Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Lori Anne Madison, a 6-year-old girl from Woodbridge, Virginia, is poised to become the youngest-ever contestant in the National Spelling Bee Tuesday. The Associated Press profiles Madison, who is home-schooled and is precocious in every way:
There’s been no need for Lori Anne’s parents to push her to do anything — because she’s already way out in front dragging them along. Some kids are ahead of the curve physically, mentally or socially from a very young age. Lori Anne is the rare exception who defies the norms in every category.
She hit all her milestones early, walking and talking well before others in her play group. She was reading before she was 2. She swims four times a week, keeping pace with 10-year-old boys, and wants to be in the Olympics. When her mother tried to enroll her in a private school for the gifted, the headmaster said Lori Anne was just way too smart to accommodate and needed to be home-schooled.
“Once she started reading, that’s when people started looking strange at us, in libraries, everywhere, she’s actually fluently reading at 2, and at 2 1/2 she was reading chapter books,” Sorina said.
That meant an unexpected lifestyle change for the mother, a college professor who teaches health-related courses. Lori Anne now studies at home, mastering topics other kids her age won’t touch for several years. She wants to be an astrobiologist — a combination of her two favorite subjects, astronomy and biology.
And she speaks so fast, with well-formed diction and a touch of know-it-all confidence — just like a teenager.
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