According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of children being homeschooled rose from 3.4% to 9% during the COVID pandemic. Homeschooling is more popular than ever and as teachers’ unions continue to shut down public schools, that 9% is likely to grow much larger. There are numerous reasons families have chosen homeschooling from school bullying to control of curriculum. It works for a lot of kids, even kids who grew up to be famous. That’s right, there are many-a famous homeschooler out there.
These are the most famous people to be homeschooled.
FAMOUS HOMESCHOOLER: RYAN GOSLING
By the time Ryan Gosling was 10-years old, he still couldn’t read. He was constantly in trouble at his public school and was also a victim of bullying. To add to his troubles, he was diagnosed with ADHD. It was then that his single mother decided to pull him out of school and handle business herself.
Ryan Gosling’s mom made the right call, it seems. Her homeschool worked to perfection for the soon-to-be-famous kid because two years later, he got his first big break on Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club. Now Ryan Gosling is one of the most famous actors, and homeschoolers, in Hollywood having starred in such films as The Notebook, La La Land, Blue Valentine, and Blade Runner 2049.
FAMOUS POP STARS: JONAS BROTHERS
Even before the Jonas Brothers – Nick, Joe, and Kevin – were famous homeschoolers, their mother Denise stated that she would have chosen to homeschool her boys. As a devout Christian family, keeping her boys home felt like a much better fit. The fact that they turned to the entertainment industry made homeschooling a much better option the more famous they became.
FAMOUS HOMESCHOOL OLYMPIAN: SIMONE BILES
Considered one of the greatest women’s gymnasts America has ever seen, Simone Biles actually attended public school until the age of 13. But by then, her gymnastic career was in full bloom, so she was pulled from the public-school routine so she could focus solely on gymnastics. Admittingly, Biles didn’t have the normal high school experiences though it doesn’t seem to have bothered her. All throughout her famous homeschool experience, Biles continued to rack up medal after medal, becoming the most decorated American gymnast with a total of 19 World Champion and Olympic medals.
FAMOUS HOMESCHOOL SISTERS: VENUS AND SERENA WILLIAMS
Well before they were grand slam tennis champions, Venus and Serena received their “formal” education from papa Richard. From early elementary up through high school, the Williams sisters spent more time on the tennis courts than they did in their homeschool classroom. Although they were a famous homeschool pair, Venus went to Indiana University where she got her BS in Business Administration while Serena attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale to study fashion. These two famous homeschoolers had their story told in King Richard.
FAMOUS HOMESCHOOLER: SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR
Sandra Day O’Connor was the very first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, where she served proudly for 24 years. Born in 1930 in El Paso, Texas, O’Connor’s family moved to a remote ranch in Arizona. Because of where the ranch was located, O’Connor spent much of her childhood schooling at home. She was taught to read at the age of 4 and in 2002, she published a memoir about her childhood titled Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest.
Apparently, her childhood famous homeschooling did little, if nothing, to hold her back. It may have even helped, as she graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in economics, then went on to get her degree in law.
HOMESCHOOLER TURNED INVENTOR: THOMAS EDISON
As a child, Thomas Edison constantly found himself in trouble at school. He was considered a difficult child while living in Port Huron, MI, so much so that at the age of seven his mother, who was herself a schoolteacher, removed him from public school so she could teach him at home. With the penchant for trouble removed, Edison went on to first sell newspapers which he turned into producing his own newspaper, the Grand Trunk Herald and then becoming a telephone operator. He did this all before turning 19.
Of course, we know Edison for much more. He invented the very first incandescent lightbulb and the phonograph. During his lifetime, he held over 1,000 patents for his inventions. Now that’s one famous homeschooler.
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PRESIDENTIAL HOMESCHOOLER: THEODORE ROOSEVELT
“Bully” for Teddy Roosevelt. Because he, as well as his 13 other siblings, suffered from many malady’s, they were all homeschooled. The children were educated by their mother, an aunt, and their French governess. Apparently, they did a yeoman’s job as Teddy was admitted into Harvard in 1878. From there Teddy led the Rough Riders and became our nation’s 26th President. In terms of famous homeschoolers, this is certainly about as good as it gets.
RECORD-BREAKING HOMESCHOOLER: CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI
Here is one for the record books, literally. Christopher Paolini, whose entire academic career was through homeschooling, holds the Guinness World Record as the youngest author to write a bestselling book series. As a teenager, still being homeschooled, he wrote Eragon, which is the first book in the Inheritance Cycle series.
FAMOUS HOMESCHOOL INSPIRATION: BETHANY HAMILTON
Since the 6th grade, Bethany was famously homeschooled. Living in Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany drew interest in surfboarding and was constantly seen tackling the toughest waves Kauai had to offer. Tragedy struck her at age 13 when she was out preparing to hit a wave when she was attacked by a tiger shark. The tragic attack resulted in Bethany losing her left arm. Undeterred, Bethany found herself back in the ocean barely two months after the loss of her limb. Soul Surfer was a movie based on her inspiring story.
HOMESCHOOLER TURNED AUTHOR: AGATHA CHRISTIE
One of the most successful and famous mystery writers of all time got her early education from her father. Agatha Christie, who is the world’s best-selling author of all time with works that include And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, and The Mousetrap, learned to read at the age of four. Christie was homeschooled until the age of 11 when her father’s deteriorating health finally took him, and she was sent to a Parisian boarding school to complete her education.
HOMESCHOOLING HANNAH MONTANA: MILEY CYRUS
It shouldn’t be a big surprise that Miley Cyrus was also homeschooled. Her famous homeschooling, though, didn’t start immediately as she first attended Heritage Elementary School in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee before moving out to Los Angeles after she was cast as Hannah Montana. With the series taking off, public school was no longer an option for Cyrus, so it was homeschooling for the up-and-coming pop star.
The singer, who began playing guitar as a 7-year-old, then completed her schooling with Options for Youth Charter Schools. Her mom was her teacher. During a 2008 interview with Seventeen, Cyrus explained how her “teacher” was more difficult than she wanted. “I go to a youth program school, and everyone always says that my teacher must be easy on me, but NO! No way!” She continued, “You know, I’m working on one question and then I’m like, ‘Oh ya, Mom, so anyways.’” It must have worked for Cyrus because she ended up graduating high school early and becoming one of the most famous homeschoolers out there.
NO VAMPIRES FOR THIS HOMESCHOOLER: KRISTEN STEWART
Kristen Stewart says she made it all the way to 7th grade before opting for homeschooling. It’s not that she was being bullied into it, or her parents were forcing it, or even that she necessarily wanted it – but those teachers. One way to become a famous homeschooler is to not like who’s in the classroom.
“I was feeling a little self-conscious about the acting thing with my peers, but also my teachers became a problem,” Stewart said to British GQ. “They didn’t want to do the extra work or put packages together so I could keep up while away. My teachers failed me. not one, but all of them. I’m always slightly ashamed in a way about what I do. I’m slightly embarrassed as I had such serious ambitions when I was younger, I just never imagined that I would ever have a reason not to go to school. But then this happened.”
The ”this” that she was referring to was the Bella Swan “this.” Actually, Bella Swan didn’t come until well after Stewart went into homeschooling. By the time she hit seventh grade, Stewart was already starring in films such as The Safety of Objects, Panic Room, and Cold Creek Manor. Homeschooling got her through the rest of the way.
FAMOUS SUPERHERO HOMESCHOOLER: BRIE LARSON
Another big name on the homeschooling front is Brie Larson and at age six, she sauntered up to her mom and told her, “Mom, I know what my dharma is: I’m supposed to be an actor.” Although her mom couldn’t figure out how her daughter knew the word “dharma” much less the word “actor,” it was the impetus to get Brie moving in that direction.
After moving to Los Angeles to chase down that dream, Larson found herself having trouble fitting in at her public school. “I didn’t really have friends,” she explained to The Guardian. “I loved weird movies and I wore bowling shoes and I wanted to think outside of cultural norms even at that age. I went through a phase of eating dinner in the shower, because I thought, ‘Why don’t we do that?’ Then I realised, ‘Because it doesn’t make any sense.’ It doesn’t save any time and you can’t really get into a steak and baked potato when there’s water pouring on you. But my parents were very open because I wasn’t interested in doing anything bad, I just wanted to do weird stuff.”The ”weird stuff” turned into homeschool, which she did for the bulk of her childhood. Like many others, it worked for her because she graduated high school at the ripe old age of 15. From homeschool to Captain Marvel, not a bad result.
Homeschool is on the rise and not only for the famous.