Friday, May 15, 2009

Large Family Book Review: The Duggar's: Twenty and Counting

As a homeschooling, quiverfull mother of ten children, I looked very forward to reading this book by the Duggars. I don’t own a television, so I hadn’t been able to keep up with them through their show. But what I had heard about them seemed interesting, especially since they have some of the same religious convictions I have.

Once the book arrived, I read it very quickly. It’s an easy to read book and I enjoyed it. It covers a lot of ground, detailing why they have so many children, how they handle their finances, mealtimes, transportation, laundry and other things that seem beyond the realm of smaller families to imagine. Although I already know many of their ‘tricks’ I still got some new ideas.

This book includes many recipes both for meals and also for things like laundry soap, and how to make fabric softener stretch. I’ve tried most of them, and I have been pleased with everything so far. Also scattered throughout the book are ‘fun facts,’ answers to questions that people have emailed the family, stories about family life, and lots of pictures, which I enjoyed seeing.

The Duggars take turns telling their story, starting with their childhoods, their courtship, early marriage years, and what made them decide to give family planning to the Lord. They tell about coping in a very small house while running a car lot in the front of their yard, and how they built and financed the house they have now. They share how Jim Duggar’s stint in politics ended up with their being approached about the television show.

There is a chapter on organization that was interesting. It ranges from organizing through a big move, to assigning “buddies”, in which they match each older child with a younger child. The older child’s responsibility to the younger child assigned to them ranges from getting them dressed and helping with music lessons and school to getting them into their car seats on trips away from home. The older children and the younger children enjoy the special closeness this gives them, and it helps teach the older children child care.

The Duggars share their homeschooling methods. Michelle gives the reader her schedule. They tell how music lessons are done in their large home. Each child takes violin lessons beginning at a very young age, and some take piano, too.

At the end of the book is a list of resources that I found very interesting.

Whether you have a small family or a large family, I would recommend this book. Check the link on the left side of this page for a look, or to purchase, this book.

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