‘I know how to learn anything I want to learn. I absolutely know that I could learn how to fly the space shuttle because someone else knows how to fly it, and they put it in a book. Give me the book, and I do not need somebody to stand up in front of the class. . .’
Will Smith (in a Reader’s Digest article discussing why he and his wife homeschool their children)
Keke Palmer of Madea’s Family Reunion, Akeelah and the Bee and Disney’s Jump In! is one of the most recent Hollywood celebrities to inform the media that she is “homeschooled.” In a recent interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Palmer elaborated on her homeschooling experience by saying that she attends a charter school when not working with a private tutor on the set of her movies. Though they never said it, something tells me Will and Jada Pinkett Smith don’t actually prepare lesson plans, teach, and/or evaluate, either, although they were quick to discuss the advantage of being able to have your kids with you while traveling—one of the many benefits of homeschooling that we enjoy. Don’t get me wrong; I fully realize that homeschooling can take different forms, one of the freedoms that make it so great. However, I get many letters from would-be homeschooling parents who confuse homeschooling with charter schools, etc., so my caution is that we have to be careful about who we celebrate as being a champion for the cause. I can only imagine that homeschoolers must be way cooler than we sometimes get credit for being given the new trend of the rich and famous to jump on our bandwagon.
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On a completely separate note, we moved into our home almost eight years ago. We had truly outgrown our first home, and when I saw the size of this one, all I thought about was SPACE. I loved the openness of the home and the amount of natural light that the open design allowed. We were rarely home then, and we had a cleaning service coming in regularly, so the house simply sparkled. Then we began to homeschool, and four of the five of us were here all day. That same open design didn’t allow us any hiding room for unfinished projects, extra papers, or the general clutter in the home as a function of school. I became sick of the house and was totally ready to move. Then on last year, I painted the kitchen from its original “new-house” off-white (now gray in parts from fingerprints, and purple in one spot near the trash can following an incident with watercolors), where we spend the lion’s share of our homeschool day. You know, this place isn’t so bad—I’m back in love! Then on last week, I dedicated a day to just cleaning the kitchen—throwing away the unopened mail, ridding the stove of all the spaghetti sauce splotches, and organizing the school area. I pulled out some flowers and fake grasses from other parts of the house and did some no-cost decorating. Man, this place is shaping up nicely. I guess we’ll stay and I’ll put the other 50 home improvement projects back on the list.