Blogging Through Large Family Logistics – Some Specifics

I’m linking up with 4 Moms, 35 Kids to continue “chatting” about the book Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman. This week is about the second half of Part 2 – chapters 28-47. The chapters are short, to-the-point, and most of all – encouraging!

Now, if I was telling you about this book in person, I’d probably gush, “It’s so helpful and encouraging – GET IT NOW!” and then jump from topic to topic about my favorite points, and how much it energizes me when I read it.  For this post, however, I’ll briefly highlight and comment on the main points of some of the chapters. 😉

Morning and Evening Routines

In this chapter, Kim stresses that the way the mornings go determines the rest of the day.  She says that “a good morning starts the evening before” with laying out plans and finishing tasks to make the next day begin smoothly.  I have found this to be so true!  We get up and rolling earlier in the day when we know it has a plan.  She really hit a sore spot when she said to not ignore the alarm in the mornings.  Ever since my teen years, I’ve been way too good at hitting the snooze button in the mornings!  Lately I’ve noticed I’m more tempted to do that whenever I know I’ve not fully prepared for the next day.  When I’m ready, I often wake up before my alarm, happy to get going.

Table Time

This is about taking time every single day to gather together as a family and study God’s Word, memorize, sing, and pray.  This has been a mainstay in our family from day one, and I’ve written about how Bible is the foundation of our homeschool.

15 minutes of phonics

Yes, it really doesn’t take long to teach your children how to read.  We just need to be consistent – sometimes this can be difficult in a large family (speaking from experience here).  My 4 and 6 year olds are reading simple short-vowel words right now – and are beginning to spread their reading wings.

Read Aloud Time

One of our favorite times each day – the time to read aloud from excellent books.  Some days we’ve blown the schedule and read for 3 hours – it’s that much fun.

Afternoon Chore Time

Another great chapter on having a consistent time each day to clean the house.  Kim suggests having this time just before Daddy arrives home each day – so he’s greeted with happy children, a clean home, and supper ready.  She also lays out some great ideas for doing regular deep cleaning at this time each day, in short segments, in order to avoid a huge 3-4 hour cleaning time once per week.  In our house, Daddy has rotating shift work and has several different arrival times.  We have simply chosen 3-4pm as our ideal afternoon chore time, with a quick pickup just before he arrives home (7:30am, 7:30pm, 3:30pm – you get the idea).  I already posted a list of our afternoon chores – just doing that each day really makes a huge difference.

Bathroom Management

I love where Kim says, “The main users should be the main cleaners.”  Exactly!  When my kids were little, of course I did most of the bathroom cleanup, but now they are the main bathroom cleaners.  She gives great ideas for how to break bathroom cleaning down into little steps that get done each time someone is in the bathroom.  With one of our bathrooms being shared by 6 girls, this is critical.  When things fall apart, which they can very quickly, I have the children put everything back together, and stress doing a little here and there in the future.

Bedroom Management

This is about having bedrooms being mainly that – a place where we use our beds to sleep.  Kim suggest cleaning out clutter and other items in order to make cleanup in bedrooms simple and quick.  One thing I’ve always done for my younger kids is to not require that they fold their clothes – they roll them up, or just get them into the proper drawers.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see that by making things easier for them at first, they learn to fold their clothes neatly and quickly – they want to be like the big kids.

The Children’s Hour

A wonderful chapter on setting aside a time every day to interact together as a family – and this time specifically to do things with our children that they like to do.  This will look different for every family, and even at different seasons.

Family Worship

This is about setting aside a time to worship the Lord as a family each and every day.

Home Crafts

All about letting children create and make things – an area where I’ve really struggled.  After all, a lot of children making/inventing a lot of things makes a lot of mess!  This year, however, I made drastic improvements in this area by finally getting our sewing/craft room cleaned out and set up, and now we have all sorts of projects going on – like cotton loop potholders, earrings, paper crafts, and tons of other ideas the kids have.  We’re all having so much fun, and many business ideas are budding.

Homeschooling the Large Family

She gives a lot of great suggestions for homeschooling the large family.  One of her goals is the same as ours – to get the children to be self-teaching as soon as possible.  It really makes a world of difference.  I wish I’d had this book about 10 years ago as I was learning how to homeschool.

Health and Wellness

A chapter about the importance of taking care of our families and ourselves.  The seemingly simple things of adequate rest, food, exercise, and perhaps supplements are highlighted.

Feast Night

This chapter is extremely short, yet I had “pages” of thoughts in my mind after reading it.  The idea is to have a regular feast night where you use your best china, dress up, eat favorite foods and special desserts, even awards ceremonies – simply to be thankful to God because we are alive and He has been so good to us.  Wow!  How often do we save our best for weddings, church get-togethers, and other occasions – while neglecting to be joyful at home with “just” our family?  This simple chapter gave me such joy and tons of ideas.

Meal Planning

I don’t really want to write about this chapter – but I will, because this is an area where I struggle with consistency.  You might think I have this down after being married for 17 years and having a husband and 9 children to feed on a regular basis.  (Ahem.)  Of course, we eat regularly, but I am still working on getting it all organized so I don’t have to do so much last-minute thinking on the fly.  When I plan meals, it’s amazing how much “extra time” we seem to have.  This chapter is full of ideas of how to develop a workable and nutritious plan.  I have written before about our favorite breakfasts (see? I can plan…).  Kim also has two great lunch plans that we use frequently – everything is delicious: crockpot lunch menu plan and homeschool lunch menu plan with grocery lists.

If you don’t have a book – you really should get your own copy!

Linked to:
4 Moms, 35 Kids blogging through Large Family Logistics

(Disclosure – there are affiliate links in this post and I receive a small commission if you buy through them.)

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3 comments to Blogging Through Large Family Logistics – Some Specifics

  • Patty Marr

    Thanks for the details, Kimarie. I was putting this book off because I did not want another source of perfect homeschool guilt. You made it less intimidating.

    • Cardamom

      You’re welcome, Patty! This is definitely not one of those guilt-inducing books, in my opinion. I’d love to hear what you think of it!

  • Amy

    Wow, I don’t always realize how much I’ve changed since the MOMYS days. I don’t do hardly ANY of that stuff, but our large family is humming right along.

    I have never put 15 minutes a day into phonics…. unless you count back when the older kids would sit for hours at a time in front of Bailey’s Book House and Between the Lions. That’s all the phonics they got. Yet my oldest just got 690 on the Verbal part of his SAT, in the 90% I think? My youngers are a new generation, technologically speaking, so they get their phonics playing Reading and Starfall. I do read aloud to them, but mostly now the olders read aloud to the youngers, either in large groups or one-on-one.

    We don’t have Bible memorization around the table. Our Family Worship time is sitting with the neighbors on the front steps, connecting with them. We have Feasts all the time but they usually have all kinds of extra people sitting around our table.

    I menu plan on Sunday nights, simply jotting down a meal for each day based on what I know is in the house that needs eaten so it doesn’t spoil. One of my plans each Sunday is to make sure that I’m ready to pack lunches for 3 teenage boys each school day.

    I’d love to find a book like Large Family Logistics that is more flexible for different cultures and religions….

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