*This fall, Michael Jackson’s three kids will attend school outside the home for their first time ever, thanks to Grandma.
In hopes of giving them a more conventional upbringing, Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine says Prince, 13, Paris, 12, and Blanket, 8 will begin going to an unidentified private school in September.
Until now, they have been taught at home, in keeping with Michael’s policy of shielding them from the outside world.
“I’d say I’m a little less strict but I’ve tried to follow the way Michael was raising them,” Katherine told the Mail. “But they don’t have friends. They don’t go to school. They have private lessons at home. They’ll be going to a private school in September for the first time.”
Katherine, who has cared for Michael’s children since the singer died on June 25, laughs at the idea the kids could ever have a normal life, but says they have a healthy routine of daily schoolwork, karate and swimming.
She says there is hardly a day without visits from members of her extended family to her home in Los Angeles. “Having them around has helped the children immensely. They go places together and have fun. They listen to Michael’s music.”
Katherine says the three children are dealing with their father’s death in their own ways. Paris has created a shrine to him in her bedroom.
“I wanted to hang pictures of flowers or ballerinas, like I would expect a girl would,” Katherine said. “But she went into the closet and she brought out seven or eight pictures of Michael and said, ‘No, I want Daddy hanging in my room. I always want to see him.’
“So she goes to bed looking at him and wakes up looking at him. Paris has that lovely way like Michael, and I see his talent in her. Whatever she does she’s very good at it. She’s a good artist and plays the piano. She wants to be an actress.” Katherine believes all three have inherited traits from Michael. Prince is interested in the arts, hoping to be a film producer, while Blanket has his sense of playfulness.
She says it was some time after Michael took Prince and Paris to a concert to celebrate his 30th anniversary as a solo entertainer in 2001 that they began to understand how famous he was.
Katherine said: “Michael told me a story. He said the two little ones were in the audience. When he got backstage they said, ‘So you’re a big star, huh? When I grow up I want to be just like you!’ And Michael said he got the biggest chuckle out of that.”