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Author Topic: List of Notable EL/accerlerated kids and families  (Read 23773 times)
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« on: April 23, 2013, 02:31:59 AM »

Hey everyone, I came across an Oprah bio ( and was stunned to learn that she was an EL girl!  According to this bio, she was reading and writing before the age of three.  I am also trying to compile a list of EL kids/families and was hoping for help.  So, if you could, please share the ones you know.  Yes, many are mentioned in this forum, but throughout random threads, and if I've never heard of them, how can I search for them ;-).  Also, please highlight, bold, or somehow make it easy to find both the name and the EL area(s) of focus while skimming through the posts that I'm hoping will stack up.  I realize that the bulk of EL/accelerated/gifted students are multifaceted, however, sometimes they're known more for somethings than for others.


Here go mine:


Joey has his own blog in which he posts his adventures.  He would love to meet some friends from around the world.   Have your little one stop by and say, Hi!  (
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 03:21:49 AM »

Okay, a little bit of an oldie  LOL but

  • Karl Witte - Absolutely crushed it. The youngest doctorate in world history! Read more here


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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 07:27:50 AM »

My turn!
The Polgar sisters: Susan, Sofia and Judit Polgar, chess. See,, .

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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 07:24:36 PM »

Adora Svitak Published author at 7, TED speaker, online and classroom guest teacher and activist.  Her mother taught her and hired baby sitters to teach her from infancy.  I may not support all of the same causes, but I highly admire this young woman and the voice she is giving to youth and to early learning.

Dr. Sho Yano  Especially where my young son says he wants to be a doctor when he grows up, this handsome young man is an inspiration to me on how early learning can give a head start on the years and years of schooling it takes to be able to compete in some fields.  His younger sister is very bright as well.

Lori Ann Madison The 6-year-old who qualified for the national spelling B learned to read when she was 2.  I don't know her background story but include her because she was an early reader.

Alia Sabur
Child prodigy.  World's youngest professor.  Still going strong as an adult.

David Levy
  Math Whiz.

Moshe Kai Cavalin
  This boy is not only very bright, but he is also incredibly well-rounded.

Wajih and Zohaib Ahmed
  I love this interview with the parents.

« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 07:30:13 PM by Tamsyn » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2013, 07:34:02 PM »

PS, I'm stoked to find that out about Oprah!  I love how it says, "BECAUSE OF HER GRANDMOTHER, knew how to read and write before age 3"  (emphasis mine).  So cool.


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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2013, 07:58:06 PM »

The little girl who went to the Scripps Spelling Bee at six, Lori Ann Madison, made a big impression on Alex, so I found a TED talk given by her. Alex says she wants to be just like her!
Thought you might enjoy it:


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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 07:27:17 PM »

Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.

"THE best-developed child in America, Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr., could speak several languages and wrote for newspapers and magazines at the age of five, and yet retained all of the characteristics of a healthy, playful child.
At the age of nine she passed the college entrance examinations, and now at twelve, she has mastered eight languages, has written nine books, is a teacher of Esperanto, an accomplished musician, and is stronger physically than the average child of her age."

She is not a GENIUS nor a WONDER CHILD, but simply a NORMAL CHILD WELL DEVELOPED through a system of NATURAL EDUCATION invented by her mother, Mrs. Winifred Sackville Stoner, from whom she has received her training.
Any mother can do for her child what Mrs. Stoner has done for her daughter, if she employs Mrs. Stoner's methods,
Any mother can learn Mrs. Stoner's system from her book, in which she analyzes, outlines and describes her entire plan as carried out during the education of her daughter from the cradle to her tenth year.'

The book is from 1914, but is still one of my favorite reads today. It is availible for FREE on google books:


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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 09:17:06 PM »

Interesting. She wrote the Columbus Jingle! Even I know that one and I didn't grow up in the US.,_Jr.

A very poignant quote from her.
"There is nothing more terrible for any child than to be put up as an example of precocity and to be expected to shine in all things and at all times."

« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 09:20:30 PM by Korrale4kq » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 09:53:12 PM »

In ``Give your child a superior mind'' (, Engelmann lists some well known EL prodigies. He mentioned Karl Witte (which PokerDad mentioned), Winifred Stoner (which Linzy mentioned) and the children of Professor Adolf Berle. All were very clever kids, and their parents wrote books detailing how they conducted their  children's EL education.

1) Karl Witte's father  wrote a book titled 'The Education of Karl Witte'. You can find this book free on Ok, here is a pdf copy at -

By the way, ``The Education of Karl Witte'' is what motivated Adolf Berle and Winifred Stoner's mum to do EL with their own kids. In ``Give Your Child a Superior Mind'', Engelmann says this about Professor Berle:

A volume of Witteʼs  works had been gathering dust in the Treasure Room of Harvard University Library— the only copy in the United States. It came to the attention of a handful of people in the Harvard and Tufts circle. Several of them were enthusiastic enough to give it a try. One was Dr. A. A. Berle, Professor of Applied Christianity at Tufts College. He educated his children according to Witteʼs principles. His daughter Lina matriculated into Radcliffe at 15; his son Adolf (who later became a renowned lawyer) entered Harvard at 13. Said Dr. Berle, “If this result had been secured with one child, the usual plea of ʻunusual childʼ might possibly be raised. But it is unthinkable that there should be four ʻprodigiesʼ in one family!”

2) Professor Adolf Berle wrote 2 books detailing how he educated his 4 ``prodigies''. His books are titled
a) ``The School in the Home: talks with parents and teachers on intensive child training '' and
b) ``Teaching in the home: a handbook for intensive fertilization of the child mind, for instructors of young children ''.
``School in the Home'' is the first book; ``Teaching in the Home'' is the follow up book. Again you can find both FREE on Example, here is a copy of ``School in the home'' - And here is a copy of ``Teaching in the Home'' -

3) Winifred Stoner's mom wrote 2 books titled
a) ``Natural Education'' and
b) ``Manual of Natural Education''.
``Natural Education'' is the first book; ''Manual of Natural Education'' is the followup book. Again, you can find both books FREE on (By the way, Winifred's mom was also named Winifred).

And by the way, I found some of Winifred Stoner's (the child prodigy) poetry written when she was between ages 5 and 12 years of age. She was indeed exceptional! One of her works is titled ''Jingles'' and the other is titled ''Facts in Jingles''. Again you can find both books FREE on Example, here is a link to ``Facts in Jingles''

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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 10:49:08 PM »

Thanks Nee, wonderful!


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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 11:30:22 PM »

Oh another time sapping thread  LOL  LOL  LOL love this forum!


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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2013, 01:14:14 AM »

I unfortunately already started the education of Karl Witte. It is lovely. There goes my evening.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 01:58:54 AM by linzy » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2013, 02:09:20 AM »

This is an open-book test?  Sweet.  Curtesy of Sidney Ledson's Give your Child Genius IQ.

Jeremy Bentham.  At 3 he writes to his grandma:  "Honoured Madam, I have been very much troubled with Sore Hands, but the Greatest Trouble was their preventing me thus long from writing to my dear Grand-Mama, indeed if you knew how bad they are still, you would be surprised at my handling my Pen at all..."

John Stuart Mill.  The only record of his early education is from a description he wrote as an adult:  "I have no remembrance of the time when I began to learn Greek, I have been told that it was when I was three years old.  My earliest recollection on the subject is that of committing to memory what my father termed vocables, being lists of common Greek words with their signification in English, which he wrote out for me on cards."  Ledson notes that he must have been fluent in English to learn Greek by this method at 3.

He also mentions Karl Witte, and then says that his education influenced the parents of Lord Kelvin, Adolf Berle, Norbert Wiener, and Edith Stern.

William James Sidis
(Not ultra famous, but certainly an incredible mind.  IQ between 250 and 300.

There was another boy I wanted to find but it must be in another book.


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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2013, 07:58:07 AM »


The first time I read 'Natural Education' by Winifred Stoner's mum, I thought: ``Is this where Glenn Doman got some of his ideas from''? I really think so, because Doman's ideas mirror that of Mrs Stoner very closely. In fact, Doman cites Mrs Stoner's book and method of teaching reading  in ``How to Teach Your Baby to Read''. He cited the part where Mrs Stoner taught Winifred to read at an early age.

Doman was probably influenced by Mrs Stoner, and Mrs Stoner was influenced by Adolfe Berle, Nobert Wiener's father, and Karl Witte's father.  She cites them in ``Natural Education''. And she did what we are doing with our kids on this forum.  She says in ``Natural Education :
I tried Reverend Karl Witte's plan adopted in teaching his boy, who was ready for college at ten, and a doctor of philosophy at fourteen, by talking to the little one [Winifred] while playing with her, and in pointing out all the objects in her surroundings, and saying their names in a clear distinct voice. As a consequence, my baby talked like a grown-up when she was a year old; but when people expressed surprise to hear her talking, her father said : "How can the child keep from talking ; she's been talked at ever since she was born ?"

Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun. Here is an link to pdf copies of ``Natural Education'' ( and ``Manual of Natural Education'' (

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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2013, 08:29:24 AM »

Siegfried Engelmann in his book ``Give Your Child a Superior Mind'' ( says:
Every single genius at the top end of the IQ scale received intensive early training. Every single one was subjected to an extremely active environment, not one that folded its hands and waited for the child to “mature” but one that went after him and trained him when he was still of preschool age

He then buttresses this point by citing from Dr Cox’s work on examples of some parent-made geniuses who did turn out well.  An excerpt from Engelmann’s book:


``We will let Dr. Cox (who is not sympathetic with the environmentalistʼs interpretation of IQ) speak for herself, with an excerpt from each of the cases listed as having a childhood IQ of 180 or more.

Jeremy Bentham (jurist and philosopher): “When he was 3 his father bought a Latin grammar and other books to begin his classical education. The Greek alphabet he learned on his fatherʼs knee, using Lilyʼs Grammar and the Greek Testament as the two principal instruments of instruction.

Thomas Babington Macaulay (English historian, poet, statesman): “ʼStill the merest child,ʼ he was sent, reluctantly on his part, to his first school. . . .Before the age of 7, Thomas wrote a compendium of universal history, which his mother describes as ʻa tolerably connected view of the leading events from the Creation to the present time, filling about a quire of paper.ʼ”

Blaise Pascal (French geometrician, philosopher-writer): “When Blaise was 3, his father began to devote all of his time to the education of his children. The boy never attended school and had no other teacher than his parent. When young Pascal was 8, the family moved to Paris and the father began a  systematic course of training, the rigor and originality of which can be likened only to the discipline of John Stuart Mill.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German poet): “From the age of 3 until he was 6, Goethe attended a day nursery or kindergarten, and here, according to tradition, he learned to read. His father had already begun to tell the little lad and his sister the history of the town. . . . Goetheʼs father early recognized his sonʼs unusual ability, and friends of the family enthusiastically mapped out careers suited to such rare talents.”

Hugo Grotiius (Dutch jurist, founder of the science of international law): “Hugo remained at home in the care of his parents until he was 8 or 9, and was instructed by them in the rudiments of Christian doctrine and impressed with sound principles of morality and honor. Before he was 7, the foundations of his knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages were laid by his tutor, ʻan excellent man.ʼ”

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (German philosopher and mathematician): “Leibnitz was brought up in a studious and scientific atmosphere; he enjoyed an education very unusual in the period of German decline in which his early years were passed. His father, when teaching him to read, made every effort to instill in him the love of history, both biblical and secular. After his fatherʼs death, which occurred when the boy was 6, his mother devoted herself to his education and, in order that his formal training might be of the best, sent him to the Nicolai School in Leipzig.”

John Stuart Mill (English philosopher, writer, logician and economist): “Until he was 14, Mill was educated at home by his father. He began to learn Greek at 3; and from then to his 9th year he studied Greek classics, making daily reports of his reading. At the same time under his fatherʼs direction he read innumerable historical works.”

By way, one can find the ``Autobiography of John Stuart Mill’’ on -  In the early part of the book, he gives details on  how was educated by his father.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 10:44:40 AM by nee1 » Logged
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