Thinking Beyond Competitive Hype for Tonight's National Geographic Bee

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May 23, 2013, 12:58:38 PM5/23/13
I just saw Alex Jeopardy (as Favorite Daughter always called Trebek) interviewed about the National Geographic Bee finals airing tonight, and thought I would use the occasion to tell our story of these kid competitions. I first put this link together ten years ago, to help explain our unschooling; Favorite Daughter is now 23 having just graduated with her library and info science master's, and will begin doctoral studies in religious history at FSU in the fall (certainly not with an eye to fame or riches or any sort of "winning!")


'T[hree] springs ago, my elder child, then 10, the age of the new Geography Bee winner, was invited through American Mensa to screen-test for the Dick Clark’s national “Who’s the Smartest Kid in America” Fox television special. The show’s production staff was coming to our state (one day in Miami, one day in Tallahassee) to test only a handful of children. I was reluctant, but my daughter, who has never been schooled, never taken an achievement test, never even used workbooks, thought it might be fun to try.
... She imagined this would be like her gifted resource-center classes to date — free-ranging, creative and stimulating. So, like many homeschool parents before me, I decided to help her experience it for herself rather than imposing my judgment on her.

Of course it was nothing like she had imagined. What a soul-sucking experience..."

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