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The Brainy Bunch: The Harding Family's Method to College Ready by Age Twelve [Kindle Edition]

Mona Lisa Harding , Kip Harding
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $21.99
Kindle Price: $9.78
You Save: $12.21 (56%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc


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Hardcover $16.65  
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Book Description

If the Harding family can do it, your family can too!

Having six out of ten kids go to college is no small feat on its own, but having six kids in college by the age of twelve— that’s nothing short of incredible. Meet Kip and Mona Lisa Harding, high school sweethearts whose simple homeschooling method produced exactly those extraordinary results. Kip and Mona Lisa are parents to an engineer (who earned her BS in mathematics at 17), an architect (who finished her five-year program at 18 and became the youngest member of the American Institute of Architects), a Navy physician (who earned her biology degree at 17), an entrepreneur (who earned a BA in English at 15 and an MS in computer science at 17), a 15-year-old college senior studying music theory and performance, a 12-year-old Middle Ages scholar with the highest average in his college class, and four others who are following fast in their siblings’ footsteps! No wonder the family is so used to being asked: How did you do it?

The Hardings are the first to say they’re not geniuses. Nor do they run a strict, high-pressure household. Instead, they find out early what really motivates their children, instill their kids with dreams, and allow those dreams to blossom. In a remarkable, down-to-earth narrative that is part captivating memoir, part invaluable guidebook for parents, Kip and Mona Lisa reveal with warmth and humility the strategies behind their family’s amazing educational accomplishments. Filled with daily regimens, advice for providing children with fulfilling experiences that go beyond the home, and tips for making the transition to college, theirs is an inspirational real-life success story that anyone can achieve—whether you homeschool your children or not.

The Brainy Bunch is uplifting and ultimately relatable proof of what any family can accomplish through dedication, love, faith, and hard work.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kip and Mona Lisa Harding were high school sweethearts in San Jose, California. Kip asked Mona Lisa to the prom and proposed a few weeks later. After four kids, they decided to turn to homeschooling, and their success paved the way for their children to start college by the age of twelve and go on to great careers in medicine, engineering, architecture, and more. They have been interviewed on CNN, the Today show, and Fox and Friends; featured in The Daily Mail; and covered in several prominent magazines. They live in Montgomery, Alabama, with their ten children.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
285 of 292 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Secular Homeschoolers Too May 14, 2014
By shine
This book is not a homeschooling how-to guide. This family reverse engineered the college admissions game and made their own efficient path to get there. They eschewed the standard government (public) school path, which would have involved common core standards, long school days of which 80% of the time is wasted, mind-numbing worksheets, and violence for something different.

There is no rule book or standards for homeschooling. People looking for such a thing are on a fools errand, and perhaps missing the point of homeschooling completely. The best homeschooling path involves the parents seeking out the best quality instructional materials and resources, and using them. If something doesn’t work, try something else, just as they explained in the book. One example: the Brainy Bunch used Editor in Chief, which for intellectual homeschoolers is one of those “gems”. Every homeschooler knows that for math, Saxon and Singapore are the best. There are other gems in every category, and have been reviewed in full on Cathy Duffy’s website. This book does not go there, and doesn’t need to because these resources are documented elsewhere.

Instead, the Hardings provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the method they iterated over the years to work for their own family. It’s enormously useful in that sense. Young homeschooling families can learn the pitfalls of trying to replicate “school”, what the challenges of homeschooling are, that working parents can homeschool too, and how to hack education so that real learning happens.

I can understand the reviewers who were digging for concrete, specific details about their routine and were disappointed. These details are there, but they exist sporadically, rather than a bulleted list or some other digestible format.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Inspirational Story May 7, 2014
I was blown away by this book and the story it tells. The negative reviews seem to be reviewing the family's faith, rather than the book itself. I have four kids (number three is just finishing High School) and wish I had had this book years ago. Not everyone can home school their kids, but there are things in The Brainy Bunch that I will put to work right away.

Highly recommended.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All I can say is wow! May 15, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We started homeschooling in January of this year for middle and high-school age daughters after GREAT disappointment in our particular public and private schools. This semester has been good for our daughters but also tough as we had to address their educational "holes" and some bad habits that were taught to them by educators, not kidding, I worked at their previous private school. I absolutely devoured this book in 3 days, highlights and all and will refer to it in the future. I had been praying for certain things to help our girls catch up and to like school and learning again, even if school is at home. While I may not agree 100% with everything they did for their children or some of the paths they have chosen, what I was looking for out of this book, I got. I would recommend this book be one of many that you read for different approaches, learning and teaching styles. What I thought homeschool should look like was not what works for my girls, now I know better. Thank you Harding Family for sharing your life with all of us. I appreciate you and your faith.
Penny Duda
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55 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High on Reporting Results, Short on Method May 20, 2014
When I saw this title and read its description, I knew I wanted to read it to see the process of how their homeschool worked. The book begins with Mona and Kip presenting multiple valid reasons why they decided to homeschool, introducing their children and talking about the results they have achieved. The results are impressive in regard to their children's achievements. However, I found this book to be more of a "look at the good job we are doing" rather than a book giving advice on the process of homeschooling. The advice Mona and Kip provide are helpful, but very vague. For more practical advice, you would want to consult The Well-trained mind: a guide to classical education at home by Jessie Wise and Susan Bauer or books of this type. Read to get inspired and then dig into the options that work for you!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am so thankful that the Universe led me to this book. I know I want to homeschool my kids, and my kids (ages 7 & 9) know as well. We tried it for a year and a half, and then went back into the great chaotic abyss (although all well-intentioned people) known as public school. Thank you Kip and Mona Lisa for having the courage and faith to bring us your experience in such an eloquently written way. I am not a Christian, I do not subscribe to any formal or organized religion. I have a sure relationship with Spirit, my/the Higher Power, and instill the same values and morals that Kip and Mona Lisa discuss in the book, in my children, all without labeling it as a religion. I say this to let others know that you don't have to be a member of a religion in order to raise this (the Hardings) type of quality individual. Also, I hope that no one's ego will become offended by all the Christian references, but embrace the underlying message of recognizing and fostering each child's full potential and creative bliss. I am looking forward to getting in touch with the Hardings and getting this homeschool ball rolling again~ the right way this time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book with good ideas!!
Published 4 days ago by Amy
5.0 out of 5 stars Think outside the box.
This story was so fascinating that I read the book in a day. While I have no intention of sending my child to college at the age of twelve, I was intrigued with the ideology. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Angie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! I'm inspired!
Reading this book has made me feel more comfortable about starting to home school. Love that tell the kids' sides too.
Published 6 days ago by Bri5404
4.0 out of 5 stars great motivation
I have wanted to homeschool my 5 kids. Didn't think I could make it all work until I read this book! I have finally made up my mind to go for it. Read more
Published 7 days ago by pauper
5.0 out of 5 stars Came in perfectly great condition! No problems there
Came in perfectly great condition! No problems there. I love the book so far. I am only on the 3rd chapter. I love the simplistic solution to getting schooling done so quickly. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Christine Fowler
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm so glad I borrowed this from the library v
I'm so glad I borrowed this from the library v.s. buying it! The cover reads- "The Harding Family's Method to College Ready by Age Twelve. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Julie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting!
Published 9 days ago by kathy flanigan
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this in a couple hours. I am ...
I read this in a couple hours. I am homeschooling my kids from now on & this book built my confidence. My kids are excited too!
Published 9 days ago by ashley hanson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
This book is definitely for those who are planning to homeschool and those who already are. It will definitely encourage and motivate you, and they share a lot about their... Read more
Published 10 days ago by C. Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars Purchased for My Wife as a Gift
Purchased for My Wife as a Gift. We homeschool our 12 year old son and SHE LOVED THE NUGETS CONTAINED WITHIN GETTING your child through High School and University quickly to avoid... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
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