Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith believe in home schooling their kids. They feel that the school system limits their education, and claims there are no limits to what he can teach Jaden, eight; Willow, six; and his 14-year-old son Trey, from his marriage to Sheree Smith.
He says, “The date of the Boston Tea Party does not matter. 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.”
Here is an excerpt from his interview with Readers Digest:
RD: Have you ever thought about going back to college?
Smith: The things that have been most valuable to me I did not learn in school. Traditional education is based on facts and figures and passing tests — not on a comprehension of the material and its application to your life. Jada and I homeschool our children, because the date of the Boston Tea Party does not matter.
RD: But there are some basics in education that need to be taught.
Smith: Of course there are. Reading, writing and arithmetic, because those are the languages of our country.
RD: When you say you homeschool, do you mean you actually teach them?
Smith: No, we have hired teachers who teach what we feel is important. For example, Plato’s Republic — kids need to know that. Why is that not taught in first grade?
RD: You think kids in elementary school should read Plato’s Republic?
Smith: Yeah. You cannot be an American without reading it and Aristotle’s Politics. That is what the forefathers of this country read, and they used them to create what I believe is the finest system of government that has ever existed.
RD: So, you don’t see any reason to go back to a formal education yourself?
Smith: 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.
RD: They put physics in a book, but I know I could never be a physicist.
Smith: The first step is you have to say that you can.