If you're a fan of the Duggar family, then you're probably aware that Jim Bob Duggar exercises tight control over the lives and decisions of his children.
The indoctrination campaign begins at a very young age and doesn't let up until they start families of their own.
This means, of course, that all Duggar children must be homeschooled.
Periodically, fans question the quality of the education that the Duggar children receive under these circumstances.
These days, interest in the Duggar family's educational practices is at an all-time high, as millions of parents worldwide have found themselves in the unexpected role of homeschool instructor as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The situation led us to wonder if Jim Bob and Michelle have any helpful tips and tricks for confused parents-turned-teachers.
And so, we went on a deep dive into the Duggars' homeschool curriculum in hopes of answering that question.
Take a look:
The Student Body
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have homeschooled all of their 19 children. And until recently, the curriculum they use for their kids' education has been mostly kept secret.
The Students Become the Teachers
Jim Bob and Michelle are strict adherents of the Institute in Basic Life Principles and its offshoot organization, the Advanced Training Institute International.
The Next Level
Basically, the IBLP-ATI is an organization for evangelical fundamentalists who feel the Southern Baptist Church somehow is not enough of a strict and all-encompassing presence in their lives.
The organization has seen a steep decline in membership in recent years, thanks in large part to numerous sexual assault allegations directed at its founder, Bill Gothard.
More of the Same
The Duggars are the IBLP's most high-profile members, so the revelation that Josh Duggar molested four of his sisters wasn't exactly great for enrollment levels, either.
Getting Them While They're Young
But still, the Duggars remain staunch advocates of the IBLP, as well as the ATI, which focuses primarily on the "education" and indoctrination of young evangelicals.
The ATI offers parents a curriculum for a “Biblically based” homeschooling program, which views all forms of knowledge -- from math to history to science -- in the light of fundamentalist Christian beliefs.
Most evangelicals reject this approach, as they understand that their children will need to attain a certain degree of secular knowledge in order to one day be competitive in the job market.
So yeah, unless you're independently wealthy, plan on supporting your kids for the rest of their lives, and don't want them to learn about anything except the Bible, the Duggars' approach to homeschooling probably won't work for you.
Depends How You Define Success
According to the ATI's promotional materials, the program is “dedicated to giving clear instruction and training on how to find success by following God’s principles found in Scripture.”
But even the most hardcore believers are generally aware that an extensive knowledge of the book of Revelation won't help their kid land a job as a software engineer.
The Chosen Ones?
But the Duggars believe that God chose to bless them with wealth and fame for two distinct reasons.
Minister Jim Bob
1. They believe that their reality show is a sort of televised church that enables them to spread their unique brand of Christianity to the masses.
Blessed With Cash
2. They believe God made them rich enough that they'll never have to rely on outsiders (except for TLC, of course) for employment, which frees them up to educate their kids in whatever bonkers way they wish.
Obviously, the Duggars' wealth is contingent on their willingness to live their lives publicly. But the education of their children has been a closely guarded secret for Jim Bob and Michelle throughout their time in the spotlight,
Through the Looking Glass
Recently, a non-profit organization called Homeschoolers anonymous obtained some of the Duggars' homeschooling materials, thus allowing fans and critics their first inside look at the education of a young Duggar mind.
A Day In the Life
So what do the Duggars learn in their controversial homeschooling program? Well, many of the new revelations are unsurprising -- but others offer shocking insights into the unorthodox nature of these children's upbringings.
The Sacred Text
Here we have an example of the former. The Duggars are instructed in methods for spreading their beliefs and convincing others to consider their worldview. No great surprise there, as they consider this their life's work.
From there, the book moves on to the development of "character qualities." Not surprisingly, the Duggars take a biblical approach to the matter.
The Problem Areas
From there, we begin to gain insights into why so many evangelicals find the ATI's teaching methods so problematic. As you can see, history and linguistics are also taught through a biblical lens.
It Gets Worse
Science? Law? Medicine? Well, despite the advancements of the past several thousand years, the Duggars believe everything you need to know about these subjects can be found in the Bible.
Young fundamentalists might be left wondering why they should bother to learn biblical math if their only goal in life is moral purity. But apparently, the ATI handbook addresses those questions, as well.
Science? What Science?!
As for science ... well, the Duggars don't believe in any laws of nature, so they don't bother teaching science.
As strict biblical constructionists, they believe that all nature is just the manifestation of God's imagination, and is therefore subject to change at any moment. Why learn about gravity when it might not be here tomorrow?
So it probably won't surprise you to learn that Jim Bob is one of those people who believes the coronavirus is a hoax perpetrated by a shadowy left-wing cabal.
Does the Approach Work?
So now that some of Jim Bob and Michelle's kids are adults, have they been able to find success using the ATI's teachings? We think you know the answer to that.
All of the Duggar men are either unemployed or employed by their father, who reportedly confiscates their TLC earnings and keeps his kids in a state of abject poverty and dependence.
The Worst of the Bunch
Insiders say Josh Duggar currently lives in a windowless shack on his parents' property. Of course, that's actually a better fate than he deserves.
As for the Duggar sisters ... well, with the exception of Jana, they all married young and started popping out babies, and since the ATI teaches that procreation is a woman's primary reason for being, we guess the brainwashing was successful in this case.
We suppose the lesson in all of this is that if you're not worried about your children ever finding employment, go ahead and homeschool them using the ATI teaching materials! But otherwise, you might just want to send them to a regular school.