The Duggar home school has been debated so much that it has been called SOTDRT or school of the dining room table. Michelle talks about in the book they reached the decision to home school after a seminar. It wasn’ t very popular then but eventually they met several families who home schooled. The speaker at the seminar mentioned Bible erses about training up a child and you should teach them at every minute possible. Many questions arise concerning the Duggar kid’s education. How can so the older Duggar kids learn with little kids needing diaper changes and so much chaos? Is Michelle qualified to teach? How tough is the curriculum?
The book only touches briefly on their home school. Parents teach their kids at home for many reasons. Who could blame the parents for wanting to teach their child at home. Public schools and even private schools are not what they use to be. Student test scores are much lower not to mention violence, bullies, and other turmoil. And could you imagine getting al those kids ready for school? I think the main reason the Duggars choose to home school is causing the debate. The Duggar reasons go far beyond just for a better learning environment. It is one thing if a parent wishes to provide a better learning place for their child and be their primary influence. It another thing to shield them from different view points.
A big argument against any home school is socialization. What disturbed me is how Michelle says other families told her kids sent to school focus too much attention on friends and their interest. That is just part of growing up. On the contrary, sitting in a room full of kids your own age isn’t really socializing. There are ways around the socialization problem. Some home school groups have their own extracurricular activities. The Duggars stay in their own little circle of ATI associates which is the big difference in them and average home school families.
Another thing debated is the curriculum. Much of their studies concentrate on the ATI Wisdom booklets. . From the ATI website:
In the scope of the ATI curriculum, the Bible is the main textbook, the Wisdom Booklets are the core curriculum, and supplemental materials and programs are continually developed to assist parents as they teach (and learn!) in the classroom of life.
Over the last few years, the Duggars have added other curriculum like Abeka and SOS (Switched on Schoolhouse) . I wonder if it is due to critic responses. The Wisdom booklets get many negative reviews.
I’m not implying the Duggar kids aren’t bright but wonder what they learn. It made me feel a little better learning that tutors are brought in like Jim Bob’s old teacher to help with science experiments. On the ‘School Daze’ episode, one of the boys argued with Michelle about workbooks. I thought surely workbooks isn’t all the kids do. Overall, I feel the Duggars are giving home school bad name without meaning to. I read in Arkansas you don’t need to make a certain grade on a test and the laws don’t seem to strict. There are plenty who do it right. The requirements just need to be stricter.