- Elon Musk said in an interview that his kids “were mostly educated by YouTube and Reddit.”
- He also said he thought education should be as engaging for kids as video games are.
- Musk’s five older sons attend a school he created that mainly focuses on AI, coding, and applied science.
Elon Musk said most of his kids’ education was coming from the internet.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO — who is a father of six children, five of whom are school-aged — was asked about education during a live interview on the audio app Clubhouse on Sunday night.
One of the interviewers asked Musk what he thought the best way to educate a 5-year-old in today’s world would be and how he would think about that child’s education over the next five to 10 years.
After a pause, Musk said he believed the internet had been formative in his kids’ education.
“Well, my observation is that my kids were mostly educated by YouTube and Reddit,” Musk said. “I guess there were lessons as well, but judging by the amount of time they spent online, it seemed like most of their education is actually coming from online.”
Musk added that he thought education should be “as interesting and exciting as possible” and that thinking about it in terms of video games could help keep kids more engaged.
“If kids can be super engaged in video games, there’s a way for them to be super engaged in education as well,” Musk said.
Musk said his kids had also learned from their classmates — presumably the other attendees of Musk’s school, Ad Astra. The school, which he cofounded in 2014, educates his children and those of SpaceX employees. Ad Astra has no grades and an “intense staff to student radio,” said documents filed with the IRS that Ars Technica reported on in 2018. The school had about 40 students as of 2018.
Ad Astra’s curriculum is heavy on courses in artificial intelligence, coding, and applied science. Sports and music are not included, and foreign languages are absent because of Musk’s belief that real-time translation software will soon make teaching the subject irrelevant, the head of the school has said.
Ad Astra was housed in the actor Gene Wilder’s former estate, a $7 million home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. Musk sold the house last October, and it’s unclear where the school has relocated.
Musk’s older children, a set of 17-year-old twins, are likely wrapping up their Ad Astra education. He also has 15-year-old triplets, as well as a 9-month-old baby with the musician Grimes.
Musk is famously skeptical of traditional education. During an interview last March, Musk described college as a bunch of “annoying homework assignments” and said one of the main benefits of attending college was students spending time with people their own age before joining the workforce.
“I think colleges are basically for fun and to prove you can do your chores, but they’re not for learning,” he said.
Musk has said he’s against requiring prospective employees to have college degrees. He said in March that Tesla’s recruiting material didn’t have anything about requiring a degree, calling such a prerequisite “absurd.”