by Suzee Skwiot
Turning 18 and graduating high school is a natural stepping stone for kids before they enter college. And for one Alabama family, they're doing it all. Except by age 12. Kip and Mona Lisa Harding are parents to 10 children. Seven of them have gotten into college by age 12.
And the other three will soon follow suit. Their oldest, now 26, has been an engineer for four years and already holds two masters degrees. Their second oldest daughter is an architect with her own firm. And the other kids are on their way to becoming doctors in the U.S. Navy, computer scientists, musicians/composers, scholars of the Middle Ages, and lawyers.
Take a second to absorb it all.
The 12-year-old who's studying the Middle Ages is a college student with the highest grade in his class. In case you missed it, he's 12. The rest are carving out their own professions, thanks to mom and dad, who have home-schooled all of their children and allowed them to take college entrance exams early.
If the Harding family shows anything, it's that larger families can have attentive and focused homeschool learning for each and every child. So much for stereotypes, huh?
Take a family like the Duggars, for example. They're constantly criticized for their large brood and for not giving enough individual attention to each of the children.
The size of the family doesn't seem to matter. All seven geniuses in the Harding family were taught by their parents. They followed a similar curriculum and were allowed to hone their own interests and find their future career paths. And they made it to college even before they were teenagers!
Sounds like a win for big families to us.
Seriously, though. What's in their water?
Would you ever consider allowing your children to take college entrance exams early?
Is it a brick and mortar college?Then probably not. If it's on-line and can be done at home, maybe. At some point you have to make sure your child is truly ready to go out into the world. That includes not only mental intelligence but there is an emotional maturity that has to be there. People are not always kind or helpful in the real world so I'd have to think long and hard about that and would probably make different decisions.
by YzmaRocksJune 10, 2014 at 10:17 PMI don't think they meant they left home at 12, lol, just started college classes then.
I think age 12 is way to young for college. To me it seems like pushing them out of the nest to soon?
by YzmaRocksJune 10, 2014 at 10:18 PMI think it is great, if a child knows what they want to pursue. Sounds like they did a fabulous job!
Not unless they were pushing and I honestly doesn't see my kids pushing for college. Our plan is for them to learn a trade before college. I think some real world experience and traveling will be a better way to go. They will probably take a class here and there but not a full load. The beauty of homeschooling is being able to slow things down so their maturing minds can let us know when they are ready. Sometimes it is better late than early. I know many do take them early but 12 is too early for me. I want them to emotionally mature before college. Honestly I worry about kids in college too early. The emotional maturity of a 12 and 18 year old is so different. Why don't you involve them in co-ops with kids their age. My son is on the gifted side and I would never send them to college at that age. Honestly he rater spend his time tinkering with electronics and new lego designs. He also loves to play with math. Free time is crucial for kids even if it is time to just dig in the dirt. My son reads adult science books so I understand some kids need more in depth stimulation. I think that in depth stimulation is better spent at home reading books that interest them.
by forest.gyrlJune 11, 2014 at 3:59 PM
I personally don't think I would have them go in at 12 but maybe 16. College is a big step and being around adults that unsupervised actually does worry me.
by Jenn8604June 12, 2014 at 12:52 PMI would be afraid of the pressure that the older kids would be putting on the younger kids in the family of having to be great and do the unexpected. It doesn't seem that of one wanted to be a singer or even just a train engineer they would be welcomed. What if the youngest just wants to take it's time to explore life and do things slowly like the other kids his/her age? I feel it won't voice it's opinion because everyone else did yada yada yada and "THAT IS THE GOLDEN STANDARD IN THIS HOUSE (graduating by 12)."
If my son wants to graduate by 12 I'm for it. If he wants to take up a music career and be on the road almost all year and graduate at 18 I'm for it.