Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Brainy Bunch book - Part 3

Questions answered about The Brainy Bunch...

Yesterday, Paola Collazo asked the following:
Does the book mention what Universities the children have attended? Does it mention a typical day for them? Do these kids get to be kids? Does it feel like this is something the parents want accomplished, or are the children interested as well? How do they prepare their children spiritually? What is their reason for starting college at 12? Again, thanks for your valuable input.

I hope this helps...

1)Does the book mention what Universities the children have attended?
Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo, California - their oldest took an online algebra class)
California College of the Arts
Faulkner University
Huntingdon College
Foothill College (California)
Allan Hancock (College Now! program)
Auburn University
Santa Clara University (California)
CSU East Bay

2)Does it mention a typical day for them?
On page 124, there is a "sample schedule" for Katrinnah (on the cover, she is listed as age 10).
*Dress, breakfast, chores
*Bible study, ACT review (one section per day), & writing
*Reading (history & science), math, Spanish, violin or piano
*2:30 p.m. - play outside
*No homework, just free reading

(Note that subjects such as literature - including Shakespeare and poetry - art appreciation, and music appreciation are not mentioned.)

3)Do these kids get to be kids?
I guess it depends on your definition of "kid." There is an implication that if a child goes a traditional route, the child will be subjected to the negative aspects of the teen years, and that if a child spends their teen years in college, they will be so focused on their future that they will bypass negative pressures.

4)Does it feel like this is something the parents want accomplished, or are the children interested as well? 
This is the culture of their family. With the older children entering college by 12, it is what the younger children consider "normal." It seems that the children want to do it both because it is what their parents want, and because it's just what one does when one is a Harding.

5)How do they prepare their children spiritually? 
Bible is part of their daily schedule. "By age six we are teaching...Bible stories... By age eight the children are learning Bible truths and are learning to really verbalize them... By age ten they are reading the Bible independently and figuring out what they really believe and why..." (page 101). The book also mentions participation in AWANA and attending church.

6)What is their reason for starting college at 12?
When their first daughter, Hannah, reached Mona Lisa's level of proficiency in math (Algebra II, she writes that she was "too tired to relearn trigonometry," Kip realized Hannah could be earning dual credit for high school and college by enrolling in an online class. That was their reasoning for their first child, but ultimately, they see high school as a waste of time, a hoop to jump through ("It should not have to take four whole years to cover four years of high school, especially if you homeschool all year-round" page 55). On page 61, the Hardings write, "In the course of a lifetime, people change their jobs and careers several times. I expect my children might also do the same. Why not start the process early?" One could also ask WHY? On page 71, they write, "Although they may be eighteen or younger when they receive their baccalaureate degrees, they will still face the same challenges the twenty-two- or twenty-three-year-old graduates face with having little job experience. It is better to face that earlier than later." These are opinions. The Hardings offer no statistical evidence to support these statements.

What it all boils down to is that a homeschooler's experiences (in life and with education) influence his or her educational philosophy. Maybe Kip Harding (who went back to school when his oldest children were very young, and is currently working on a doctorate in education) wishes he'd had the opportunity to accomplish more earlier and wants to give that opportunity to his children. I think the Hardings are well-intentioned and what they are doing works for them. But this book should be read as more of a memoir than a manual of "The Harding Family Method to College Ready by Age Twelve" (the book's subtitle).

For the two previous posts about this book, click here and here.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome story about how one family does it. Thank you so much for sharing this review with us, Mariel. And thank you for answering my questions. I still don't know how I feel about this...