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Kate Hudson Predicts She'll Be a 'Bad School Mom'

01/08/2009 at 10:00 AM ET

James Devaney/WireImage

From the sound of things, 5-year-old Ryder Russell Robinson‘s days of being a ski bum have come to an abrupt end. During a Monday night appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, his mom Kate Hudson revealed that during an annual Christmas holiday in Aspen, Ryder may have bitten off a bit more than he could chew while hitting the slopes. “He had a scare…a big scare,” the 29-year-old actress said.

“He came home and was like, ‘Mommy! I was on bumps! I went over a jump!’ I was just like, ‘Wow!’ So he was like, ‘Then I fell. And I cried.’ I said, ‘Do you want to go skiing tomorrow?’ And he was just done. Done skiing.”

That her son was poised to celebrate his fifth birthday in a matter of days at the time of the taping was surreal for Kate. “It’s so crazy,” she admitted. “He’s always kind of been his own person…He came out telling jokes, now they’re just getting dirtier.” Enrolled in kindergarten, Ryder attends school each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “He has a lot of school…a lot more than you would think at 5,” Kate noted. “It’s like applying for MIT or something.” What’s more, if Ryder doesn’t stay for the entire day the school “gets upset.” Kate joked,

“I was not a good student anyway. I didn’t like school, so I don’t blame him for not wanting to go. I’m going to be a bad school mom.”

Ryder is Kate’s son with ex-husband Chris Robinson. Her new film Bride Wars opens Friday.

Source: Late Show with David Letterman

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jacky on

does anyone else think her dislike of school is something she may not want to share with her son? i am currently working on my masters in education and i feel like one thing keeps coming up over and over again… if you show a love for learning, so will children. i fo not find it funny that she thinks she will be a bad school mom. that quote saddens me. and the school “gets upset” thing is weird to me too. why wouldn’t you let your kids spend an entire day at school learning?

celebsarah on

I agree Jacky. It reminds me of adults who exclaim how much they hate vegetables in front of their kids. Or milk. Or comment to others around them “Oh, there’s no way [my kid] will eat that, but you can try!” Slim chance that child will give anything a fair shake. Parents should provide incentive, not escape routes.

Liesl78 on

I agree with Jacky.
I was also a bit surprised her son attends kindergarten before 5. My son turned 5 in November and the schools wouldn’t accept him in kidergarten because the cutoff birthday is Sept 1st (even though he’s more than ready for it). Do they mean pre-k instead?

Bumbles on

I guess it’s a good job that he comes from a background where his parents can provide for him and open doors as with comments like that he is bound to drop out of school at the earliest opportunity.

Philippa on

I don’t see what’s wrong with Kate’s comment. I remember when I was 5, I didn’t always feel like going to school. 9am to 3pm is a long time for a 5 year old, and some of them are up to it and some aren’t. Nothing wrong with that. So my mum would sometimes pick me up from school early, or let me stay at home for a day every now and then.
And still I became a serious student, I did well in both primary and secondary school, and I’m now a first year student at university.
I think you should take Kate’s comment a bit more lightly, but that’s just my opinion..

shalay on

Liesl78, in California the cutoff date is December 2nd. At least it was when I started school. I started kindergarten at age 4 and turned 5 in late November. That was 18 years ago, so I’m not sure if the date has changed since then.

MyKidsMommy on

I am quite upset over this. Children need to love learning and if they don’t then the parents should be showing them how to love it. Myself I never had an interest in school but I never ever allow my children to see that. Our oldest 2 are in school, my daughter is 5.5 and in Kindergarten and my son is 4 in Junior Kindergarten….and they have a very strong love for learning!!!

I’m sorry but just because you have loads of money doesn’t mean that you can just go purchase brains……Give your son a normal life, a life that was learned!!!!

TracyG on

I agree Jacky. My son was 4 when he started Jr. Kindergarten (we are in Canada) and he went every other day for a full day. Bus picked him up at 8 and he was home by 4pm. Even though a long day, he learned SO much and is a great student now (in second grade).

I have to wonder if it’s KATE who just doesn’t want Ryder in school that long or if in fact, it’s Ryder who can’t handle it. But if she keeps him home or takes him out early all the time, it’s just going to teach him that he will be able to bail out of anything he doesn’t like doing. Not a great example if you ask me. Good thing Mama and Grandparents are wealthy….:S

Beverley on

I agree that if you talk badly about school and show a lax attitude towards it, your child will probably pick up on that and treat school the same way. Just like your attitude about fruit and vegetables, taking a bath, going to the doctor, brushing out teeth, drinking milk, and lots of other things that parents need to teach their children about. We all know that these things are best for our kids even if they don’t know it yet. It’s our job to teach them, not just let them coast through life.n Kate’s lax attitude may present problems later on.

As for the skiing, I wonder if he was skiing with his father. I couldn’t let my 5 year old go do something dangerous without me. I would be too scared that something bad could happen and me not there to help or comfort my baby. Just wondering.

Brannon on

As a teacher, this is very disturbing. All of our Kindergartners attend full day school and we constantly emphasize the need for the students to be in school, on time, all day! It’s about schedule and routine if nothing else. It is also very obvious which parents are teaching their children a love of learning and which are not – it begins in Kindergarten and continues throughout. That said, I also recognize that she was on Late Night and being somewhat “adult” and funny.

Brannon on

Forgot to mention: If your child does not like school, then they are either in the wrong school or have the wrong teachers!

Colleen on

The cutoff for CA is still December 2nd.

Mae on

While her comments were not amazing, we don’t know for sure if she says these things in front of her son.

My school was 45 minutes from home. Sometimes my Mom ran errands in that area from the time she dropped me off at school (7:30) till around 11:30.

My kindergarten teacher told her we were done with all book work at 11:20 — after that it was just lunch, recess, and nap time. So my Mom picked me up from kindergarten early quite often. My school had no problems with it. Maybe it’s just a private school thing, I’m not sure.

Kellie on

My kindergartener hates school. He was in pre-k last year because he needed some social structure (he tends to really withdraw and it was recommended he start pre-k to help out with that). He LOVED his preschool. He would beg us to take him on his off days. Now though, he hates it. A lot. I don’t know if it’s because it’s every day or that it’s all day? I just don’t know. I am considering pulling him and home schooling him the rest of the year since he just doesn’t seem to be ready for it.

I don’t know. Kate’s attitude is crappy if she is sharing it with Ryder. If he’s just not ready though, I understand that and maybe she should pull him out and send him back next year. I have a feeling though, she just doesn’t understand the importance of being in school everyday and that it doesn’t fit into her lifestyle. It’s a huge adjustment. We are big travelers and also a big “spur of the moment” trip family. Kindergarten def. has put a cramp into our lifestyle, but it’s important and we would never, ever act like it wasn’t. :)

Victoria on

Aw, I have a little one who doesn’t love school every day either. She’s in a Montessori school – a very warm and loving educational atmosphere – it’s not that she doesn’t have the “wrong teachers” or the “wrong school”. Her teachers are amazing; her school is wonderful. She just would rather be with me! LOL! She tears up and (softly) protests, but her teachers help her in and get her adjusted (I know because I see her thru the window). So, I get what Kate is saying – it’s a stage and not a sign that her son is *not* going to love education down the road.

MZ on

I’m surprised about the all day kindergarten. Well, I guess not that surprised. Some of the private schools around here offer it, but I don’t think any of the public schools do. The private school I went that had all day kindergarten also had a nap/quiet time part way through the day. I can imagine it’s difficult for a 4 or 5 year old to be in school all day long. But, like Kate said, the age for getting kids ready for college is getting younger and younger. (That’s a whole separate discussion though).

I do agree with Jacky. Parents should at least not speak negatively of school in front of their kids. I know my father hated school growing up because he was teased by other students and because academics was just not his strong point. He was a very talented artist but struggled with other subjects. However, he never talked about that much, particularly when my siblings and I were young. Instead my mother, a teacher, worked hard to frame positive thoughts about education for us. I do also agree with Mae though: just because Kate said this on Letterman doesn’t mean she says it to Ryder and that the story isn’t exaggerated somewhat for entertainment’s sake.

ErykaWynter on

I have to agree with Jacky on this one. While not every child loves school, certainly mom’s attitue can shape their perception. Although, as the daughter of Goldie Hawn, somehow I doubt that education was ever made a huge priority for Kate since they knew she “had it made.” Just my humble opinion…

Anna on

He is still young, it’s normal for him not to be ready for 5 long days a week at school. I don’t think it’s a problem for the first year of kindergarten to stay home for a day once in a while.

She doesn’t say anywhere that she lets him she didn’t like school. She just says she understands him.

For him skiing without his mum there, he was probably in a ski class. They have them at all ski resorts and children as young as 3 go there. There is nothing wrong with that.

The criticism on this site is just overwhelming.

Anna on

Having a love for learning does not equal having a love for school. I love learning. I hated school. This family is very obviously non-traditional. That does not mean what they do is wrong or inferior. I have the feeling that Kate and Ryder are very smart. It seems to me like Ryder does enjoy learning. Most kids do. What he does not enjoy is his school. Maybe Ryder isn’t being challenged enough in school and is bored. Maybe he can’t relate to his classmates. I don’t see anything wrong with Kate’s comments. She seems like an excellent parent.

Mom to be on

You know, I have to ask you guys, how many people did you go to school with who actually appeared to like it? What did the percentage look like? Because I went to a classy private school and there were VERY FEW children who appeared to enjoy it. I love learning, but I went to school because I had to. My observation growing up was that very few of the children who surrounded me were interested in any form of learning at all, whether it was offered by a school or otherwise.

Gianna on

Ryder comes from an acting family, there’s a high chance he might not attend college just like kate hudson and her brother oliver hudson. Honestly most actors don’t have a degree higher than high school, and they make more money than your average person. I’m not knocking school, I went to college and was always a good student, so for me school is very important for my children. But celebrities lives and the way they raise their children are a lot different than us. Also when your reading what kate is saying and how she actually talked on letterman when I saw it, it comes off different to me.

Michelle on

I was not a great student and not a great fan of school, but the example I had was “Make sure you pass” so basically as long as I didn’t have to go to summer school, nobody cared if my grades were crappy. I am SO the opposite with my girls. I always stress the importance of education and trying your best and both my girls are excellent students. And my girls attend public school and they both had full day kindergarten and did great with it. And I agree that kids are going to pick up on their parents attitudes toward things, so hopefully Kate isn’t talking like that in front of Ryder.

Kristen on

I hated school. Hated being away from home all day. Hated the way teachers would talk down to me and hated how the day was structured. That being said, I loved learning. My parents never spoke badly of school and made me go and would have to get me pumped up to go every day. That really didn’t matter.

The problem was how I learned as well as the best environment for me to learn in. Public school in our area provided only a one size fits all approach and my parents couldn’t afford private school, charter schools didn’t exist in our area then and my mom wasn’t confident enough to homeschool.

While I don’t think I would tell my kids I hated school, I would be empathetic if one of them told me they hated it and discuss why they hate it to see if the problem was the school, the teaching methods, or the way my child is learning. This is a much more complicated issue than mom hates school ergo kid hates school. We know everything we are judging Kate on based upon a soundbite not the reality of the situation because we aren’t there living it with her.

Kellie on

Mom to be I don’t believe that most kindergarteners feel that way. The not liking school attitude doesn’t usually start until kids are older. The problem is kidnergarten used to be more focused on learning through play, but now, most schools don’t teach that way anymore. If you can afford to send your child to a school like that, then awesome, but I know most private schools are very big on academics at a young age also.

School should be fun at the five year old age. Plain and simple. The problem with education in america is that we are forcing our kids to begin the learning process through typical teaching methods before they are ready. A 5 year old should still be having fun. Not sitting at a desk all day reading off a chalk board and doing “busy work” for 6 hours.

Lindsay on

As a teacher I find her comment very troubling. In order for a child to succeed at school, parents and teachers need to work together. Otherwise it’s hopeless. Teachers can only do so much. That’s the problem with No Child Left Behind. It holds students and teachers accountable, but parents are never ones to blame. Can someone explain to me how I am supposed to change a student’s habits when there is a lack of positivity at home? I remember this kid didn’t finish her homework because she told me that her mom called it stupid and she didn’t have to do it. So let’s hope Kate Hudson isn’t making these comments in front of her son. If a kid keeps hearing the same thing over and over again, then they start to believe it.

Elizabeth on

It’s funny all the teachers are appalled at Kate’s attitude and accuse her of taking away her son’s “love of learning”. Please, sitting in a highly structured environment for a 5 year old has nothing to do with their learning it has to do with the educational system evolving to the point that only test scores matter. I don’t have kids yet, but if I want to take a vacation to Disney World in November I’m taking my kids! We used to go on a yearly vacation to Orlando in the fall and it was so much nicer and less crowded. Some years my nephew’s teachers tried to give my sister grief, but since he was a good student she just ignored the dire warnings of him missing sooo much. I am a consumer in the educational system and I do what’s best for my family not the beaurocrats. Good for you Kate you are in charge not the school!

Tricia on

While it is true that Kate is in charge of her son, it’s not fair to the teachers and the other students if a kid is pulled out of class early on a regular basis, on the whim of the parents. The teachers are trying to maintain some kind of order and routine for the benefit of all; it’s not up to the individual families to set their own schedule. If Kate’s just done it one or two times and the school has complained, then they’re probably being a bit rigid, but if it’s chronic, I don’t blame them a bit for “getting upset”.

Elizabeth on

I bet the school doesn’t “get upset” when they cash her tuition check. If Ryder leaving class causes a disruption it’s probably because the other kids are jealous he is being freed from the tyranny of the classroom, like when the other prisoners get upset when someone gets paroled.

Sarah on

The “tyranny of the classroom”?? Haha, it’s kindergarten, as in coloring, puppets, and story-time. Based on Kate’s previous statements about she loves staying in bed with Ryder all day, etc. it sounds like she wants him home more than he wants to be home. Kindergarten can be a big adjustment for parents too. But, what if every mom just decided that school was optional depending on her mood and schedule? That would be a waste for the kids, parents, and teachers.

Beverley on

Elizabeth, you sound like the type of person who has a problem with any rule. School is from 9am to 3:30pm or so, but will you teach your kids that following school rules and attendance and putting in good effort doesn’t matter? If so, what rules will you obey? How about red lights and stop signs? Do you follow those rules or is the tyranny of the traffic laws too great for you?

We have rights and freedoms, but along with them comes responsibilities to follow the rules. And school is one of them. Maybe when you actually have children, you will think differently.

babyboopie on

No, I think you guys are overreacting! She was just being honest, and I believe there’s more to life than just school, the different kinds of education you can receive out there! I’m sure her son will be fine, she was being flippant!

Mom to be on

“It’s funny all the teachers are appalled at Kate’s attitude and accuse her of taking away her son’s “love of learning”. Please, sitting in a highly structured environment for a 5 year old has nothing to do with their learning it has to do with the educational system evolving to the point that only test scores matter.”

Amen sister!

Kim on

I think people need to watch the clip first as it really seems she is joking with David and the school comment was probably a joke and I don’t think she would say this in front of her son.

Kristen on

I am not sure where everyone lives but where I am, in public schools, kindergarteners do not get to do much playing or puppet shows, it is SCHOOL. It is highly structured and there is homework every night including weekends.I have two kids and although they are not in school yet, I’ve made my rounds. My neighbor did not and was shocked when her son brought home 3 assignments his first day due the next day she pulled him out to homeschool after a month, which I don’t blame her as her son was losing weight because he was stressing about tests.

When someone said that schools are academically intensive, that’s putting it mildly. Our school system has eliminated all arts, music and even recess for children of all grades and if your child is in early care or after school care they are expected to be quietly reading or doing homework.

That is a lot for all kids to have no outlet to be kids and play. For a kindergartener, you are asking a lot. Who are we to say that this isn’t happening at Ryder’s school and he might be frustrated. Quite a few kindergarteners in my neighborhood have expressed hating school, but for parents who cannot afford a private school and who work and are unable to homeschool don’t get to make another choice.

We can only speak to our own limited experiences in this area so when we judge a celebrity based upon remarks in one interview, we are only showing what it looks like in our view not what really is going on.

kris on

Didn’t Kate already say in an interview that she has no problem pulling Ryder from school to be with her on location. She grew up that way and her son will grow up that way. Something about it not mattering until hight school (not sure of her exact words). So, I can’t say this kind of comment really surprises me.

Tricia on

Elizabeth, every family is paying tuition to the school, not just Kate Hudson. Why should her family not be subject to the same rules?

april on

my son is 3 and a half. and he is in school (head start) 8:30 to 2:50 m-f i think it is a little much. so i let him stay home sometimes. I dont think there is anything wrong with it, since at his age, he is not mandated to be in school anyway.

Manon on

I agree with Sarah about the fact sometimes it’s the parents who don’t want the children in school…

Kate seems like a great mother but at the same time her comments have always smacked to me of someone who is very much into her own rules for her child. Which is great but children aren’t property ….

Robin on

As a Kindergarten teacher, just because a child turns five, doesn’t mean that they are emotionally and socially ready for school and that can affect their academic progress in school. I have found that children who are a late five or six years old when they enter are more prepared and excited and excel academically. When I talk to parents who are hesitant or have been advised by their child’s preschool teacher I tell them it is better to wait than push. I think that some, please note that I said SOME not ALL, children need that extra time, if not, they start to dislike school and if they aren’t doing well academically, they are referred to special education programs that they really don’t need if only they waited that extra year. Trust your own heart regarding your child’s readiness and not go by just their age. Remember we all don’t walk and talk at the same time, so just because we hit a magic number doesn’t mean that either. Go by your instincts and listen to those preschool teachers who do have experience in this area as well.

Lily on

I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt, since, many times, things are taken out of context, but I do agree that such views, jokingly or not, should not be expressed in front of a child. Although learning is top priority, school gives children structure which is something Ryder could benefit greatly from.

Beverly, as for the skiing, even if Ryder was with Chris instead of Kate, it doesn’t matter. Chris is a responsible parent and Kate’s said, in the past, that Ryder’s has lessons. Even decked out in full protective gear and wrapped in bubble wrap, accidents do happen.

Manon on

Robin, you did speak a lot of sense there!

fuzibuni on

There are lots of ways to learn, and sitting in a classroom is just one of them.

Hilary on

Honestly, Kate’s comment doesn’t seem that bright. But, I guess, maybe not going to school can make you say not-so-bright things! LOL (I kid…)

JM on

Well my folks both hated school and used to tell us stories of skipping, bad grades etc. However my mom always told me to be better then that and to do better things with my life. Not that my mom isn’t a great succesful person – she just took a tougher path to getting there and one that just doesn’t pay great money! So I always knew I wanted to get an education cause I saw both my parents struggle growing up. I didn’t love school but I never hated it either.

I also think now a days that children just spend so much time in school and then when out they spend so much time on homework. My cousin’s daughter lives in NYC and started kindergarten this year at 4.5 yrs old as well. It’s quite common. But I think full day kindergarten is a bit much. I went 1/2 day and that was more then enough cause when I went to first grade I couldn’t stand being gone all day from home! It would be nice if Kindergarten remained 1/2 days but I guess now a days kids also start preschool a lot sooner. I just always think the full day kindergarten benefits the parents schedule more then it does the children’s.

not a drop-out but.. on

Come on! These were comments made on a late night talk show, not at the dinner table. Not too many people go on Dave Letterman and give serious interviews. Lighten up.

audrey on

I was raised in a very traditional family, to my family and to me, since I have been passed on they’re traditions, Education is very important, no matter how young you are. Even if kindergarten is not for anything serious, the child learns so much they can’t at home with mum. I remember always going to preschool (that’s what it was then) for the whole day, and to me its just what should have been, I can’t believe some children don’t.
I did have the privilege of a private education, but like any other kid, even if i hated it, and my teachers were hard on me because I didn’t want to be there, I stayed because you can’t just keep swapping schools because you don’t like a teacher, and there was no “not ready”, I just had to deal with it, and I did, and I am thankful for it. Kid’s have it way to easy these days, they are treated like expensive vases that will crack if they have to do something they don’t want to. That’s just my opinion, I’m not pointing fingers and I mean no offense.

L on

“No, I think you guys are overreacting! She was just being honest, and I believe there’s more to life than just school, the different kinds of education you can receive out there! I’m sure her son will be fine, she was being flippant!”

Yep, that. ^

I don’t think she’d say that to Ryder, or discourage his learning. You guys reading a lot into a casual joking comment made on a talk show.

Des on

I’m a bad school mom too. I dont see anything wrong with her comment. It’s just a comment. She’s not saying she hates education. There is more to education than 9-3 school days.

I get letters a lot saying “your son missed a day.” Prosecution letter form, which is absolutely ridiculous! He’s missed 5 days all year. So what that we took him on a road trip or went to Disneyland for a day. We are his parents and we will decide what is best. Life experiences are educational.

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