Schools are so bad my children stay at home, says Jolie

Rob Sharp,Arts Correspondent
Friday 03 June 2011 00:00 BST

Angelina Jolie believes modern schools are insufficient to cater to her children's needs, preferring to hire tutors and home-school her offspring, and urging them to "pick up a book" instead of finishing their schoolwork.

In an interview with The Independent, the actress criticised conventional schools, saying they were incapable of educating her and partner Brad Pitt's brood: Maddox, 9; Pax, 7; Zahara, 6; Shiloh, 5 and two-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.

"I do think we live in a different age and the education system hasn't caught up with our children and our way of life," Jolie said. "But we travel and I'm the first person to say, 'Get the schoolwork done as quickly as possible because let's go out and explore'. I'd rather them go to a museum and learn to play guitar and read and pick a book they love."

Jolie's disdain for the conventional school system stems from her and Pitt's hectic filming schedules in locations around the world. They often take their children with them. Pitt has previously spoken of his "nomadic family". In a 2009 interview he said: "We have to think about schooling, though, and we're in an international programme, so wherever we go it's the same curriculum." When not working, the couple split their time between homes in New Orleans and the French Riviera.

Now, Jolie has revealed her anxiety about keeping her children's education on track. "I wish there was a book every parent could read that tells you how to navigate through the school system, and how to tailor the education for your children and their interests," she said.

The children were enrolled in the French schooling system, the Lycée programme, in cities including New York, Prague and Venice.

The programme is taught by nannies and specialist teachers. One of these speaks Vietnamese with Pax, who was adopted in Vietnam in 2007. The couple employed mentors with an "African background" to connect with Zahara, who was adopted in Ethiopia in 2005.

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