A Day in the Life of the Duggars

Michelle shares the secrets of how she keeps her family of 20 on schedule

Photo: Beth Hall/AP

With 18 kids and one more on the way – not to mention their first grandchild due in October – there’s always something going on at the home of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, stars of the TLC series 18 Kids and Counting.

So what is a typical day like for mom, dad, Jana and John-David, 19; Jill, 18; Jessa, 16; Jinger, 15; Joseph, 14; Josiah, 13; Joy-Anna, 11; twins Jedidiah and Jeremiah, 10; Jason, 9; James, 8; Justin, 6; Jackson, 5; Johanna, 3; Jennifer, 2, and Jordyn-Grace, 8 months? (Oldest son Joshua, 21, lives with his wife Anna, also 21.)

Michelle, 42, shares their schedule with PEOPLE:

7 a.m.: Everyone gets up, gets dressed, brushes their teeth and washes up for breakfast. The older children help their “buddy” – the younger child they are responsible for – get ready.

8 a.m.: Family breakfast. Each week, they go through seven gallons of milk, 15 dozen eggs and 15 boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios. After reading from the Bible, they do a “quick clean” of the house, with “everyone scurrying to do their chore,” Michelle says.

9 a.m.: School, taught by mom, starts around the dining table. All of the children work at their own level for phonics and math. The older children also devote time to music – all Dugger kids learn violin and piano – and individual studies in math, English, spelling and typing.

12 p.m.: Lunch break. The family shops for bulk items once a month, and fresh fruit and vegetables every few days. “Usually, we are in the produce section buying huge quantities of apples, oranges, bananas, lettuce, carrots and things like that,” Michelle says. They often fill six or seven grocery carts per trip to the store. Monthly budget for groceries and household items: $3,000.

1:30 p.m.: The youngest kids go down for nap.

2 p.m.: Michelle and the older children reconvene for lessons in science, history, law and medicine.

4 p.m.: Individual studies for the older children and free time.

5 p.m.: Dinner. Afterward, another “quick clean” of the house, followed by free time.

8 p.m.: Snack time, then group Bible study. The family also goes around the room to talk about what is going on in each child’s life and day.

8:30 p.m.: Bedtimes begin.

The Duggars share their secrets to raising a super-size family

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