A Morning Run…

Yesterday, Danyal put behind him a pretty amazing chapter in his life. He finished his A-levels (UK 18+ exams) aged 11.

So, he taught himself Mathematics and Further Mathematics mainly from YouTube videos, and, of course, last year he did his Physics A-level and got an A.

This morning we went for a run and discussed what he’ll do next with his life. He’s thinking about a combination of:

1. Play football up to 3 hours a day to see if he has a realistic chance of playing in the Premiership one day.

2. Try to get his squash to national-level.

3. Try to break the world record for 5km for an 11-year-old – he’d have to go damn intensive as he’ll turn 12 in 4 months.

4. Become damn good at coding – to start a tech startup.

5. Brush up his 6 languages – some have been very low priority in recent months due to exams.

6. Spend a lot of time loafing around with friends.

Now, all of this was possible because my wife and I just decided to TRY to homeschool our 3 kids 5 years ago. We just gave it a two-week TRIAL after which all of us loved it.

If we hadn’t TRIED he’d still be learning algebra at school.

You gotta try in life. And keep trying. Sure, trying usually gets you nowhere but if you keep at it, embrace it in every aspect of your life, it will eventually pay off in ways you never imagined possible.

Should I let my kids play video games?

Actually, I’m cool with kids playing video games.

I devoted my life, from the age of 7 until 15, to video games, after which I gave up to focus on my exams. I’ve not bought a video games console since because I know it’d take over my life.

Revs, Chuckie Egg 2, Super Mario Brothers were games that my childhood existed for.

The price? I have a really short attention span. If a movie isn’t great I’m itching to get out half-way through. Also, I struggle in long meetings.

Big deal!

On the other hand, I reckon video games increased my intelligence and upped my grades. These studies don’t indicate causality – Smart kids good at video games and Video games mean better grades – but my guess is that causality exists.

When you’re desperately manoeuvring your car to squeeze past two others, your brain’s CPU is in overdrive. It’s intense.

In fact, there were 3 other physicists in my college at Oxford, and all 3 of them were video game junkies. Now that can’t be a coincidence.

It’s important to stop playing in the run-up to exams, but video games are great in moderation…