The Brainy Bunch

Must see this. Very inspirational. A family of ten kids are home schooled in a faith based home. Seven of the ten graduated high school by 12 years old. Most hold a Master’s degree, but what is incredible is the sense of joy and unity in the family created by the parent’s beliefs. They are promoting their book, “The Brainy Bunch”.

I would like to know how does one afford this; I mean for a mom to stay at home and send all her children to university/college? I guess living is cheaper in Kansas. Just wondering.

Here is a link. To all new moms, home schooling is IN. The book talks about how to home school children. I don’t know if this is applicable to children with learning disabilities. don’t even know if the book is highly recommended but they paint a pretty convincing picture.

God Bless. Hope you enjoy. Let me know your opinion.:slight_smile:

ca.shine.yahoo.com/video/playlist/amazing-young-people—yahoo-canada/learning-curve-family-sends-7-114010817.html

I find the kids’ accomplishments admirable, I guess, but I don’t get the big push for early college. Why the rush to end childhood?

My parents raised 6 kids on one income and sent all of us to college. They used RESPs - registered education savings plans. Not only that, but most of us were able to get scholarships which reduced the costs associated with going to college.

ETA: We were all homeschooled, though 5 of us went to an online school for high school and the 6th went to public school for high school (as he was the only one still living at home).

My children were all homeschooled (4 of them), and my husband’s income sustained us all. Two attended a US Service Academy and two attended Hillsdale College in Michigan which accepts no federal or state monies as aid.

We live in a modest home, took modest vacations (camping mostly, which we all love). The kids didn’t get drivers’ licenses until age 18, and all had daily jobs (newspaper, babysitting) from age 11 onward for their own spending money.

We went to daily mass, and all their school work that involved me was finished by about 1 pm so I could do other things.

My kids did take some college courses at the local U at age 16 (Physics, Chemistry… subjects more difficult to tackle at the kitchen table). I felt it was inappropriate for them to be in a college classroom before that. AND, they NEVER took any humanities at that college. They took those courses at Franciscan U of Steubenville, about an hour from our home.

I know a boy who was homeschooled by highly intelligent, Christian parents. His mother also works as a college professor. However, since they’re aware of the atmosphere in college, they don’t think it’s appropriate for their son to go until he’s almost the same age as the other students. Academically, he was ready at 14, but they kept teaching him at home for another year or two with higher-level courses and lots of electives. They’re letting him enter college at sixteen, but are having him triple-major and spend five years getting his degree, so that he’s the same age as the other students at graduation. That makes sense to me, as going to school isn’t just about academic knowledge. It’s also a place to grow up emotionally and socially.

On the other hand, both that boy and my little brother (who was homeschooled because of his learning disabilities) still have a lot of trouble with the social end of things. They haven’t dealt with other children very much, and when they do, they judge those children based on their lack of academic knowledge. There are downsides to lower levels of peer interaction, and this boy’s parents always stress that homeschooling is just one option among many, and it isn’t right for everyone.

I agree. Homeschooling is a viable option but it is not for everyone.

There are some families I know that are doing a hybrid approach of both public schooling and homeschooling.

Thank you for your replies. What I want to stress is the sense of unity and joy this family has and how all their children seem to want to succeed. They definitely have a strong sense of belief and values. I wonder how much this contributed to their success. I know children where the parents emphasize education and push for it and sometimes it doesn’t pan out. Are some kids destined to be smart and others not? But the chances of most of your kids getting degrees and being smart is incredible. Or is it that home schooling can provide a better education. IMHO I am starting to believe it is. A parent can adapt the lessons for the child and choose the time. In a public or private system everything is controlled and a child must follow whether they can or cannot. Your opinions?

I think it’s a disservice to divide kids into “smart” and “not”. That could be the start of deciding which kids can learn and which cannot. Until you reach the upper levels of art/literature/science/music/mathmatics/etc that require a true gift for the subject, I firmly believe that any child can learn IF they are taught in a way that works for them.

I hear too often parents and kids themselves use the label “not smart enough” as an excuse for why they can’t do basic math or learn to read and that’s so disheartening.

Not sure why you feel this is incredible? Sounds perfectly normal to me. Maybe a difference in life experience? I have six children, one w/masters degree, one a junior in college, one in high school, 2 in middle school, 1 elementary. I fully expect them all to get at least a bachelors and since all those not in college are currently getting A’s or mostly A’s and are in accelerated classes, I don’t see why this would be difficult.

They also all attend/attended public school (though private college). For us this provides a good basis of education that we actively supplemented at home by covering all those things schools don’t have time for. This works especially well since each of my children have different learning styles, personalities, and abilities.

In truth though, I think most of their success is due to a few simple things -

  1. Books. Surrounded by them from the moment of birth - cloth books to lay on, board books to chew on, laps to sit in while listening to books. Always books available to read both at and above their level. I read daily and make regular trips to the library where each has their own card. We watch movies and contrast/compare them to the book, etc.

  2. Taking it for granted. Always believing and acting like education, A’s, intelligence, attending college, success, etc are normal things - neither over nor under emphasizing them. I give no rewards for A’s, and nothing bad for C’s except to discover the problem (usually failure to remain organized and turn in the homework) and we solve it. They know that if they don’t understand something they need to get help with it from one of us or we’ll help them find help from another source. It’s no big deal. Just quiet pride as we hang the year’s academic awards on the fridge for the first week of summer.

  3. The one exception to the above is that we have regularly pointed out that success in grade school leads to success in high school that leads to money for college. Full ride academic scholarships are rare - but most private schools do have funds for those with good grades and high test scores. Add in whatever that particular child’s passion is (volunteering, choir, sports, etc.) and you can get a good chunk of college paid for. Then mix in loans, work-study, savings, part time jobs, and so forth and the bills get paid.

  4. Active parenting. Treat the word “parent” as a verb - it’s something you must do. So we learn new things and teach the kids. The kids learn new things and teach us. Lots of interaction every single day.

As I said above, some kids need a different teaching style and I’m sure this can sometimes be better provided for in a home schooling situation - though not always (all of us have limits and I’m sure there’s some parents besides me who do not possess the ability to make it work well).

As far as being a joyful, happy family unit - well, that’s one thing I don’t have a clue about. We’re just normal - loving sure, but also lots of arguments, fights, bad feelings, and rivalry. I’m just happy for every hour that passes without someone hollering “Will you stop touching me!!” LOL!!!

Hi, so I will let you in on something. I work with children who have learning disabilities and/or a psychological diagnosis, ranging from mild to severe. I am told that many them, if not most will never see college or even graduate high school. They seem like perfectly normal children except that they learn at a much different pace. I have a child now 16 who is normal but struggles in school. I did much of what CradleJourney did, such as read to them, puzzles, stories, tutoring everything, but my child still struggled. There is a problem with the education system that treats children as a number; even gifted children can fall through the cracks if a teacher doesn’t recognize the potential of each child. Basically, it works like this. A teacher as a lesson plan and the students must follow. If they cannot keep up too bad. Is school a measure of intelligence? How do you measure it? Why are all these children from this family able to learn at an accelerated pace. Is it the love that opens up the mind, the environment?

I have to find a solution because it is affecting me personally and I see too many children struggling and developing mental issues. How can I help them? Many are turning aside from education, some dropping out, others dealing with their emotions. All I have, is that some come from broken homes and that usually affects them, but what about the others who are from ok families?

Another thing I would like to mention, the competition to get into college here is fierce. I know students who average 90’s and will have one course in the 70’s and that is enough to not get accepted. Is this fair? All our universities, especially the English ones are coveted by students around the world, so the competition is even greater. Furthermore, we don’t have as much access to scholarships as you do in the US. If there are any, they are not being promoted or offered in high school or exist in the French sector. Our education system is very different than that of the rest of North America.

You have my admiration - that is NOT an easy job, but it is one that is so very important. So glad you answered God’s call to work with these kids! :smiley:

There is a problem with the education system that treats children as a number; even gifted children can fall through the cracks if a teacher doesn’t recognize the potential of each child. Basically, it works like this. A teacher as a lesson plan and the students must follow. If they cannot keep up too bad. Is school a measure of intelligence? How do you measure it? Why are all these children from this family able to learn at an accelerated pace. Is it the love that opens up the mind, the environment?

Absolutely agree that the education system tends to lose those who fall at either end of the learning spectrum - it’s usually geared for the middle of the road.

Personally, I’d guess the children in that family, like mine, were able to learn based on two factors - loving family environment (it really is easier for the kids to learn things that they are exposed to early and often, most of mine grew up hearing discussions about calculus, physics, etc as normal parts of dinner conversation), and physical ability (just as some kids have genetic glitches that slow their learning, I’m sure others have ones that increase their capacity)…

I have to find a solution because it is affecting me personally and I see too many children struggling and developing mental issues. How can I help them? Many are turning aside from education, some dropping out, others dealing with their emotions. All I have, is that some come from broken homes and that usually affects them, but what about the others who are from ok families?

Another thing I would like to mention, the competition to get into college here is fierce. I know students who average 90’s and will have one course in the 70’s and that is enough to not get accepted. Is this fair? All our universities, especially the English ones are coveted by students around the world, so the competition is even greater. Furthermore, we don’t have as much access to scholarships as you do in the US. If there are any, they are not being promoted or offered in high school or exist in the French sector. Our education system is very different than that of the rest of North America.

I could see where it would be especially difficult for kids to stick with school when they are struggling when they know college won’t be an option. We are really fortunate here in that I could (can) show my kids the statistics for increased wages from getting that college diploma, then show them how they need to succeed in high school to get the money to pay for it.

I’m not sure what the answer is except to do your best to continue to provide love, support and caring to the kids and keep experimenting to see what works to help them along.

I’ll keep you in my prayers!

Thank you CradleJourney. I appreciate your wisdom. I will keep trying. God is leading me. I have applied to a Master’s program in education. I don’t know what the future holds but I will leave it in God’s hands. I pray that I help my own children as well as others. If there others out there who have experience with educating children with learning problems let me know. I know that caring and listening are crucial to their development.

God bless, and pray for me. Thank you.

In the meantime, I would like to know if others have similar experiences as this family. Does homeschooling provide better education if the parents are equipped for it? Is the curriculum different than that of the public system? What support do you have in homeschooling as a parent/teacher? And what happens if your child demonstrates learning issues early on?

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