Are You Smarter than a Four Year Old?

Four year old boy has extreme knowledge in math and science.


By Nia Botti, Staff Writer

Did you know that there are five dwarf planets? Well, thanks to four year old Owen Elston, I do.

At first glance, Elston may seem like an average four year old.  He has a cute smile, adorable hair, a sweet voice, and is often seen wearing a backpack.  What’s in his backpack, however, shows his true personality.  Before leaving his house, he packs up what he is most interested in— his planets and shapes.  When he was much younger, he would have packed his numbers and letters, but he has moved on from easy topics like these now. He had them mastered by the time he was two years old.

Elston was born on February 27, 2014.  His family is made up of his parents, Steve and Evy, and two older brothers, Jake and Chris, who are in college. He came unexpectedly, but everything happens for a purpose, and Elston clearly has a purpose, and that’s changing the world with his brain power.

Many people think they know the solar system, but Elston could prove them wrong. He not only knows all eight planets, but all five dwarf planets, the distance of every object from the sun, and several characteristics of all of the planets along with the location of the asteroid belt.  However, his knowledge doesn’t stop at the planets.  Owen knows several complex shapes such as the parallelogram, dodecahedron, and quadraforial.  He also knows several math facts such as ten plus ten, four plus five, and even fifty plus twenty—don’t forget, the kid is only four.

Many ‘genius kids’ have appeared on talk shows such as Ellen, and many of the parents have admitted to cramming their kids’ brains with facts from from the day they were born.  However, Elston’s parents are taking a different approach with their gifted son.  “He’s like a sponge,” says his mother Evy. “We never cram info. We let him be himself every day.” Evy feels that he should have a childhood just like any other kid, and should be allowed to decide for himself what he is interested in.

We never cram info. We let him be himself every day.”

— Evy Elston

Though Elston may be gifted, his smarts may also run in his family. His older brother, Chris, graduated high school a salutatorian and is now an engineering major at Texas A&M university.  While accomplishments like this may very well be in Elston’s future, right now, he’s living the life of an average four year old.  He goes to preschool, has playdates with his friends, and especially loves to watch his favorite TV shows, PJ Masks, Paw Patrol, and Caillou. Still, sitting in his dad’s lap and looking out at the stars through a telescope remains at the top of his to-do list.  Where he learned about the stars, however, is no mystery.  Starting when he was a baby, his mom would take an hour or two a day to get some work done, and he would watch videos on his iPad. After learning how to navigate the iPad around age one, he would choose videos about things that interested him.  Also, after becoming interested in the shapes and planets, he would ask his parents to read him books on them.

Let’s face it. Owen is going to surpass everyone in this family one day.”

— Chris Elston

When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he responds “A teacher.” and when asked what he would like to teach, he responds “The planets.” What’s ironic is that he has already taught everyone he meets information about the planets, shapes, and dwarf planets that they did not know prior to having a conversation with him.  Most believe that his future is bright, especially his family and close family friends. “Let’s face it.” Owen’s brother Chris said to his cousins, “Owen is going to surpass everyone in this family one day.”

Nia Botti
Elston playing outside.

While Elston is average in some ways and gifted in others, he continues to bring joy to his family and to all those he meets.  He might spend his ideal day making friends and swimming, but he’d also take some time to tell everyone around him about the planets. “You’re my best friend Mommy.” He said to his mom a few weeks ago. “I love you all the way to Makemake*!”

I love you all the way to Makemake!”

— Owen Elston

*Makemake- a dwarf planet (pronounced Mockey-mockey)

*Owen Elston is related to the writer.