Congrats to Justin Bieber for finishing high school! But how did he manage to do it without setting foot in an actual school? Did he write essays on the tour bus?
—Crayola, via the inbox
Literally, he may have, yes. (My own congrats to Bieber for not mistaking the homework pile for the autograph pile. Good show.) Famous kids take their education on the road all the time. In fact Bieber isn't the only one to have avoided a classroom altogether:
According to Toni Casala of the showbiz child labor consultancy Children in Film, there are countless accredited home schooling programs out there that Hollywood moppets can choose if they want to avoid Hometown High.
"Exactly what happens depends on what laws" are governing a kid like Bieber, who is from Canada, Casala points out. But, she adds, "a responsible producer would make sure he was enrolled in an independent study or home school program and have a tutor traveling with him, ideally for the entire time."
Just what kind of work would Bieber have to do? Nearly everything a regular high school student would have to do.
"They have everything for the road you can imagine," Casala says. "Science kits, whole labs."
And price tags to match. Take Laurel Springs, a distance learning program that boasts Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin as a student, with alums including Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Evan Rachel Wood. High school-level tuition there can cost up to $8,000 a year.
Of course, Bieber may have taken a different route, and that's taking a GED exam. The quote he gave to Sydney's Daily Telegraph doesn't exactly make it clear: "I just finished high school. I passed my test—I'm free! It was hard doing school and work every day."
Congrats again, Justin: Now there's only the autograph pile.