Joe Wicks has explained his decision to remove his eldest child from school a year after she started.
The fitness coach, 37, received a barrage of questions when he announced on his Instagram last month that his daughter Indie, five, would not be returning to school in September after completing a year in reception.
In a new interview Joe, who is also dad to Marley, three, and Leni, 11 months, has explained how he simply wants to spend more time with his children – who he shares with former glamour model wife Rosie.
‘I just love being with my kids,’ he has told The Times. ‘It’s not a permanent thing, but we want to have another year together.’
‘It’s not like I’m saying, I’m going to home school my kids and go and live on a farm in the middle of nowhere. It’s really just about our lifestyle 1693483721’ he added, pointing out that in many European countries kids don’t start school until they are seven.
Big decision: Joe Wicks has explained his decision to remove his eldest child, daughter Indie, five, from school a year after she started
Freedom: Joe, who is also dad to Marley, three, and Leni, eleven months, has explained how he simply wants to spend more time with his children – who he shares with wife Rosie
In the UK, most children start full-time school in the September after their fourth birthday.
Reflecting on his own upbringing which saw him left him in the care of his heroin addict father when he was 12 years old after his mother sought help for her severe OCD, Joe explained: ‘I don’t want to be someone who isn’t present in my children’s life.’
‘What I try and give my children is stability and love, and I want them to know I’m always there for them.’
Back in July Joe admitted that Indie ‘might go to school next year. We have no idea long term but want to do at least a year of home educating’.
The nation’s PE coach added that the family are looking forward to spending more time in the US over the next year, as he is determined to ‘take my message and my mission elsewhere’.
They will call his apartment in Santa Monica home for awhile but he has insisted it is not a permanent move away from their £4 million mansion in Surrey.
The fitness guru lifted the lid on his own troubled upbringing in his 2022 documentary Joe Wicks: Facing My Childhood.
Joe’s mother Raquela left him in the care of his heroin addict father Gary when he was 12 years old in order to get help for her OCD.
Joe has lauded his mother for being ‘brave’ enough to get the help she needed in the form of five months of therapy, while his older brother Nikki, 38, tried to shelter him from the daily horrors of living with their addict father.
Family time: ‘I just love being with my kids,’ he has told The Times . ‘It’s not a permanent thing, but we want to have another year together’ (pictured with wife Rosie and their children)
Present: Reflecting on his own upbringing which saw him left him in the care of his heroin addict father when he was 12, Joe explained: ‘I don’t want to be someone who isn’t present’
The fitness guru explained how his mother feared he and his brothers would be taken into care if she told people about her issues.
‘I was born in 1985 and she was only 19 when she had me. There was that fear of, “if I tell people about my eating disorder or that I’m struggling, they’ll be taken away”.’
Joe recalls that he was always ‘aware’ of his father’s addiction, explaining the consequences it had on him as a child: ‘Heroin addiction is a really destructive thing.
‘I was just anxious all the time and scared and nervous. I acted up in school. I was disruptive, I was the naughty kid because no one stopped me and said, “What’s going on?”‘
Joe has previously joked he is an ‘old school parent’ who doesn’t allow his children to sit in front of iPads and use phones.
Upbringing: Joe’s mother Raquela left him in the care of his heroin addict fatherin order to get help for her OCD (pictured with his mother and brother Nikki)
Adventure time: The nation’s PE coach during lockdown added that the family are looking forward to spending more time in the US over the next year
He said: ‘They do watch Disney or Netflix on TV but don’t know how to use a phone and don’t have an iPad… They read write and speak well because it’s all they’ve ever known.
‘They don’t miss iPads or screen time because they’ve never had it. One thing I’m most proud about with my kids is how friendly, open, chatty and confident they are with new people.
‘Most days we look round and Indie and Marley are off making friends with other adults in restaurants or by the pool cracking jokes. Their personalities are not an accident. They are a product of their surroundings and the stimulation they get every day…’
He said being bored is a ‘good thing’ for children as it allows them to harness their imaginations.
He also previously revealed he encourages his brood to walk barefoot in the street as it is ‘good to be in contact with the ground’.
Joe amassed a fortune with his Body Coach diet and workout plans. He was awarded an MBE last year for his services to fitness.
His virtual workouts during the pandemic also earned him a Guinness World Record for most-watched fitness workout live stream on YouTube