In earlier years and until 2006, the Paideia was the annual Scripps’ list of practice study words containing the NSB rules and approximately 3,000 to 4,000+ words arranged by category. Each page had a different category and words assigned to difficulty levels: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced. In 2007, Scripps changed the annual study list to a booklet called Spell It! which no longer had a Scripps copyright, but instead, was copyrighted by Merriam-Webster. Containing 700 words originally, Spell It! was organized primarily by language of origin and contained spelling tips and suggested activities on each page. The number of words has increased to 1,000+ and the Spell It! list has remained exactly the same since 2009. Hexco offers 3 Paideia eMentors with words from 1995, 2001, and 2006 ensuring little overlap and providing spellers with many more words to help field "off-list" words at the National Spelling Bee.
Following the drastic change in 2007, controversy sprung in the spelling world over the study list that contained only 700 words. To serious spellers, the Spell It! collection felt less challenging and many noted that the level of difficulty of the words was reduced, asserting that words in the Advanced category of Spell It! would have never qualified for the same category in the Paideia. A newspaper article covering the issue quoted a Scripps representative who explained that the change served to meet the demand of customers who felt that the annual booklet was too long and difficult, and that the shorter list was their attempt to encourage greater participation among novice spellers.
Hexco’s word collection supports novice to advanced level spellers who seek to gain the widest word foundation possible. For those who seek to go beyond the Spell It! list, our word wizards have collected and stored not only all the Spell It! and Paideia words, but many more tricky words that may show up at any competition or SAT test, or they may be useful at the college level. Additionally, most of our products include pronunciations, definitions, and/or etymology and more, to give every speller a broad spelling foundation as well as a fair chance at “guessing” a word just by understanding more about word origins and “rules.”