2 fourth graders (.7%)
23 fifth graders (8.04%)
36 sixth graders (12.6%)
88 seventh graders (30.76%)
137 eighth graders (47.9%)
192 public (67.13%)
38 private (13.29%)
36 home (12.59%)
14 parochial (4.9%)
5 charter (1.75%)
1 virtual (.34%)
After a homeschooled student won the National Geography Bee last week, a number of media types have begun again asking why homeschoolers tend to be represented well and score high in such competitions.
Of the 286 students who will compete in the National Spelling Bee next week, 36 are home schooled. While only 3 percent of all students are homeschooled, they typically make up 10 to 15 percent of contestants in the national bee. And they love to win.
Homeschoolers captured first, second and third place in 2000 and won in 2001. They've placed in the top 10 every year since. And this year, a favorite to win is Samir Patel, 13, who is home-schooled in Colleyville, Texas.
All that stood between her and Thursday's televised rounds was a word that means "gathering pollen with a brush on the abdomen" and sounds like a medical condition.
The 12-year-old Virginia Beach resident had never seen the word before. She used most of her allotted two minutes at the microphone asking questions to suss out the spelling.
Then she tried it: "G-a-s-t-r-i-l-o-g-o-u-s."
The bell dinged.
"One lousy letter," said a resigned Scott Willett, Rebecca's dad.
The word, absent from many dictionaries, is spelled "gastrilegous."
Oddly enough, Rebecca's placard also was off by a single letter.
It spelled her home state "Virgina."