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The Brainy Bunch: Harding Family 7 Kids in College by the Age of 12

20 May 2014

By Bill Korach

Harding Family Brainy Bunch

The Harding family home schooled their kids with dramatic result. So much so, that the self-titled “Brainy Bunch,” can claim seven children enrolled in college by the time they were 12 years old. Now they have written a book “The Brainy Bunch: The Harding Family’s Method to College Ready by Age Twelve.” Their story is a testimony to home schooling and the Harding family’s strong Christian faith.

Although these kind of results are pretty rare, home schooled kids as a group do far better than their public school counterparts. There is new research showing that the average home-schooler who takes standardized achievement tests is doing very well. The study, commissioned by the Home School Legal Defense Association and conducted by Brian Ray, an internationally recognized scholar and president of the nonprofit National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), is called “Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics.


The results reinforced previous home-school studies conducted over a period of 25 years.

Five areas of academic pursuit were measured. In reading, the average home-schooler scored at the 89th percentile; language, 84th percentile; math, 84th percentile; science, 86th percentile; and social studies, 84th percentile. In the core studies (reading, language and math), the average home-schooler scored at the 88th percentile.


The average public school student taking these standardized tests scored at the 50th percentile in each subject area.



The Harding family made its second appearance on the Today show this morning to talk about that accomplishment. They were first featured last year as part of the show’s “American Story,” segment. On Thursday, mom Mona Lisa Harding told Matt Lauer the family didn’t start out with a great plan to accelerate their children’s educational process.

“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,” she said.

The family has 10 children who range in age from 4 to 26. For those who have already finished their education, careers range from Navy doctor (Serennah) and architect (Rosannah) to doctoral student (Hannah) an entrepreneur (Heath).

Keith, 15, is a senior at Faulkner University. Younger brother, Seth, 13, has been a Faulkner student since age 11. Katrinnah, 11, has taken the ACT and has an interest in law, and her sister, Mariannah, 8, wants to pursue a career in medicine. Lorennah, 6, and Thunder, 4, will be next in line.

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