by Jeanne Sager
It isn't always easy being a homeschooling parent in America. There are more than 1.5 million kids for whom back to school carries a very different meaning, but it's still a choice that gets parents judged ... and how. Think homeschooling parents are just a bunch of crazy eccentrics who wrap their kids in bubbles and don't even have running water?
Maybe this will change your mind: homeschooling isn't just something Mr. and Mrs. Jones around the corner do. It's a pretty popular education method favored by some of Hollywood's biggest celebrities!
Their reasons are varied for choosing to homeschool. Some working actors and actresses want to be able to take their kids on the road when they're working, and homeschool is very portable. Others see a problem with the American educational model that they want to fix at home, and still others simply want to protect their kids from prying eyes.
Regardless of the reason, they're proof positive that homeschooling is a great choice for a lot of different kinds of parents! Just take a look:
1. Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise -- Suri Cruise became a Catholic schoolgirl when her parents divorced last year, but in 2010, Katie couldn't say enough good things about having her little girl learn at home. They chose to homeschool because they liked the "one-on-one" education for their daughter.
2. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith -- This power couple ended up starting their own private school, but it was after daughter and son Willow and Jaden were homeschooled for years as part of a cooperative of about 10 parents who all went in together to homeschool their kids.
3. Mayim Bialik -- In addition to being a star on CBS's The Big Bang Theory, Bialik is a homeschooling mom who favors an "unschooling" approach to education.
4. Kris and Bruce Jenner -- Kylie and Kendall Jenner are almost as busy as their big sisters, but that doesn't mean their parents let schoolwork slide -- they do it at home!
5. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt -- The Jolie-Pitts have a rule that if one parent will be on location for more than five days, the whole brood has to go. Tutors go with the kids to make sure they don't fall behind!
6. Cynthia Bailey -- The Real Housewives of Atlanta star began to homeschool daughter Noelle at the girl's request. Noelle wasn't faring well in a mainstream school setting, and time at home helped her find her place again.
7. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin -- Gwynnie reportedly offered a tutor $98,000 a year (plus an apartment!) to travel the world with her family and to teach the kids, of course.
8. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar -- The Duggars wanted a Christian-based curriculum for their big brood, so that means the kids learn at home. ALL of them.
9. Kate Gosselin and Jon Gosselin -- Homeschooling wasn't so much a choice as a necessity for these reality parents when two of their eight kids were kicked out of school.
Are you surprised by any of the names on this list?