Friday, July 13, 2012

Duggar Apprenticeships

Jim Bob and Michelle encourage their children to pursue a variety of careers, in order to gain skills and uncover their individual interests and talents. One way to achieve this is through apprenticeship.
In this week's TLC Parentables post, Michelle Duggar explains what the older kids have been up to:

Recently a few of our boys were working on a construction project...Our son Josiah is covered in poison ivy and he was like, "I don't think I want be out there digging around in the poison-ivy patch anymore. That's not my niche in life," whereas our other son, John-David (who doesn't get poison ivy), said, "Man, I like this. This is my kind of job!"  

Josiah, almost sixteen, is trying his hand at accounting, while Jana has been working as a labor coach and Jill as an apprentice midwife. Nineteen-year-old Jessa, who has a love for teaching, helps homeschool her younger siblings. Eighteen-year-old Jinger is exploring photography and was recently hired for her first paid photo shoot--a wedding.

I just tell my kids to gain as many life skills as they can as they go along. You'll never regret gaining that knowledge and understanding -- whether you're going to do that for a living may not be the goal.

Read more from Michelle on the TLC Parentables page.


  1. I think it's great to go and experiences these different jobs hands on. Too many kids grow up with no real knowledge of what they want to do or an inadequate idea of what the job actually entails. Very interesting!

  2. that is very good. please stop holding your kids back and let them go out into the real world and hold jobs and go to college so they can realize their dreams on line college course can only take them so far.

  3. Wise advice! I also liked the photos shared with this post; it is a really good way of showing how well-rounded homeschooled kids can be.

  4. Good to read what the older Duggar children are doing! Quick question -do you know when the picture of Josh at the Ronald Reagan Library was taken? Thank you!

  5. Thanks for posting! Hope all is well with ya'll!
    God bless!
    Don't Quit!!!
    Catherine K.

  6. Not really sure how anyone could say the Duggars are "holding their children back". These kids have seen and done more in their lives thus far than most kids will ever do. It's a shame that simply because they have chosen to raise their children in a spiritually strong household, they are criticized on a daily basis. I believe they are phenomenal parents teaching their children the single most important lesson in life--to love and serve other's the way Christ has loved and served us. God bless this precious family. My own family is greatly encouraged by their diligence.

  7. What a lovely comment Charlene :)

  8. @Charlene-I believe those who are critical of Michelle and JimBob's belief in not allowing their children to attend traditional colleges are on point. The concern lies within not encouraging the child to pursue their dreams in the widest possible way. College Plus may (or may not) provide an educational base for gaining knowledge in a certain major; however, what is missing is the competitive level of highly educated or experienced professors, clinical applications, classroom/classmate interaction, internships, options, learning some independence by living in a dorm and interacting with many people from many other walks of life. In other words, dynamic education.

  9. @Brenda H

    Hi Brenda H,

    The photo was taken earlier this year, while the Duggars were campaigning for Rick Santorum.

    Thanks for reading!
    Lily and Ellie

  10. Hi, have any of the duggar children ever had a mainstream job like working in a bakery or fast food? (other than Josh and John David whom work for themselves)? Is it against there beliefs for women to do paid work for others? In my country it is very much looked down on for anyone over the age of 18 to at the very least have a part time job even when studying. At the age of 21 I had put myself through nursing school and had held several jobs so I find it odd Jill Jana have never worked. Is this a cultural thing? Not hating just asking

  11. @anonymous
    I don't think the duggar girls are refusing paid careers on the basis of it being 'a belief'. I think guys are more driven by success and girls are more driven by the satisfaction of helping others. Hence, Josh and John with their companies. And, the girls doing things like helping teach and being an apprentice midwife. I think they are pursuing their interests and jobs that help others tend to pay less. If you notice the Bates, their oldest Erin teaches piano to 40 students. I'm sure she gets paid for it. Hope that helps.

  12. To anonymous's question about it being cultural to not hold a job over the age of 18...
    It is definitely NOT a cultural thing. The Duggar's are not your average family. The majority of the US population does have a job working for others both male and female before and after the age of 18. Although I would not say that the majority of people in the US work their way through college, many, many people do (male and female). In my young years, I worked through high school for extra spending money as my parents never had any extra money. I received a scholarship to get my nursing school paid for but worked for extra expenses. (I do not regret it one bit and that was just my situation) Now I was able to pay for my oldest sons expenses while he went to college so he would not have to work while studying. I feel that paid off well as he was able to dedicate 100% of his time to studies and maintained a very high GPA and now has a very good job. I think it all depends on a persons situation and we were very fortunate to be able to make that work.
    The Duggar's have their own belief system and they live by that. Although I have noticed some discrepancies through the years, it is just an indication that as each child is different and stages of life happen, situations end up different then what we originally may have wanted or believed it would be.
    I am not 100% sure, but I do not believe any of them have ever held a mainstream job. Since Jinger just worked her first job in photography at someones wedding, and Michelle does speaking engagements, I would have to say they are not against women doing paid work for others.

  13. they cannot be midwives without a college education. that job requires you to go beyond a online course.

  14. Anonymous:

    they can apprentice. There are different home birth/midwifery laws in every state. My mother was an apprentice to a midwife. You can learn that way.


  15. Would Jessa, "who has a love for teaching" ever be allowed to pursue a degree in education and teach at a school?

  16. Jessa may have a love for homeschooling, being homeschooled in her life. It doesn't seem Jim Bob or Michelle are holding any one else back from a degree, I am pretty sure if Jessa wanted to, they would allow it.

    ~ Ann

  17. What a great family. I love the way the adults speak to the children at their level with calm voices. Also, it is wonderful to see a family letting boys actually be active boys and girls build confidence.

    I just love the christian example of a Christ centered home.

  18. 1st their are online courses for everything these days. 2ndly Jana is labor coach it is far from same thing as midwife.Now for what I want to say Its awsome to know what Jana is doing we got glimpses of the younger 1's studying and mention of Jhon David's towing buisness but never been informed on what Jana was doing.

  19. From what I am reading I believe the parents want the kids to explore their options and experience to decide the direction they will take in furthering their education.
    I would have little doubt if anyone wanted to attend College or University the parents would make arrangements for them and they would work their way through completion like most of us.

    I like the fact the parents promote choice and motivate to explore then simply pay for education and the kids really do not have practical experience in the field they are aimed for. That can often create a change in degree mid stream with is costly.

    In regard to male vs female I am uncertain that the girls would be given the opportunity to further education outside of the practical sense. They appear to be geared to be homemakers with some ability to help bring in a little income to the family dynamic.
    I hope the choice is there for them but they appear to be content with what they have.

  20. These are not children. They can do what they want .


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