Famous homeschoolers

I enjoyed reading this article from Reason, Sibling Grammy Winners Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell Praise Homeschooling.

According to Eilish, she has never stepped foot inside a traditional school. She credits homeschooling with allowing her to develop her musical talent and flourish:

Being homeschooled is all about self-discovery. It’s something that I’ve really enjoyed and thrived under. I’m not at a high school where I have to base my self-worth off what other people think of me. I have to think, “What would I like to be doing? How would I like to be as a person?” I think that’s an enormously positive thing…

Everybody’s always out doing things, traveling, going places, meeting for classes, and organizing field trips. It’s like going to college. You take what you want, where you want it, and you find what you need…Homeschooling allows us to let them do the things that they really love to do and not have a giant academic schedule on top of it.

Of course, it is not unusual for celebrities or professional athletes to have been homeschooled. Michelle Kwan, Misty Copeland, Simone Biles, Venus and Serena Williams, Tim Tebow, Blake Griffin, Jamie Anderson, Bethany Hamilton, Joey Logano, Bode Miller, Shaun White, Maria Sharapova, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Emma Watson, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Elle and Dakota Fanning, Ryan Gosling, Hailee Steinfeld, and many, many others were homeschooled.

In many ways, the ability to homeschool your kids is the ultimate luxury. It can also involve significant personal sacrifices from the parents and guardians of kids with special needs or gifts.

Among other famous and historically important folks who were homeschooled: Presidents George Washington, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, James Garfield, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson.

Also homeschoolers: Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Eli Whitney, the Wright Brothers, Grandma Moses, George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Agatha Christie, Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain), Charles Dickens, Robert Frost, William Butler Yeats, C.S. Lewis, Beatrix Potter, Louis Armstrong, Ansel Adams, Margaret Mead, Albert Schweitzer, Frank Lloyd Wright, Sandra Day O’Connor, Irving Berlin, Winston Churchill, George Washington Carver, Albert Einstein, Booker T. Washington, and Brigham Young.

(List courtesy of The Pioneer Woman, who homeschooled all of her own children, among other sources.)

C.S. Lewis wrote about his home education program in his letters, which went like this:

Breakfast and a short walk

Thucydides and Homer

15-minute break


Lunch at 1:00

Free time until tea

Tea at 4:30

Plato and Horace

Supper at 7:30

German and French until 9:00 p.m.

Free time until bed (usually about 10:20 p.m.)

(Incidentally, that would be my dream schedule these days.)

Anyway, the next time some interlocutor asks you if you are afraid your child will “lack socialization” or “turn out a little weird,” explain to them that they appreciate the cultural and scientific contributions of homeschoolers literally every day.

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