On Tuesdays I take the kids to gymnastics at a local gym. They have some young gymnasts who are in competitions and are therefore homeschooled to accommodate their training and competition schedules. I knew this to be the case, but today it really hit me. It is quite common for child actors, dancers, athletes, and musicians to be homeschooled if they are very serious about their crafts. It isn’t a universal given, but is very common.
More than being common, it is also generally well-known. No one expresses surprise about child actors or Olympians being homeschooled. Given the amount of time and travel involved, people might be more surprised were they not homeschooled.
Yet no one seems to question the validity of their education or their social development as they do for other homeschoolers. This seems surprising to me since the pressures placed on child actors, etc., and the environment in which they love and work, are arguably less conducive to a normal, healthy childhood than a normal homeschool environment. But it seems the condemnation of homeschooling is only reserved for those living out normal lives and not in the spotlight. Since I’d argue that being in the spotlight neither prevents abuse (thinking about the Jacksons), nor allows for a balanced social development (thinking about nearly every child star), I don’t think one can argue that the difference in criticism is valid because some children are in the spotlight. I’d of course point out that the abuse and other problems are not caused by homeschooling.
It seems to me that the double-standard must stop. Homeschooling is a valid option, child actor or just a child.