Going Public

I recently read a book called Going Public by David & Kelli Pritchard thanks to my friend Cheryl who recommended it. We borrowed it on the Kindle but after reading it had to purchase a hard copy because I want it as a reference for years to come. It truly is one of the best books I’ve read. It’s about why this family chose to send their kids to public school and all the biblical reasons why. It’s also one of the best parenting books I’ve read. It gave practical, every day examples of things that happen in families and in school and how they navigated them in a Godly way, without giving the “Because Jesus says” answer if that makes any sense. I highly recommend you read it if you have kids of any age in school, whether you home school or not. This is a good read.

Someone asked this family if they were choosing to home school their kids and his answer was “Yes, we do homeschooling and they also go to public school also for 6 hours a day.” I loved that answer because whether or not you solely do homeschooling, as parents we are the ones responsible for teaching our children most of the important things they need to know; How to be Godly, responsible, men and women of character. That is not a teachers job, that is ours.

Here’s a section that I loved from the book and fully agree with.

None of us who have children want them to drown. But how can we prevent it? One way is to keep them away from bodies of water deeper than two feet. It works. Kids won’t drown if they don’t get into deep water.

But we can also guard them from drowning by another method: teaching them to swim. Though it isn’t foolproof, it works rather well and provides more freedom.

In the same way, we should teach our kids to “swim” against the currents of the world. Avoidance of the world is ineffective–children eventually go away to college or start their own lives and encounter all the things we guarded them from. They will be more ready to face worldly currents if we have taught them to swim.

The rest of the book provided in a sense swimming lessons. They  are based on the premise that public school is an excellent pool in which to train our young sons and daughters. Yes, it’s deep and noisy and the water’s cold and sometimes the chlorine gets in your eyes. Sometimes you get splashed by other swimmers. But this is preparation for even bigger bodies of water to come. Someday they’ll have to swim in Lake Michigan or Puget Sound. Might as well get started learning now.

Most days I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing as a parent. I feel inadequate to raise these little blessings and that’s one of the reasons I read so many books that can help along the way. This has been a big help, I hope it is for you too if you read it.

I wasn’t so sure about public school here, and believe me there are still days I’m frustrated. But, I’m so thankful for where God has us, how He’s going to use us where we’re at, and all the things we’ll learn (and are learning) along the way.

3 thoughts on “Going Public”

  1. As a retired public school teacher and grandmother of a precious baby, I really appreciate this perspective. Thanks, Jody. I’m going to get the book.

  2. Thanks so much for posting, this, Jody. That book has been on my to-read list for awhile, and after reading your thoughts I’m going to bump it up to the top. 🙂 We homeschooled our oldest for Kindergarten in New England, but when we moved to Ohio two years ago we put both of our children in a public Montessori school. It has been such a blessing in so many ways. I actually just started a job as an assistant teacher there as well. I love the description of combining homeschooling with public school–that’s exactly what we do as well! God bless your family as you continue to navigate the parenting waters. 🙂


Leave a Comment