The Strategic Homemaker

learning to follow the Father, care for the clan, and redeem the resources

Book Review: Going Public


This is seriously the last parenting book I am going to review for a long while, because I need to move on to something else.  I had wanted to read this book for a while, though, and it did not disappoint!

The title of Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public School by David and Kelli Pritchard sounds like it would be a book giving reasons to put your child in public education, but it actually is more about parenting in the context of public school. In fact, when someone asked the Pritchards what advice they had for people deciding where to school their child, the Pritchard’s advice was to pray about it and ask God what He wants you to do.

That said, here’s the summary:

The first three chapters look at the public school system and the Bible’s words on schooling, and encourage parents that what they do at home with their kids should be far more of an influence than anything that happens in school, and that the public school can be a good system for helping your kids learn, both academically and spiritually. It’s basically both a defense of their decision to put their children (all eight!) in public school, as well as an encouragement to other Christian parents with children in public school.

The next three chapters go through the three most important things to teach your children, especially for them to succeed spiritually, academically, and emotionally in a public environment. First, teach them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. As one example of a way to be intentional in this, the Pritchards required their kids to be up at 6:30 every school day when they, as a family, read five chapters of Psalms and one chapter of Proverbs. Secondly, teach your children to obey you, not only because this is obeying God, but also because obeying their authority will enable them to do well in school and open opportunities. Finally, teach them to have self control. The Pritchard’s consider this far more important than the culture’s idea of self-esteem, and a necessity if you want your child to make responsible and right decisions when no authority is around.

The next eight chapters give advice to parents on getting involved in the public school, caring and ministering to the people in it, handling difficult situations, having a stay-at-home parent/relative, and addressing issues in which the public school teaching does not line up with the Bible’s teaching.

Pros: This book had a ton of valuable advice for parents, regardless of what type of schooling they decide on for their kids. At some point, your children will need to learn how to honor God in a secular world, and you need to prepare them for that. Also, no matter what form of schooling you use, you need to care for the world, having compassion on them like Christ did, and teach and model that to your children. The Pritchards definitely examplified this. Also, I felt like their advice was manageable–as in, if I just need to worry about teaching my child the three important things, I do not get overwhelmed, I can focus on those.

Cons: Honestly, the only thing I can remember disagreeing with from this book was the Pritchards’ idea about college being super important. (Especially when their kids majored in things that do not help people get jobs in this current era.)  I did wonder sometimes how they did as much as they did, but then, It was 20 years of kids in school condensed into one book.

Conclusion: I definitely recommend this book! TSH and I haven’t ruled out any type of schooling for our kids, but regardless, we want to teach them to honor God and share Christ’s love with the world, and this book gave lots of good ideas on how to do that.

What are some things you want to be intentional to teach your children?


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Going Public

  1. i really enjoy your book reviews!! thank you for sharing. i know you said this was your last parenting book for now, but i’d love to hear your review on a book i’m currently working through, called The Art of Family. all the books you’ve reviewed so far are notably ‘Christian’…i’d be interested in your thoughts on something like the book i mentioned above (not outright “Christian’ but still profitable). no pressure though. 🙂

    one of our biggest things we are intentional about reminding the boys (and ourselves) is how much God loves and accepts us because of (and only through) Jesus. it’s different than what you mentioned the Pritchard’s teach their children (which is also important, i agree) – to love the Lord. we try to focus on the gospel in this way–that because of Jesus’ life we can be more loved than we ever dreamed of. when we fully grasp this amazing grace, mercy, acceptance, then we are set free. The Jesus Storybook Bible and Thoughts That Make Your Heart Sing have this emphasis. this is something that dan and i have been slowly learning and grasping in the past 4-5 years.

    • Alana–Thanks for your comments on what to be intentional about ! I don’t really buy many books–I look in the library or hunt through what my mom is cleaning out! I’ll see if I can get The Art of Family through interlibrary loan at Tech though. Or you can send my yours when you’re done, and i’ll review it. 😉

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