For her latest project, Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning actress Cate Blanchett traded film critics for a harsher kind of critic: her 7-year-old daughter, Edith. The Don’t Look Up star told Australian talk show, The Project, on Tuesday that she had to “dress up as her teacher” in order to homeschool her daughter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I had to dress up as her teacher, to put on her teacher’s voice,” said Blanchett, who is also mom to Dashiell, 20, Roman, 17, and Ignatius, 13, with husband Andrew Upton, in the interview. “She wouldn’t start the classes until we had a full array of stuffed animals, all of which had the names of all the people in her class. It felt like some weird kind of cross between The Muppets and MasterClass. It was quite traumatic actually.”
Blanchett said she was “amazing for two weeks” when it came to homeschooling, but things changed when it came to teaching her youngest child. “My older kids were fine, they would self-direct. But I had to sort of do my 7-year-old, and I realized that I couldn’t even teach her grade 1 math, and she sniffed that out after 14 days. I was a dead duck. There was no respect there.”
This isn’t the first time the Australian actress has opened up about teaching her kids. In a Nov. 2021 interview with PORTER, Blanchett shared how she’s teaching her kids about climate change. “People have to vote and exercise their power,” she said. “I’m sounding like I’m on a soapbox, which I’m not interested in, but it’s important to not give in. I’m not giving up hope. As I say to my kids [on climate change], if we’re going out, how do we choose to go out? It’s a terrible conversation to have with your 13-year-old, isn’t it? But anyway. We do laugh around the dinner table.”
All this teaching has made Blanchett more appreciative for teachers, which she talked about in the interview with The Project. “In Finland, which has the highest and most respected level of education anywhere, teachers are paid the same as doctors and lawyers,” she explained. “And they should be because the level of skill to engage a bunch of, often disinterested, students for eight to 12 hours a day is one of the most profound, most respected skills of any profession anywhere.”
Hopefully, we won’t have too much more pandemic homeschooling left to do!
Read these tips to keep kids busy during school closures.
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