Emma Thompson and husband decide to educate daughter Gaia at home

Gaia - pictured here with her famous parents Emma Thompson and Greg Wise - has decided main stream education isn't for her

Gaia – pictured here with her famous parents Emma Thompson and Greg Wise – has decided main stream education isn’t for her

Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise have withdrawn their 15-year-old daughter from school and begun educating her at home.

Mr Wise, who starred in Sense and Sensibility, said their daughter Gaia had decided shortly before her GCSEs that school “wasn’t for her”.

He said: “She loves learning and she’s terribly focused and hardworking, but she didn’t like the sausage factory of formal education. I’ve no argument with that.”

Mr Wise and Ms Thompson have built a school room at the end of their garden in West Hampstead, north London, where tutors will teach Gaia.

He said: “Although I won’t be teaching her. We’ve got tutors and I’ve built her a school room in the garden.”

But the couple admit they have not yet decided what will be on their daughter’s home curriculum, with Mr Wise – who recently starred in Effie Gray – the story of Victorian critic John Ruskin’s teenage bride – joking: “I think we should just teach Latin and free-form dance. Really.”

He said home schooling made sense in a world where the nature of jobs and careers is changing at a rapid pace – requiring a more flexible approach to educating children.

“I read a fascinating statistic recently that said 60 per cent of the kids at school will go on to do jobs that haven’t yet been invented,” he said.

Although by law children have to receive full time education until the age of 17, this does not have to be at school and can be done legally at home.

‘Home educating’ families do not have to follow the National Curriculum, making the idea attractive to parents with children who find it hard to ‘fit in’; children with special needs or who have been severely bullied; and children for whom the school classroom does not suit their particular way of learning.

It is estimated that up to 60,000 children are being home educated in England and Wales at any one time.

Edwina Theunissen, of Education Otherwise, said: “School doesn’t suit everyone and it’s great that there’s a safety net like home education. Many children suffer from anxiety at school, or are finding it increasingly hard to cope with the pressure of the exam system. In other cases they are bored with what is being taught and children can gain a great deal following their own interests.

Mr Wise, 48, said parents had to be careful not to regard themselves as irreplaceable or responsible for everything that happens in their children’s lives.

“As a parent, it is easy to make yourself feel responsible for things that are out of your control, but it comes from a need to feel needed and to shape our lives,” he said.

In an interview in The Times magazine, Mr Wise, who first came to public prominence with his appearance as Mr Willoughby in the 1995 film version of Sense and Sensibility, which also starred Ms Thompson and Kate Winslet, said his daughter – who has recently been photographed with her mother at a number of film premieres – refuses to watch anything in which he appears.

He said: “This is the big argument we’re having at the moment. Gaia is OK watching her mum, though. She knows her mum’s an actress and a film star and she gets stopped in the street all the time. But Dad’s Dad. I’m a piece of furniture – we hang out and do stuFF.”

Read the rest of the article here: Emma Thompson and husband decide to educate daughter Gaia at home

Earlier stories:

1. Emma Thompson decides to educate her daughter at home after girl says school ‘wasn’t for her’ 

Emma Thompson’s daughter has been withdrawn from her £6,000-a-term school so she can be taught in her back garden after deciding main-stream learning ‘wasn’t for her’.

– Father Greg Wise revealed ‘sausage factory’ education wasn’t for her

2. Emma Thompson: I would take daughter out of school for a year


Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here


Needing help for your home schooling journey:



Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttps://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/


Information on getting an exemptionhttps://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: https://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: https://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey: https://hef.org.nz/2014/next-steps-deadline-8-december-2014/