Spellcast: A Podcast About Words

My daughter is really into the spelling bee at the moment (she’s in third grade and her school is doing the spelling bee). She brought home a spelling list, which we busted through in a few hours, with a respectably low number of misses. But I remember from my spelling bee days that I knew how to spell an awful lot of words that never entered my functional vocabulary because I didn’t know what they were (even if I could recite a definition).

As I may have mentioned a few times, my class is making a podcast this semester. I may have also mentioned that while I have done a lot of research into how to make a podcast, I’ve never actually made one. Apparently my children have heard me talk about podcasting enough that they wanted to try it. So my daughter and I hatched up an idea for a podcast that could benefit both of us.

Our podcast is meant to be a way to talk through the words on the list, to get familiar with them in a deeper way than just a definition (though of course we read the definition and spell the word too). My other goal for the podcast is to learn the nuts and bolts of audio-editing software and work on editing.

This could potentially take a lot of time. So we have some parameters: the recording has to take less than 10 minutes, and the total editing/mixing time has to be less than half an hour. I’m willing to stretch the time for editing a bit if I am playing around with some of Audacity’s functions.

It’s been really fun to see my daughter get so excited about creating this podcast—it’s often the first thing she asks about when she comes home from school, and so far we’ve managed to record an episode every day since we started (which is, admittedly, only 6 episodes so far). Doing this podcast is helping her learn how to speak loudly, clearly, and concisely. It’s helping me learn how to “get good tape,” as luminaries such as Jessica Abel and Alex Blumberg call it; I don’t do a lot of re-organizing, but I do a lot of deleting to make our work more concise.

We’re still developing our style, but it’s been really fun and I hope we’ll be able to keep it going for a while yet (even if she doesn’t win her class and school spelling bee). We’re also working on getting it into Apple Podcasts and other podcast distributors so it’s easier to listen to.

Take a listen to our most recent episode; if you like it, we’d be delighted for you to spend 2 minutes of your day listening to us talk about words.


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