It’s just as important for Biblical Classical homeschool students to write a senior thesis as it is for those in a “traditional” Biblical Classical school. And, it’s rather easy for students to prepare for writing a senior thesis—whether or not they’ve been practicing the application of Biblical principles and the 4R Method from an early age.
What a Biblical Classical Homeschool Senior Thesis is Like
The word thesis means:
1. A position or proposition which a person advances and offers to maintain, or which is actually maintained by argument; a theme; a subject.
2. In logic, every proposition may be divided into thesis and hypothesis. thesis contains the thing affirmed or denied, and hypothesis the conditions of the affirmation or negation.–Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
A senior thesis is an opportunity for Biblical Classical students to position and set their reasoning from Biblical principles (the Truths of God’s Word) in writing and in length. This gives them the ability to relate the convictions they have formed from Biblical truths in any area of life he or she decides as the thesis’ focus. A Biblical Classical senior thesis edifies the body of Christ with Biblical truths, discernment, and applied wisdom.
Why Write a Senior Thesis?
“The High School Thesis is the culminating academic experience for each graduating senior. Its purpose is to guide the Principle Approach senior through the experience of developing, researching, writing, and defending a personal position on a worthy idea in a way that manifests his or her Biblical worldview and Christian scholarship, thus equipping the student for a lifetime of presenting and defending his faith and worldview. . . “-Carole Goodman Adams, The Noah Plan® English Curriculum Guide, ©2006, p. 298
The Role of the Homeschool Parent as a Senior Thesis Mentor
As parents, we have the blessing and joy of being our homeschool high schooler’s mentor. Our role is to help guide our sons and daughters in the process of researching their topic and encouraging them in the application of the philosophy and 4R Method. Additionally, we’re to help prepare them for an oral presentation and defense of their thesis which reflect their personal convictions.
Thesis Objectives We Choose for Our Seniors
The following objectives are the purposes behind our student’s Biblical Classical senior thesis as we approach it in our homeschool:
- Write about a strong area of interest, a topic our student wants to expand his or her knowledge on, or about a field he or she is considering entering. For example, our second oldest son is passionate about landscape construction and concrete. So, his senior thesis involves concrete test information he did for part of his special project.
- Mentor your high schooler and nurture inspiration, guide the development, writing, and defense of his/her Biblical principle reasoning. The goal is for your student to set a Biblical premise from which to reason in the thesis.
- Senior thesis demonstrates more mature Christian thinking that we’ve been able to witness first hand as we raise and teach our children. “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” -1 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)
- It’s their first philosophical contribution to the body of Christ in print and on a grander scale than previous papers they have written. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” -Matthew 28:19 (NASB)
- Individual students are able to affect society for Christ. “[F]or it is God who is at work in you, both to desire and to work for His good pleasure.” -Philippians 2:13 (NASB)
- They form and share original thought. (God’s Principle of Individuality and Private Property.)
- Express internalized Biblical principles and convictions and their application to life.
- Mastery of Christian scholarship is proven with the use of what I refer to as the 5R’s: Research, Reason, Relate, Record, and Respond.
- Produce a refined presentation and prove oneself to be equipped to give a defense that will remain with him/her throughout their lives. The emphasis is on what God says vs. synthesis that takes place in the dialectical process.
You may read one of our oldest daughter’s Biblical Classical college papers here. Although it’s not her homeschool senior thesis, it demonstrates Biblical reasoning just the same.
Presenting the Senior Thesis
This varies depending upon each individual family. Some ideas are to give an oral presentation before:
- family and/or friends
- homeschool group
- one’s congregation
Feedback for Your Student’s Senior Thesis
Students and parents may appreciate receiving feedback from family, friends, or pastors. For our homeschool high school graduates, we asked a pastor, an elder, and also Max Lyons with FACE to read and inform our students of their thoughts on their Senior Thesis. Each one gladly did so and it was a great blessing to both our students and ourselves.
Fruit is Seen Within a Biblical Classical Homeschool Senior Thesis
“He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”-Psalm 1:3 (NKJV)
The senior thesis gives us the ability to witness more of the good fruit of independent thinking from Biblical reasoning.
Learn more about a Biblical Classical to life and learning with our Principles in Practice Homeschool podcast.
Footnote 1: The Noah Plan® [and/or] The Principle Approach® are registered trademarks of the Foundation for American Christian Education.