In honor of Mother’s day this month, we are featuring articles from some of our volunteers about various aspects of motherhood.
Homeschooling for us was not something that I felt called to do from the beginning. I thought we would just send our little one off to school, maybe a Christian school, and that would be that. Then we had triplets. When our triplets were 18-months-old we found out we were expecting twins. We had a house full very quickly! Suddenly, a Christian school was way out of our budget. And the thought of five different schedules, five different teachers, five sets of homework and five lunches to pack – everyday – was just too much.
Then, as our children reached the age of about four, it became very clear that they would benefit from homeschooling. I had one triplet reading from the encyclopedia, one triplet rarely talking and the other triplet in between, and two little ones right behind. I started talking to my friends who were homeschooling, asking lots of questions, and we attended a state homeschool conference. There is a vast amount of information available, a variety of curriculums to choose from and tremendous support.
Our children are thriving in this atmosphere. They are each performing at grade level or above and they love the flexible schedule. They are able to take sewing, piano, swimming and gymnastics and still be done with all schoolwork before 3 p.m. I highly recommend homeschooling. And if you think you surely can’t be qualified to teach, just remember that no one knows your children like you do, no one loves them more than you do, and no one wants them to succeed more than you do. That is all the qualification you need.
With Daylight Savings Time beginning again, we thought we’d ask MOST advisor Kelly Ross, MD, for some tips to get your children on the right track.*
Studies show that getting enough sleep reduces childhood injuries and obesity and improves school performance and social success. How much sleep do kids need? Use the chart below as a guide and follow the tips below.
||Hours of Sleep Needed
|1-4 Weeks Old
||15 – 16
|1-12 Months Old
||14 – 15
|1-3 Years Old
||12 – 14
|3-6 Years Old
||10 – 12
|7-12 Years Old
||10 – 11
|12-18 Years Old
||8 – 9
1. Make a Bedtime Routine: Try the 4B’s: bath, book, breast/bottle, bed. Repeat nightly (or as much as possible) so your children’s minds and bodies can slow down and transition to sleep. Older kids can read in bed by themselves, or you can read aloud to them.
2. White Noise: Having a white noise machine or fan to create a sound barrier helps children fall asleep and stay asleep. Avoid a TV or radio because they keep the brain alert and lead to poor sleep.
3. Nighttime Tool Kit: Keeping kids in bed is important for sleeping! Children over age 3 can have a box of tissues, a flashlight that turns off when the handle is no longer squeezed, and a cup of water. This allows them to take care of their needs before falling asleep, or if they wake during the night, without getting out of bed to find you.
4. Limit Late Night Activities: Extracurricular activities that end around bedtime can derail good sleep habits. Advocate for activity times that end early enough to allow children sufficient time to transition to sleep.
*Adapted from Dr. Ross’s November 2012 article on ChildrensMD.org.
What is it like to have multiple teen-agers in the house? Whether you have been there, are there, or will be the following is a humorous look at life with 5 teens! Thanks Maureen Boyle for sharing your outlook. Continue reading Five Teens in the House
Are you a parent of multiples that are 3 or older?
Many multiples families struggle with the school and/or class placement of their children. Every spring, the questions start popping up, “Should we home school, send to private school, or send to public school?” “Should I put the children in the same class or separate classes?” “How do you handle the logistics of school, homework, conferences, etc.?” There is little current research on multiples in educational journals.
Lisa Share, PhD, is a full time faculty member at Walden University and a mother of triplets. She created a survey for MOST, approved by Walden University, to ask families the questions most frequently asked. She plans to share the research with multiple birth organizations. If you have multiples that are three and older who either attend school or are educated at home, please complete this survey on Survey Monkey. It will take no more than ten minutes and will help many other families who ask the same questions.
If you would share this link with any of your multiples friends or local multiples’ groups, that would be great. She would love to learn and share as much information as possible. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The survey is open through October 2013.
Thanks for participating!
As 2012 draws to a close, we’re thinking about new chapters and new years. Maybe you’ve just joined the MOST family. Maybe you’re knee-deep in school issues. Maybe you are sending your children onto the next chapter of their lives, whether it be college, the military, or the working world.
For many multiples, it is the first time they will not see each other every day.
We asked some of our multiples “veterans” and their parents to tell us how they feel about being a multiple now that they’re older. Read their comments and celebrate MOST’s new chapter (25 years of service!) with a birthday gift.
There is much to do after experiencing a flood, fire, tornado or hurricane. It may feel overwhelming. Here are some practical tips from families that have experienced a disaster to help you get back on your (many) feet!
After taking care of your immediate needs: medical care, shelter, food and water it is time to look at recovery. How will you rebound? Continue reading Rebounding from a Disaster
Whether your children are babies or grown, many parents ask “Does parenting multiples ever get easier?” Maureen A. Doolan Boyle, MOST Executive Director, gives her thoughts to this often asked question.
Continue reading Does Parenting Multiples Ever Get Easier?
Maureen Boyle shares her most unusual Mother’s Day gift. And she asked for this gift! What is the most unusual gift you requested or received for Mother’s Day?
See related poll: What is best about Mother’s Day?
For me the most unusual Mother’s Day gift I requested (and thankfully received) was for all of my children (5 teenagers) and my husband to go to the dermatologist and have a full body check. Aside from May being the month of MOM it is also skin cancer awareness month. This request might seem really crazy to some and somewhat neurotic to others. I can understand that but I have a strong family history of skin cancer. In order for my mind to be put at ease I needed to know that all of my immediate family was, at this moment, free from any suspicious growths Continue reading What is the MOST unusual Mother’s Day gift you requested or received?
Jump Right In!
Judy Challoner, mom to Nick, Kevin, & Leigh, shares part of a day with her triplets, one with Asperger’s. Links for web resources and MOST articles are at the end.
At the beginning of the summer school holidays I took the children (GBB triplets), just 8-years-old, to the pool . It was one of those unbelievable 80 degree Sundays, a perfect day for playing in this big wading pool. Sunscreen, water bottles, towels, toy boats – we were set. No one else was there, unbelievable considering the temperature, and my three were in heaven.
After half an hour or so two boys, brothers, came and joined in the water play with Leigh, Nick and Kevin. Things were going well. I could see Kevin talking with these two boys and actually playing a game with them. Other families with younger children arrived and although not crowded, the activity and noise level definitely increased. Then it happened. Continue reading Jump Right In! Parenting a Child with Autism
Here is one family’s story of putting 5 children through college over 10 years. Read what this family did, and their tips for college. Thank you Maureen Smilow for sharing your experience! More articles about college are coming. Continue reading Putting Multiples and More Though College: One Family’s Experience
Do the new car safety seat recommendations affect you and your children? Find a car seat inspection site near you!
Going for a quick trip to the store or a Sunday drive or to visit Grandma’s sounds simple enough but for a multiple birth family just getting everyone out of the house and “packing” for this quick trip can seem more like a major event! There are so many, many things to consider and not the least of which is what car seats are recommended and right for your children.
Continue reading Car Seats for the Multiple Birth Family
The MOST Family Carnival 2011 was held in mid-June and was just perfect in every way! We had a wonderful turn out, the weather was fantastic and our sponsor was more generous than ever before with GREAT activities and gifts for EVERY member of every family! It was just an amazing day!
Continue reading MOST Family Carnival 2011: Photos and Thanks
Want the kids to do something this summer? How about a summer camp experience? Lila, a mom of five (quadruplets and a singleton) tells how her family is able to afford summer camp for the five children and how you can do it too. Have your children been to summer camp?
Continue reading Summer Camp Too Expensive?
Times have changed since most of us were teenagers. Between the latest technological inventions and new ways to get high, are you prepared for the safety issues your pre-teens/teenagers face? This article by Marsha Pike, mother of triplets, outlines some of the key issues facing pre-teen and teenage multiples.
Continue reading Safety for Pre-teen/Teen Multiples