Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Help for Growing Families - line up!

One of my Fav blogs (which I don't think I've added to my sidebar yet) is doing a weekly Help For Growing Families, and I'm trying to help.

One thing I know of that we do "right" is how we go out in public. I put "right" in quotes because I'm quite sure there are several right ways to do this. But I say we've got it right because everywhere we go we get looks, smiles, comments - usually positive ones.

So, how do we do it?

We line up. Bob goes first, leading the way figuratively and literally. The children are in order from oldest to youngest in a straight line behind him, with me in the back to catch any stragglers. When we don't have the stroller, one of us will carry William and the other will hold Ella's hand. When we have the stroller, they are both in it, and I push it. This does put some distance between me and the two boys, so sometimes we'll have one of them walk at the front of the line to keep them separated.

This works because everyone knows their place. And because we aren't all bunched up, it is easier to get through narrow isles, work through crowds, etc. Sometimes people cut through the line, but this is usually only when we are straggling and there are big gaps.
Being at the back of the line, it is funny for me to watch people's reactions as they realize we are all together (and hear them counting).

It's really cool when I can tell them to "stay in line" and walk past the children to consult with Bob about something and they all stand there looking angelic but bored. :-)

Yes, there are times that they forget to line up, and we have to remind them frequently (especially the boys, who tend to climb and touch), but in general I'm happy with the system. We practice at home if anyone needs a reminder.

If I have to take the children out without Bob, I go in front and Taryn (my oldest) takes my place at the back.


Ganeida said...

lol. We watched a duck family with brand new ducklings paddle past the jetty & up the passage in a looong line one day & just like you papa duck was out in front & mama duck brought up the rear catching stragglers! Ok, so you're not ducks but I thought it was cute & I bet you are too. Sending (((hugs))) your way, my friend.

Wil said...

Good plan.
I frequently see families with less children than you guys who can't figure out a system.
Their children are in everyone's way, wandering, getting into trouble, not listening to instructions.
Families are like societies: the more people there are, the more rules/laws/systems are required.

Anonymous said...

Always good to have some organization.

Anonymous said...

We do this too! Only we line our kids up youngest to oldest. The reason is that I often take the kids out without my husband. At those times, I am in front leading the way, so I keep the younger ones closer to me, holding my hand.

It's amazing the little routines that we all come up with when we have a lot of children. Things that never would have crossed our minds a couple of kids ago! :)

Asia in Asia said...

Hi, I'm curious to know where you live & all. I'm from a big homeschooling area, and we've lived all around the Cambridge area... Right now my family lives in Scotland, but I live in Ely. Anyway, I read that you cover your head, and wear dresses, and all... I am really interested in in getting in contact with you, but of course if you don't want to, ignore my comment. God bless!!

Psalm150girl said...

hi, sorry, the post from "asia" went a bit wrong, it is from me, hopefully this will work a bit better! :-)