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DAVID PRITCHARD is a nine-year veteran of Young Life youth ministry, currently serving as area director in the south suburbs of Tacoma, Washington and as camp manager of Young Life’s largest summer camp. Kelli Pritchard has degrees in secondary education and in social work. Together, the Pritchards are the parents of eight children, have been influential in the lives of dozens of other young people in their home, lead weekend parenting conferences and are co-founders of a community action group to work for improvement in the local school district.
I grew up attending Christian schools all the way through grad school and always had a "fear" of the public school system. Nevertheless, before having children of my own, I taught in the public junior high for 6 years alongside my husband who continues to teach in our local middle school. Over the years, we have observed several Christian students in the public system remain strong spiritually, morally, and academically based on family approaches and beliefs similar to the Pritchards'. (Sadly, MANY of my Christian school classmates have walked away from the Lord in their adult lives or have compromised in some way.)
Now that I have two young children of my own, I knew I needed to prepare for the possibility that we would not afford a Christian education. Reading through this book, I received MUCH more than advice on how to help my children survive in public schools. The Pritchards give biblical counsel, practical tips, and helpful "catch phrases" on how to train children FROM INFANCY ON into strong, godly, healthy adults.
They use the challenges their children face at school as a means for training their kids to face the challenges of this world. While advising the reader on what key areas to focus on in developing their children's character, the Pritchards weave in godly counsel regarding everything from unfair grading practices and classroom distractions to bullying, persecution, and sex ed.
Be warned, that the Pritchard's counsel is based firmly on biblical principles. Readers who tend to cater to their kids or to make excuses for rambunctious behavior might feel some conviction at their straight-forward talk. At the same time, it is clear that they have a playful, loving relationship with their kids...just one balanced by authority and respect.Read more ›
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I'm a 15-year veteran of public school teaching in some of the country's toughest middle and high schools, and I now have a preschool-aged child. Needless to say, it's not easy, having seen what I've seen in public schools, to make decisions about where to send him to school. (In fact, the same week I was reading this book, I was deciding which pre-school--public or private--to enroll him in.) The main thing I'm taking away from this book is that I don't have to make decisions about my son's education out of fear. God is big enough to be God even in the public schools. It's so easy to be paralyzed by fear when it comes to making decisions about our kids' futures, and we might miss out on what God could do in those situations. I can say this with no naivete about what's really out there, because, beleive me, I've seen almost everything when it comes to public education.
I especially appreciated the authors' emphasis on teaching children, from an early age, the key concepts of loving God, obeying, and using self-control. They also do a beautiful job describing the relational focus that I want to create in my family.
I highly recommend this book to parents who are looking for alternative to a fear-based approach to their kids' futures.
I am so happy I found this book! As a former homeschooler, I can honestly say I appreciate the information in this book. Our children are now attending a "struggling" public school. I'm so proud of them and the lessons they've learned, how they interact with others, and the respect they show their teachers. God has blessed us with wonderful, caring educators who truly want the best for our children. We had to discontinue homeschooling because I had cancer and had to have treatments. I'm terribly disappointed in the number of Christians who wrongly try to twist Scripture to say that ALL parents should homeschool because it's in the Bible. I'm also tired of Christian parents who believe it is their duty to "remind" us that our children won't be as bright as homeschooled children, nor as godly. Sorry you feel that way, but our children are doing fantastic! They have straight A's and are very grounded in their faith. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU David and Kelli Pritchard for this book. I believe God is bigger than public education, what we (as parents) teach our children is the most important thing, and that our children CAN thrive in public school.
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I would like to encourage all parents to approach Going Public with an open mind and heart. As a home schooling mom, I could have assumed that this book has no application for me, my children, or my family. But that assumption would have kept me from experiencing one of the best parenting books I have ever read.
Going Public does indeed describe the Pritchard's journey through public school with their children and I admire their commitment to being salt and light to the community in which they live. This commitment being something they share as a family, not one forced on unwilling children.
This book is also full of wonderful parenting techniques based on solid, Biblical principles. Shaping a family to function with a Biblical worldview is not easy in any setting, and I appreciate the Pritchards sharing their life experiences and testimony. Whether a home school, private school, or public school family, you will be able to apply their advice on handling sibling rivalries, respect for coaches, teachers and parents, help around the house, sharing the gospel with unbelievers, discipline, decision-making, creating a loving home environment - the list is endless!
As Christians, supporting one another as we live the life God has called us to, should be our goal. As a home schooler, I felt neither bashed nor demeaned by the Pritchards. What I felt was encouraged as we each strive to raise children who are solid in their faith and who have the desire to shine the light of Christ, wherever they are.
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