschooling friends! My goal is to grow participation every year, and I'd love for you to help me by forwarding this email. I would also greatly appreciate it if you would send me the contact information of group administrators or others who can help me distribute it.

New this year: 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 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! I hope you’ll all consider getting involved. Even if spelling isn’t your student’s strong suit, the spelling bee is a great way to learn skills that will help them improve, not to mention its benefits in areas like self-confidence, competition, and friendship. It changed my life for the better, and I’d love to help your students get the most out of this experience!

Laura Ann Tipps
Bargain Barns
Coordinator - Alabama Homeschool Spelling Bees