If you’ve watched 19 Kids andCounting, you’ll already be aware that the Duggar family homeschooled (or continues to) all 19 of their children. Many have wondered what the curriculum was throughout the years, especially since none of the children have completed traditional college courses. Joe Duggar went to Knoxville, Tennessee, to complete a one-year program at Crown College, but thus far, no other Duggar has completed any actual programs.
So what do the Duggars learn about when they are sitting around the kitchen table and why have some people been shocked by it?
The Duggar children have been educated by a controversial program known as ATI, or Advanced Training Institute. The official website states that it is a “Biblically-based home education program for families who desire to raise up sons and daughters who are ‘mighty in Spirit’ and able to impact the world for Jesus Christ.”
Using this program, the Bible is the basis for everything the children do, including learning math and history. The program itself is run by Bill Gothard, who has been accused of sexually assaulting at least 34 women.
Gawker published one of the curriculum’s worksheets, which asks families to discuss a hypothetical situation in which a young boy sexually abuses his younger sisters. Although this did happen in the Duggar family, this is not based on them and was published in the 1990s. In the worksheet, the children are asked to discuss what family failings contributed to immodesty and temptation and what the abused children could have done to stop it.
In this way, much of the blame for sexual abuse is placed on the victims, as many suspect happened in the Duggar family.
Aside from teachings about sex and moral “failures” of the family, the curriculum, also employs the Bible in almost every facet of its teachings. For example, children are asked to talk about how the church and Jesus influenced colonial America for their history portions and use graphs for math to “visualise” the consequences of lust.
Critics of ATI says it places the blame of sexual abuse on the victims, and they find it “disturbing.” Many critics of the Duggar family have also commented that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar seem to have forgiven Josh far too easily for his indiscretions, partially blaming their daughters for what happened to them. Many feel the school curriculum is partially to blame.
[Featured Image by The Duggar Family/Instagram]