Hi, I am Sarah and I am a 9-year-old college student.
If you were to ask my mom, she would tell you that I have always been driven and determined, as I had somewhere I wanted to go and I was going to get there quickly. I was walking at eight months, reading at just over a year. Please keep in mind that I wasn’t enjoying Moby Dick at one, I was wrapping up the “My Baby Can Read” program and was working with word flash cards that my Mom made. She soon whipped out the Dick and Jane primers and then we breached the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss. By the time kindergarten came around, I was in chapter books. I LOVE reading, it opened the world up to me and I could learn about anything I wanted to just pick up a book about.
I had learning charts. There was a weekly theme, lesson and even books that tied in each week. You can read more about what my mom did here. She also used resources like the University of Wisconsin, Library and Dollar Store for supplemental things. Mom also tied into other like-minded moms and pretty much anything turned into a potential learning opportunity – she had some great ideas to share.
I went to public school. Socialization was the main reason, however, my mom was very engaged in it. She really partnered with my teachers to get the best results for me – and we were lucky enough to get great teachers. To this day, I am still a huge fan of my kindergarten teacher: within a week of school starting I was “Tag” tested because she pushed the issue, most kids are not tested until second grade. She also introduced me to Camp Invention and my love of science was embraced. I now get to go back that kindergarten teacher and share science stuff with her class.
We tested toys! Through all of this, my mom had the best job! She was (is) a blogger who not only showed families how to do more with less money, but she did product reviews. Companies sent her toys to test out, review and use on her television segments. Experts have proven that kids learn through play, so toys are very important! When I was very little, stores still had “boy toys” and “girl toys” and went so far as to label entire aisles that way. Girls got pink lacy ironing boards and boys got the cool stuff like Legos, dinosaurs, and robots. I don’t think my mom even has an ironing board…what fun would it be to play with one? She really focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) items before it was “in”. (You can read more about Gender inequality in toys on my post for Discovery World HERE)
We were unplugged. No cable TV, no X-Box or even Play Station. We did occasionally watch TV, stream movies, etc but there is always something more fun to do or a place to go. If I wanted to play something like Minecraft, it was on my mom’s phone and a time limit was set.
I am diversified. Everything wasn’t all about study, I do a lot of fun things too! I have been a dancer since I was three. In fact, I have been in several Nutcracker performances. I had piano lessons and now have voice lessons because I sing in two choirs. I am active with my church, often participating in the monthly children’s service. I am a Girl Scout, which is about more than just cookies, crafts and camp. The world of Scouting has a ton of STEM stuff also! Swimming lessons once a week because I am part fish…OK, not really but I have always loved the water. Summer camp. I do things like the Math Club and Chess Club and am also a professional model who has done TV commercials.
Applying for college was interesting because we didn’t have any high school transcripts. It took a lot of letters of recommendation from my learning team and I got my acceptance letter in January of 2016. The University of Wisconsin even arranged a private entrance exam session for me! They have been wonderful to work with and I have a great college adviser and Dean. My learning team doesn’t want me to take more than 6 credits a semester for a few years because I am ALSO in elementary school. My course load will ramp up as I get older and I should have my first degree by 10th grade. Why are we going at this pace? A lot of kids that start college so early end up with no REAL life and that balance between the emotional age and intellectual age isn’t maintained. I am able to be very nine while still having my brain challenged.
Just reading all of that, can you guess our message here?
Kids learn through play, so give them great things to play with. Get unplugged, get engaged with your child and it is amazing what could happen.
My site will share educational tips, what we do to maintain balance in my life, reviews of products we love and a weekly post about my current thoughts.
We hope this site inspires you to do more than you thought possible with your children.