A family from Alabama is inspiring the nation with its amazing homeschool success story. In fact, Kip and Mona Lisa Harding, from Montgomery, have been so successful in educating their 10 children at home that seven have gone on to college — by the age of 12!
It all began when the Hardings oldest child, Hannah, was in third grade, enrolled in public school. A friend suggested that the couple try homeschooling their daughter, something they conceded wasn't even on their radar. But they ended up giving it a try and soon decided that they could do a better job educating their children than the local school district could. Recalling Hannah's early public school experience, Kip noted that “there was a lot of homework in the evenings, and we just decided to pull her out. It was a scary time at first, but we started and it was working out great and we just never looked back.”
Mona Lisa Harding told NBC's Today show that at first she and Kip didn't have a firm plan. “It just kind of happened. We started homeschooling, and it was very efficient. Kids have to be educated, and as they accelerated, we had to find another option because they outdid me very young.”
Out of the gate Mona Lisa had ordered a slew of workbooks by subject and grade level, “but that got a little tedious and a little boring,” she told KSL.com. “We started to get away from boxed curriculum and went into just reading for pleasure and reading what the kids wanted to read.”
Before long the Hardings found their children blossoming under the less regimented environment, accelerating in reading, writing, math, and science in a way they never could have in a government school structure. Mona Lisa explained that she and Kip would discover subjects in which each child excelled, and concentrate more time in those areas, allowing their children to hone their skills and knowledge.
“Hannah was whizzing through the math and saying, ‘Mom, do I really have to do the rest of this chapter? It’s so repetitive,’” Mona Lisa recalled to KSL.com. “And I'd say, 'No, just do the odd [problems] or the even ones or just skip the rest of that chapter.... And next thing you know, she’s ready for some advanced math.”
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Photo: Courtesy of the Harding family