Official Scripps Spelling Bee (Homeschool)




Nebraska Homeschool is proud to sponsor an official Scripps Spelling Bee for homeschool students.  This is a route to higher level competition in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

We invite you to join in the fun and showcase homeschool students.

2017 Homeschool Spelling Bee

Homeschool parents, as you are launching the 2016-17 school year, don’t forget to include spelling in your plans!  Now is the time to mark your calendars for this year’s bee—Thursday, January 19, 2017—and gather your resources for studying spelling and vocabulary.

NH-HEN’s annual bee will be held at the A.V. Sorensen Library and Community Center on 48th and Cass Streets.  Junior division check-in/registration begins at 9:30 a.m., with the bee to follow at 10.  After a short break for lunch, senior division check-in/registration will start at 1 p.m. for the senior division bee at 1:30.


Resources for study:  All Scripps resources are available to parents at their web site and we encourage parents to explore their site.  One valuable resource is the Word Club.  Go to, select Parents & Students tab, then choose the Word Club from the top navigation bar and sign-up for a free Word Club account (not just a free preview, but the full account).  The Scripps word list, rules and other resources are included in the free account.  Use the ZIP code 68132 to find the Home Educators Network as your “school.”  You must select a grade, and that is the word list that will open for your account.  If you need more grades than the one selected, save or print that list and update your account to another grade; repeat until you have all the pages you need.  The list does not include word definitions, so to prepare for vocabulary rounds, try the web site or the dictionaries mentioned in the rules.  If you prefer, you can also choose to upgrade your Word Club account to the paid version, but that is completely optional.

A thorough reading of the rules in Word Club will help both junior and senior division spellers and parents to know what to expect, and will give ideas on how to prepare for both spelling and vocabulary rounds.  (Bee officials do modify the rules as needed.)  Another great parent resource is the “Teacher’s BEEhive” e-newsletter.  You can subscribe at, click on the Teacher tab and scroll down until you find "Join the BeeHive" and where you can sign-up.

The NH-HEN back-up lists for junior division are also still physically available at the A.V. Sorensen branch of the Omaha Public Library. 


About the competitions:  Junior division is divided by grade level (grades 1 – 4) and is just for fun.  Junior division spellers can use both the Scripps list (for both spelling and vocab rounds) and the back-up list (spelling rounds only) for the appropriate grade.   The words used for the bee are chosen by the pronouncer and could come from either list or from any source of the pronouncer’s choosing.

Senior division is for any speller through 8th grade, with no division of grade levels.  The top two spellers at this level advance to the Douglas County Spelling Bee.  Senior division spellers should study the Scripps list for grades 1 – 8 as well as any other spelling resources they choose.  While the words in the bee usually come from the Scripps list, ultimately, the words are chosen by the pronouncer and are not limited to any source.  (Another good resource for senior division spellers is


Parents of senior division spellers, please take note:

The Douglas County Spelling Bee passes to the winner’s school each year.  This means that if your child advances to and wins the Douglas County bee in 2017, not only does he/she advance to the Midwest Regional Spelling Bee, but your family also becomes the host of the 2018 Douglas County Spelling Bee.

This is a fairly small bee which has been hosted by homeschoolers several times.  NH-HEN has provided some financial assistance for this, and NH-HEN volunteers have assisted at the bee, but the ultimate responsibility of organizing this event would be yours.  It has been a great opportunity to showcase homeschooling in the community and to involve the winner’s family and other homeschool volunteers in serving to host the event.  If your child wins at Douglas County, please contact the NH-HEN Board ( for more information.

See YOU at the Bee!