|Reference for All Family Sizes|
The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family
The Vision Forum
I have always been intrigued by big families. Especially those that run like a fine tuned engine. Smooth and without troubles. Since it is my desire to have that sort of ease in my own smallish-large family, I was eager to read Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman. Surely if this mother of 9 has it down pat there must be something I can glean from her expertise.
I set my eyes upon this book for the holiday weekend. Thinking that I'd just skim its pages for "the really good stuff"'and take a few notes here and there. I wound up reading for most of my available free time and my few notes quickly turned into 9 pages of type written nuggets of gold. There was no skimming this book for me -- I had struck it rich with wisdom and encouragement!!
Large Family Logistics is 312 pages of unbelievably insightful, well written wealth of inspiration broken down into bite-sized topics. As a busy homeschooling mom myself, I so appreciate Brenneman's straight forward approach without all the fancy, flowery monologue.
The preface starts out with the author telling how her life was with just one child and struggling to get it all done in a day. I felt like she was telling my story!
The How to Use This Book section encourages the reader to skip to a particular topic or read the book from cover to cover. If you are "in dire straits, then you will want to go to the two appendixes and start with a detailed strategy of how to bail out of a big mess." If you chose this method, I do encourage you to go back and read the whole thing. There's too much great information/inspiration to miss!
The first part of the book is an in depth study of Proverbs 31:10-31. Normally, I feel pretty beat down after reading these verses. But the author makes it a point to guide you in a practical, gentle (yet to the point) fashion encouraging you each step of the way to get your priorities lined up with the Word of God. Areas such as: your relationship with God and your husband, attitude, goals, redeeming time alone, internet use, meal planning and clothing are addressed. (This is by no means the whole list of topics!)
The second part of the book helps you make a Home Management Book for your family. This will help to hold your plans/goals/schedule in place which in turn aids you in keeping your home neat and clean. When life disrupts, it will help you get back on track. In this section, the basics such as scheduling, laundry, cleaning, errands are covered in detail as are the how-to get your children to do these things. You are essentially working yourself out of a job! Also covered are practical ways to for paper management, gardening, toys, getting enough sleep, schooling with littles underfoot and setting up routines for yourself in order to maximize your waking hours.
Some of my favorite quotes from this book are:
"Inspect what you expect"
When teaching your children a new chore, make sure you allot the time and energy to inspect their work. If it's not done properly, don't grumble and complain. Teach them the correct way with a good attitude.
"Teach them to teach themselves"
Seems pretty straight forward. One of our goals should be to raise children who are capable (and willing) to teach themselves without having a parental unit constantly hanging over them.
This book spoke to me on so many levels. Spiritually it inspired me to set my priorities with the Lord always in mind. Physically it inspired me to work to keep my body strong and able. Emotionally it inspired me to watch my attitude because my children will mirror the same "tone". Mentally it inspired me to pare down my time online to what is really necessary (and to avoid partaking in draining debates). All with the goal of building healthy relationships with my children in the forefront.
It would be very easy for me to go on with more examples from this book. I've just started our Home Management Book and I can honestly see a better plan for our family coming into fruition. While there are some tips that are "Large family specific", smaller sized families will also benefit from this book.
I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.