Many homeschooled children continue to demonstrate impressive academic feats. The latest example is a homeschooled Minnesota teen who became one of a very small number of students to achieve a perfect score on the ACT.

As Fox 9 reports, Sam Mansfield scored a 36 on the February ACT. According to the testing service, of the 1.9 million students who took the ACT in 2015, only 1,500 were able to achieve a perfect score.



Before you dismiss Sam as a genius anomaly, the score was something he actually worked for. Sam admits he is naturally book smart, but he still prepared for the exam. According to his mom/teacher, “He set a goal. I knew he worked really hard for it.”

Sam attributes his success to “his mom, dad, and his homeschooling background for nurturing his love of knowledge.”

While no one would argue that homeschooling is for everyone, Sam is an example of how homeschooling can tailor an education to a particular student’s needs, thereby letting them excel. Homeschooling harnesses a child’s passions, like Sam’s love of science, and channel them into a love of learning.  Sam’s custom education also allows him to occasionally take courses of interest, like robotics, at the nearby high school, thus giving him the benefits of both worlds.

[Source: A2Z Homeschooling; ACT High School Profile Report]

Clearly Sam’s homeschooling has placed him on the right path to achieve his dreams of attending MIT and someday getting a Ph.D. in a field like artificial intelligence.

Could more young people today benefit from homeschooling? As in the case of the Harding family—whose first seven children all enrolled in college by age 12—is there something to the idea of giving kids time and space to pursue their academic passions?