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The Brainy Bunch: The Harding Family's Method to College Ready by Age Twelve Hardcover – May 6, 2014
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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"Never judgmental and not without humor, the [Hardings] intersperse their story with strategies and advice...this fascinating read transcends the Christian homeschool market. Written in an engaging and relaxed style, the book tells how all 12 Hardings have accomplished much, and their account is inspirational and uplifting." (Library Journal)
"Motivated by their Christian faith and dissatisfaction with the lack of personal attention children receive in the classroom...the Hardings chose to homeschool their children -- all 10 of them. [T]he work ethic and family bonding are impressive, as are the children's career successes." (Publishers Weekly)
"Through home schooling, the Hardings were able to attain [their] goals and much more, as evidenced by the success of their children...the methods defined here could work for others willing to buck convention." (Kirkus)
"[T]he Hardings' story is very much one of putting love and family first. They are not pushing their children to overachieve -- they are helping them to find their own unique potential." (BookPage)
About the Author
Kitchener (Kip) Harding and Mona Lisa Montoya 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.
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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. Therefore, it’s important to read this book thoroughly. Take your time. Have the internet ready to look up resources.
For all of those who are outraged over their references to religion and becoming a stay-at-home mom, read the book as if you are studying someone else’s culture. Yes, it’s different from yours. Intelligent people don’t get offended. It’s not fair to judge the Hardings for their religious slant or views on feminism. They aren’t stealing; they aren’t hurting anyone. They are raising honest, smart kids who are adding value to our society. Think about it; these people aren’t the enemy.