Family Life

Michelle Duggar on Getting Help with Homeschooling

posted: 05/09/14
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Question from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: How do you teach all the kids at once, especially with so many of the older ones becoming involved in other things and not being around to help out as much?

Because we do have so many kids, I still have some older ones with strengths in specific areas that pitch in and help. There are a lot of middle kids that are really good at disciplining and mentoring the younger ones.

But we also have some gaps now, specifically in music. I'm not very good at it and I'm not helpful at all. Luckily, I've got dear friends who teach music lessons to the kids and have also helped with phonics lessons. My friend Debbie Query's daughters Mandy and Heidi help out in both of those areas.

Mandy is our music teacher; she's the one that taught us all to play the violin. She comes over on Fridays and does individual lessons for most of the day. Starting at 4:00, we do group lessons. That's when we practice playing music together with all of the different parts -- cellos, violins, piano, and harps. Mandy is really talented and helps us get our family orchestra together.

Heidi teaches music, too, and has recently started to help me with phonics. She makes sure that the little ones are crossing their T's and dotting their I's and grades their papers for me. That's a huge help and so important to me.

Phonics is one of my favorite subjects. I just love teaching the kids to read. When it clicks and the light turns on and they start putting the letters together it's such fun. Suddenly, they're putting words together and making sentences. We'll be driving down the road and they're reading signs and the billboards. It's wonderful!

So yes, I have brought in extra help, and we've traded out with the Querys. They help us, and we help them, and it's been a beautiful thing. There are also groups in the area that will trade out skills. Someone will help you with math if you'll help them with science, etc. It's really a great system.

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