It’s summer break time again, so I thought it might be fun to take a different path from looking at the academic values of homeschooling to explore the educational history of some celebrities who were homeschooled. Some attended homeschool from grades K to 8, others from grades 9 to 12, and still others who managed to complete an entire K to 12 high school graduation program while they were attending homeschool.
While traditional brick-and-mortar schools make sense for the majority of K to 12 students, kids who are actors, athletes and musicians generally do not have the time to participate in a regular school day. Here’s a short list of celebrities who attended homeschool for at least part of their educational journey.
Justin Bieber – Justin did start out as a student at a traditional school, but when his music career hit high gear, he moved to Los Angeles. His schedule was too grueling to allow him to attend school daily, so he became a distance learner, taking online classes at St. Michael Catholic Secondary School in Stratford, Ontario – his hometown.
Miley Cyrus – Miley was homeschooled from an early age when she was a child star on Disney Channel television productions. Homeschool gave her the opportunity to concentrate on her singing career and provided her with the flexibility to live a normal childhood. She has been quoted as saying that “she enjoyed being homeschooled and found it beneficial to her career.”
Zac Efron – Zac is a well-known American actor and singer who was homeschooled for most of his education and credits his parents for providing him with an education “tailored to his needs.” He is an advocate for homeschooling and has encouraged other young people to explore the option.
Jackie Evancho – An American singer who became famous when she sang in America’s Got Talent in 2010. She was homeschooled throughout her singing career and has become a successful performing artist. Jackie began her school years in the Pine-Richland School District outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but after her singing career began, she participated in online school and graduated in an online program from Pine-Richland High School in 2018.
Selena Gomez – In an interview with a group called Oakland County Moms, Selena was asked if she enjoyed having been homeschooled. She replied, “There are a few moments where I would have liked to have gone to [public] school, but it didn’t bother me. I did most of my schooling on [set], so I was with my other cast members on my show. I have interactive people around me, so it wasn’t just me in a white room with a tutor.”
The Jonas Brothers – These kids were already entertainment sensations when they graduated from high school. They were homeschooled from elementary school through graduation. Their father is an ordained minister with Assemblies of God. They were homeschooled by their mother, but before she took over their education, all three brothers attended Eastern Christian School in North Haledon, New Jersey. When their careers took off, they missed too many classes to stay registered in school so the principal worked with their mother to find an on-the-road tutor to teach them. They each separately enjoyed unusual homeschool variety high school graduation celebrations.
Demi Lovato – Many kids end up in a homeschooling situation because they were being bullied while attending public school. Demi Lovato was one of those kids. Even though she was a successful actor on the Disney Channel, her schoolmates bullied her endlessly because she was different. Consequently, she moved from public school to a homeschool situation. In April 2009, she received a high school diploma via homeschooling.
Jennifer Love Hewitt – Jennifer was a “career actor” by the time she entered grade school. Because her acting schedule made it nearly impossible for her to participate in the 8AM to 3PM public school weekday routine, she was educated at home through the 8th grade. She enrolled in a public high school at the time her family moved to Los Angeles.
Bindi and Robert Irwin – Bindi and Robert are children of the late Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. Both Bindi and Robert were homeschooled which gave them flexibility to keep up with their media commitments. In 2014, Bindi finished a certificate III in business and tourism. Robert graduated from homeschool high school in 2019 at age 15.
Angelina Jolie – An actress and filmmaker, Ms. Jolie was homeschooled for portions of her educational life. The structure of traditional education was not allowing her to learn at her own pace and explore her individual creativity, so she moved to a homeschooling situation. Before changing over to homeschooling, she attended Beverly Hills High School, but she was bullied and teased there for being very thin and wearing glasses and braces.
Justin Timberlake – Justin started elementary school at a public school in Tennessee but was homeschooled from the sixth grade through high school. Because Justin was a member of the Mickey Mouse Club in elementary school, he had little time left for public school. After he completed the sixth grade, he was homeschooled throughout his middle school and high school years.
Venus and Serena Williams – Both sisters were homeschooled from elementary through high school so they could spend more time working on their tennis game. At one point, Venus went back to public school because she was interested in entering the fashion business. Their parents acted both as their tennis coach and their homeschool teacher. Venus went on to be a seven-time Grand Slam singles winner and Serena is a twenty-one-time Grand Slam winner.
CLOSING: According to The National Center for Education Statistics, 3% of all US students are home-schooled. Over the years, some of these non-traditional students have gone on to become celebrity household names. The above stories are intended to empower parents who are willing to accept the challenge of educating their gifted children outside the traditional public-school model.
For assistance in developing a homeschooling program for your child, contact Global Student Network (GSN) at