How Does the Duggar Family Homeschool? Michelle Explains, and Gives Josie Duggar Update

September 19, 2014 Updated: September 19, 2014

The gigantic Duggar family decided a long time ago on homeschooling, and people wonder how exactly they do it with so many people.

Michelle Duggar, mother of 19, explained it in a series of blog posts.

The family starts out their day by brushing their teeth and helping each other make the beds and get ready for the day.

They usually have a simple breakfast before doing a couple household chores, then dive into school.

“Around 9:00 a.m., the children start their music & individual studies–for grades 3 and up, studies such as Mathematic, Language Arts, Science, and History & Geography are done on the computer with Switched On Schoolhouse,” Michelle said.

“For higher mathematics, we’ve found the Teaching Textbooks to be a wonderful resource. The younger children study using ACE paces. We use Sing, Spell, Read & Write for teaching little ones to read. It teaches the phonics rules in such a fun and exciting way, and our kids love it! For handwriting, we have our children do ‘Bible Copy,’ which is writing out passages of scripture. The number of verses they do each day varies with age.”

After a lunch break, the smaller kids go take a nap while the rest gather around the big table for Wisdom Booklets group studies–science, history, law, and medicine.

“We work on one subject until we complete the study. We also memorize & review scripture, hymns & operational definitions of character qualities. The children especially enjoy this because they make up motions to help with memorization,” she said.

“At 3 p.m., we break from group study. This is time to finish up music practice or individual studies, but if completed, this is free time. Dinner is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.”

The family utilizes individual daily checklists for schoolwork as well as chores and other areas of life. 

Michelle also explained how the older children help teach the younger ones, along with some family freinds.

“Because we do have so many kids, I still have some older ones with strengths in specific areas that pitch in and help. There are a lot of middle kids that are really good at disciplining and mentoring the younger ones,” she said.

“But we also have some gaps now, specifically in music. I’m not very good at it and I’m not helpful at all. Luckily, I’ve got dear friends who teach music lessons to the kids and have also helped with phonics lessons,” she said.

“My friend Debbie Query’s daughters Mandy and Heidi help out in both of those areas. Mandy is our music teacher; she’s the one that taught us all to play the violin. She comes over on Fridays and does individual lessons for most of the day. Starting at 4:00, we do group lessons. That’s when we practice playing music together with all of the different parts — cellos, violins, piano, and harps. Mandy is really talented and helps us get our family orchestra together. Heidi teaches music, too, and has recently started to help me with phonics. She makes sure that the little ones are crossing their T’s and dotting their I’s and grades their papers for me. That’s a huge help and so important to me.”

She added that there are often groups in the area that will trade out skills, “Someone will help you with math if you’ll help them with science, etc.”

Meanwhile, Michelle also gave an update on her youngest child Josie, who will be five years old in December. Josie just started riding a bike without training wheels.

Michelle recounted how the doctor who delivered Josie recently visited with his wife for dinner.

“The night before they came over, I told Josie, ‘Tomorrow evening we are going to have the doctor over who delivered you. God used him to save your life and my life. The skills that he learned in school, and all of the training that he got, allowed him to sustain your life and mine,'” Michelle said.

“I wanted her to know what a blessing it is and how grateful we are for all the doctors and nurses that took care of us.”

“When they arrived at the door the next day, you would have thought that it was the President of the United States coming in. As they were pulling into the driveway, Josie was standing at the window, jumping up and down looking for them. The minute her doctor stepped foot through the door, she hugged his leg and didn’t let go of him the whole time he was here,” she added.

“He picked her up and she hugged his neck, kissed him on the cheek and just would not let go. He was grinning because he said this was really the joy of his work. This was the result of all those hours of work and he was just delighted to see how well she’s doing.”

The Duggar’s show, 19 Kids and Counting, currently airs on Tuesday nights on TLC.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber