HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines may have recently revealed that they are expecting a baby, but they definitely aren't new to parenthood: the couple already has four children together who range in age from 7 to 12 years old. Do Chip and Joanna Gaines homeschool their kids? The Fixer Upper pros prefer to keep their family life private, and there aren't many details about their day-to-day lives as parents. But their emphasis on living a low-tech, family-focused life on a farm, coupled with their strong Christian faith means that it wouldn't necessarily be too much of a stretch to assume that the couple might educate their kids at home (Romper's request for comment was not immediately returned).
Although they announced back in September that they'd decided to end their popular home renovation show, Chip and Joanna still have a lot on their plates. According to their website, the couple runs a home construction business, Magnolia Homes, as well as Magnolia Market, a revamped historic cottonseed mill in Waco, Texas, that the Gaines' turned into a retail store. That's not counting other side projects — they have a collection at Target, and Joanna has also launched a children's clothing line with Matilda Jane — but as busy as their lives may be, it's clear they consider parenting to be their most important role.
One major clue? As much as their decision to stop filming Fixer Upper no doubt left many fans heartbroken, the couple explained to People in September, that it really came down to their desire to focus on their kids. Joanna told the magazine that "family is the most important thing in the world," and explained that she and Chip wanted "to give [their children] the chance to have a normal childhood." And honestly, family life for the Gaines really does sound pretty idyllic: according to Entertainment Tonight, they live in a 113-year-old farmhouse on a 40-acre estate that also happens to be home to goats, chickens, horses, and Texas longhorn cattle.
What's more is that, despite literally being television stars, Chip and Joanna really do prioritize living as simple and unplugged a life as possible. Joanna told Entertainment Tonight that they don't own a TV, and that her kids probably shouldn't be holding their breath for an iPhone:
I tell the kids that you are probably not going to get a cell phone. We want to teach our kids that life happens outside of these devices. It's just a simple thing to go outside and connect with nature, play with your friends and get dirty.
Their desire to eschew technology in favor of nature doesn't mean they've also decided against public or private school, of course. But the Gaines do belong to a religious community that is made up of many homeschooling families: the Waco-based Antioch Community Church notes on their website that "a large percentage of ... members choose to homeschool their children," although it isn't at all a requirement, as they believe "that God will lead each family in the schooling decision that is best for them."
At the same time, the Gaines have emphasized that the views of the church do not necessarily represent them — the couple came under fire in 2016 after a BuzzFeed article revealed that the church's pastor, Jimmy Seibert, opposes gay marriage and believes homosexuality is a sin. But Joanna has been open in the past about her Christian faith being central to her life, and in a YouTube video shared by her alma mater, Baylor University, Joanna spoke about the role she felt God played in her career success. She said,
I was ... pregnant with my second child, and I really felt like God was saying 'hey, I want you home, I want you raising these babies at home at this age.' And I remember the last day, we're closing the shop down, and I'm crying because I feel like it's the end of a dream, and I hear God say, very clearly, 'Joanna, if you trust me with your dreams, I'm going to take Magnolia further than you could ever dream.
Chip and Joanna may not often share specific details of their kids' lives, or their experience as parents, but given their insistence on living a quiet life and keeping their children away from the spotlight, it's also not entirely surprising. And whether or not the Gaines actually do homeschool their kids, it's clear that for them, faith and family are number one — and that spending as much time together as they can is definitely a priority.
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