I remember when I realized the pre-nup had gone mainstream. I was sitting in Madison, WI, picking the color for my pedicure.
The woman doing the pedicure said, “Oh, that one is No Prenup! Isn’t that a great name?”
I was stunned that she knew what a prenup was. But then I discovered that I didn’t realize that the prenup is no longer just Hollywood. Tons of couples in mainstream America get prenups. And Hollywood types make a statement by forgoing the prenup as the ultimate romantic gesture.
Do you know what the next formerly-exclusive idea that’s going mainstream is? Homeschooling. Half of Hollywood is homeschooling. (Sidenote: did you know that women with Aspergers obsess about the lives of movie stars like men with Aspergers obsess about schedules for planes and trains? Yes. It’s true. And I’m Exhibit A.)
Will Smith and Jada Smith promote their parenting style: They do not believe in discipline. They ask the kids to explain themselves, and if they are not hurting anyone, they can do it. The kids come and go as they please. They are rock stars, then movie stars, then rebellious tweens with poorly chosen dates. But whatever they do, their parents support their self-directed lives.
Jennifer Garner puts her kids in school, but when she does a movie, she simply takes them out of school and brings them with her to the movie set, wherever that is. This makes sense. Of course the kids are better off with their mom than without her. And why would Jennifer run her movie career around the whims of school? People who control their lives do not let schools control them.
Brad and Angelina have six kids and six nannies and six tutors. Each kid learns what is right for that kid. This is customized learning. This is homeschooling. And this is putting family first; instead of sending eight kids to three different schools, there is the family schedule. Maybe it’s in France and maybe it’s in New Orleans, but it’s family first. If Brad and Angelina started talking about how stupid school is, they would be branded snobs. But the implication, then, is that homeschooling is for the rich, privileged kids.
Which is what I think is happening in this country. I think homeschooling is shifting from something that’s fringe to something that is for the lucky few. Homeschooling is an aspirational lifestyle. Fortunately, it’s much more accessible than people realize.