By Katheryn Rivas
Many famous entertainers and public figures were homeschooled as they juggled work commitments, training and education at a young age. But our list of 10 celebrity parents who homeschool their children will show you that this nontraditional form of learning is a legitimate option for students without their own careers in the limelight. Keep reading to find out which famous celebrities are also homeschoolers.
- Will and Jada Pinkett Smith: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith married in 1997, and they have been known as a powerful Hollywood couple — artistically and personally — ever since. Smith has one son from a previous marriage, and Will and Jada have two children together. The oldest son, Trey, attends a Christian high school in California, but the two younger children, Jaden and Willow, are homeschooled.
- Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: Another high-profile, powerful couple in Hollywood is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who began dating in 2005. The Jolie-Pitts, as they are now known, have six children, including three of whom Angelina adopted, and Brad subsequently adopted, as well as three of their own children. The Jolie-Pitts are often photographed living and traveling all over the world, including New Orleans, New York City, Italy, France, and India, as the parents shoot movies and fulfill other professional obligations. Because of their hectic schedule, Brad and Angelina have opted to homeschool their oldest child, Maddox, by using a tutor.
- John Travolta and Kelly Preston: Actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston married in 1991 and have both enjoyed long film careers. The couple had two children, Jett and Ella Bleu, but Jett tragically passed away during a family vacation to the Bahamas in 2009. It is reported that Travolta and Preston decided to homeschool Jett because of his special needs and also homeschool Ella Bleu.
- Lisa Whelchel: Texas-born actress Lisa Whelchel is best known for playing Blair Warner on the popular TV series The Facts of Life, which aired during the late 1970s through the 1980s. A devout born-again Christian, Whelchel is also a well-known supporter of homeschooling, and has even written books on the subject. She and her pastor husband have three children.
- Erykah Badu: Influential singer/songwriter Erykah Badu was raised with her brother and sister by her mother and grandmother in South Dallas, and in the late 1990s, she became famous for songs like "On and On" and "Tyrone." Badu has a son named Seven with rapper Andre 3000 as well as a daughter Puma Sabti, whose father is rapper The D.O.C. Both children are homeschooled, and Badu has supported her decision by saying that her son "learned how to solve problems in a nontraditional way. In doing that he developed an edge in his schoolwork."
- John and Elizabeth Edwards: Former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator John Edwards of North Carolina is now separated from wife Elizabeth Edwards, whom he married in 1977 and with whom he has three living children and one son who died in 1996. During John’s presidential campaign, Elizabeth took her children on the road with them and homeschooled them herself, along with a tutor when she needed help.
- Andrea Arlington: Andrea Arlington is now a reality TV star who modeled for brands like Pepsicola, L’Oreal Paris, Playboy and Miller Lite in the 1980s. On her TV show Pretty Wild, Arlington homeschools her three partying teenage girls according to the teachings in the popular self-help book The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne.
- Tom Cruise: Movie star Tom Cruise has earned a reputation for being a little controlling and keeps his family extremely close. His compound in Beverly Hills often houses his mother and sisters, as well as his children and wife Katie Holmes. In fact, his children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, Connor and Isabella, are homeschooled by Cruise’s sisters.
- Mayim Bialik: Former Blossom star Mayim Bialik was a huge teenage star in the 1990s. Both of her parents were teachers, and Bialik graduated from UCLA with degrees in neuroscience, Hebrew, and Jewish studies, and also has a PhD. in neuroscience. Bialik married in 2003, has two children and is a spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network, which supports homeschooling.
- Darrell Waltrip: Race car driver Darrell Waltrip has three NASCAR Winston Cups and is also a racing commentator with Fox and Foxsports.com. He is married to Stephanie Rader, with whom he has two children who are homeschooled.