May 6, 2021

Funeral arrangements for Craig Smith

Craig’s funeral will be live streamed here:

Funeral arrangements for Craig Smith

The funeral service will take place, Lord Willing, at

1pm on Friday the 7th of October

at Central Baptist Church, 190 Church Street, Palmerston North

Approx 2:30pm you are invited to join the family at the grave-side at

Kelvin Grove Cemetery, James Line, Pamlerston North


Light refreshments will be available from 2:30pm at the

Reformed Church, 541 Ruahine Street, Palmerston North

During the afternoon tea at about 3:30pm there will be tributes from:

Zach Smith (including sister Susan Sullivan) on behalf of the Smith family

David Waldron on behalf of his family and other families

John de Vries on behalf of the Reformed Church

Roy Sandbrook (including Kate Jaunay and Geoff Botkin) on behalf of Home educators

Gone to Glory

Dear friends, on Friday morning, Craig was very drowsy and spent most of the day asleep. He remained peaceful and quiet and deeply unconscious all afternoon. Late in the evening it became difficult for him to breathe and in a short time, about 11:35pm on Friday the 30th of September 2011 our gracious God took Craig home to Heaven.

We have all felt so completely surrounded by the Lord’s peace and love and the support and help of our dear brothers and sisters in Christ, family and friends. We will miss our husband and father yet we are thankful to know his eternal state with such certainty and look forward to seeing him again in Glory. We so appreciate all your prayers and support. With love from Barbara and the children.

The funeral service will take place, Lord willing, at 1pm on Friday the 7th of October at Central Baptist Church, 190 Church Street, Palmerston North.

More details here:

Here are a number of YouTube videos that Craig made when he nearly died at the end of August. He shares his heart with you all here:

What is the number one issue I need to settle? Pt 1

What is the number one issue I need to settle? Pt 2

What is the number one issue I need to settle? Pt 3

What is the number one issue I need to settle? Pt 4

What is the number one issue I need to settle? Pt 5

What does it mean to be a Christian Pt 2

What does it mean to be a Christian Pt 1

Updates on Craig’s tumour

For Updates here:

Updates on Craig’s health written by family


Craig’s diary: Diary of a Brain Tumour

Youtube videos: (started videoing yesterday – we have lots to put up so please keep coming back to view them)

Comments from Craig on the ERO and MoE meeting 12 July 2011

Further comments from Craig Smith:
I was greatly encouraged by our meeting. The objective of improving and/or maintaining good PR with the ERO and MoE was, I believe, met quite nicely. I was very pleased to hear Rob Williamson say precisely what I’ve been telling home educators for years: that the exemption application is just a statement of intent rather than any kind of contract with the MoE or a list of promises that we home educators are making. It was again confirmed that the ERO and the MoE know and expect us to change from what we originally write, with Rob adding some highly quotable words: “That’s what a good practitioner does.”


A minor difference of understanding on an historical fact was Rob’s saying that Brian Donnelly (newly elected MP in Winston Peter’s party which went on to form a coalition government with National in 1996) re-introduced blanket reviews because of a need to see home educators somewhat accountable for the allowance they were receiving. Well, we’d been receiving this since 1990, and the blanket reviews were, in fact, illegal until the Education Legislation Amendment Bill #2 was passed in 1998. There was also a home schooling group operating at the time known as the NZHSA (NZ Home Schooling Association) or The Federation which seemed to be politically connected here and there. They had a document in every public library in the country at the time proposing that the MoE give the review process over to them for a mere $6M a year. When then Minister of Education, Dr Lockwood Smith cancelled blanket reviews of home educators back in 1994, The Federation went ballistic in the media, saying how the MoE had “abandoned” home educators and how we all wanted reviews to come back to give us assurance that we’re doing a good job. (Let me assure you, those sentiments were the very last things that would ever cross my mind.) But you see, they saw their plans for $6M a year rapidly fading with Smith’s decision, plus their current income of the day from charging people for coaching before a review had come to a sudden and decisive halt. I’ve often wondered if they had the ear of Brian Donnelley, for he brought the issue of re-introducing blanket reviews of home educators to the bargaining table, very high on his list, when his party, NZ First and National were negotiating as to whether NZF would be part of any coalition government or not. Donnelley ended up as Minister in Charge of the ERO for that Parliamentary term of 1996-1999.
We home educators then retired from the ERO building in Lambton Quay to a nearby café for lunch and had what many of us considered to be a much more informative and profitable meeting over chai latte. We talked a lot about the history of home schooling and of how our various regional organisations operate. We all had a passion for seeing the reputation of home education preserved and built up and wondered how we could reach more current home educators with offers of the services we have on tap and how to reach non-home educators with information that would definitely motivate them to seriously explore the option for themselves.
Craig Smith, scribe
Home Education Foundation

Home Educators meeting with ERO and MoE 12 July 2011

Craig’s Blog: Schools are time wasters

Schools are time wasters

When I talk to people about home education, you simply cannot help but compare and contrast with the alternate product, the one most people think to use first: the state schools. One point I make is that they are horrible wasters of time.

I said for years that you could accomplish in 2 hours of focussed work at home what would take you 2 weeks to accomplish at school. Now, I have been known to resort to hyperbole on occasion. And so I would wonder, now and again, whether I was perhaps exaggerating a bit when I said this. Could I actually make a good case to support this accusation?

Please understand that I did not make this particular claim in a vacuum: I had good reasons. First off, you just know that one can do so much more in a one-on-one situation (like home education) than in a group scenario (like the classroom). Second, we fostered children for many years and heard all kinds of stories about what goes on within those hallowed halls of learning. And don’t forget, I spent 17 years of my life in state-subsidised classrooms, from Kindergarten through to gaining a BA degree. I know very well what goes on.

One of the best stories ever was the mum I met here in Palmerston North when I was a door to door salesman. She considered herself a dummy: she had to leave school at age 14 and never did any good anyway. Well, when her 10-year-old daughter got glandular fever or some such thing that forced her to stay at home for three months, the mum had no idea how her daughter would keep up. Sure, the school gave her some text books and said they’d more or less cover this and that, but the girl was ill and the mum was a “dummy.” Hoping for the best, they did a little bit in the text books each day, not much as the girl was ill. So when she went back to school after three months, the mum discovered she was a full month ahead of the rest of her class! Not surprisingly the mum, a big burly woman with a loud voice, demanded of the teacher what on earth they do each day in the classroom. She did not receive a satisfactory answer, but nothing changed either.

Anyway, when our daughter Charmagne was about 15, I asked if she’d like to spend a couple days at a school, just to see what it was like. She was horrified! But I mentioned it would be like a field trip, that she’d need to go with a friend and just tag along from class to class, and all with the permission of the school authorities, of course. No, she was not going to be enrolled! So she relaxed and saw the fun side of it. She got all the permissions and organised to meet with friends as they got off the bus as it arrived at the school, a once-private Protestant church school that had now integrated. While waiting for her friends, she, her siblings and I looked at the moon still in the sky, and I told them a bit about earth rotations, moon phases and the like. Then the bus came, her friends appeared and we waved goodbye.

At 3:15 that after noon when I picked her up, she just let out a weary sigh. “Dad,” she said, “I used to think you were exaggerating when you said one could accomplish in 2 hours at home what would take 2 weeks to do at school. But now I think you have been understating the case! I learned more in those few minutes talking about the moon this morning than I learned in all of the rest of the day. I just didn’t believe it was possible to waste so much time in a single day. But I do now.”

I rest my case.


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