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Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public School

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  310 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
“Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Taking this verse at face value provides the perfect opportunity to prove it in the educational setting of our children, say the authors of Going Public. By nurturing the life and power of Christ within them, students will be ready to stand against negative influences no matter the environment, even br ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Regal
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all parents - public school, private school, AND homeschool
Shelves: homeschool
I really like this book. I read it in one sitting. Ironically, it helped solidify our decision to homeschool. Their process for deciding to "go public" was very VERY similar to how God guided us to homeschooling. Reading that confirmed for me that I don't need to worry much about justifying our decisions to other people or defending it against those who are against homeschooling. The first part of the book addresses what seem to be common reasons people choose homeschooling over public schooling ...more
Cindy Rollins
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I have mixed emotions about this book in the same way I have mixed emotions about our own family decision to send our youngest to public school. In some ways the Pritchard's make some excellent points and they offer somewhat helpful parenting advice too, but after a while their perfect solutions to every problem and idyllic responses to other people's problems starts to grate. Do they never face issues in their own family?

I also get freaked out when I hear Christians talking about 'the hedge of
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good food for thought. I was already leaning toward public school anyway, and this book gives some great recommendations for how to walk with your children as they attend school. There are lots of good, practical parenting tips, as well as great ideas for getting involved in whatever school your child attends. A good reminder that we as parents are still the primary influence in our children's lives, and we can use the lessons learned in school as a way to teach and train our children in the way ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: family
This book has some good advice about how to be an involved parent and supplement what your child learns at school with Christian principles at home. It's okay as long as you recognize it is good advice. This is not a very good book if you are looking for great exegesis or theology about the issue. Matter of fact, most the passages cited are out of context, lack depth in understanding what it says, and at times are just plan wrong. It is important to recognize you don't have to do things exactly ...more
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book offers some rich parenting wisdom. I appreciate the aim of the book which is to encourage Christian parents who for one reason or another have opted for public school. Having said that I would warn readers that this book is painfully outdated to the nature of our culture and public schools now. So much has happened since this book was first written. Gay marriage, transsexualism, further hostility towards all things Christian has just dramatically increased. Academically the landscape h ...more
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
a book on insulated parenting vs isolated parenting as much as a book on surviving the public school ministry

loved the emphasis on active, intentional parenting in the world, but not of the world

very balanced insight into how to send a child into a public classroom, often not as "little evangelists," but as loving believers

"Right away we want to set aside The Myth of the Eight-Year-Old Preacher. Anyone who thinks they should fire up their second-grader to go proclaiming the gospel loud and clea
Jonathan Beigle
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marriage-family
Our girl just started kindergarten last month and is going to a public school. I never went to public school so I really have no idea what is really going besides the horror stories that people tell. We were recommended this book, and I thought it was really good. Going Public really tries to get rid of the myths about public schools and focuses on what Christian parents can do to help their children (and the school itself) excel. David and Kelli Pritchard really attack the big issues, and show ...more
Jeremy Walker
Aug 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Can a child thrive in the government school? Sure, it is possible. With God all things are possible. Can a man stand in fire and not be burned, or face hungry lions and remain unharmed? Yes, indeed they can. --- But that does not mean that we walk into the fire voluntarily, or lay down in a den of hungry lions and expect to be unharmed. It is evil of man to put God to the test. When we have no choice in matters, we place our trust in God for a miracle, otherwise we simply listen to His wisdom an ...more
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010-list, favorites
I had thought we would homeschool. I had, in fact, been researching it since before I was pregnant with our six-year-old. I have a shelf of homeschooling books, the ability to discuss philosophies at length with any poor sop who mentions it, and enthusiasm.

When my husband and I discerned, though, that homeschooling was not going to work (for a variety of reasons -- and this isn't the time or place to discuss them), I started another kind of research. Surely the schools couldn't be all bad. And,
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
I thought I was going to like this book much more than I did. I attended Catholic elementary and middle school, but my husband and I are sending our children to public schools, for a variety of reasons. With this book, I was looking for guidance on raising our children as Christians when they won't be getting religious education in school. The Pritchard's answer was basically, "Be a good parent." I didn't need a book to tell me that. Also, even though the Pritchard's take pains to state that the ...more
Marie "Notcheva")
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, clear and concise look at the advantages and challenges Christian families face in the public school system (often pejoratively termed "government schools" by public schooling's detractors). Pritchard is a leader in Young Life and the father of eight children, all walking with the Lord, so he knows of what he speaks.

Co-authored by his wife, I especially appreciated the Pritchards' reluctance to criticize those who choose to homeschool or to manipulate statistics the way those on the
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was excellent! I would highly recommend this for anyone with kids approaching school age, whether or not you are considering public school. The authors, David & Kelli Pritchard, are family friends of ours, but more importantly they are a wise and godly couple who have raised 8 amazing kids in the public school system. They also just started the process to adopt 3 Ethiopian siblings through our same agency (YWAM)... so it is safe to say that I am big fans of theirs! I love their pos ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
After homeschooling since kindergarten, we put our oldest in school two years ago as a fifth grader. This year our younger son followed in his footsteps. We chose to take the public school route for many of the reason the Pritchards laid out in this book, after laying a strong foundation at home. I appreciated the encouragement and practical examples and ideas found in Going Public. Some of it is just common sense -- involvement and such, but it also reaffirmed and strengthend my resolve to be a ...more
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was extremely influential to me as a parent. No matter what route you take for schooling your children, your will find David Pritchard's philosophy on parenting and schooling your children very Biblical, practical, intentional, and challenging. This book addresses the common fears many parents feel about public school as well as encourages them in the endeavor. I felt like every question I had was answered and even more so! Great book!
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
A very balanced and insightful view of the public education system. Helpful advice on utilizing public schools, and a solid reminder that children benefit greatly from a home life that is full of educational opportunities as well. Written by a family who appear to "walk the talk".
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A faith-based defense of public schooling: your child can grow into a godly person of integrity and character not in spite of public school, but thanks to public school, the opportunities it presents, and the opportunities for intentional parenting it presents.

I was encouraged by the authors’ convictions of trusting God with our children instead of attempting to over control, praying for their sin to be revealed at an early age so parents can help them navigate their own hearts and learn to tru
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book! Every Christian family not homeschooling their kids should read this. (And homeschooling families should read it so they can recommend it and encourage and pray for their brothers and sisters in Christ whose kids are in public schools.)

As our children entered into a local charter school (instead of homeschooling) my husband and I were very convicted that we are in charge of our children's education and that we are using resources offered to us. We've been very involve
Encouraging book for Christian parents no matter their schooling decision. I appreciated hearing all the advice and anecdotes from experienced parents who have already been through it with their oldest kids yet are still in the thick of it with the younger ones. The book made me feel capable as a parent to tackle the difficulties of raising kids in a broken world. My only complaint is that all the big problems they talk about dealing with are surrounding other kids’ mistakes, not their own (who ...more
Kelsey S
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read this book because we were unsure about whether to homeschool our kids or send them to pubic school. To be honest, we still don't know! But, this book gave a lot of practical ideas about how to help your children stand strong in their faith in the public system. It's not about creating little evangelists, it's about approaching public school as a family and elements you need to focus on to provide your children with a stable foundation as they go out into the world.
Lexi Zuo
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a homeschooling mom, I wanted to read this book to challenge me and give an alternative perspective on public school. The Pritchard family has truly given me much to think and pray about. I am so thankful they wrote this book. I think it would be a huge blessing to any Christian family heading into the public school system. May we seek above all else the glory of God!
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book at least once a year. The Pritchard family is incredibly inspiring. Up to this point, we've homeschooled. My kiddos will be entering public school this fall. Thank you, Kelli and David, for equipping parents with tools to navigate challenges and thrive where they and their family's are planted.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed by the lack of transparency in this book. No family is that perfect. Too much black and white, pretty little boxes all in a row.
Tara Gibbs
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book provides basic, positive advice on having open lines of communication to your children, reacting to "bumps" in parenting with calmness, communicating well with people in the school system, having your children immersed in Scripture and teaching your children how to interact thoughtfully and lovingly with the world around you. I think this book can be helpful whether you have your children in public school or not--the same principles still apply across school lines. The Pritchards volun ...more
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am so thankful that I finally bought this book. This book is NOT about why you should choose public school over private or homeschooling. The authors do not bad-mouth other school options. I think this is an excellent book for parents who are leaning toward public school choice or have already chosen it. This book will help the parent,especially the Christian parent, understand the benefits of public school while preparing for situations and help you, as the parent, to live out your Christian ...more
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
This book was refreshing to read in light of all the negative we hear and read about public schools. As someone who worked in the public school system for 5-years+, I know the negative - but also the positive. I realize there is a lot of controversy over homeschool vs. public; this book helped define it for me biblically and also prayerfully consider what God is personally leading us to do as a family.

The one thing I would disagree with the author on is his chapter on calling all families to ha
Sep 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent parenting book directed towards Christian parents with kids attending a public school. It's about being involved in their school and in their lives. The focus is on looking for teachable moments which we should be doing anyway. This book covered everything and gave suggestions for materials to use to help teach your kids at home. They strongly believe that their children should be home schooled as well as go to a public school. They said that the whole family goes to public ...more
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: great-room
Fantastic read for Christian families who choose (or are considering) public school education for their children. The Pritchards clearly have a heart to minister to their community as a family unit. The couple shares some of the ups and downs of bringing up their 8 children through the American public school system. I am so glad this book exists, because there is far too little encouragement to be found for Christian families who go this road. The Pritchards offer great perspective on the typica ...more
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
More about parenting then school choices, Going Public is a thoughtful, open-minded resource on raising children to love God, serve others, and life for Christ in the world. I enjoyed the authors providing so many illustrations from their own lives, and their constant emphasis on God's control and ultimate plan. This was one of the best books I read this year. While we are still working through the education options for our family, this book has certainly encouraged me in that process. Loved it!
Kristy Goff
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
We assumed we would be a homeschooling family. Due to some family dynamic changes, public school became a very real, promising option for our family. I had studied up I what it meant to homeschool, I however, could not form an opinion on public school since that was not the way we were leaning and I did no research on the matter. This book help me to put aside the fear mongering and get to a solid place of peace with walking beside our children in our public school days. I highly recommend this ...more
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christian parents
After reading so many books on home school and not feeling led to go that route, this book was a breath of fresh air! Parents are still the number one influence in your children's lives and education starts at home. It simply extends into Public School. We need to encourage parents to prepare their children well before they begin school and continue to stay involved in their lives and classrooms throughout high school. This book has excellent examples, encouragement and advice.
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“There will always be bosses, pastors and government officials over us—and this structure is actually a good thing. It is not our job to derail it or work around it.” 0 likes
“Discussion and debate have been replaced with yelling and demonizing.” 0 likes
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