We learn differently at different ages. The learning advantages of the young mind are well established, particularly in the area of language acquisition. But in some dimensions, we may actually learn better at a more advanced age.
If you know about Kahneman’s theory of fast and slow thinking, it seems to me that the younger brain’s fast thinking engine has a significant advantage, while the older brain’s slow thinking facilities are likely more refined.
The article below relates the story of a father who set out to teach his young daughter how to play chess, while learning the game himself at the same time. An excerpt I found poignant:
…but there was the look in her eyes as I checkmated her a second time. For whatever the games had taught me about brains young and old, about the different ways we learn and deploy our cognitive resources, they also taught me that the only thing harder than losing to your daughter in chess is winning against her.
This article reminded me of my own experience teaching my daughter the game of chess, which is captured in the photo above.
What I learned trying to keep up with my 4-year-old daughter at the royal game.