Summer Spelling Course & Spelling Bee

Sydney Hoff is a graduate of Emory University. She scored 780/800 on the writing section of the SATs and has years of experience tutoring university-level students to foster their writing abilities. Sydney performs copywriting and copyediting work for various organizations. She currently runs a business based in New York offering writing services for students from elementary through higher education.

An 8-week interactive online course for children ages 7-9 that culminates in a final spelling bee competition.
Ready to enroll?


This online course is designed to challenge children ages 7-9 to think critically about linguistics, generalize spelling patterns, and apply their knowledge in a final spelling bee competition. The competition will be open to the public and the course is not a requirement to participate in the bee, although it is highly recommended.

Course Background

The English language boasts over 170,000 words – more than any of the Romance or Germanic languages.

It may surprise you to hear me say that English spelling is simple – but only for those who know its governing rules.

For those who lack this knowledge, the English language is a mystery that requires either an innate gift or a dedication to memorization to master.

In traditional schooling, children study spelling only in their elementary years, with a focus on rote memorization and little, if any, insight into why we spell words the way we do.

As a result, few educated adults are aware of the complex spelling rules that regulate the English language, with most attributing any spelling skills to a zest for reading and the vocabulary exposure it brings. Others lament an incomprehensible system and hold that spelling bears no connection to intelligence, relying on spell check and autocorrect.

In fact, proper spelling is not merely about conveying professionalism; spelling itself is a science and mastering its principles offers numerous cognitive and linguistic benefits.

Course Objectives

The goal of this course is to offer a foundational introduction to the rules of spelling. Students will learn to view spelling not as arbitrary, but rather as systematic and able to be mastered with the requisite tools and effort. Students will gain competency in basic spelling through the application of specific rules, guidelines, and examples.

Course Curriculum

The sessions will be structured as follows:

  1. Introduction to Basic Linguistics Terminology
  2. Silent e Rules and Exceptions
  3. Double Up Rule for Monosyllabic and Polysyllabic Words
  4. Four Ways to Make the /k/ Sound
  5. Adding -es and -ly Suffixes
  6. Commonly Misspelled Words
  7. Spelling Bee Rules and Preparation

Each class will include study of spelling rules and exceptions, the etymology of words, and suffix definitions. In addition, students will be quizzed on the spelling of their homework words in spelling bee style.

Course Structure

This course meets once per week online via Zoom for 60-minutes. There will be multiple sessions offered, each with a capacity of five seats to ensure adequate attention for every student during class time.

Course Dates

The course begins in the week of July 6th. Sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1:00 PM. Children will enroll for a specific day and attend class on that day each week. Additional sessions will be opened in response to demand.

Spelling Bee and Prizes

Our final, eighth class will be a Spelling Bee held online via Zoom on Sunday, August 30, 2020! Students from all sessions will gather to compete in this event and parents will be invited to spectate.

Prizes will be awarded as follows:

1st place: $50 gift certificate for use on Tutoring by Sydney’s writing services
2nd Place: $20 gift certificate for use on Brighter Bee Academy class
3rd Place: $10 Barnes and Nobles gift card

You may read more about the spelling bee here.If you wish to participate in the spelling bee competition but not the spelling course, you may purchase entrance to the competition here.

Enrollment Cost

Enrollment costs $275. This includes seven small group lessons, homework and study materials, and participation in the final competition.

Registration Deadline

Course Registration Deadline: Thursday, June 25, 2020. Register for the course here.

Competition Registration Deadline: Thursday, August 27, 2020. Register for the competition only here.



Mastery of English language spelling can be achieved when systematic, guided study begins at a young age.

Ready for your child to learn the rules of spelling this summer?

Note: The minimum enrollment required for this course is ten students. Sydney Hoff reserves the right to cancel this course in the event that fewer than ten students enroll. Students enrolled in a canceled course will be duly notified and may choose to either receive a full refund or transfer to another course by Sydney.

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