Sending to kids to college by age 12. What do you think?

Mona Lisa and Kip Harding have a large family and many of their kids were taking college courses by age 12. This sounds like some kind of homeschooling hothousing hell but actually, from the sound of this article, it sounds like kids following their bliss. Mum, Mona Lisa, says, “We find out what their passions are, what they really like to study, and we accelerate them gradually.” I don’t know why they feel they should accelerate their kids. The word ‘accelerate’ does make me nervous. It doesn’t sound fun or necessary but the rest of the article makes it sound like the kids are just following their passions and their parents, as all the best homeschooling parents should, are simply enabling them to – in this case by accessing college courses. Hopefully what Mum means by, “All our children would have to tells us is, ‘You know, this isn’t fun any more,” Mona Lisa says, “and we’d do something about that.” is that she’d let them stop accelerating their learning and learn at their own pace. 

What I like about this family is they aren’t afraid to look like weird hothousing parents or for their kids to look like nerds because – they aren’t either of these things, they are, as I said, just helping their kids do what they are really interested in. If you are really into knights, studying the Middle Ages at University-level is probably really fun. And I’ll bet it’s less stressful than doing a Middle Ages worksheet-oriented module at school! 

When my son is nearer age 12 or so, I will certainly look into this option. I might already look at film making courses for adults since he so much enjoyed, and seemed to be accepted by the young adults on the day workshop he took in Bahrain. However, I was there to mediate between adults and child so this might not work until he’s older, when he can attend by himself.

Food for thought especially if you’re thinking of taking this route with your kids.


About homeschoolingpenny

Hi and welcome! My name is Penny and I used to live in Bahrain but In November 2012 moved to Dubai and now we live in Granada, Spain! If you want to contact me my email is I recommend you start my blog on 'Day 1' but please enjoy whatever you dip into. 23 February 2012 marked the first day of no more school FOREVER for my two kids. Edward, who is nearly 10 had attended a variety of schools since he was very little. Petra, who is now 6, has never gone to school. On this date we decided Edward was never going back to school and Petra never would go to school. We hope to successfully homeschool from this day forward, although we would consider an alternative school as an option- if there was some amazing Sudbury or other really alternative school. Actually, I prefer the term 'home learning' than 'homeschool' because I don't like to think of school coming into our home. In fact, I hope to go further and guide/learn alongside, rather than teach, my kids using the 'unschooling' philosophy to instill a lifelong love of learning in them. We lived in the Middle East and now Spain all of which are very challenging places to home educate. This is an exciting journey that I used to blog about regularly, at first it was on an almost daily basis. Please join me on our travels and I hope we might be able to help each other out along the way. I certainly hope I can be a source of support and comfort and, in time, knowledge to all potential/presently participating homeschoolers/home educators/unschoolers. Good luck to us all! If you want to read about why I started home educating, why I pulled my son out of a 'very good' private school mid-term, how I felt at the very start and how my philosophy has evolved, please start from 'Day 1' of the blog. Please do post comments at the end of any days that you read. Your opinion is valuable and it's great to start up debate amongst other people commenting too, however old the post. Thank you for visiting homeschoolingmiddleeast.
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17 Responses to Sending to kids to college by age 12. What do you think?

  1. nebby3 says:

    They sound like a wonderful family to me. They don’t sound like they push their kids too hard, just that they let them follow their passions. I have one child who clearly has a passion (for art) but the others don’t know what they will pursue yet so I think we also need to be comfortable with the fact that it may take them a while to find their thing.

  2. Yes, I agree, despite the use of the word ‘accelerate’, that they seem wonderful – and so many of them! I am in awe! I am also a bit jealous because I would find it very exciting for my children to demonstrate strong passions at a young age for things that could be followed up in this way. But, as you wisely say, we have to be comfortable with whatever path our kids take and comfort ourselves with the fact that we are always there to help them follow whatever their interests are 🙂 Thank you for reading!

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