Many Notable People Among Homeschool Success Stories

Illustration of George Washington and troops crossing the Delaware
With the flexibility and discipline required by homeschooling, it’s no wonder that so many homeschoolers have gone on to amazing careers. Homeschool success stories run the range from top Harvard grads and elite athletes to actors, musicians, and more. In this article, we showcase both historical and recent famous figures who got their start through homeschooling.

The A-list of those who got their educational start through homeschool is a testament to this approach of learning.

Many of these successes credit the out-of-classroom opportunities – those that brought lessons to life in a very hands-on way.

Add in the almost limitless number of homeschool online classes as well as schedules that allow children to excel in athletics and the arts, it soon becomes easy to see how these homeschool attributes can lead a young person to future success.

It’s also important to note that these success stories debunk many of the myths surrounding homeschool, including limited socialization, challenges beyond primary school, and lack of involvement in extracurricular activities.

Ready to take a peek at some famous homeschoolers from across history and careers? Let’s check them out!

Famous Homeschool Students Who Made it Big

#1 George Washington & U.S. Presidents

Going back quite a bit in history, we find that our first U.S. President, George Washington, was among many distinguished politicians, including 14 presidents, who got a great start with homeschool.

While eLearning wasn’t to come onto the scene for another couple of centuries, our early founders likely enjoyed self-paced education and relied on their motivation to excel.

#2 Whoopi Goldberg & The Stars

One of two children of a single, working mother, Whoopi Goldberg began acting at the tender age of 8 with the Hudson Guild Theater.

An advocate for dyslexia, she was not diagnosed with the condition until later in life. She was homeschooled during her youth before struggling in high school, eventually dropping out at 17 due to her condition.

Despite these challenges, Goldberg has gone on to win numerous acting awards and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Numerous thespians and musicians join Goldberg on the list of famous homeschoolers, including Dakota Fanning, Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Emma Watson, Jena Malone, and Hilary Duff.

#3 Olympians & Elite Athletes

The time and dedication required to become an amazing sports figure make homeschooling a great choice for young athletes and their parents.

Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, gymnast Simone Biles, and tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams are among the many homeschooled athletes who’ve gone on to become some of the best in the world.

#4 The Artists

You can count renowned artists Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, and Jamie Wyeth among those who rose to success through homeschool programs.

With them are composers John Philip Sousa, Irving Berlin, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Pretty impressive, right?

Not to be forgotten are the literary geniuses, including George Bernard Shaw, C.S. Lewis, Walt Whitman, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Just imagine the essays they handed in while being homeschooled.

A little too old school for you?

While quite a different genre, modern homeschooled artists include Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber, and the Jonas Brothers.

#5 Business Entrepreneurs

Perhaps all that good homeschooling meant breaks with fast, delicious snacks.

The likes of Colonel Harland Sanders (KFC), Ray Kroc (McDonald’s), and Dave Thomas (Wendy’s) would lead one to believe so since they were all homeschooled.

The same skills needed for nontraditional learning also fuel the entrepreneurial spirit. Self-motivation and a zeal for learning are common traits also needed for business success.

Inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Graham Bell likely got the spark for ingenuity at an early age through their homeschool explorations.

The list of famous, smart, and super talented people who enjoyed the educational perks of homeschooling goes on and on.

It is a veritable collection of who’s who, representing acclaimed scientists, statespeople, legal minds, educators, and others whose early years were obviously shaped by their individual homeschool experiences.

And, a special note on homeschool parents: they, too, are accounted among the many success stories.

Not to be outdone by their offspring, many have achieved their own great acknowledgments.

Well-known parents include Will Smith, Robert Frost, Kelly Preston, and John Travolta as well as all whose children have contributed their talents back to society.

While all of us may not achieve this level of stardom, it’s important to remember that homeschoolers – just like any child – have the ability to do great things given the right educational jump start on life.

Michigan Virtual can help open the door to your child’s own success story by supplementing a homeschool education with high-quality online courses.


Fabian-Weber, N. (2014). 10 Super-Famous Homeschool Success StoriesCafe Mom. U.S. Presidents.

Kulp, K. (2019). Famous Homeschoolers. Bridgeway.

OHara, K. (2015). Top 8 Home Schooled CelebritiesCareer Addict.

Radsken, J. (2018). Homeschooled En Route to HarvardThe Harvard Gazette.

Root, W. A. (2012). How My Child Went From Home School to Harvard and Yours Can, Too. Fox News.

Stars Insider. (2019). Studious Stars: Celebrities That Were Homeschooled.

Top Education Degrees. (2018). 30 Successful People Who Were Homeschooled.


Picture of Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual partners with over 500 Michigan K-12 school districts to provide students with high-quality online courses taught by highly qualified, Michigan-certified teachers and educators with affordable professional development opportunities.

The Definitive Guide to Online Programs for Homeschoolers

Download our free guide to online homeschool programs!

The Digital Backpack

Get our latest articles sent straight to your inbox every week!