Will Smith No Longer Homeschooling

I heard the news today that Will Smith is no longer homeschooling. He and his wife, Jada, opened a new school called New Village Academy, in Calabasas, California.

At first, it made me a bit sad. No longer can we count them as part of our secret homeschool society. But then I realized, hey, if I had the money to start a school, I would. And my kids would be going there. So, I suppose, it’s not so horrible that a homeschooling family creates exactly what they need, and that others join them.

But there is more. Apparently, this school is very expensive, and it has quite a bit of Scientology influence. Whatever one’s opinion is of Scientology, it has a bad reputation and is generally mocked on the internet. Having a famous homeschooler start a school based on Scientology is unfortunate, simply because it leaves lots of room for people to write it off as just another “crazy” person homeschooling.

Not everyone seems to be bothered by it though. Perhaps there have been enough Scientology celebrities in the news who haven’t gone into hiding or moved to a commune, that it’s not such a big deal anymore.

In any case, I wish him all the success in his efforts. I’m bummed he’s not a homeschooler anymore, but I’m glad he’s found his calling.

What do you think?

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8 Responses to “Will Smith No Longer Homeschooling”

  1. suburbancorrespondent Says:

    Who the heck is Will Smith?

  2. sunniemom Says:

    The school sounds interesting- definitely not a traditional school environment- a kind of co-op/school hybrid. The strong point would be allowing kids to progress at their own pace and pursue their interests.

    I think a school could be founded on certain principles without proselytizing, but the Scientology influence would be a big question mark for me. The nutritional requirements alone would weed out a lot of families.

    If I had major bucks, I still would not start a school. I am allergic to school. :p I’d probably start a foundation to help folks get started homeschooling on their own. But since I don’t play the lottery nor do I have any rich relatives who are ready to croak, that won’t be happenin’ any time soon. :D

  3. lori Says:

    Yeah, in most areas of the country, the nutrition requirements would keep some families away, as would the Scientology. But they’re in California, so my guess is that they’d have a big enough pool of people to draw from.

    Also, $11-12K per year isn’t an expensive private school. That’s fairly typical for a Montessori school in Mass. But we also have some private schools that cost $25K/year.

  4. Maria Says:

    Why is this different than a Catholic school? Or a (insert religion of your choice) school.

    Most parents pass on their belief system to their children and some let a private school help in that avenue.

    Just a thought….but essentially, I agree w/poster who said she’d start a foundation…but whether we have money or not it seems we are all looking for an alternative to U.S. Public School Education.

  5. silvermine Says:

    $11-$12K? Out here in CA that would get you daycare for an older kid, I think, but not a baby.

    But I wouldn’t have anything to do with scientologists. I’m homeschooling to *avoid* indoctrination. :D

  6. scatty Says:

    I’m not sure that he and his wife were really homeschooling anyway (in the stricter sense of the word). According to what I read once, their children had private tutoring at home. Even the German government will allow that!

  7. Tammy Takahashi Says:

    Suburban – ohhhhh you’re missing out :) Eye candy, smart, and a great dad… very sexah!

    sunnie – I hope you fall into a lot of money someday, because the world needs more organizations like that.

    lori – There’s a private school near us which uses L. Ron Hubbard materials. I go there quite a bit because my son’s piano lessons are there. His piano teacher is also a Scientologist. So far, I haven’t been asked to join, or have heard any reference to it other than seeing L. Ron Hubbard’s name on all the books. I think you’re right, in LA, there is enough scientology here, that people mostly ignore it.

    Maria – There is a lot of stigma that scientology is for rich crazies who believe in aliens. And it’s a relatively new religion. But I suppose, there are just as many people who would never sign up for a Catholic private school for many of the same reasons they wouldn’t sign up for a scientology-based one. Good point, thanks for bringing it up.

    silver – It’s hard to imagine having enough $$ to afford to live here in LA and pay for daycare that is so expensive.

    scatty – I think it was a combination, since both of them are very busy actors. The kids did come with them wherever they were filming and they were very involved with what was taught. So, even if it wasn’t 100% pure homeschooling, I think it was about as close as a famous actor couple can get.

  8. Chrissy Says:

    I think that the school sounds neat. Where I live a bunch of homeschoolers started their own school. It is $6000 a year. The kids only go to school 2 or 3 days a week depending on their grade. It is the best of both worlds. I have thought about it, but the cost is a big hurdle and the fact that they opened it in a church is another problem that I have with it.


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