Congratulations to Joseph Henares, the homeschooled 14-year-old from Avon who tied for third in the National Spelling Bee:

After advancing through the first eight rounds by correctly spelling words like “punaise” (a small bloodsucking insect), “furfuraceous” (of or containing bran), and “triticale” (a hybrid of wheat and rye), Joseph’s streak ended with “aniseikonia,” a kind of vision defect…

Joseph is the oldest of four children, all of whom are home schooled by their parents. He suspects his sister, two years younger than he, might take up his mantle. “I’m hoping they could kind of follow in my footsteps and go to national,” he said.

Joseph can boast of more than spelling synonyms for bedbugs and bran. He reached the finals of the state Geography Bee twice, won an episode of “Jeopardy!” in its “Back to School Week,” plays soccer and tennis, and appeared in musical theater productions at the Hartt School in West Hartford and the Warner Theatre in Torrington, according to his biography on the spelling bee website.

A friend from FIC attended a recent event held by Joseph’s homeschooling community (where¬†our own kids are also active) and was amazed. So are we. Our best to the Henares family and to all Connecticut parents who have taken up the challenge of homeschooling.

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