The parents of 10 children who all started college before the age of 13 insist their precocious sons and daughters are ‘not geniuses’ – instead crediting their ‘efficient’ homeschooling regimen for their family’s academic success.
Monalisa Harding, 53, and her husband Kip, 53, who are high school sweethearts from San Jose, California, homeschooled all their children from the same syllabus instead of sending the kids to traditional schools.
They knew they were on the right track after getting each of their first three children through high school by the time they all turned 11, and their younger kids went on to achieve similar success.
Their oldest child, Hannah, went on to earn a bachelors degree in mathematics at the age of 17 from Auburn University, Montgomery in 2004 – making her the first child prodigy.
Last year, their youngest child Thunder, 11, passed his entrance exams to college, joining Lorennah, 13, who is already in her second year.
Those of the Harding siblings who have already graduated from college have gone on to become doctors, architects, spacecraft designers and lawyers.
Monalisa Harding and her husband Kip, both 53, homeschooled all 10 of their children using the same methods and techniques
The sixth Harding child – Seth (pictured with sister with Serennah) became Alabama’s youngest lawyer at 19, after passing his degree and professional exams during the pandemic
Monalisa says her children ‘aren’t geniuses’. She says that the efficient nature of homeschooling (and her children’s hard work) guaranteed their academic success
Eight of the brothers and sisters have already graduated by either 15 or 16 – and all went to university before they were 13.
The most recent family graduate Mariannah, 16, is now applying to do her masters in horticulture in January.
Seth Harding, 20, child six of 10, became Alabama’s youngest lawyer at the age of 19 after getting his law degree and passing his professional exams during the pandemic.
But humble Monalisa insists her kids ‘aren’t geniuses’ – and said their success is down to homeschooling which is more ‘efficient’ than going to school.
Lorennah (left), 13, is a sophomore at Bellevue University. Katrinnah (right), 18, earned a BA in political science from Huntington college at age 15 and is now in law school
Lorennah and Katrinnah are seen posing with sister Mariannah, 16, who earned a BA in health science from Bellevue University in Nebraska at the age of 16 and is planning to study further
Lorennah is the ninth of the Harding family’s 10 children – all of whom started university by the age of 13
Monalisa, said: ‘The nature of homeschooling is so efficient – anyone can do it.
‘It’s just about parents dedicating the time to get it done and prioritizing their children’s education above all else.
‘We’re not a wealthy family. We had to make sacrifices so that I had the time to teach each of them individually.
‘When you raise kids in an environment where homeschooling and hard work is the norm, then, as they grow, they’ll naturally adapt to it and take it in their stride.
‘They all worked and continue to work extremely hard, which is why they’re breaking new ground every day – I couldn’t be more proud of them.’
In 2014, the couple released their own book titled ‘The Brainy Bunch’, detailing their methods and techniques which has brought their children so much success.
The book goes into detail about the intricacy of homeschool study and offers advice and support for parents wishing to do the same.
Monalisa and husband Kip, who used to be in the military before working in government, also offer private consultations for families about home schooling.
Mariannah, who received her BA in Health Science from Bellevue University at the age of 16, is currently waiting for a response to an application from Auburn University for further studies
Son Heath (left), now 26, earned his BA in English, aged 15, and a master’s degree in computer science at the age of 17
Thunder James, the youngest of the brood aged just 11, is currently a freshman at Bellevue University
Mother Monalisa with her lawyer son Seth. She described homeschooling her children as ‘a hell of a journey’, but said they ‘wouldn’t change it for the world’
They’ve spoken at conferences across the U.S., and have even travelled to Japan to share their experiences.
‘We’ve had the best time travelling around and helping other families who want to homeschool their kids,’ Monalisa added.
‘It’s really fulfilling because we put our hearts and souls into our children, and knowing people admire that and want to do the same is a really great feeling.
‘It’s important to find that balance between not putting too much pressure on your kids and making sure they’re reaching their full potential.
‘We just have Thunder and Lorennah to get through college now, and then we can finally think about making some time for ourselves.
‘It’s been a hell of a journey but we wouldn’t change it for the world!’
Homeschool success: The Harding children’s academic achievements
- Hannah, now 34, earned her BS in mathematics at the age of 17 from Auburn University in Montgomery.
- Rosannah, now 32, earned her BA in architecture from California College of the Arts located in San Francisco, aged 18.
- Serennah, now 30, got a BA in cell biology from Huntington College in Montgomery, Alabama at the age of 17.
- Heath, 26, has a BA in English, which he got aged 15, from Huntington College and then earned a master’s degree in computer science at the age of 17 from Troy University in Montgomery.
- Keith, 23, earned a BA in music from Faulkner University in Montgomery Alabama at the age of 15 and then earned his master’s degree at the age of 17 in counselling at the same institution.
- Seth, 21, got a BA degree in political science from Huntington College at the age of 16.
- Katrinnah, 18, earned her BA in political science at the age of 15 from Huntington college and is now in law school.
- Mariannah, 16, earned her BA degree in health science from Bellevue University in Nebraska at the age of 16. She is currently waiting for a response to an application from Auburn University for further studies.
- Lorennah, 13, is a second year college student at Bellevue University.
- Thunder James, 11, is a college freshman also at Bellevue University.