10 Famous People Who Were Homeschooled

Do you know that many of today’s celebrities were homeschooled? You will be surprised to discover that maybe your favorite celebrity was homeschooled!

Throughout history, people have decided to homeschool their children because of their needs, interests, and schedules. And you know what? It worked out great for them!   

From famous singers and composers like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber to professional actors and elite athletes like Emma Watson and Serena Williams, many of the faces we see today on television, in literature, and tabloids did not attend traditional schools.

But they are not alone.

Popular entrepreneurs, scientists, and even geniuses are also living proof that homeschooling is becoming more popular and an excellent method to improve children’s skills.

Scroll down to learn more about 10 of the perhaps thousands of celebrities who challenged traditional education and had great success as homeschool students.

1. Taylor Swift

The eleven-time Grammy winner is a perfect example of what homeschooled students can achieve.

When Taylor was 14, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a professional musician. As you can imagine, that left her with no time to attend a traditional school.

Her parents then supported her career and started homeschooling her.

Taylor continued her education while performing at coffeehouses, fairs, and festivals, while she recorded her first album. She graduated from high school at 17, and the rest is history.

Taylor Swift became one of the most successful women in the music industry. She has been nominated for over 900 awards throughout her professional career and has won over 460. In 2022, New York University (NYU) awarded her an honorary fine arts degree for being one of the most “prolific and famous artists of her time.”

She is also the first and only woman solo artist to win the Grammy for “Album of The Year” thrice for her solo recordings.

“My homeschooling has been a great experience. I feel like I’ve had the best senior year possible. It’s awesome that I’ve been able to stay on the same path to graduating that I would’ve been on if I’d stayed in high school.”
— Taylor Swift

Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil I Creative Commons

2. Emma Watson

Emma Watson started her acting career in the Harry Potter films when she was only 10.

Like her famous role, Hermione Granger, in real life, Emma was also known for being very responsible and an excellent student, and yes, she was homeschooled.

In fact, when she wasn’t filming, she was on set with her tutor. And after she finished with the Harry Potter franchise, she continued to take her education seriously.

At 19, she entered the prestigious Brown University and graduated five years later with a bachelor’s degree in English literature.

In 2014, she was appointed as a UN Goodwill Ambassador for advocating women’s rights and gender equality. She was also named one of Time’s 100 most influential people worldwide.

Emma continued her acting career after the Harry Potter films and has been nominated for more than 65 awards and won over 27 of them. 

Getty Images 

3. Erik Demaine

Demaine is a Canadian computer scientist, MIT professor, and, according to Popular Science magazine, “One of the most brilliant scientists in America.”

Even if he doesn’t like the word “genius,” many people consider him one.

His parents found that homeschooling was the best option for Erik because he was a gifted child. In addition, his father did not believe in the traditional education system and wanted to participate actively in his son’s education.

When Erik was 12, he entered Dalhousie University, and by the age of 20, he had completed his Ph.D. in math. Not only that, his dissertation on computational origami won Canada’s national prize for the best Ph.D. thesis.

Now he focuses his work on computational geometry, data structures, and algorithms.

You can find his mathematical origami artwork at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Erik Demaine and his dad // Smithsonian American Art Museum

4. Justin Bieber

Bieber was only 13 when he became the world’s most famous teenager.

After his first hit, “One Time,” launched in 2009, Bieber had to leave his public elementary school in Canada and move to the U.S. to start his music career.

He soon had to attend press conferences, festivals, and concerts while he started to make more music. But that didn’t stop him from pursuing his academic goals.

He began homeschooling shortly after his debut album “My World” came out, also in 2009. In 2012, while on tour, he took online classes in his old school, St. Michael Catholic Secondary School, to complete his graduation requirements.

He graduated with a 4.0 GPA, proving there are no barriers to homeschooled students.

“I’m looking forward to influencing others in a positive way. My message is you can do anything if you just put your mind to it.”
— Justin Bieber

Budiey I Flickr


5. Simone Biles

As you may know, to succeed, professional gymnasts must fulfill a demanding training schedule. The four-time Olympic champion, Simone Biles, is no exception.

At 25, she became the gymnast with the most gold medals in history.

Biles was adopted by her grandparents when she was only 6. At the same age, she began practicing gymnastics. Soon, trainers saw her potential.

During her high school years, Biles had to choose between attending a public school on a regular schedule, like most of her friends, or focusing on becoming an elite athlete. She chose to be homeschooled.

“I decided that I wanted to be better. I didn’t just want to throw away my skills, I wanted them to look good.”
— Simone Biles

Her sacrifice paid off.

Homeschool allowed her to continue her studies while she worked hard to become one of the greatest gymnasts of all time.

Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil I Creative Commons

6. Samuel Chao Chun Ting

Ting is a Chinese-American physicist who received the Nobel Prize in 1976 for discovering the subatomic J particle. He spent most of his childhood being a homeschooled student.

Two years after his birth, Samuel’s parents, Kuan-hai and Tsun-ying, science and psychology professors, returned to China.

Due to the Japanese invasion of their native country, Samuel could not enter a regular school. So, his parents decided to homeschool him until he was 12.

“Perhaps because of this early influence (of my parents), I have always had the desire to be associated with university life.”
— Samuel C.C Ting

He became one of the most famous homeschooled geniuses.

Creative Commons I Samuel C.C Ting

7. Venus and Serena Williams

The famous tennis players are also part of the list of successful homeschooled athletes and celebrities. Amazing, right?

When Venus was 9 and Serena was 8, their father Richard decided to homeschool both of them, from elementary through high school.

This experience helped Venus and Serena to improve their tennis skills and gave them enough time to practice and compete at international and professional levels from a young age.

In 2019, for example, Venus became the 10th highest-paid female athlete in the world, earning 5.9 million dollars.

Creative Commons I Venus and Serena

8. Billie Eilish

Homeschool was the wisest option for the O’Connel family after discovering that Billie had Tourette’s syndrome and an auditory-processing disorder that affected her ability to retain information.

Additionally, Billie’s father, Patrick, had read an article about the band Hanson—a music band of three brothers who were also homeschooled.

After her daughter’s diagnosis, Patrick did some research. He ultimately decided that homeschooling could provide his kids (Billie and her brother Finneas) the freedom to focus on their music and artistic interests.

When Billie Eilish was 14, she released her debut single “Ocean Eyes,” written and produced by her brother, Finneas. The fame came instantly.

She is now the youngest artist in Grammy history to win all four general field categories:

  • Album of the Year
  • Record of the Year
  • Song of the Year
  • Best New Artist

“I’m so glad I didn’t go to school because if I had, I would never have the life I have now.”
— Billie Eilish

Lars Crommelinck I Flickr 

9. Tim Tebow

If you are a homeschool parent or are planning to be one, you probably have heard about the “Tim Tebow Law.” This law allows homeschool students to play sports for public schools in several states—was named after the famous NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow.

Tebow is the most famous homeschooled graduated athlete. Although he never attended a regular school, legislation in Florida allowed him to compete for the Nease High School football team.

In 2005, his team won the State Championship, and one year later, he received a full scholarship to play with the Florida Gators at the University of Florida.

Talk about success, huh?

Tim was the first homeschooled student to be awarded the Heisman Trophy for most outstanding player in collegiate football. He also won the Maxell Award and Davey O’Brien Award.

Tim has been an outspoken advocate for homeschooling for the last few years. He’s currently pushing for a bill to authorize homeschool students to play in school teams in states like Texas and Alabama.

“You can be homeschooled, and you can be the cool kid, and you can break the trends, and you can show that, yeah, you’re different, you’re unique, but in a good way.”
— Tim Tebow

Jeffrey Beal I Wikimedia Commons

10. Ryan Gosling

Last but not least on our celebrity list of homeschoolers is the movie star Ryan Gosling.

When Ryan was 10, his mother Donna took him out of school because he was having problems paying attention and was a victim of bullying. Additionally, he got into fights with other kids. So as a result, he was suspended more than once.

Her mother thought that she could teach him at home.

Although Ryan’s homeschooling experience lasted only for a year, for him, homeschooling was crucial to developing autonomy and improving his creative skills.

“My mother was so good at it that she became a teacher. She was the perfect person to ask for help when I needed it.” Ryan Gosling

Gosling is now one of the most famous actors in the world.

He has been nominated for more than 160 awards, including the two Academy Awards for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role,” and has won over 37 awards.

Gage Skidmore I Wikimedia Commons

Let These Famous Homeschooled Geniuses Inspire You

These are only 10 names that are part of a huge list of famous people who were homeschooled and had great success. Your children can be one of them!

Also, did you notice a pattern here? The parents played a huge part in these people’s experiences and success, so I urge you to never neglect your kids’ education. And as the superstar Justin Drew Beiber once said, “you can do anything if you just put your mind to it!”