Category Archives: Making a home

Going Public Book Review

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I recently read the book, “Going Public, Your child can thrive in Public school” by David and Kelli Pritchard. It’s a brilliant title, don’t you think?  The book has popped up a few times within my circle so I resolved to read it through. My goal in reading the book was to find a resource that would help parents with  practical ideas to be intentional in their child’s education within the public school system.  I was  a teeny bit nervous that I would be compelled to change direction in our children’s education and when the girls saw  the title of the book they were more than nervous of the implications of my reading material.

Do I recommend that you read the book?

That depends on what your looking for.  If your children are going to public school, and you’re not considering private, Christian or homeschool education then you should read the book. The  book is written in a tone that will encourage parents to be proactive in their child’s education, give ideas about  communicating with the school, having discussions with your children and staying ahead of the curriculum. The Pritchard’s are sincere about parents taking  ownership of their children(s) education regardless of where they’re being educated either public, Christian  or home school.  My heart soared with agreement when the authors wrote about parenting children in character, obedience, respect to authority, biblical truths, creation and sex education.  As a note, they have excused their children from the sex education classes because they see sex education as the responsibility of parents and want to be the first to talk to them about sex from a biblical view point.  (The book was written in 2008.  Parental rights are being challenged in the courts today regarding parents excusing  their child: here, and here are articles regarding my local school board)  The authors also  give examples of how they’re supplementing and compensating secular viewpoints, such as evolution.  Excellent stuff there!

However, if you are in the process of deciding where your child will be educated than this book is not the book. I will say that they did their best at making an argument to “go public” but it lacks logic and the  verses that are sprinkled throughout are taken out of context. ( I don’t know of a verse that encourages parents to have their children be educated from a secular view point….. It may be permissible to have children educated within the government system using it as a spring board for conversations, knowing where to  compensate and supervise their education with in the system, but there’s no verse that will actually encourage or support that decision.) The tone of the book is  pro-public school  the authors communicated negatively regarding those who chose alternative education options. The following are a few of the arguments they discuss regarding  having your child, “Going Public”. And this is where the book falls apart, in my opinion.  If the authors had kept their script to  “how to help your child thrive in public school”, the book would be a better resource. Instead, it seems that that one of the goals of this book is to convince the reader that placing your kids in the public school is a God honoring decision. Here are a few of the authors arguments as to why your children should “go public”.

  •  Government schools have been around a long time.

  • Test scores need a context (i.e. some kids didn’t eat breakfast, don’t have home support, and by the way the U.S was not the only country which lagged behind Japan in math – other countries did too).

  • Admittedly some public school teachers  have done sickening things but what about so and so which involved a Christian school teacher? They do bad stuff too.

  • Public schools have some good hard working people….

  • Like it or not, 9 out of 10 kids today go to public school.

  • Staying in the public system builds community which strengthens our communities [the authors states that it’s a better approach than moving your child to a better school: “those who follow the path (of leaving the public school) can unwittingly end up hurting their own property values if the local school district keeps falling down and gets a bad reputation.”  – I laughed with horror when I read this. I mean, really?]

  • Nobody’s perfect.  Jesus was obedient to imperfect parents, Mary and Joseph. Mary and Joseph showed their imperfectness  when they lost Jesus in Jerusalem after the Passover and found Jesus after three day’s of searching.  The authors write.

    ” The Son of God voluntarily placed Himself under the authority of a less-than competent mom and dad. He knew this was His appointed station in life for the time being, and He would submit to it. The application to school life is obvious. We have been assigned to live compliantly with less-than-perfect school authorities. We are not subversives or undermines; we have been called to show a Christlike attitude by humbly and willingly submitting to their authority.”

    This rhetoric is confusing. It’s a legal right for parents to choose alternative education for their children. The authors seem to be implying that those parents who choose alternative public  education are  unwilling to be under Christs authority  by choosing to not go public.  Our first and final authority is God himself, not the school system which is under the direction of the government.

To close this post I  recommend that you read this book if your children are in the public  school.  You may  find inspiration to parent intentionally, take ownership of your child’s education and be encouraged. The book may become a conversation starter with other parents regarding their family rules, attitudes and conversations they are have with their children and resources they have used.  I appreciate the authors convictions to help parents raise Christian children I share the same conviction and passion.  However, I wish they didn’t add their apologetic regarding why you should placing your child in the public school because it lacks logic.

By the way, we’re  staying the course with the girls education.

 

 

 

“Mine’s Molly”

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A few weeks ago little Roo had her second birthday, and I was at a loss of what to get her.   She’s the third girl and we have so many toy’s  from her older sisters  and  I didn’t want to go  shopping.

So I began to think about what I can make.  A few day’s before her birthday I decided to make her this  molly monkey.

Molly Monkey

Oh, isn’t she a darling? I just love her.  I had the pattern for a few months but the project looked too big every time I thought about it . I was right it was a big project, with all the hand stitching and having  to relearn how to embroiderer, but it was so worth it. Making Molly has been one of the best projects I have ever made. Hearing Roo looking for her ” mine’s Molly”  to tote with her on her travels has brought me delight over and over again. And like any project the hardest part is starting, once I started I could not stop.

The older girls were excited to see the progress each morning and gave some suggestions,” Molly needs real feet mom not these blobs. I’m just trying to get Ruthie  a good birthday”.

The pattern was incredible and I kept commenting to Jason how amazing it was   that this woman designed the monkey and then made it available on her blog. She’s  the one with the real talent I can only credited for the ability to read ( thanks mom). I added a buttoned pocket on the  skirt and a zipper, but no pocket behind the zipper,  it was my first zipper thanks to u tube.  I have wanted to get her a activity doll for a while so I added it to Molly’s skirt ,cool Ah?

My mom made my sisters and I a doll when we were kids and I have had the project in mind for my kids.

I want them to bring a piece of their childhood into their lives and remember the stories they made up with their sisters as I do.  And I hope that they would hold their dolls when I can’t hold them and remember I love them even if they are mad at me.    I’ve seen Waldorf dolls like the talented Miranda makes,  from time to time and wondered about making them for the girls.  I considered buying them but they are worth their price and I want to hand make them.     So this project has become a stepping stone for me. Since  I have recently bought the  doll fabric  from here I’m now committed.  That project will be in the new year.

Do you still have your childhood doll?

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This past October my mom and grandpa came to visit for a few weeks. It was a great privilege   to have my  85 year old grandpa as our guest. We did a lot of driving, showing him the country side of Southern Ontario, stopping  to have our simple picnics under autumns amber oak trees all the while being entertained by the girls antics.

Because grandpa is deaf  driving and site  seeing was a great way to connect.

However, I had a project that  I  needed some company to work on  and grandpa was just the person for the job. Grandpa  has done  quite a bit of upholstering.   So while some one went to work to pay for my life of leisure, we spent some time ripping apart this chair.

I bought it at a garage sale for $10 this past summer, and it was love at first sight.

I knew that with a new upholstering job it would be a stunning piece for any room in the house and for the kids  to read their books on.   It’s my  first piece, to put give me some experience for the wing back chair in my living room.

It turned out beautifully, don’t you agree? Thanks to grandpa, and my mom’s tutorship.

My grandpa would let me struggle for 30 minuets or so  on folding over a corner, over and over again then say, ” I think you need to staple this piece down first then that corner will fall into place like this, and of course he was right.  I’m pleased, so now I am eying  up the wing back.  Jason says leave it alone, but the gimp is coming off…. so we’ll see.

On the move!!

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We are so excited and happy to be moving into our own house.  We have over-stayed our welcome and were ready to go home.

In less than one month, Jason and I will be evicting our two little roomates after two and a half years of sharing. I’m all for sharing but I there comes a time in every childs life when they need to move on out. In this case it is only a few feet across the hall because at two and a half that is far enough.

Creating, ripping off wall paper,  pulling up carpet to expose the hardwood and sugar plums dance through my head. That’s right sugar plums picked from our very own tree. Bird feeders, vegetable gardens, curtains and re-purposed  furnature, keep me awake at night with anticipation.

I am enjoying the  anticipation, because I know that the inspiration and feeling of newness fades into a distant memory too quickly.

So I am off to surf the web for inexpencive area rugs. Do you have any ideas other than IKEA’S discount bin?