and Michelle decided they wanted to homeschool their kids, their youngest, Jim Bob Duggar , was only 8 months old. And when they had just one kid, it probably seemed like a pretty manageable task. But when your family keeps growing and expanding until you’ve got 19 students and one teacher with a high school education, well, we can imagine some things start to get away from you. So what was school really like for the Josh Duggar Duggars? We decided to take a look through some old episodes of and 19 Kids and Counting to check it out. Counting On Take a look at the gallery to see what a lesson plan is like for this family — and find out what exactly a “wisdom booklet” is.
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Back in the day, things started out simply enough.
It was just Michelle, the kids, a dining room table, and papers and pencils.
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The goal was not to “home” school the kids, but to “life” school them.
Which is, of course, why Michelle started teaching her kids about bankruptcy laws when they were still this little. And no, unfortunately, we’re not joking.
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But as the kids got older and the family grew, things got more complicated.
And they stopped wearing their not-actually-Catholic-school-uniforms all the time, too.
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The older kids have something called Duggar Family Academy.
And it looks
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And luckily it seemed to give them access to, like, real information.
Look! They’ve even got the body’s systems up behind them, plus the food pyramind. That’s
actual science, y’all.
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But things were still pretty whack, even for the younger kids.
Especially considering the fact that Michelle doesn’t seem to tailor her lessons based on age group — and as the oldest of the kids at the table, Joy-Anna seems completely checked out from the lesson.
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At least everyone got their own age-appropriate workbooks.
Sorry, sorry, we mean “wisdom booklets.”
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Michelle isn’t the only teacher in the family.
Once the older girls were old enough, they got roped in, too. “I realize that with homeschooling, you gotta delegate, too,” Michelle said. “And so my goal was to work myself out of a job because I tell my kids, ‘Now when you learn this, you’re gonna teach it.’”
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When we say old enough, we don’t actually mean that old.
Even when she was still young, Joy was helping her siblings figure out their homework.
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Jessa was the main assistant teacher, though.
“For several years, Michelle was just in charge of all the homeschooling. For the last few years, Jessa has helped kind of tutor some of the younger ones, helped kind of oversee a lot of the computer school and it’s really been a blessing,” Jim Bob said as Jessa was preparing to get married and move out.
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Believe it or not, Jessa was the strict teacher, too.
“The phrase don’t mess with Jess is kind of like the name Jesse James. I mean it’s like feared in the school world,” Jason admitted.
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Jessa was pretty proud of that title.
“They say, ‘I don’t want to do that,’ and I say, ‘It’s not up to you. Nobody asked you,'” she told cameras when explaining how she motivates her siblings to do their homework.
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Michelle can get strict, though, too.
James straight up freaked out one day during homework time, but when your mom is also your teacher, there’s no lying and pretending that you already finished your homework during study hall.
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Mostly, everyone does their homework alone.
It seems like there are about a million different computers around the house so that everyone can do their work in peace.
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Sometimes sharing is necessary.
Don’t get too distracted, though, or Jessa James will be over to whip you into shape. “Jessa’s very good at talking to [the kids] about the importance of accomplishing their task,” Jim Bob said.
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That’s probably for the best, though.
Giving a young boy internet access without supervision doesn’t exactly seem on-brand for the Duggars.
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If you need quiet, there’s a room for that.
Honestly, we’d put money on the fact that some of the Duggars probably snuck away to this room with a math sheet just so that they could get a moment to themselves.
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But you’re never totally alone in the Duggar house.
“I’m in charge of checking the grades and making sure everybody’s doing good,” Jessa said, and she used to take her job very seriously.
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The school day starts with Michelle’s intercom call.
She summons everyone to the kitchen to get started on those rigorous lesson plans.
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We’re pretty sure this kid looks old enough to be spelling the word ball and not just learning the letter B, but hey,
Josie was still getting the hang of her letters at 8 years old, so maybe he was actually ahead of the curve.
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When they get a little older, they can find new teachers (finally).
Like this Spanish tutor who tried to teach the kids enough so that they could order for themselves at a restaurant.
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As you can see, it went ~very~ well.
Have you ever seen more intricate notes? This kid must be basically fluent.
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Then again, they may not have gotten that much practice.
Jill seemed like she’d gone to Spanish tutoring the most, but even if she’d only had ten hour-long classes, that means everyone else has had, what, 15 minutes each?
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It’s not really about what you want to major in either.
It’s all about finding your “life purpose.” Well, gee, if we knew there was a book for that, we could’ve saved ourselves a ton of time
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But luckily, every now and then, their school day is just like yours.
Who knew Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing was so universal?