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   Bill was raised in a devoutly Christian home.  Bill’s dad, Bill, Sr., worked for the Gideons (the folks who put all those Bibles in hotel rooms.) 
   Otherwise, little Bill’s upbringing was fairly conventional.  But for years he did poorly in school.  He spent two years in the first grade, and very nearly spent a third year there.  For eight straight years he was “passed on probation” into the next grade.
   This must have been a very unpleasant experience for someone who has since proven himself to be a very driven, goal-oriented individual.  Perhaps it also (at least partially) accounts for Bill Gothard’s antipathy for traditional formal education.  While he himself has the benefit of a Masters degree, he now openly discourages families from sending their children to school, promoting his own home-schooling curriculum instead.