Friday, December 3, 2010

Homeschooling Advice from Michelle

Homeschooling just one or two kids is no easy task, but can you imagine homeschooling 19? The Duggars have homeschooled each of their kids since Josh was four. Do they have any tips to share? Of course!

What curricula do the Duggars recommend?

Once her kids learn basic phonics skills with programs like "Sing, Spell, Read, and Write," "Typing Tutor," "ACE," and "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons," Michelle sets them to work at the computer with Alpha Omega's "Switched-On Schoolhouse." They especially love this curriculum (for grades three through twelve) because it weaves in Biblical principles and uses a mixture of text, colorful pictures, and fun videos.

What subjects do the Duggar kids learn?
In addition to the core subjects, the Duggar kids study law, medicine, and Spanish and practice character qualities. Many of the children play multiple instruments, such as the piano, violin, harp, guitar, or cello.

Final word of advice?
In an interview with Alpha Omega Publications, Michelle Duggar said that the most important tip she can give is to "have fun and just enjoy the gift of your children and the process of learning together...Not everything is going to go as planned, and you're going to keep learning a better way to do things as time goes on." As a new homeschooler, I change my routine more often than I change my socks because I am constantly discovering more efficient ways to get things done. It's good to hear a homeschool veteran say the same thing.

Come back on Monday for more homeschooling tips from Michelle Duggar!

Do you homeschool? Why or why not?

30 comments:

  1. Our oldest is 4 and we plan on starting school with her very soon. I just need to get everything in order and figure out exactly what I want to get accomplished. We're planning on using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons. It was recommended by a friend of ours. I like the idea the kids can get school done at home in about half the time instead of being at school all day and then coming home and still having to do homework!

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  2. I would love to homeschool my daughter, but am afraid to take the plunge. I had a hard time in school and I am not happy with the school my daughter is currently in. But my fear is that I would do more damage then good to her overall education.

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  3. I was homeschooled until 1st grade then i went to a Christian school in a town near us but i left before i finish 2nd grade there (along with my older sister and older brother). I was homeschooled then from part of 2nd grade to 4th grade (along with my younger sister and my older sister and then my 2nd to youngest brother). Then I went back to the Christian school, i stayed there until 8th grade and now i am going to be homeschooled through highschool!! I'm in 8th/9th grade (homeschooling along with my older brother and older sister, the other ones are at the Christian school)

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  4. Cindy, I felt the same way. It took my husband over a year to convince me to even try it. I have about an 8th grade education, (even though I graduated high school) and my kids are above there school age levels! I never thought I could do it, and I love that I learn along with them. I now have been schooling my 7 kids for 3 years and enjoys the good times and the bad. (Ages 9 to 1) I wrote a blog about the start of my homeschooling journey if you want to check it out.
    http://1plus1equals7.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/the-start-of-our-homeschooling-journey/

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  5. I'll admit it, after having 6 kids in 10 years and working full time, I was really, really happy to see that big yellow bus stop outside our house. It's my true belief that the interaction and stimulation of school is beneficial. They enjoyed sports and other school sponsored events. Just imagine having no memories of school and school friends, and no class reunions!!

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  6. Don't be afraid to take the plunge, Cindy. I have been homeschooled all my life (except for kindergarten, which didn't teach me a thing)and I truly believe that homeschooling is the BEST WAY!!! Of course, I do not know what school life is like, but I know many school 'kids' and they're not happy. They need to follow the trends, they have peer pressure...homeschooling brings great freedom and lots of rewards. :)

    And, also, most normal school teachers don't have very high scores - that's why they become teachers, well, sometimes. :)

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  7. Homeschooling sounds great - but I know I just don't have the patience for it. My kids have great teachers and I'm very happy. However, the bullying issues, cattiness, rumors, etc. are tough to deal with and I often think it would be nice to homeschool! Good luck to all of you homeschoolers! God bless!

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  8. And, also, most normal school teachers don't have very high scores - that's why they become teachers, well, sometimes. :)

    What???? I come from a family of teachers although I had no interest in doing that myself. Most teachers teach because they enjoy teaching. It's hard to get a job as a new graduate and, at least in NY, a masters degree is required. Teaching doesn't pay a whole lot so they must be there for the love of it.

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  9. I do not have children. But I was very opposed to homeschooling. I started watching the Duggar's show and now I am very open to homeschooling. Their children are so well behaved and smart.

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  10. I did, aand will be again, but not right now. I did homeschool my oldest, who is now 15, but he is currently going to one of the few good public schools for high school. My younger son is only 3 months old, but he will be homeschooled when the time comes.

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  11. my kids are only 1.5 and 3, but we plan on homeschooling!

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  12. My wife and I homeschool our 5 children; and, let me tell you, it is the greatest gift in the world! If you are considering homeschooling, with kids who are currently in school, please ask yourself some questions. How much do they learn about God or the Bible in school? How many other Godly children and/or teachers are they influenced by on a daily basis? Homeschooling is about MORE THAN JUST SCHOOL!!!!!! It is our DUTY as parents to bring up Godly young men and women who are IN the world, not OF it! Please think about what worldly influences your child might be exposed to, at school, and how those might hinder their walk with God! 2 Peter 1:5 says build upon your faith, virtue, and upon your virtue, knowledge. Please pray about starting your child's education with faith, then teach them virtue (character); and, then, you can build that into knowledge. Knowledge without faith or virtue is not the knowledge God wants us to have!
    God bless you all,
    Dan

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    Replies
    1. I have 5 also and I am just starting out.... I'm a little anxious. But thankyou for the post :)

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  13. I wish I was home schooled. I went to public school for elementary, jr. high, and high school. It was bad because I would get bullied a lot and it was so hard to concentrate on my school work. So I would carelessly cheat on my tests and I basically cheated my way out of school. My mom was basically always busy at work so she couldn't help me with my school work, and I didn't have an older sibling to help me either. My dad was no help either and I was a very shy student so I wouldn't ask teachers for help. By the time college came around I was clueless and overwhelmed of all the hard work that needed to be done. My learning abilities were like of a 5th grader. I dropped out of college. I also didn't get time to explore other things when I was at school because school was just so stressful for me. So I never actually got to learn how to play an instrument or learn another language. If I ever have children, I am ceratinly going to home school them.

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  14. ive been homeschooled since fourth grade and we have a family of eleven. we use SOS also. you can go to pros-and-cons-of-homeschooling.org for all typesnof curriculum for homeschooling.
    thanks for this blog.

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  15. I am 13 and have been homeschooled since 3rd grade. I now i am in 9th grade and doing one subject in 11th grade. My family is very large (nine kids) and my mom loves it. Like the Duggars, we use SOS.We also use Teaching Textbooks and Bob Jones. I love homeschooling and would not ask for anything else!!!

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  16. Actually that is a very common misconception. There are so many memories, friends, and extra activities available if you choose. My boys play varsity and jv basketball and soccer, participate in other competitive programs with lots of other students around the globe, travel, have sleepovers, field trips, etc... There are so many homeschool families that reunions are plenteous! They have made lifelong friends and continue to make more. No shortage of that for most of the kids I know!!

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  17. I homeschool 3 and I'm wondering when and with what curriculum the Duggars do the Law and Medicine ?

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  18. @D

    Hi D,

    The Duggars use resources from ATI (the Advanced Training Institute) to teach their children law and medicine.

    Enjoy your weekend!
    Lily and Ellie

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  19. I only have one child and can not have more. I've thought about homeschooling but the thing holding me back is that it would only be him. I just read above and everyone that has been homeschooled or homeschooled had more then one child. Any input or thoughts on homeschooling a only would be appreciated.

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  20. I am ten [but will be eleven next Saturday] and homeschooled . I love it because I can go at my own rate and get to see my family more . i love the duggars and am glad for jill dillard but also sad she wont be living at home anymore . I am sorry if that seemed selfish of me since I know it is for the best

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  21. Anon #19: I continued to homeschool my daughter after my boys went to outside schools and she did just fine. In fact, when she was registered for high school, they automatically wanted to put her in all AP/College readiness courses because she WAS homeschooled. We kept the same schedule as the local public school so when they had a day off, so did she. This way, she could still socialize with her friends. I had a planner ($5 @ Wal-Mart) and everything was recorded in it. Also, I dated each page in each of her books to correspond with the planner. (time consuming but worth it!) This way, we both knew what had to be done and when. (In FL, you have to keep pretty good records in case they are requested, which they usually are when you do testing for grade completion) By the time I had just my daughter at home, I had pretty much figured out a working system for us and it worked just fine. Although we didn't join one, there are several homeschooling groups in the area that we could have joined that had field trips and activities scheduled. And because your hours are your own, one of the best parts was all the one-on-one time my husband was able to have with each of the kids! Many times they worked ahead so they could go to the office with daddy. I had a schedule and it was up to each one as to how they followed it as long as it was all done when it had to be done by. Because she was homeschooled alone for so long, we made sure she was exposed to outside activities too so she could socialize on her age level. I honestly wasn't sure I could handle it but my husband convinced me I could and I wouldn't change it for the world! I consider myself lucky that I was able to have that time with my kids~not everybody gets that opportunity!

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  22. This momma is about to retire from Homeschooling. I am proud to say my youngest son is a sophomore in High School and his 2 brother are University and Trade school Graduates. I give praise to Father God for the support and encouragement I have received through this journey called Home Schooling.

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  23. I homeschool and we are fixing to change to switched on school house

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  24. @Anonymous It's interesting to hear the comments from homeschool proponents. Yes, there are pressures in school (as there will be on the job and in life, in general), but doesn't that also present opportunities to grow in so many ways and to strengthen your faith?

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  25. @Anonymous @Anonymous8 -- I agree and am saddened to read the ignorant comments being made here about schools and teachers and kids who go to school.

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  26. I homeschool my two boys whom are ages 8 & 5 for similar reasons as the Duggar family. We use the ABEKA curriculum and it proves successful. We focus on our core subjects at home and have many extra curricular activities outside of the home such as kindermusik which I highly recommend, it's a foundational start to music and prepares children to take up an instrument. Both boys took Kindermusik and now our 8 yr old is mastering the violin. We also joined a homeschool co-op. Here we find parents with high standards for their children and more family oriented people and People of faith. There are ways to socialize your children while homeschooling. Interaction with family is the top priority. I was told once by someone, school years are such a short lived part of our lives, why not cut out all of the unnecessary stuff that can come with public school? Bullying, vulgar language, the list goes on. If we teach our children In the way that they should go then we won't spend their school years trying to get them to unlearn all the negatives.

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  27. Reading through these comments I find them to be truthful and sincere. I sense the passion for why some choose homeschooling over public school. The negative issues that come with public school are definitely all teachable moments, but too often parents and teachers are overlooking the severity of many issues. Many teachers have little control because many parents have lost control at home. Homeschooling simply gives parents control over their God given role, this doesn't mean that there are no good teachers or good parents that send there kids to public school. I just think that those few parents have to really be ON and involved in their children's lives so that they know what's going on in that public school environment. A good environment is required for learning.

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  28. Homeschooling 19 kids at the same time is really impossible! I think Duggars is really doing a good job there! I am hoping to find homeschooling in the Philippines
    that can do such.

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  29. The duggars introduced me to homeschooling and now I plan on doing it with my future kids. The duggars are such role models thank you from putting your family out on tv to teach so many others great family life.

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