In case anyone feels too proud of our exceptional children and innovative teaching methods, a letter by Anne Hooper to Henry Bullinger might be the good dose of humility and the kick in the pants we need. Anne wrote this letter from London in 1551, while her husband John Hooper (pictured here) was in prison. As godfather of the Hoopers’ four-year old Rachel, Henry Bullinger was concerned about the young girl’s upbringing and asked Anne to give him some news.

“First then,” Anne replied, “you must know that she is well acquainted with English, and that she has learned by heart within these three months the form of giving thanks, the ten commandments, the Lord’s prayer, the apostles’ creed, together with the first and second psalms of David. And now, as she knows almost all her letters, she is instructed in the catechism.”

Four year old?!? Within three months? I am sure Rachel was a bright little girl, but she also had parents and a church family who believed her young mind could retain much more than weary old brains, and who knew what type of instruction counted most.