The youngest college professor

Alia Sabur at 19 is the youngest college professor, which beats a 300 year old record. She started reading and talking at 8 months and at 10 was in college. She got her MS and PhD in materials science at Drexel University.

Examples such as Alia’s make parents like me wonder for a moment – are we doing things right? are we reading enough to our kids? are we using the right multimedia, choosing the right schools? My 2 year old has started saying a few words and phrases and I’m celebrating just for that. But it’s important to let your child proceed at her/his pace and not to hurry them along. Often when parents push their children into advanced academic preparation, the purpose is that they can bring their parents glory. When a child naturally moves at an ‘accelerated’ pace, it’s best when this happens without sacrificing the non-academic dimensions of her life. Social and emotional development are just as important as academic and intellectual preparation, and the ability to play is a skill that many of us are actually losing as we immerse ourselves into work that blends into our days, nights, weekends and vacations.

After all, childhood is such a short and sweet interlude. Why rush to end it?

6 thoughts on “The youngest college professor”

  1. So true! There are times when I wish my kids would communicate with me like adults do but at times, I just enjoy them being kids. My 2 yr old has started imitating her older sister and it’s so funny, though her sister doesn’t share our *joy*. She thinks it’s annoying. 😀

    Though we do compare our children’s milestones with other kids and sometimes do wonder if we are on the right *track*. hehehehehe

  2. HEAR HEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!
    not that i have any regrets. i would add though that while i had the academic and social aspects down, there is another aspect – simple mental maturity, worldview, life perspective – that isn’t always caught up, and that can cause some suffering later on too…
    there was a phrase i heard at a homeschooling meeting a few months ago: “education is not an emergency.” or something like that. if they don’t know it right now, it doesn’t mean they won’t know it when they really need to. and it certainly doesn’t mean they have to learn it before everyone else or they’ll be a failure…
    ON the other hand, i would like to say that making a certain amount of educational experience AVAILABLE, if children are inclined that way, can enrich their lives immeasurably… i guess we just have to tinker with our notions of what success, accomplishment and a good, full life actually are…

  3. I was so brilliant, I was pushed to grade 4 at age 7 !! – they use to call it ‘double promotions’ in Pakistan.

    I suffered so much. I still curse..it was so unfair. For many many years to come i lived unbalaced life. It took years before I learned how to vibrate in same age group. So as a norm, I was bullied by bigger boys in class

    Don’t get carried away with ‘anecdotal’ reports in media

  4. Assalam-alaikam,
    I agree with Mystic. I was thick as a brick as a child and much happier for it.

    The UNICEF report about children in developed countries that came out in 2007 said that the happiest children were in Netherland and Sweden and the least happiest well-adjusted in the US and UK. The main difference was that in the UK and US school/day care starts the earliest. In the top countries children didn’t attend school until they were 6, so they played and spent more time in nature.

    And everyone has heard of Sufieh Yusef the troubled young lady that graduated from Oxford uni at 13, much good it did her.

    Oh from experience of my kids and others, late talkers make up for lost time big style. You won’t be able to stop your little one even if you want to.

    Unicef report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6359363.stm

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