MONTGOMERY – A homeschooling family from Montgomery, Alabama is wowing many across the nation as six of their ten children have enrolled in college by the age of twelve, and the four remaining hope to do the same.
Kip and Mona Lisa Harding state that they are simply raising the “average family,” but credit their children’s success to homeschooling and encouraging their children to pursue their passions at a young age.
“We just felt like it was our responsibility,” mother Mona Lisa told reporters about the decision to homeschool. “That’s a big choice, and [we] wanted to be totally in control and make sure they had the right upbringing, and they accelerated because of it.”
When asked what she is doing that her friends are not, 10-year-old Katrinnah replied, “I guess I’m staying home instead of going to school, and I’m doing it faster.”
She hopes to take her college entrance exams next year.
Her 12-year-old brother, Seth, attends Faulkner University and is studying the Middle Ages.
“He’s got the highest average in the class,” assistant professor Grover Plunkett told NBC reporter Bob Dotson.
Seth’s brother, Keith, 14, is a senior at Faulkner University and is a music major.
The four oldest Harding children have all graduated from college and are pursuing lucrative careers.
Heath Harding, now 17, was the youngest student ever to graduate from Huntingdon College. He graduated at 15 went on to obtain a master’s degree in computer science.
His sister Serennah, 22, is the youngest female physician in the U.S., and is pursuing a career as a Navy doctor.
Rosannah, 20, has been working as an architect since she was 18. She credits homeschooling and studying on her own for her success.
“We just [studied] at our own pace,” she told reporters. “Rather than a class of 30, we were a class of three. So, we each did it at our own pace and we just accelerated.”
His sister Hannah, 25, is now designing spacecraft as a mechanical engineer and holds a masters degrees in math and computer science.
While some may assume that the Harding family is all work and no play, the parents beg to differ. They state that outside of their accelerated learning, their children have normal social lives.
“All our children would have to tells us is, ‘You know, this isn’t fun any more,’” Mona Lisa stated, “and we’d do something about that.”
Her husband Kip agrees. He said that all children can succeed in life.
“It’s not genes,” he said. “All children are a national treasure, and all parents can do this.”
The family is now creating software to help other parents learn how to help their children excel in their studies. But Kip says that there is more to successful parenting than just encouraging one’s children in their thirst for knowledge.
“Love those kids,” he said. “Be around them as much as you can. Be that influence for your kids. … People just really need to take charge of their kids and love them to death.”