There is a lot of stigma surrounding homeschooling, with many people considering homeschooled children to be strange, anti-social outcasts. However, these wildly successful homeschooled celebrities prove that is not the case! Across all fields and industries – from acting to athletics – many celebrities have shown that homeschooling does not impede achievement but is a contributing factor to it.
At only 24 years old, Olympic artistic gymnast Simone Biles has over 30 Olympic and World Championship medals combined! She is the most decorated (awarded) gymnast in American history and the third most decorated gymnast in the world. One of four siblings, she grew up in the foster care system until she was adopted in 2003. In 2012, at 15 years old, she switched from mainstream schooling to homeschooling to allow her to focus on her career. She graduated in 2015 and was accepted into the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), but decided to focus on gymnastics full-time instead.
Actress Emma Watson is perhaps best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film franchise. At only nine years old, she was cast for the franchise, which broke records for opening-day sales and opening-weekend takings and was the highest-grossing film of 2001. Since then, she has starred in multiple award-winning and high-grossing films such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
In addition to acting, she does advocacy work for women’s rights and gender equality and was appointed as a UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2014 at only 24 years old. Only one year later, she was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world.
In 2003, she switched to homeschooling, studying for up to five hours a day while on set. In June 2006, she took GCSE school examinations in ten subjects, achieving 8 A+ marks and 2 A marks. She went on to graduate from the prestigious Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature.
Read more: How to help a learner prepare for university
In 2015, ballerina Misty Copeland was the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history, despite having started ballet quite late at 13 years old. She began homeschooling with her dance teacher, Cynthia Bradley, two years later in the summer before her 15th birthday.
Despite a difficult childhood – multiple custody battles and legal proceedings were instituted while she was a teenager – she rose to fame and has since gone on to write two successful autobiographical books and continues to dance professionally. She is also a public speaker and celebrity spokesperson for multiple brands. In the same year as her selection as a principal dancer, she was also named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world.
Read more: How to foster resilience in children
Inventor and businessman Thomas Edison gained fame in December of 1879 when he made the first public demonstration of the incandescent light bulb, a revolutionary invention that would change the course of history.
Edison was a difficult child, causing trouble at the public school he attended. So, at seven years old, his mother decided to teach him at home. He was taught reading, writing, and arithmetic in this way.
Apart from his work on the humble but ground-breaking lightbulb, he also worked on developing the phonograph (also known as a gramophone) and the motion picture camera, more colloquially known as a video camera.
The Williams sisters
Tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams were homeschooled from elementary school right through high school by their parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price, who were also their tennis coaches. Between 2000 and 2016, over 17 years, together they won 12 Wimbledon singles titles, with Venus winning five and Serena winning seven.
The Women’s Tennis Association has ranked both sisters at the world number 1 position in singles and doubles. Both players have won four gold medals each at the Summer Olympics, one each in singles and three in doubles — the most of any players in the history of the sport.
by Jacqui Smit