5 Crucial Questions to Ask When Buying Curriculum

By Kevin Swanson (mail@generations.org), 30/7/2021

Although there are many considerations when it comes to purchasing curriculum, we’ve identified five crucial questions that we believe every homeschool parent should ask when evaluating curriculum for their children. Here’s a brief synopsis below (you can read the full write-up in our Busy Parent’s Guide to Selecting Homeschool Curriculum ebook when you sign up for today’s final webinar!).

1. What philosophy of education does the curriculum follow?

By the word “philosophy” we’re not talking about whether the curriculum uses workbooks, unit studies, kinesthetic learning, or online learning. What we’re looking for is the basic worldview of the authors.

As you review the curriculum, do you find a respect for God’s Word, God’s Wisdom, and God’s Truth? Are the truths of God’s Word tied in to the material—the history, the science, and the literature? Also consider the focal point of the curriculum. Does it emphasize the achievements and works of men? Or does it emphasize the glory and works of God?

2. What is the curriculum’s chief goal or objective?

Every educational approach is directed toward a goal—whether that goal is stated or unstated. Sometimes that goal is to raise up “better,” well-socialized citizens for a socialist state. Sometimes it is to prepare a child to get into a good college and make a lot of money in life. The curriculum you choose will make a big difference in steering your children toward or away from a Christ-oriented discipleship and a Christ-centered life. Always remember to ask the question: What is the goal laid out by the producers of this or that curriculum?

3. Who wrote the curriculum?

Teachers are important. And parents are the most important teachers in the homeschool endeavor. However, a large part of our children’s schooling will be determined by the authors of the curriculum we use and the books our children read. Usually, we give our children the best books written by competent writers or the greatest authors of all time. However, keep in mind that the great writers are great teachers. They may lead our children to the truth, or they may lead them to error.

A good question to always ask is: “Who wrote these textbooks? Who wrote these classics? Were the authors humble men and women? Did they fear God and trust in Christ?” Checking out the life of the author is one of the best and quickest ways to determine whether he or she would be a good teacher for your children. That applies as much to Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Shakespeare, and Mark Twain as it does to John Bunyan or Augustine.

4. Is the curriculum relevant & easy to use?

With much of modern education, countless disconnected facts are thrown at kids— terms to memorize, dates and events in history, and all the rest. Think of it in terms of one little formula:

Boring Books + Pointless Assignments = Less Learned

But homeschooling should never be boring! We want our children to see the relevance of the information and the knowledge they are learning on every single page. They need to know why they are learning what they’re learning and be able to apply it to their lives.

Easy-to-use curriculum prevents the academics from becoming too overwhelming and all-consuming for parent or child. Instead of spending all day doing bookwork, we recommend you set aside time for family economy, practical learning, field trips, planting gardens, and doing real life.

5. Does this curriculum fit into my budget?

Last but not least, families are concerned about the expense of the curriculum. Single income homeschool families (in some cases blessed with a large brood of little ones) can’t always afford to spend $400 – $800 per child on curriculum.

Why is curriculum so expensive? Keep in mind that some curriculum is super expensive because of the sheer magnitude of the content included. Too much of this is busywork; it’s designed to keep kids busy in school, doing headwork for 6-8 hours a day. That’s not the homeschool regimen.

Homeschooling Is Surging, and Especially in Homes the Left May Find Troubling

By Brandon Morse (www.lewrockwell.com), July 28, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a myriad of consequences to our society, but not every effect was negative. One such result was a dramatic increase in homeschooling, and especially in households that the left may not like.

According to the Associated Press, parents took their children’s education into their own hands and found that their children seemed to be performing much better under their own tutelage than under the public school system’s. The surge itself was confirmed by the U.S. Census Bureau that reported homeschooling more than doubled between March and September of 2020, going from 5.4 percent to 11 percent.

The biggest jump of all? The AP reported that black households skyrocketed from the single digits to the double. What’s more, some are motivated by religious reasoning:

Black households saw the largest jump; their homeschooling rate rose from 3.3% in the spring of 2020 to 16.1% in the fall.

The parents in one of those households, Arlena and Robert Brown of Austin, Texas, had three children in elementary school when the pandemic took hold. After experimenting with virtual learning, the couple opted to try homeschooling with a Catholic-oriented curriculum provided by Seton Home Study School, which serves about 16,000 students nationwide.

The Browns plan to continue homeschooling for the coming year, grateful that they can tailor the curriculum to fit their children’s distinctive needs. Jacoby, 11, has been diagnosed with narcolepsy and sometimes needs naps during the day; Riley, 10, has tested as academically gifted; Felicity, 9, has a learning disability.

“I didn’t want my kids to become a statistic and not meet their full potential,” said Robert Brown, a former teacher who now does consulting. “And we wanted them to have very solid understanding of their faith.”

Another parent in a black household, Angela Valentine, felt the need to keep homeschooling her child due to her son, Dorian, being the only black child at a school. The isolation he was experiencing was getting to him and so she now teaches him about black history and culture while homeschooling.

“I felt the burden of making the shift, making sure we’re making the right choices,” Valentine said. “But until we’re really comfortable with his learning environment, we’ll stay on this homeschool journey.”

Homeschooling also allows parents to conform the learning to their children’s needs instead of the children having to conform to the one-size-fits-all style of learning public schooling forces on children. AP reports one parent has a child with Down syndrome and noticed that her progress at home was better than her progress in virtual learning. They ended up doing the same for her son Noah, and the classes went so well that they decided to continue for the next few years.

“He told me he was learning so much more at home than he ever did in school,” Osgood told the AP. “He said, ‘School is just so chaotic — we don’t get very much done in any particular class. Here, I sit down, you tell me what to do, and minutes later I’m done.’”

Other families have weighed in, noting that their children excelled better at home, and learned far more than they did at public school.

While this is all well and good, parents should likely not get comfortable. Many are just getting into the homeschooling life but they should be aware that there is a war on homeschooling going on. Many on the left would rather see homeschooling made illegal, and Harvard professors are already making the case for this as mainstream media sources applaud and echo them.

(READ: Homeschooling Is One of the Left’s Worst Nightmares So Expect a Long Fight)

These professors are concerned that parents will make teaching children what the left wants them to learn impossible, and Elizabeth Bartholet, a Harvard Law School professor and director of its Child Advocacy Program, warned that kids are in danger of teaching their children “conservative Christian beliefs” specifically.

Right now, American parents are at war with many educational bureaucracies attempting to push left-leaning ideological extremism on their children through Critical Race Theory. As RedState has previously covered, the people leading the CRT charge have direct connections to top members of the Department of Education, and the movement is on to create radical leftist ideologues out of your children.

They can’t do that if they’re safe at home with you. Don’t expect them to take this laying down. They want your children and they will cook up reasons and attempt to craft laws in order to take their education out of your hands and into theirs.

Don’t Set Your Kids at the Feet of Fools

By Kevin Swanson

Proverbs 3:13-15 says, Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.

Obviously as Christian parents we desire for our children to grow up to be wise, godly adults. But with all the books, movies, and music out there whispering their worldviews in our children’s ears, helping our kids distinguish God’s wisdom from man’s wisdom can be a huge challenge!

In fact, we can even be tempted as parents to think that if our kids are going to grow up to be informed, “well-rounded” adults, they should be reading books and absorbing media by the “great” thinkers and writers of our day. But let me remind you of another verse in Proverbs:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Plato, Nietzsche, Twain, Steinbeck — all “great” thinkers and writers by the world’s standards. But these men scoffed at God…and the Bible calls them fools. So how should we as parents respond?

I would suggest that if you want to assist your kids in growing in God’s wisdom, that you follow this process:

Teach your children God’s word FIRST: The Bible is the greatest book of wisdom in existence. And it tells us how to do the smartest thing a human being could ever do: repent, receive the cleansing blood of Christ, and inherit eternal life.

Next, set your children at the feet of the great Christian thinkers of history. Bunyan, A’Kempis, Calvin, Brother Andrew, those who feared God. Give your children the stories of those who made themselves “fools” for Christ’s sake, but who God calls the wisest of all.
Once your children have a firm grasp of God’s Word and the great Christian thinkers, introduce the great non-Christian thinkers. But now they will be equipped to discern truth from lies and not get sucked into deadly ideas.

This is the process we follow in our Christian literature curriculum:

Grades 1-5 give children a firm handle on God’s Big Story as revealed in Scripture.
Grades 6-12 give students stories and classic works written by some of the greatest Christian thinkers of the last 2,000 years.
Then as students are wrapping up in 10th-12th grade, they begin to engage in the battle of ideas with the great non-Christian writers and thinkers.

Finding books that will both give your children a solid education AND build up their faith in Christ can be a lot of work. So we created Christian literature resources to do most of the legwork for you.

AND THROUGH MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, you can get 20% off all our Literature & Reading titles, PLUS…you can knock off another 20% (40% total) when you order one of our Christian Literature collections:

God’s Big Story Collection
(Grades 1-5)
This collection includes our whole God’s Big Story series levels 1-5 (textbooks only).


Children’s Read-Alouds Collection
(Suggested Grades 1-5)
This collection includes:

Mary Jones and Her Bible

The Giant Killer

The Princess Bellaheld

Sunshine Country

The Dragon and the Raven


Timeless Christian Classics Collection
(Suggested Grades 6-9)
This collection includes:

Pilgrim’s Progress (Young Adult Edition)

Heidi (Original Unabridged edition)

The Swiss Family Robinson (Original Unabridged edition)

Titus: Comrade of the Cross

The Life of Henry Martyn Robinson Crusoe

The Holy War


Young Adults Literature Collection
(Grades 7-12)
This collection includes:

Augustine’s Confessions

Patrick’s Confessions

Knox’s History of the Reformation in Scotland

Bunyan’s Grace Abounding John G. Paton’s missionary autobiography

Athanasius’ On the Incarnation

A’Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ

Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (abridged)

Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress

Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History (Books 1-8),

Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Books 1-2),

Philip Schaff’s History of the Christian Church (selections from Pre-Reformation and Reformation Periods)


Order Literature Curriculum

There’s no reason why you can’t give your children an excellent Christian education and build them up in the faith with books and resources that will grow them in the wisdom of God. Take this opportunity to fill your bookshelves before our 20-40% off Christian literature sale closes tonight at 11:59 PM PDT. For Christ and His kingdom,
Kevin Swanson
Director
Generations
mail@generations.org
www.generations.org

Why Is Home Schooling Growing in Australia?

By Stuart Chapman BEng; BA, Grad Dip Ed, May 2020

The numbers of students being educated at home in Australia has been steadily increasing with an annual growth rate of 9.4%, over the last eight years. The reasons for this growth are:

1. Legal Acceptance:

In every state and territory, home education is now recognised as a legal alternative to attending school.

2. Australia has a history of Government Distance Education

Australia has a history of Distance Education with Schools of the Air since 1951 and correspondence schools for over 100 years. These government-approved schools have helped Australians accept that learning away from a classroom is possible and even a little romantic.

3. Greater Media And Community Acceptance

In general, home schooling has been getting an increasing number of positive news stories in the media. Home education is now accepted as an alternative form of education in the community.

4. Numbers Bring Numbers

As more people commence home schooling, more hear about it and in a positive way. It is now likely that most people know at least one family that has home educated or are home schooling. Knowing others personally reduces the fear factor considerably.

5. The Socialisation Question Is Now A Non-Issue

With the increase in numbers and activities, especially in the major cities, there are now more social activities for home-schooled children than is possible to attend. While some families still feel isolated, due to finances and or a rural location, social opportunities are much better than they were 20 years ago.

6. Rise Of Homeschooling

Support Organisations Every state now has at least one home education support group. These support groups have been active in lobbying government for better laws and regulation for home educators. They are also a great point of first contact for families enquiring or starting out. Some groups provide additional services such as teacher support, organised activities, and assistance with government registration.

7. The Internet

The Internet has made it much easier to find information about home education and support groups. It is also much easier to find books, resources and videos, which make the decision to commence home education easier.

8. Parents want a different philosophical method for their child’s learning This is one of the top three reasons parents give for choosing to home educate their child. Many parents want to choose a different method of learning such as unschooling or use an alternative curriculum such as Classical Conversations neither of which is used in the school system in Australia.

9. Schools are not able to provide adequate one on one instruction

Parents are concerned that on average a child will only receive four minutes of one on one instruction during a school day. Many students will not grasp complex concepts within this time frame. These students fall behind and lose confidence. At home, a student can ask questions and check their understanding with a loving adult who is not distracted by 29 other students. In such an environment, learning and progress occur steadily.

10. Public Schools are perceived to ignore God

Public schools are not able to state that God is the designer and maker of all things. They ignore the existence of God, and their subtle message is that God is irrelevant. People of faith often choose home education, as they believe that public schools are teaching a differing worldview.

11. Parents are concerned about the recent cultural shift in schools

Some parents who were previously happy with the school system are concerned by the introduction programs which teach a different worldview such as the Safe Schools program.

12. Parents are concerned with peer pressure at school

Some parents are concerned what kind of danger peer pressure could have on their child, especially if their child is naïve and easily led. Parents see the home as a safe environment. Social activities with other home schooling families are safe, diverse and well supervised.

13. Expense of Private Day School Education

While many would like to send their child to a local private school, fees have increased significantly and for some have become prohibitive. Education at home is now an attractive option financially.

14. Easier Access into Tertiary Institutions

Over time tertiary institutions are making entrance easier for home-educated students. It is much easier to enter university now as a home schooled student than it was 20 years ago.

15. Bullying

Bullying is now one of the most common reasons given to start education at home. A typical conversation that this author has heard hundreds of times is when a mother calls and says, “I have a daughter in Year 9 and I just can’t get her to go to school. She says to me, ‘Mum, they are horrible, I just can’t go back.'” Other parents say, “It breaks my heart that my ten year old cries all the way to school each day.” Parents say, “I am up at the school every week and each time I am told, “We are dealing with it, but the bullying just goes on and on. I am over it. It is not something that we ever really thought about, but right now home school is the only option for us. “

16. Children with Special Needs

Home schooling because a child has special needs is one of the top four reasons parents choose to home educate. Many of these children do not qualify for a teacher’s aide and start to fall behind emotionally and academically.

17. Advanced Children

Some parents indicate that their children are well above average academically and are frustrated and bored in the classroom. When home educated, these students are allowed to advance faster than their peers.

18. Not happy with culture of local schools

Some parents are concerned about noisy, disruptive classrooms or with the level of swearing in the playground. Some children say that it is hard to find other students who try to follow the teacher’s instructions and complete homework correctly.

19. School Waiting List Some parents desire to place a child in a particular school but are on a waiting list. Rather than swap schools halfway through a year, some parents choose to home educate for 6 to 12 months.

20. Parents are concerned that their child is underperforming in school

Some parents realise their child has a lazy streak and are concerned that their child is just drifting through school and underperforming. At school, students can often get away at working at 50% of their capacity. Many students are not performing anywhere near their best. Their motivation is low, and their friends may be distracting them. At home, a parent can see exactly what a child has done each day and whether he is underperforming. There is no hiding in a class of 1 or 2 students. Parents can sit with a child and encourage him or her for a whole hour if they are struggling. Parents believe the ultra-small class sizes at home can make a huge difference to their child’s academic performance.

21. Students are Immature

Some children will ask to be home schooled because they find that their peers immature.

22. Unhelpful Relationship

Sometimes a parent will remove a child from school to remove the temptation to continue a relationship with another student that has become too intimate or destructive.

23. Some children just don’t like school

Some children just don’t like the school environment. When asked why, they often can’t verbalise what is the problem. They have not been bullied, yet they will get stomach cramps in the morning and complain about not feeling well. When a parent notices a child is missing school one or two days a week, home school becomes a real option. These reluctant students often (but not always) make a complete transformation when they commence home education and become enthusiastic about their learning again.

24. Not Happy with a Teacher

Some parents state they had been very happy with their local school until this year when their child has a teacher, in whom they have little confidence. Whether it be a first-year graduate who is still learning the ropes or an older cynical teacher who has lost their passion, one year of a struggling or jaded teacher is just not acceptable. Home education becomes a viable alternative in these situations.

25. Failure to teach Phonics.

Some parents are dissatisfied when their child is still not reading after five years of formal education. The effective teaching of phonics will result in a rapid growth in reading ability. It is common for a child’s reading level to jump 2-3 years in a semester when a good phonics program is used. The one-to-one interaction time with parents that is possible with home education using a phonics based program will greatly assist a child to improve their reading ability.

26. Travelling A number of families home educate while traveling around Australia by car or caravan;

27. Elite Sports

This author has worked with students who were training at an elite level including golfers, surfers, swimmers, Olympic squad members and ballet dancers. Home education can help these children achieve both their academic and sporting goals.

28. Parents on Student Visas Another group of recent additions to the home schooling movement are parents who are studying in Australia on student visas and who would have to pay $14,000 a year to send their children to their local school and therefore find home schooling a very attractive option financially.

29. Health Reasons

Some parents choose to home school because their child suffers health issues such as depression, chronic fatigue, a suppressed immune system, or cancer. There are also teenagers who are pregnant or have a young baby. There are also children who are extremely anxious and have panic attacks and become physically ill if you force them to go to school or are self-harming and who have attempted suicide. For all these children, education at home provides a safe environment while they are unwell. Sadly there are also parents who have a terminal illness who want to spend as much time as possible with their children while they can.

30. Parents who want to be more involved

There are parents who have no problems with their local school but just want to be more involved in their children’s education, and not outsource it to strangers. They see the benefits of home schooling and do it for family bonding and overall flexibility.

31. Too Young

Now that the compulsory age of schooling has been lowered, some parents are concerned that their child is simply not ready for school. Some children are not entirely out of nappies. Some still require their midday sleep. In schools, teachers are encouraged not to touch a child or let them sit in their lap, so 4 and 5- year-olds are now starved of physical contact for six hours a day.

32. Vaccinations

Some parents do not want to their child to receive vaccinations and believe that educating at home will reduce the pressure to do so.

33. Not for everyone

It is recognised that home schooling is not for everyone and many parents have said it is one of the hardest things they have ever done. When it is clear that it is not working, parents sometimes try a different methodology to see if that may work better with their child. Others feel they need a break and choose to put their child back in school for a time leaving the option to try home education again if necessary.

Covid-19 Update

As a result of the Corona virus lockdown many millions of parents have now experienced distance learning. All home education registration authorities are reporting a significant increase in enquiries and registrations in 2020. It is yet to be seen whether this will lead to a long-term increase in home education numbers.

Stuart Chapman is an international speaker who has spoken at home schooling conferences on five different continents. He has been a board member of the Global Home Education Conference and the International Certificate of Christian Education and is a current member of the International Home Educators Leaders Group.

He was the founder and director of the largest home school academic support group in Western Australia. He was elected as a committee member of the Home Education Association in 2019. He and his wife Dianne home educated their five children for 18 years.

Email: stuartchapman105@gmail.co

Homeschooling Skyrocketed In 2020, As Much As 700 Percent In Some States

Since public schools are spectacularly successful leftist recruitment centers, weakening public attachment to them through lockdowns was a dangerous move for Democrats.

Joy Pullmann

By Joy PullmannJUNE 1, 2021

Between May and October 2020, homeschooling more than doubled among U.S. households with school-age children, from 5.4 percent that spring to 11.1 percent that fall, according to new Census Bureau data.

Black and Hispanic Americans were the most likely to switch to homeschooling, while white and Asian Americans were the least likely. This could be due to the fact that African-American children are the most likely to be financially locked into poor-quality school districts, or that black Americans have been the most likely to exhibit COVID caution, or some combination.

All demographics reported large increases in homeschooling between spring and fall 2020, but black Americans increased homeschooling the most, quintupling from 3.3. percent to 16.1 percent.

The data show wide differences among states in the 2020 homeschooling surge. Families in Alaska showed the largest homeschooling increase, from 9.6 percent to 27. 5 percent, a 17-point jump. Florida went from 5 percent to 18 percent homeschoolers, and Vermont went from 4 percent to 17 percent homeschoolers, in the second- and third-largest homeschooling jumps by states in 2020, respectively.

Other states that saw 10 percent or more increases in homeschooling were: Massachusetts (from 1.5 to 12.1 percent), Mississippi (from 3 to 14 percent), Montana (from 8 to 18 percent), Nevada (from 2.5 to 13.1 percent), Oklahoma (from 7.7 to 20 percent), Vermont (from 4 to 17 percent), and West Virginia (from 5.4 to 16.6 percent). Homeschooling in New York increased seven-fold, from 1.2 to 10.1 percent, quadrupled in Kansas, tripled in Connecticut and North Dakota, and more than doubled in Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.

It seems pretty clear that their experiences governors and local governments constantly changing the rules and expectations in spring 2020, plenty of parents decided they were not going through that insanity again in the fall. Even when schools did open in person, would you send your child to a place that looks like this photo from a February 2021 Wall Street Journal story about Chicago schools? It looks like some kind of a dystopian novel. Or a prison.

Researcher Nicholas Zill points out that, while homeschooling has been gradually increasing over time in the United States, the 2020 jump is “unprecedented.” Here’s his chart.

Since lockdowns and the great school unsettling began, however, Congress has been showering deficit-funded billions on public schools that were largely closed to in-person instruction and hemorrhaging students. “Congress has included more than $192 billion for K-12 schools — roughly six times the amount of the fiscal year 2021 base federal funding — in the three big Covid relief bills passed since last March,” notes a recent CNN story. “Each piece of legislation sent more money to K-12 schools than the last.”

While Congress sends more money to support institutions that have horribly mismanaged their response to the COVID outbreak, public support has grown for instead giving parents more control and flexibility over education spending instead of relegating families to one-size-fits-nobody institutions. One April poll found among its highest support ever for school choice via parental control of education tax dollars, at 71 percent of respondents. A different poll that has measured public opinion on schooling monthly since the beginning of the lockdowns shows similarly high support for parent-directed education in its latest results.

The latter poll, from the organization EdChoice, also found 64 percent of respondents saying their opinion of homeschooling has become more positive “as a result of the coronavirus,” with just 21 percent saying COVID has made them less positive about homeschooling.

A question ripe for speculation is whether the dramatic increase in homeschooling will continue or fade with the pandemic. It’s impossible to foretell, of course, but important to note that dissatisfaction with public schooling has grown along with homeschooling over the past several decades, and current conditions suggest that dissatisfaction will only grow. For example, the critical race curriculum battles are reaching even into conservative communities.

Zill also points out that many of the underlying reasons parents traditionally homeschool are only increasing: lack of moral instruction and presence of a negative peer environment in public schools, as well as the availability of one parent at home. A Gallup poll this February found that 20 percent of parents had either quit a job or reduced their hours to help their kids with online schooling, and mothers who quit or were laid off during COVID lockdowns are still largely not back in the workforce.

In addition, there is evidence that once parents switch from government to private education, they typically like it much better. Parents who privately direct their children’s education, either in a private school or through homeschooling, report massively higher satisfaction with that education than do public-school parents. Here are two examples of that from the latest EdChoice poll, and it’s a consistent finding across surveys:

Realities like this are why the anti-scientific school shutdowns Democrats pushed at the behest of their union donors may come back to bite their behinds. Since public schools are spectacularly successful leftist recruitment centers, weakening public attachment to them through lockdowns was a dangerous move for Democrats. In short, their hubris has raised a nemesis.

As I wrote last summer, when two-thirds of Americans supported sending kids back to school in person yet most were denied that opportunity thanks to Democrats’ stranglehold on schools:

Once this exodus starts, it will be hard to stop. Parents have for years told pollsters that private education is their top choice, not public education. They haven’t left yet because it hasn’t gotten bad enough. Long-term coronavirus schooling is easily a tipping point towards ‘bad enough to finally leave.’ It will likely create a cascade effect of long-term parental divestment from public schooling.

Sure, some parents who homeschooled over COVID will return to public schools. But the fact that one in ten American parents — three times as many as before — now have a largely positive experience with homeschooling will have network effects.

The past two years of politically disrupted education make public schooling less default. It is no longer the automatic conveyor belt leftists need it to be. And they’re doing even more offensive and extremist things that will further sabotage their mind control factories.

In addition, the higher education bubble has quietly burst amid the lockdown abuse of college-age Americans, as well. Millions of young people put off college over lockdowns, and millions who stayed were treated like inmates while paying dearly for the abuse. Nearly half of parents now want alternative pathways into adult life that aren’t a four-year degree. That’s a significant shift away from the hardened previous preference for “everyone going to college.”

These are cracks in a big dam. But they are significant cracks. And it doesn’t take many to open the way for a flood.Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her newest ebook is a design-your-own summer camp kit, and her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Sign up here to get early access to her next full-length book, “How To Control The Internet So It Doesn’t Control You.” A Hillsdale College honors graduate, @JoyPullmann is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books.

What Does it Mean, to ‘Train up a Child?’(9)

Taken from, “The Significance of the Godly Family,” 2009.

By Andrew McColl, 11th May, 2021

The decision of parents to homeschool their children means that they take complete responsibility. That doesn’t mean that they have all knowledge about every educational possibility that they could possibly employ. Nor does it mean that decisions can’t be reversed.

What a family chooses this year, they may not choose, next year. It means that the parents, beginning with the father, look at some of the options available (and there are many), and make some choices: “What do we want? What do we need? What do we have time for? What suits our children? What can we afford?”

This is the function of responsibility. “Every passage in the Bible that mentions the education of children makes it clear that parents are responsible.”[1] 

Furthermore, parents have the opportunity to tailor their childrens’ education to their family’s needs. Family needs and circumstances do vary and change over time. The overriding issue, is that parents have a glorious opportunity and responsibility to educate and disciple their children, for a life of possession and dominion. Parents should explain to a child that:                                               

God has a Destiny for my life
Destiny requires my Discipline
Discipline leads to Dominion.

The fact that children are at home and are being educated under their parents’ supervision, ought not mean that their home should be a place of anarchy. Conversely, every moment of the day need not be completely regimented. Home school families are able to structure their day how they want, enjoying their freedoms, while making sure theirs is a home of relative discipline and industry. This could be yours!

Sue and I commenced home schooling our children, in Dubbo (central-west NSW, Australia), in 1990. At the time, we had three sons; Jonathan aged 9, Benjamin aged 6, and Philip, aged 4. Philip commenced in 1992, and of course was the last to finish, in 2003. He never attended a school in his life. Home schooling was an excellent experience for us all. All of our sons have been grateful they were home schooled. We were able to do a lot of things together, which would not have been available otherwise.

To home school children is a marked change in role especially for women, who commonly haven’t seen themselves as educators, or believed they could do it. Plenty of people believe they can’t, and may say so. It certainly seems to be different in relation to other people, but we aren’t told to observe other people; we are told to follow and obey Jesus Christ.

About ten years ago, I heard a quote from Ruth Prince:

If women do not fulfil their God-given calling, it leaves a void in the fibre of society which nothing else can fill.                                                                                                 

That has made a lot of sense to Sue and I, in relation to home schooling, and the training of children. Helping her husband to train their children to “rule and have dominion” (Gen.1:26-28), is a vital part of a woman’s role.

Is home schooling better for students academically?

In a 1997 U.S. national study by Dr. Brian Ray, home schoolers (K-12) were found to have outperformed their government school counterparts by 30 to 37 percentile points across all the areas tested. In reading and mathematics, for example, home schoolers scored in the 87th and 82nd percentiles, respectively. The study showed that by the 8th grade, the average home schooled student was performing four grades ahead of the national average.[2]

The Fraser Institute, a Canadian public policy think-tank, conducted research on home schoolers’ academic performance in 2001. The survey author, Patrick Basham, summarised that,

According to the U.S. Department of Education, ‘virtually all the available data show that the group of home schooled children who are tested are above average.’ Such impressive results have been observable for at least 15 years…From coast to coast, and from border to border, homeschooled students in the United States surpass the national averages on both of the major college entrance tests, the ACT and the SAT. [3]

As part of my study for a Masters Degree in Education (completed in 2005), I surveyed students who had graduated with a Year 12 Certificate, from Australian Christian Academy, between 1999 and 2002. Of the 55 graduates who responded, 96% were positive about their use of a Christian curriculum, 90% thought they had received a good preparation for life, 94% said they were glad they were home  schooled, and 74% believed they would home school their own children. One respondent indicated that she valued “being in a Christian environment, being nurtured in my education, and the flexibility to do things with my family when it suited them best.”[4]

Gatto seemed to concur with this respondent, when he wrote that “the curriculum of the family is at the heart of any good life.” [5]

One U.S. restaurant operator, who has employed 75 homeschoolers, claimed that

People assume that they [home schoolers] will be socially handicapped because they’ve been homebound, but it is just the opposite…they have a good sense of humour and know how to act. Lots of kids have trouble with judgement…Not these kids. They’re stable and mature, good team players and likely to stand up for what is right. [6]

 A former U.S. Department of Education researcher, Patricia Lines, who is well acquainted with home schooling, has rendered the most telling judgment on the character of home schooled children:

If I didn’t know anything about someone other than their educational background, I’d rather hop into a foxhole with a home school kid than one from a public school. The home school kid will be a little better educated and dependable. It’s just the law of averages. [7]

 U.S. Senator Dr Ron Paul commented in 2007, that

parental control of child rearing, especially education, is one of the bulwarks of liberty. No nation can remain free when the state has greater influence over the knowledge and values transmitted to children than the family…The best way to improve education is to return control to the parents who know best what their children need.[8]   

Conclusion:

God gave clear statements about education to Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses. Nothing much has changed since then, as the scripture says, “there is nothing new under the sun”(Ecc.1:9). But God’s requirements have remained the same, for Jesus is the same, “…yesterday, today and forever”(Heb.13:8).

The responsibility for the education of children will not go away, though it can be ignored, but the consequences of inactivity or the wrong kind of activity are frightening. Dabney, at the end of the nineteenth century, so ably expressed this:

The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent especially ought to feel every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God-this is his task on earth. [9]


[1] Shortt, ibid., p.55.

[2] Quoted in Shortt, ibid., p.343.

[3] ibid., p.343.

[4] Andrew  McColl, “Homeschooling: the Graduates Speak,” unpublished Thesis, 2005.

[5] John Gatto, “Education and the Western Spiritual Tradition,” (date unknown) p.152.

[6] Quoted in Shortt, p.349.

[7] Shortt, p.349-350.

[8] Ron Paul, quoted on http://www.lewrockwell.com, 2007.

[9] Dabney, quoted in Shortt, p.356.

What Does it Mean, to ‘Train up a Child?’(2) – Children and Education

By Gary North (www.garynorth.com), from “Unconditional Surrender,” 1994, p.181-184.

Children are a tool of dominion. They are to be sacrificed for in their youth. They are to be instructed carefully and continually in the law of God.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deut.6:6-7). 

The time spent in training children in God’s law is time well spent, for it is a capital investment. It does produce the next generation of godly, dominion-minded families. The Bible says, “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).

This leads us to an extremely significant conclusion: education is the moral responsibility of parents.  They are the ones who must determine whether or not their children are being taught the truth. They are responsible before God for the rearing of their children. They are held responsible even for the content of their children’s education. This is why it is a great responsibility to bring children into the world.

The modern State has asserted its responsibility to educate children. This is the means by which the modern State has arrogated to itself the position of the established god on earth. The government schools have become the established religion of every nation on earth. Humanism, which is the worship of man and his works, rests on this crucial institutional foundation:  the tax-supported, State-regulated, hypothetically neutral, deeply  religious  humanist school system.

There can be no neutrality, yet the government schools have almost completely stamped out Christianity and the law of God by means of the neutrality myth. The State forces Christians to finance schools that teach a rival religion, the religion of humanism. The State has also attempted to regulate Christian and independently financed schools. At every point, the State has substituted tenured bureaucrats who are virtually impossible for parents to remove from authority, while it has removed parents from the seats of power in setting curricula or any other standards.

The modern State, which is a messianic, supposedly man-saving institution, has used the tax-supported, compulsory schools as the primary means of stealing children from God, by removing them from parental control. Christians complain about taxation, but they have tithed their children to the State. They have abdicated their financial responsibilities – “Let the State finance my children’s educations”– and in our day, they have abandoned almost all other aspects of their instructional responsibilities.

They have turned the production of citizens over to tax-financed, State-directed schools. The priests of the religion of humanism have been able to enlist the support of many generations of Christian parents, who have decided that it is easier to transfer the responsibility for educating their children to bureaucrats hired by the State. Naturally, parents have to delegate responsibility to someone. Few parents have the time or skills to educate their children at

home. But the fundamental principle of education is the tutor or the apprentice director.

Parents hire specialists to teach their children along lines established by parents. The private school is simply an extension of this principle, with several parents hiring a tutor, thereby sharing the costs. But the parents, not the tutors, are institutionally sovereign.  Since someone must bear the costs, education should be parent-funded.  Anything else is a transfer of authority over education to an imitation family.

Children are to honour their parents (Ex. 20:12). It is the first promise which is attached to a commandment: “… that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Ex.20:12b). So the parents owe their children education, food, shelter, and care, but the children owe their parents honour. This means financial support. There are mutual obligations based on personal bonds. No one in the transaction is to become an endless giver, and no one is to become a perpetual recipient.

The modern messianic State has intervened here, too. The State promises to uphold men

from womb to tomb. The State promises to become the new father. The impersonal, bureaucratic State has substituted its rule for the father’s rule, and its children– perpetual children– are to remain obedient to it all the days of their lives. The Bible tells us that children grow up and begin new families. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen.1:24). There should be no perpetual one-way obligations. Parents are to train their children to be obedient, but also independent. They are to foster maturity in their children. The State wants perpetual children, complete obedience. The State is a sad imitation of a family. It is a pseudo-family which threatens human freedom.

Homeschooling and Government (1)

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isa.9:6).

It has been said that the Biblical doctrine of a subject is all that the Bible says about that subject. The Bible says a lot about civil government, and the Christian person is obliged to examine the scriptures to determine what God requires of this institution.

The future for man when he thinks the State is his saviour, is slavery. This is what most of the world began to discover in the twentieth century, but it hasn’t led to everyone wanting to throw off their chains. Just as the children of Israel under Moses had an almost perennial tendency to want to return to Egypt when their circumstances displeased them, sinful man has perennially turned to the State for his problems. Even when the memory of Egypt had faded by the time of Samuel, they still wanted a king.

Samuel’s warnings about what this king would be like, had no effect. Why? Because the children of Israel had a problem; their own hearts. So, God gave them the king they wanted, and they faced the consequences of their foolish choice, for forty years.

Samuel described what this new form of government would be like, in I Samuel 8.

a) The king would raise an army for his purpose in opposition to the law (Deut.17:16). War would become a way of life in Israel (v.5), and the king would use this army for personal profit (v.12).

b) The young women of Israel would be subject to the whims and fancies of the king (v.13).   

c) Private property would no longer be safe, but would be used to pay for the king’s political favours (v.14).

d) This king would require a tenth in taxation. This was a sign of tyranny, for only God could demand a tenth (v.15).

Israel had turned from their God as their Saviour, Lord and Provider, who had brought them out of Egypt. They no longer wanted to physically return to Egypt, but they were turning to the false security offered to them by a civil government that would subject them to slavery in the name of security.

This scenario has been played out in history, innumerable times; the twentieth century showed this happening almost everywhere, both in totalitarian and democratic countries. It is evident that

Socialism has demonstrated its ability to destroy, but not to create. Being itself immoral, it creates immoral people, or rather, it is first created by an immoral people who are then confirmed and increased in their immorality by the socialist state.

What is the Role of the State?

The Bible teaches that the State is “a minister of God to you for good” (Ro.13:4). Biblically, the State does have the powers of coercion: “…it does not bear the sword for nothing.”

a) Civil Justice: Civil government should operate judicial systems on the local state and federal level. The law of God, as outlined in scripture, is to be the standard of justice. This clearly includes capital punishment. An accused person should be able to appeal to a higher court, if he feels that justice has not been done.

b) Weights and measures: Just weights and measures must be maintained; even owning false weights is prohibited in scripture (Deut.25:13-16). This includes false and misleading advertising, and extends to such things as debasing a currency. “Your silver has become dross, your drink diluted with water” (Isa.1:22).

c) Defending Christianity from public attack: the State cannot be neutral towards the Christian faith. Any obstacle that would jeopardise the preaching of the Word of God and carrying out the Great Commission must be removed by civil government. Paul expected even the Roman civil government to protect him from those who threatened the Christian religion. No government is religiously neutral; if it were, it would enact no laws, for all laws are religious.

d) National defence: Government is responsible to defend the nation against aggressors. In wartime, this would include the marshalling and organisation of troops. It doesn’t mean the state is responsible to ensure there are professional, standing armed forces. The concept of a civilian militia force able to be called upon for defence or police activities, prohibits the use of soldiers for international aggressive activities, and means that soldiers cannot be used by their government against their own citizens.

e) Quarantine: The power to quarantine is the power to protect innocent life. Any community needs to be protected against infectious diseases. Thus the State must have legislative powers to deal with these things, protecting the healthy.

f) Defending private property: Private property means an opportunity for liberty, dominion, security, and the passing on of an inheritance, and is to be protected. Ahab’s plot to murder Naboth with a view to confiscating his vineyard, brought he and Jezebel under God’s judgment for murder and theft (I Kings 21; II Kings 9:29-37). Confiscation by State power is never legitimate.

Individuals must be prepared to assist in apprehending criminals, even to the point of killing a person if necessary, who threatens life (Ex.22:2-3).

God has not seen fit to legislate exactly what should go for the financing of the state. He has seen fit, however, to demand a tithe for the financing of the Church. In those times of history when the tithe is given properly and the Church does her work with integrity, the state will greatly shrink in size and will require only a minimum in taxation. On the other hand, in those seasons of history, like our own, when the people refuse to tithe, and the Church is not faithfully proclaiming and educating in the Word of God, then the state will grow to massive size, and will exact a terrible tribute. The reformation of the state, then, awaits the reformation of the Church and the proper use of the tithe.

The State is not called on to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. It is not our Father. State welfare is not in the Bible. It must stop interfering in the operations of the free market, with minimum wage laws and awards, compulsory, tax-payer funded education, by phasing out Social Security, and reducing taxation at all levels. All of these measures pre-suppose the active involvement of the Christian community in initiating care in the community, along Biblical lines, because you can’t replace something with nothing.

Towards the future:                                                                                   

Civilisations come and go, but the kingdom of God goes on forever. Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan.2) showed that kingdoms built on the shaky foundation of the sovereignty of man cannot last. The history books show that every empire-building civilisation collapses in time. Christians in understanding this, must begin to prepare for the future, even if they do not see the fulfillment of what they are commencing in their lifetime. God tells His people that their earthly efforts have meaning in time and eternity.

Socialism is finished: it is destroying itself, and although the worst lies ahead, the certainty of socialism’s collapse is nonetheless inescapable, and it must be a basic premise of all thinking concerning the future. The central concern even now must be reconstruction, the creation of new institutions dedicated to liberty, education to that end, and the assurance that the fresh air of liberty is ahead, past the days of chaos.

Conclusion:                                                                                                      Christians must believe and preach the whole counsel of God concerning government. We need a full-orbed gospel that offers comprehensive salvation. We need healing-not just spiritual and physical, but cultural healing. We need the doctrine of the resurrection-the resurrection, restoration and reconstruction of every area of life, to the glory of God. We need to subdue the earth (Gen.1:26-28) to the glory of God. We need to fulfill the Great Commission: the discipling of the nations.

Homeschooling and Economics

For you were called to freedom, brethren… (Gal.5:13).

The gospel has application to all of life, and that most certainly includes education, but also economics.

How do we know that? Two of the Ten Commandments deal directly with economics: the prohibitions on stealing (the Eighth), and covetousness (the Tenth). The confiscation by Ahab of Naboth’s vineyard, and Ahab’s subsequent murder of Naboth through Jezebel, led to Elijah confronting Ahab, and pronouncing God’s curse and judgment on his family (I Kings 21).

It’s logical that ungodly governments always despise Biblical economics. At the crucifixion, government agents even stole Jesus’ clothes.

And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves, by casting lots (Mat.27:35).

The Bible has a lot to teach us about employer/employee relationships, going back to Jacob and Laban in Genesis. God setting His people free from Egypt’s slavery was firstly a religious issue, but also an economic phenomenon. Thus religion and economics are inextricably linked.

The case laws of Exodus (Ex.21-23) refer to employment both directly and indirectly, such as “You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute” (Ex.23:2-3). God even gives specific instructions about the payment of wage-earners, commanding that “You shall not oppress your neighbour, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning” (Lev.19:13).

John the Baptist gave directions about employment (Luke 3:10-14), as did Paul (Eph.6:5-9), while some commentators claim that a third of our Lord’s words were about money.

The issue of the inheritance is a vital Biblical theme, and an important aspect of economics. Proverbs tells us that “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Prov.13:22). The Psalmist testified that God “…chooses our inheritance for us” (Ps.47:4), and that “You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name” (Ps.61:5). The theme of the inheritance continues all the way till Revelation: “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Rev.21:7).

The issue of the inheritance was at the centre of one of Jesus’ last controversies with the Pharisees. At the conclusion of His Parable of the Vineyard, Jesus plainly identified the chief priests and the Pharisees as those who would say of the son of the landowner, “…This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance” (Mat.21:38).

From cover to cover, the Bible is really a radical free-market document, but we don’t have true economic freedom in Australia. Partly out of the Church’s ignorance and laxity, we’ve grown to tolerate a lot of things that have no place in a free society. A large proportion of Australian employees cannot negotiate aspects of their employment with their employers, without either the threat of the forced intervention of a government appointed bureaucracy called Fair Work Australia, or a union that employees may not have wished to join in the first place, but were compelled to, in order to secure employment.

That happened to me in 1990. And you thought this was a free country?

This means that penalty rates, public holidays, weekend work, hours of work, superannuation and other conditions of employment which can be critical issues affecting business profitability, can become untouchable subjects: beyond negotiation. And if an employer is struggling to compete internationally because his labour costs are simply too high, he may have to just close his doors. These have been contributing aspects leading to the recent closure of all of Australia’s motor vehicle plants, along with other manufacturers.

I like going to supermarkets from time to time. Why?

Because of the choices and the prices, and because there’s hardly any government interference there. There is a price-war at the moment between Coles and Woolworths, and the beneficiaries are consumers (and possibly shareholders). These two companies are going toe-to-toe in their respective bids to outdo one another. That’s capitalism at work; one of the outcomes of Biblical influence in our community.

The government agency, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC), claims on its website that

We monitor fuel prices to prevent any misleading or anti-competitive conduct that may harm consumers.

But it isn’t really an institution that protects the free-market at all. It has intervened to stop Coles and Woolworths using fuel vouchers how they’d like to: to get more business.

Why? Because the ACCC doesn’t want “predatory pricing.” It doesn’t like the fact that big companies can use their advantages of scale to take business from the smaller companies. What’s wrong with that, when the consumer benefits? In taking this action to protect smaller petrol retailers, the ACCC violates what God had commanded in Exodus: “…nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.”

Capitalism wins hands down every time, over socialism, or any other “ism.” Take items like yoghurt, shampoo, fruit-juice, ice cream or coffee. The variety of these items available in the big supermarket chains is enormous, because the big companies want to give you every opportunity to spend money in their shop.

Why is this important for you? Because it’s an aspect of the Christian world-view you can be diligently explaining to your children.

Is capitalism perfect? No, because people are never perfect; there are sinful, evil capitalists. But as an economic system, capitalism has won by a country mile over all its competitors, historically.

It’s not just the economics of employee/employer relationships that are regularly violated in Australia. Consider what happened in 2011, when the Federal government overnight, shut down the live cattle export market to Indonesia, from northern Australia. This scandalous act to appease the animal welfare/green lobby at the expense of cattle producers, was initiated with the broadcast of one government –funded TV program.

Now (thankfully), that industry is re-building and growing quickly, but the government’s unethical intervention threw their industry into confusion and cost farmers millions, whilst Australia’s international reputation as a reputable supplier was trashed. Under the guise of “animal welfare,” the government’s actions were no less immoral than Ahab’s confiscation of Naboth’s vineyard.

Does the Bible speak of animal welfare?

Yes, in a number of places. Here’s one: “The righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel” (Prov.12:10). But when Biblical morality is despised and short-term political outcomes are the goal, we can be sure the consequences will be evil and fearful. As Chesterton warned, “There is above all, this supreme stamp of the barbarian; the sacrifice of the permanent to the temporary.”

Rushdoony was right:

The humanistic governments seek a short-cut to learning by means of power. The seizure of power has as its goal to speed up history and growth; in reality, it retards or destroys it because it denies the fact of man’s fall. It substitutes the planning of an elite for the predestination of God, and the result is disaster.[1]

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                 The Chinese have a saying: Every journey starts with a few small steps. The economics of the free-market, derived directly from the Bible, apply across the board. This is why Christians must be at the forefront of healthy community reform, pushing back the tide of government interventionism wherever its present.

And this is a long-term issue that won’t be dealt with overnight. Economic interventionism by government has become endemic in communities throughout the world on our watch, as we Christians have tolerated it, to our shame.

Now, it’s time we changed our tune, taking Biblical commands seriously, beginning with the education of the young, yours and mine. Every nation needs smaller government, less taxation, and more freedom. It’s simply an aspect of thinking and living Biblically, where homeschooling parents can contribute so much to their children, teaching them from the scriptures, “…the law of liberty” (James 2:12).

Are you ready for that?


[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Romans and Galatians,” 1997, p.278-9.

Children Don’t Need School (7)

Leave Your Children with Good Memories

My Aunt Maisie (1916-2000) was the last of her generation to die. Some years before her passing, she told me of an experience with her Dad, my Grandfather Hugh (1875-1948).

As a young, single man, he’d gone from South Australia to Western Australia, looking for gold, with indifferent results. He’d found enough to get by, but that was all.

He married Grandma in 1911, and when the Depression came, he took his youngest daughter Maisie on a train journey from his farm which he’d bought around 1910, where they lived near Cowra, NSW, right across through western NSW, into South Australia. Why?

He’d passed through there in his gold mining years, some thirty years earlier, and had staked some sort of mining claim on a piece of land there, in a little town on the railway line. Now, with times being tough on the farm, he chose to return there with her, to see what could be done about his “claim.”

Well, nothing eventuated from the trip. Whatever he thought he had in terms of a “claim,” it was either no longer valid, or was of no value, and they returned to the farm and family, with no results.

This would have been some trip for her, as a girl of 14-15. Around 3 days each way in a very plain steam train, with very ordinary comforts. I have no idea what they slept in, or on, but after my train experiences going to and from boarding school in Sydney from 1967-1972, it would not have been luxurious!

And as for the food, she didn’t go into the details, and it didn’t occur to me to ask her. But she remembered the journey with him, with fondness.

Why is this important?

You want your children to have good childhood memories. You don’t have to be either a brilliant or a perfect parent for this to take place. Nor should you have to spend a lot of money to achieve this. But you can be an enjoyable person, for your children to be around.

In February 1969, my parents came to Sydney for a few days, where I was at boarding school. I met Dad at Central Station, and he took me to the Test cricket, where Australia was playing Test cricket against the West Indies. The famous West Indian bowlers Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith were bowling, and the two Australian batsmen Bill Lawrie and Doug Walters each made a century and a double century, respectively.

All that changed in 1970. In November of that year, my Dad suddenly died after a heart attack, aged 52. No more going to the cricket with him. Forty years later, when Bill Lawry was still doing TV cricket commentating, it would remind me.

The lesson?

Some may have castles on the banks of the Rhine

Or go to the orchestra each evening at nine.

But richer than them will I always be,

‘Cause I had a Dad who spent time with me.

Make sure you’re one of those dads.