‘Counting On’ Fans Think the Duggars Had Very Little Education Growing Up

The Duggar family has always done things a bit differently than other American families. They’re one of the largest families in the country with 19 kids, and rather than send all the kids to public or private schools, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar opted to homeschool their children. But now that many of the kids are adults, some fans think they were very poorly educated growing up.

Duggar family
The older Duggar children | Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

Michelle Duggar homeschooled all of her children

The Duggars opted not to send their children to public or private schools. Instead, Michelle Duggar spearheaded their education, homeschooling every one of them. The Duggars are devout Baptists, and their religion shapes their entire lives. Michelle chose to homeschool the kids so that she could incorporate their religion into their curriculum more than a private school — and definitely more than a public school — ever would. The kids wouldn’t have gotten any religious teaching had they gone to public school, and sending so many kids to private school would have cost Michelle and Jim Bob a fortune.

Fans think the Duggars’ reading skills are terrible

This past Valentine’s Day, Jana Duggar posted videos of her family members reading notes they had written for one another. According to Jana’s post, the family drew names and wrote a meaningful letter to another family member. However, Duggar fans noticed that the children’s reading skills, specifically Jessa and Josiah, seemed not up to standard for how old they are. One Reddit user posted a thread about whether the kids seemed like they were uneducated, and plenty of people chimed in with agreement. “I am an educator, and it is quite shocking that they seem to have trouble reading aloud their OWN writing,” one user said. Another person suggested there could be learning disabilities involved.

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Our family is trying to start a new tradition for Valentines Day (which we celebrated a few days early). This year we each drew a name and wrote a meaningful note to that person about their character, what they truly mean to us and tried to express from our heart how much we genuinely love and care about them. I think each of my family members would say, this by far was one of the most meaningful times we’ve had together as a family. We took time to go around the room and read the notes out loud to the person we had written them to and expounded a little more on it. There were many tears shed and much joyful laughter. The saying goes, “actions speak louder than words” but I have to say sometimes that’s not always true, for in our day and age I feel we’ve forgotten to express love through our words. If you’re hardly ever speaking words of life and love, but rather tend to speak harsh words or only doing “actions” by giving material things or gifts to others, how will they truly know if you love them? We must remember to say the words “I love you” often and thoughtfully tell others the things we appreciate and admire about them. I think genuine, loving words, saying what that person means to you can speak louder than actions. Most of us tend to be caught up in our daily tasks and jobs and I think forget to express this to others. I challenge you, go and write a meaningful note to someone you love, (or you need to love) and share positive, encouraging words and how that person has impacted your life in a positive way. Trust me, everyone hears enough negative things in their life and how they need to do things better, but rarely do they hear the positive things that encourage them. Be the positive voice in others lives, you may just be the one to change their life for the better and impact them for eternity. The power of an encouraging word is far greater than any material gift — chocolate that will melt, flowers that will wilt, or other material gifts that will fade away. Words will live on forever and can impact a person towards life or death. So when we speak let’s be careful in what we say. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Prov.‬ ‭18:21‬

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Jana now helps teach her younger siblings

Jana, who is the oldest Duggar daughter and was taught by her mom, now teaches her younger siblings along with her mother. However, Michelle received a public school education, so she may be more in tune with where her kids need to be developmentally based on their age. But Jana was taught by her mother, which means that if there was an issue with her mother’s teaching ability, Jana is now passing it down to her younger siblings. It’s possible that all of them are getting less of an education than professional schooling would grant.

People have questioned Jill Duggar’s ability to teach her kids, too

Jill Duggar’s kids are school age, and she has chosen to homeschool them. But when she posted a photo to Instagram discussing her homeschooling curriculum, she was shunned by many parents. “Why would you keep your kids away from a regular school? It’s good for their social skills and the [sic] will get a lot smarter,” one user originally wrote on Duggar’s March 4 post. However, the negative comments about homeschooling appear to have been deleted or limited. Ultimately, as long as the Duggars are meeting the mandated requirements for homeschooling, they can choose to educate their children however they’d like. But with no public education and no college degrees, it makes sense that fans would wonder how educated they actually are.

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