The relationship between education and socioeconomic status has been demonstrated in studies of the developed and the developing world, yet there are communities in which schooling is either not available to all children or not a preferred activity for all children. In this study, we investigated the differences between children in-school and out-of-school in rural and peri-urban communities of Zambia. As expected, we found that the children in-school performed higher in domains of adaptive behavior and on assessments of academic achievement (i.e., mathematics, reading). Somewhat unexpectedly, however, when controlling for socioeconomic status, home responsibilities (i.e., chores, work) were a positive predictor for the performance of the children out-of-school, but a negative predictor for the children in-school. The relationship between home responsibilities and academic performance may be bidirectional and differential; for example, our findings allow for the hypothesis that for in-school children chores take time away from the studies, but for out-of-school children they provide some limited mathematics exposure.