10-Year Olds Win Spelling Bee With “Gesellschaft” And “Feldenkrais”

A closeup of a word used in spelling bees In a recent U.S. Spelling Bee competition, children aged as young as 10 were tested with words as big as “Gesellschaft” and “Feldenkrais”. Looking them up, these two words actually give a few clues about training future bee-spellers.

With new spelling bee rules coming into effect to prevent ties, competition among 5 to 15 year-olds is getting tougher than ever. Although not many of our children will ever be bee-spellers, it is a sign that the world and society in general is expecting more intelligent children. The pressure is on parents as well as children to be able to perform in society. However, there are more natural, conducive ways to bring up smarter children. Strangely enough, the two winning words at this year’s spelling bee competition offer a few clues.

“Gesellschaft”, our value in society

“Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft”, a phrase popularized by German sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies, is commonly translated as “Community and Society”. “Community” represents the natural and personal relationships typically present in traditional rural peasant societies, while “society” or “gesellschaft” refers to the rationally-developed impersonal social ties seen in modern-day urban areas. Although children may not be taught about the subject of “gesellschaft” at their daycare centers, enrolling your child into a preschool is in fact introducing them into a mini Gesellschaft to start with. It is within these small and safe societies that they can learn to play a valuable role in an urban society.

“Feldenkrais”, connecting brain and body

One of the winning words, “feldenkrais”, refers to a method of habitual physical exercises to “re-educate” the body and mind. The aim, according to specialists from Smart Kids Development Center, is to re-establish connections between the brain and body until it improves body movement and mental state. In some of the best preschools and child care institutions in Salt Lake City can offer, similar forms of mind-body exercises are available. They also provide different programs to suit different types of children. Day-to-day mind-body exercises could well be the key to brighter, more attentive children.

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Both society roles and daily physical exercises are small but essential parts at any preschool or school. They may be in the form of programs or the school’s practices itself. Whichever way, the younger they start, the better their future.