Monday, October 16, 2006

Large Family Logistics

Apparently, there's a growing trend toward having more children.
It's barely a blip on the nation's demographic radar - 11 percent of U.S. births in 2004 were to women who already had three children, up from 10 percent in 1995. But there seems to be a growing openness to having more than two children, in some case more than four.
In some suburban communities it's even considered a status symbol. There are a variety of reasons people decide to have a large family. But one interesting correlation is the number of large families who also homeschool.

Inevitably, after strangers note our large family size, they ask if we are also homeschoolers. Often following up next with, "How do you do it?"

It does seem sort of an odd paradox. Who'd want to take on the large assignment of homeschooling along with the avalanche of laundry. But in another way it isn't. With the increased work load, comes more workers.

Years ago, my daughter said to me after a messy craft project, "It's a good thing we homeschool mom. Who else would help you clean up the mess?" (Gee, I don't know.)

Granted, it took a few years of "slave labor" and deliberate training on our part to get to the point where we are today. My children's ages range from 17 down to 3. Despite the span of years, my children have a lot in common. They learn together and teach each other. Recently, when my two girls decided to make a pyramid out of sugar cubes, I found myself running back to the store for more sugar cubes. For some reason, my teenage boys found that a little more exciting than Algebra that morning. And just last week, my twelve year old daughter scrutinized the preschool options and decided Before Five in A Row was the best choice for "our" three year.

I admit I'm organizationally challenged. I was raised to run IBM not a household. It's literally been on the job training for me. There are a few resources and bloggers I have found helpful as I try to balance all the demands.

Titus 2 - Their book Managers Of Their Home (MOTH) is excellent.
Donna Young (Lots of printable planners and calendars.)
Large Family Logistics
Mommy Life (Barbara has 12 children.)
Life in a Shoe
and a new to me website looks fun and informative
Large Families

I'm always looking for more tips. How do other mothers with large families do it?

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