Education is important. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone needs to attend university and get a degree in order to become successful, but it does mean that children need to learn at least the basics, which will better equip them for the future. After all, knowledge is power. There are many celebrities who feel strongly about education, not just for their own children, but for children all around the world. For example, Beyoncé has campaigned for girls' education, noting how 62 million girls were without schooling, while Carrie Underwood has tried to focus everyone’s attention on the importance of adding programs like music education into the system because it can teach children fundamentals that they will continue to carry with them later in life.
But not every celebrity has decided to send their child to school, and perhaps that’s because they simply don’t agree with the system, or because their busy schedules won’t allow for it. Instead, they have chosen to homeschool, and it seems to really work for their offspring, with Will Smith explaining that homeschooling his kids was one step in the right direction to finding a system that “revolutionizes public education.”
Below are 20 celebrities, and their thoughts on education, the public school system, and the benefits of homeschooling.
Let's start with the 10 celebs who had a thing or two to say about the education system...
Education is something that is important to many parents, including celebrity ones. Alyssa Milano wants the best for her children, including the best possible education system, and since becoming a mother she feels strongly about this.
"For our children of this country, we need to really figure out what our education system looks like," Milano told Good Morning America (via ABC News). "Right now it is such a mess." She continued to discuss why it was important to focus on education, saying, "I don't believe that white privileged people should have access to a better education than lower-income communities, or communities of color…”
Jessica Alba has three children who she shares with her husband, Cash Warren, and she is a mother who believes that it is important to instill a strong work ethic in her children. And she does this by setting an example.
She also believes that to succeed, her children must go to school. In an interview with Parents magazine, Alba explained that she wants her children to understand the value of hard work. “If you don’t work hard, your life won’t always be like this," she says to her kids. “You’ve got to figure out what you want to do. Go to school, do well, treat others well.”
Carrie Underwood is one of Hollywood’s most relatable moms, but she is also a musician, and a particularly successful one at that. Underwood knows how music has affected her life, and she wants others to understand how teaching music education to children could be beneficial.
Taking to social media, she shared her thoughts on the subject, writing, “Music Education is so important in children's lives because you learn many fundamentals that you'll carry on with you for the rest of your life! It starts with Music Education…” She also explained in an accompanying video that music education made her want to go to school.
You may think that growing up as the children of one of Hollywood ’s power couples would be some tough shoes to fill, but Beyoncé and her husband Jay Z want their kids to have an upbringing that’s as close to normal as possible.
The couple sends their eldest child, Blue Ivy, to private school, but Beyoncé has used her stardom as a platform to push for worldwide girl’s education. According to Time, Beyoncé performed at the Global Citizen Festival to promote the 62MillionGirls campaign, which sheds light on the fact that there are 62 million girls in the world who do not attend school.
She has also created a scholarship program for women studying “creative arts, music, literature" and other cultural studies, The Independent reports.
Kerry Washington is a celebrity who likes to keep her private life, well, private. She seldom speaks about her relationship, or her life outside of Hollywood, but one topic she has spoken about is her children, and how they act as her teachers.
When asked by Marie Claire what she’s learned from motherhood, she responded by saying “everything.” She continued, “My children are my teachers. There’s a writer that I love, Dr. Shefali Tsabary. She writes about conscious parenting, and her paradigm is that we think about it all wrong. We think children come into the world, and it’s our job to mold them and create them and teach them who to be so that they can be the best version of themselves, but it’s actually completely upside down.”
Education means something different to each person, and for Kristen Bell, one of the best ways for her daughters to learn is by encouraging them to read a lot of books, although, considering both are under the age of 5, it’s Bell who is doing most of the reading.
"My oldest is learning to read in Kindergarten, so she's pointing out letters. It makes me excited," she told Parents. “I look at my child's brain like a hungry stomach. I have to feed it every day. Even if I'm rushed, I have to feed their brain just like I feed their belly."
Reading can also be a learning opportunity, as Parents notes that Bell discussed how every time she reads a Disney book, she asks her daughters questions about it, for example, if they thought it was weird that Snow White simply ate the apple that the queen gave her.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick have been married since 1997, which is all the more impressive considering Hollywood doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to long-lasting romances. The couple has three children, their eldest, a son named James, and then twin girls, Marion and Tabitha, and they seem to be a very close-knit family.
Although we don’t know all that much about Parker’s views on education, we do know that she values it, and she is there to walk her girls to school, but she also listens to what they need from school, and no two children are the same, not even twins. An example of this is when she told a follower on social media that her daughters chose to go to two different schools, and she and Broderick allowed this, Mamamia notes.
Teachers are entrusted to shape the minds of youth, to encourage them to learn and grow. Yet, all too often, teachers are overworked, underpaid, and seldom appreciated. But this is something that Reese Witherspoon would like to change, and she has publicly voiced her support for educators.
Being a mom of three, Witherspoon understands the importance of having great teachers, and took to social media to express her thoughts on how these individuals should be better paid. “Don’t our representatives know that teachers have one of the hardest and most important jobs in our country?” she wrote.
Shakira is a modern woman, and she is raising two sons, who we expect will grow up to be as well-rounded and likable as she is. But education is not something that Shakira wants for just her boys, but for children everywhere and she has given a speech on the importance of early childhood development, a cause she has been focused on for years (even before the birth of her children).
In 2018, she once again made headlines for her charitable endeavors, when it was announced that she intended to open two schools in Colombia, built by her foundation -- which Reuters notes she founded when she was aged 18. She has also stated, “education is what equalizes us,” which is why she is working so hard to try and bring education to those who are underprivileged.
Angelina Jolie is yet another celebrity who has spoken about education, and has used her fame to raise awareness for the lack of education in some countries. She feels education is essential if we want to help refugees and rebuild countries. It can also give children the purpose they need, and better prepare them for a brighter, better future.
But her children are homeschooled, and she once told The Independent (via The Telegraph) the reason for this is simple. "I do think we live in a different age and the education system hasn't caught up with our children and our way of life," she said.
And these are the 10 celebs who homeschool...
Jennifer Lopez is a woman who is in demand, and her work sends her all over the world for appearances and concerts. She also has a residency in Las Vegas. But she wants to spend as much time with her twins, Max and Emme, as possible, and so there have been times when she has admitted to homeschooling them so that they can be together as a family.
“We don't have a normal life, I don't have normal kids," she said, according to People. “We’ll get them educated – homeschool is great for them, when we have to do it. The most important thing is that they’re with their mom — that they don’t feel abandoned by a parent.”
Cynthia Bailey is a mother to a daughter named Noelle Robinson, and she is well aware that the traditional school system doesn’t work for everyone.
Her daughter was having social issues at school, and Bailey felt it was the best move to pull her out of a system which had become an environment that was "spirit-breaking" for Noelle.
“I know my child very well, and she was not flourishing. It was hard to watch her try to find her own identity, and own who she is,” Bailey wrote on her BravoTV blog. "No matter how much love and support she got at home, when she went to school she was" not treated fairly. It was with this in mind, that Bailey made the decision to homeschool her daughter for the rest of the year, before enrolling her in a new school.
Will Smith And Jada Pinkett Smith are known for their unconventional parenting styles and the honest dialogues they have with their children. They are also parents who really listen to their children to better understand their needs and wants, and this includes allowing them to learn in a different environment.
Will Smith spoke about his children’s schooling in an appearance on Live With Regis & Kelly (via Essence). “We started homeschooling our children probably six years ago,” he said. “We found about eight or nine other parents that homeschool, so we put the children together…. There are just very powerful educational concepts that we believe in, and we feel like we want to design the system that revolutionizes public education.”
Some celebrities do not want to leave their children behind when their work schedule demands they travel, others simply do not agree with conventional schooling. For Mayim Bialik, it was a little different, and she and her now ex-husband, Michael Stone, chose to homeschool for many reasons, including the flexibility that homeschool affords them, but also because she felt it was the best approach for her sons.
“We like our children not being held to some standard of what other kids are doing as their defining label,” she said in an interview with the blog, Jewish Homeschool. “Both of our boys are very sensitive and gentle and developed ‘late’ in terms of walking, talking, and interacting. A public setting would not have allowed them to progress under our care and we like to keep our finger on the pulse of their development as organic and natural and normal.”
Kendall and Kylie Jenner grew up with siblings quite a lot older than them, they also grew up in the public eye thanks to their siblings’ fame and their family’s reality TV show. It seemed that these two were destined for fame from a young age, and momager Kris Jenner realized this. She also listened to her daughters’ requests.
The girls had both attended regular school, but their rising stars made them want to be homeschooled instead, a conversation they had with their mother during an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Hollywood Life reports.
Katie Holmes is raising her daughter, Suri, as a solo mom since her divorce from Tom Cruise in 2012. In 2011, Holmes spoke with New York magazine about how the couple chose to homeschool their daughter because of their schedules.
“And we homeschool Suri—she has a teacher who is with her every day,” she said. “We like the one-on-one education. I’m happy that my daughter is strong-willed and determined. You really have to go with what the child is wanting.”
Whether Holmes still chooses to homeschool her daughter now, when her schedule requires it, remains unclear, but E! News reports that she has since enrolled Suri into the all-girls school, Convent of the Sacred Heart.
Parents know what is best for their children, and for Erykah Badu, what was best for her son, Seven Sirius, was a homeschool approach to education. Badu opted to homeschool her son until the second grade, a decision she feels he benefited from academically.
“I wanted to give [him] special attention academically, to give him an advantage,” she told Babble (via People). She decided to enroll her son in “normal” school after these first few years, but there are some lessons that he took away from the experience that he may not have had otherwise, with Badu noting her son is now able to “solve problems in a nontraditional way.”
Gwyneth Paltrow is not always the most relatable, nor the most likable celebrity, but there is no denying that she is a dedicated and loving mom who always puts the wellbeing of her children first. She wanted her kids, Apple and Moses, to have every advantage in life, and for this reason, she felt it best to hire a private tutor for them, at least, according to Daily Mail.
The actress and her now ex-husband, Chris Martin, are believed to have advertised for a private tutor to teach their kids a range of subjects, and the requirements for the position included a “knowledge of Japanese, tennis, and chess.”
James Van Der Beek has a whole brood of perfect children with curly hair, and when his kids were of school age, he and his wife, Kimberly, decided that it was best to let them learn in a non-school environment, with Kimberly at the helm.
Kimberly is a bit of a superwoman because, in addition to raising five children, she also homeschools four of them (their latest addition was only born in 2018), The Playground notes. As for how she manages to do it all, we can’t be sure, but we do know that the couple have their hands full!
Marcia Gay Harden’s decision to homeschool her daughter, Eulala Grace Scheel, was beneficial for many reasons, including the fact that it gave her an opportunity to really spend some quality time with her child.
Harden made the decision to briefly homeschool her children (she is a mom of three) because she was traveling to California for work for almost three months, and wanted to take them with her. She also hoped to travel with them, and make the experience a memorable one.
“Eulala is open to being home-schooled for a year, not forever,” she told Parade. “She’ll soon be 12 going on 13. I feel, not that I won’t have her again, but this is a special time to bond.”