Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Michelle Duggar Interview: Homeschooling

Michelle Duggar recently sat down with Alpha Omega Publications, the organization from which the Duggars purchase their homeschool curricula for grades three through twelve. (Click here for a list of the education resources that they recommend.) Below is a snippet of the interview. Visit the AOP website for more.

AOP: How many hours of formal education do your children typically receive each day?

Michelle: We spend approximately four hours a day in formal schooling in core subjects with additional music lessons.

AOP: Where do you homeschool, and how do you organize your homeschooling supplies, educational toys, and each child's daily schoolwork?

Michelle: We have a schoolroom/playroom with lockers and storage bins for each child. Plus computer stations are set up throughout the house for individual learning study with the children who use the Switched-On Schoolhouse curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications.

AOP: How has Switched-On Schoolhouse benefited your family's homeschooling?

Michelle: The information and instructions are presented so well in Switched-On Schoolhouse (SOS) that the older children can work independently and rarely need help or have questions. That frees up more of my time and makes teaching math easier now, too. Plus the lectures and mini-tutorials provide clear and concise explanations of the concepts being covered. The children really enjoy SOS and look forward to doing part of their studies each day on the computer. My daughter Jessa has taken on the responsibility of administering and assigning the SOS lessons each day. Her siblings say that she is tougher than Mom when reassigning lessons that haven't been completed properly.

AOP: What's the most important organizational advice you would give to a first-time homeschooling parent?

Don't overextend, and go easy on yourself... Most of all, have fun and just enjoy the gift of your children and the process of learning together.

Full interview on the AOP website

14 Comments (Click Here to Add Yours):

Anonymous said...

I think you posted on this blog that Jessa received a high school diploma. How many of the Duggars have finished with their homeschooling. Of them how many have gotten a high school diploma.

Rachel Vanderveen said...

Thanks for this blog, Michelle. We pulled our kids out of school this year and we are starting homeschool in September. Originally, I had wanted to go with SOS because that's what you recommend in your book, but I had a few people day it was very "pencil paper"---not a lot of variety for the kids. It was suggested to me that Bob Jones University Press was a better way to go. I think I might go in this direction. Do you happen to have an opinion about that curriculum?

Noah said...

@Rachel We use the A Beka Academy curriculum from A Beka Book. It consists of daily video lessons followed up by assigned homework. The videos are recorded at the Pensacola Christian Academy in Pensacola, Florida; where A Beka Book is based out of. Being in my first year of high-school, I recommend it. The program is fully accredited and if you stay the full 4yrs. of high-school with them, you get 4yrs. of college for the price of 3yrs. at Pensacola Christian College. It's a great scholarship opportunity.

As a student, here's my opinion from elementary/middle school on BJU Press: It was very dull to me and the texts seemed to be watered down some; just like in the public schools, but from a "Christian" perspective. It's almost like an agenda in a way: make one a good Christian who listens to their pastor and doesn't question what they are told. However, what I found in A Beka Book/Academy is that the facts are presented, if course from a Christian view (bring a Christian I don't mind that), but it's not forced on the student.He/she is allowed to make their decision based on their own faith and mind, and ultimately, when it comes to the gospel, the decision can't be forced; they must make it themselves. :)

Hope this students perspective helps!
In Christ,

momto8blog said...

thank you for your blog AND openness to life!!! My 3 youngest kids are now enrolled in the public school system...the 6th grade class has about 500 students..in the FCS (Family Consumer Science) class they watched your TV show! that is so unbelievable to me!! this is the same school that teaches how wonderful the birth control pill is...especially for young girls who want to look pretty and have pretty skin...
I am your newest follower...pls follow back if you'd like. I would love to meet you and your beautiful children!

Anonymous said...

Some good info here!!! Lily and Ellie do some people not realize they are not commenting to Michelle? You answer all the questions you are able but you don't speak for the Duggars! I appreciate your sharing info. Best Blog Around!!

Lily and Ellie said...


Hi Sandy,

Thanks for your kind words about our blog.

We have mentioned it many times, and the Contact Us page clearly states that we are a mother-daughter team. The biggest clue is that we refer to the Duggars in third person. We also sign comments and emails as "Lily and Ellie."

All of the info that we post is the result of extensive research or is directly from the Duggars and/or a representative of the family.

We are honored to have you as a reader.

~Lily and Ellie

Rachel Vanderveen said...

Ooops, yes I guess I should have directed the question to Lily & Ellie; I'm new to the blog. *blushes. @ Noah, thanks SO much for your candid answer! I appreciate your perspectives very much!BJU had a shipping sale on the weekend and I took the plunge. It's our first year of homeschool and I thought I better just do it before I change my mind. Next year I will seriously consider the material that you suggested. Thanks for taking time to respond to my question!

Anonymous said...

The kids all get to learn an instrument as long as it is a violin or piano. Once again the kids do only what the parents allow and no individualism is provided. what if one of the kids wants to play drums or a brass instrument. You probably wont post this because you love the Duggars and know what I say is right on the money.

Lily and Ellie said...


Hi Anonymous,

Check out this video of the family's recent appearance on the Today Show, and you will see the variety of instruments that the kids play, including brass, a variety of strings, and even bass guitar. http://duggarsblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/this-mornings-today-show-appearance-was.html

~Lily and Ellie

Anonymous said...

What curriculum does she use for grades younger than 3rd?

Lily and Ellie said...


Hi Anonymous,

Here is the link to a post that lists the homeschooling curricula that the Duggars use: http://duggarsblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/duggars-on-homeschool-curricula.html.

Hope this helps,
Lily and Ellie

Beth Mann said...

Hi i see that they use SOS.we were looking into SOS for math.Does it cover and explain concepts well.We have been told it is not covering concepts well.Thank you for your help,Beth Mann @ chadrodeo05@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I used Horizons (through Alpha and Omega Publishers) for my children last year, my first year that I had home schooled.. for 1st and 2nd grade for all subjects. This year, I used Horizons for my 2nd grader, and for my 3rd grader I used SOS. She has science, history, math, spelling and bible. I was pleased with all of them, except the math. I feel that Horizons was much better for math. I feel like we took a step backward for my daughter in 3rd grade math SOS, compared to what she had learned the previous year in Horizons math last year for 2nd grade. SOS is good otherwise, from our experience. And you can always implement what you want your child to learn in math in other ways if you decide to proceed with SOS. Homeschooling is great, you can personally see where your child's strength's and weaknesses are in their work, and help them and encourage them. It also gives you more time with your children, and as we all know, they grow up too fast!! It is a blessing to enjoy them at home more while we can. =)

Sarah Acosta said...

I luv Jeremiah!!!♥♥ Luv the family its really cute♥♥

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