11 year old boy graduates College: I’m no genius.

the story is here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31128101/

To paraphrase, it’s the true life story of a young boy that attributes his success to studying and working hard – not to great intelligence.

The thing is this, the kid is right. It’s easier to believe the kid is a genius, because it excuses the rest of us. Which is not to say any 11 year old boy is capable of graduating College – but it does suggest that if every 11 year old child had lived a life where school was interesting to them and they were willing to work hard to excel, 11 year old college graduates could be almost common.

But kids aren’t excelling, and for excellent reasons. Primarily, teachers expect their curriculum to be challenging to students – and so the students conform to the expectation. I remember grade school though – arithmetic, long division, multiplication, fractions – My experience was that we learned and practised those 4 things over and over again every year from first grade until I took High School Algebra in the 9th grade. And when I took algebra, I understood it was meant to be challenging (it wasn’t for me, but I didn’t think to finish the subject and move on to geometry on my own).

Kids are bored, and accept that they aren’t supposed to be smart. Kids that buck this trend by being smart anyway are regularly singled out as ‘different’, sometimes singled out for abuse by peers.

Parents, teach your kids! I’m not suggesting you home school your kids – but be there for your kid and help them learn. Especially boys, kids tend to to learn things that interest them and find school boring! – and as a parent you know your kid better than a teacher. So work with them, teach them, keep them interested. And if your kid can test into a higher grade – go for it! If your kid can pass an SAT – go for that. No pressure, but kids should learn at their own pace, not the classes pace. Most kids can learn better and faster if an approach is made interesting for them, which is what a parent can provide.

Do not pressure a kid to meet an expectation. Teach them because the school may be holding them back, and boring them with the same ‘content’ over and over again. Use their interests to teach them. A kid wants to read a comic book – so use that to teach reading. A kid may want to design a video game, to do that they’ll need trigonometry!

Now, I don’t have a kid. Why am I writing about this? Because what the 11 year old college graduate demonstrates is this – you don’t know your limits until you test them.

You grown ups out there, you have all kinds of ideas relating to what you are and are not capable of. But those ideas are based on bullshit. Maybe you were never as good at math as your brother, so you think you’re bad at math. Maybe you hit puberty late and therefore imagine you’re bad at sports because that was your experience growing up. All of us have ideas that we’re limited in ways that we believe, but have never tested.

I’m going to learn the Java computer programming language working from a book, at home. You might think you couldn’t do that. I have that thought too – but I take on the thought that I can do it, that the book is good – and that I’ll find the experience easy. I have ideas for software programs I want to write, I’m a motivated learner.

The learning and growing never ends. And never will, not as long as I test what I imagine to be my limits.

Now a quick ecommerce angle. You’re likely not wealthy. You may have in your head that you can’t be wealthy, that it will never happen for you. Just try though, to believe that you don’t know what your limits are. If you can’t believe pro-actively that you will be wealthy, as in law of attraction, – stand in what’s real, and believe you don’t know but you mean to find out if you can become wealthy. An untested ‘limit’ is something to test.

18 Responses to 11 year old boy graduates College: I’m no genius.

  1. elsievar says:

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  2. One of his primary interests is “wormholes,” a hypothetical scientific phenomenon connected to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity….

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  4. I think that your right in suggesting that maybe alot of kids are already pre programmed into being complacent. and i agree that this kid probably had a passion for learning or for school but i do also believe that there are exceptional people like this kid that live today. Whether they are just more focused or maybe you would agree that they could be a reincarnation of some previously successful person or musician that they would have a gift already built into their soul? maybe right?
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