Monday 27 February 2012

Education of Children

There seems to be a lot of heat generated by debates on methods of education. State school or private school?  Homeschool, faith school or unschool? Having young children naturally presents these issues to any family and there is plenty of reading material around to help us in our choices. Sadly often proponents of each camp can be rather militant about their particular view which tends to put off rather than convince the genuine enquirer. Home education is an increasingly popular choice amongst both Christians and non-Christians and there are plenty of books advocating this and the variety of methods for undertaking it.
Recently though I came across a book that bucked the trend. 'Going Public' was written to encourage Christian parents who make the choice to send their children to state schools. It is not militant in its approach, but helpful in the principles it lays out. The book gives a refreshingly different perspective and it is a welcome addition to my bookcase. It is the only one I know of written from this viewpoint, and although it needs some sifting for a British reader (it is very much based on the American public education system) I really feel that it fills a gap. Starting from birth, and the essential principles of discipline & education in the home, it emphasizes the importance of continuing this input throughout school life. Written by a couple who have had 8 children through state schools it is chock-full of practical advice & constructive strategies for engaging with schools rather than 'handing over' to schools. I cannot agree with all the theology in the book, but I can recommend it as a challenging, informative & inspiring read.
Going Public, by David & Kelli Pritchard, published by Regal, £7.99

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