NORTON, Mass. (CBS News) — Chris Strynar looks and sounds like a typical 13-year-old boy. But the eighth grader in the Massachusetts town of Norton has such a strong gift for mathematics that he’s taking classes at Harvard University and Wheaton College — and will probably have a bachelor’s degree before his high school diploma, CBS Boston reported.
The boy’s dad, also named Chris Strynar, says he and his wife used to look at each other when Chris, as a toddler, started asking math questions.
“He surprised us a ton growing up,” Strynar said of his son. “He taught himself multiplication pretty much in the car. A 20-minute ride, we were going to my in-laws.”
They put him in a school for gifted students for a few years, but felt it wasn’t a good program for him. Norton Public Schools was willing to accommodate his college schedule and provide something else: time with his friends.
“It takes time to be a kid, you can only be a kid once,” Chris’s dad said. “You still have to do kid things.”
He takes regular middle school classes and he hangs out with friends playing video games and says he gets teased.
“A lot of them tease like, ‘it’s not fair you get dismissed twice a week, it’s not fair!’ and I say ‘I’m going to two more hours of school,’” Chris said.
His dad says, “He’s just a laid back normal kid that just fortunately has a good head on his shoulders, a good IQ, but more importantly he has got drive.”