Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: Large Family Logistics


No, I don't have a large family, but I'm always on the look out for tips to help me run my home more efficiently. I pretty much stink at cleaning--there! Got that off my chest right away! So, having read her blog over the years, I thought I'd give Kim Brenneman's book Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing a Large Family a look-over.

Well, had I realized that Vision Forum had PUBLISHED it, instead of just promoting it, I might have thought twice. There is a serious flaw with this book that a "real" publisher would not have ignored : plagiarism. BLATANT plagiarism. Now, Kim herself, may not have the type of educational background that would make this obvious to her, but Vision Forum's lawyers should have done better due diligence. This book's housekeeping section is almost taken word-for-word straight from The Fly Lady. (Glad there are people on Amazon speaking up about this!). Had she turned this in as a college essay or paper she would have faced being expelled! (Note to Vision Forum: there is software that will check for problems like this.)

Other than that..... Ok, so it's FLY LADY with a huge homeschooling family mixed into it all. What tips are we given to make our lives so much easier? Nothing new. So, I started comparing her advice with that other well-known HUGE family, the Duggars! (I had hoped to review this in a single review with their new book, but it didn't work out).

Kim suggests buying meat on the hoof, gardening and joining a CSA [Community Supported Agriculture] for produce. Good ideas. Much better food than frozen burritos and canned fruit drowning in corn syrup. Like Jim-Bob, Kim suggests negotiating--in her case bulk purchases thru your grocery store manager. Good idea. Like the Duggars, Kim believes a family should have fun as well as chores. Two things she promotes are Tea Parties and Reading Aloud. Both are nice ideas. On the whole though, it seems children in her world (like the Duggars) are to be doing chores. What struck me about this book was the emphasis on CONTROL--and I do mean in capital letters. Her list of rules for going into a store has 16 bullet points!!!!!!!! You get the idea.

The final flaws with this book are the style and format of the book. This is a self-published book in all but name. The 47 (yes 4-7) so-called "chapters" are barely more than a few paragraphs. Then there are 3 appendices! The book is ridiculously large, too. Now, had Vision Forum made it a binder with spaces to create your own Fly Lady style Control Journal (ooops!) I mean "HOME MANAGEMENT BOOK" then I could understand the size. Otherwise, it's ridiculous and adds unnecessarily to the cost of the book.

Overall verdict: Maybe 2 stars. If you are totally new to any kind of housekeeping or suddenly find yourself expecting sextuplets this would be a good starting place. If not, save the money and read FLY LADY.

7 comments:

becky said...

Is Kim Brenneman the blogger behind Life in A Shoe? I used to read that blog alot in my patriarchal days and I remember her first name was Kim and her hubby worked for VF.

I've seen the book advertised but I've tried so many different housekeeping methods that I don't want to try anymore! I've come to the conclusion the problem is ME!

Interesting that it's just a rehash of flylady. flylady's methods have worked better for me than any other I've tried but that eventually fizzled out too.

Maybe I should write a book about my cleaning methodology...it's called clean like mad when the stars align and you're hit with motivation. The other 360 days of the year?? Learn to be content in whatever state you are in.

Susan said...

Hmmm ... maybe Kate Gosselin needs this book? She does have the sextuplets :)
How annoying that you notice so much plagiarism ... you're right; how can that happen, unless this "publisher" pretty much prints anything they're paid to print by the author.
I did a bit of Flylady a few years back, but the emails every 15 minutes started making me feel like a failure :)
I doubt I'll read this book, but I really enjoyed your review!

Hopewell said...

Becky--I hear you, Sister!

I like the "basics" of Fly Lady--15 minute burst of cleaning. Keeping up with dishes and bed making. Some years even that's not happened. I liked the emails when I first tried it, but after a while I deleted them. I really don't get why you need a binder full of Bible verses to tell you today is laundry day when you've done laundry every (X Day) of your life!

Hopewell said...

Becky--her blog has the same name and she has a "blog along with the book" thing going. Like anyone with umpteen kids would have time for that! lol...

Milehimama @ Mama Says said...

Thanks for this review. I've been resisting because I don't support VF at all and don't like their child-raising advice, and figured it'd be prominent in the book.

Milehimama @ Mama Says said...

Oh, and Kim C is the Life in a Shoe mom, whose husband works for Vision Forum. Kim Brenneman is a different blogger.

Hopewell said...

Thanks for the clarification, "Milehi." Before I know "about" VF I did buy a couple of books from them, but no longer give them my money.