Prodigies and Practice

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They won Great Britain's first Gold of the 2012 Summer Olympics. What's remarkable is that Helen Glover, a teacher, only started rowing four years ago.

That was shocking to me. Seriously? It only take four years to reach Olympic Gold caliber in rowing? Compare this to the 16 year olds who have been training for 12 years in gymnastics. The disparity was almost depressing. And, at the same time, encouraging. There are skills and opportunities at all stages of life. We don't have to "give up" if we're too old for one thing or not yet old enough for another.

This theme echoed in the provocatively titled blog post why there are no child prodigies in literature, history, or philosophy. While we often recognize the prodigies of Mozart, Bobby Fischer, and Blaise Pascal, I admit that nothing came to mind when I thought of famous child authors. Practice is almost always important, but some skills require "matured" mental processing.

Perhaps these gaps exist to subtly remind us to be humble and build one another up with our strengths. The body metaphor comes to mind and seems to extend beyond our members into the realm of development and decay.

This opportunity for collaboration is one of the many things I like about homeschooling. We, as parents, don't have to merely lecture our children in an attempt to impart knowledge. And we, as kids, don't have to sit quietly and regurgitate the data dumped on us. Instead, we can give and take, discuss and question, and rejoice in the joy of learning together.


And in that way, homeschooling lets us all win, whether we just started or have been doing this for years.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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