There are many common philosophies and methods used within homeschools: Charlotte Mason, Traditional, Classical, Christian Classical, Hebraic Classical, Eclectic, Free Range, and Delight Directed. Phew! Did I name them all? Yet, the Principle Approach® isn’t quite as common among homeschools (or Christian schools, for that matter). So, what is a Biblical-Principle Approach homeschool?
A Principle Approach® Homeschool is a Biblical Classical Homeschool
There are distinctions between a Classical, Christian Classical, and a Biblical Classical philosophy and method. Both Classical and Christian Classical are based on the premise that there were lost tools of learning. However, I believe that the “lost” tools of learning were never lost.
To get down to it, a Biblical Classical Homeschool doesn’t just add Bible as another subject to study. Instead, the Bible is the basis for every subject and of life. This means that instead of attempting to reason to truth, we practice reasoning from truth.
Also, we hold to a Providential view of History. This means that:
- we believe God still governs in the affairs of men and nations
- there is a providential purpose for God’s Creation, every subject, nations, and individuals
Of note: this philosophy and method is applicable in any nation because the Truths of God’s Word are for any individual in any nation. It literally is the donning of the Armor of God to tear down strongholds (mindsets) that are contrary to God’s Word. This because the power of God’s Word is the core of this form of education and it affects the individual internally, then externally (as its applied to the home, local community, civil government sphere).
The Principle Approach® Is External
Biblical Classical homeschoolers use the 4R Method of Research, Reason, Relate and Record. Our Biblical reasoning in subjects are filed in our 3-Ring binders or journals. However, we may also record our reasoning or recitals via video or scrapbooks. We’re flexible with what we do.
As a part of the external aspect, the Chain of Christianity® is studied.
For our homeschool, we memorize the Chain of Christianity® that Rosalie Slater came up with as she traced the Gospel spreading westward (as it pertains to America). You can learn more about it by listening to Episode 6 of our podcast on The Power of the Chain of Christianity®.
The Principle Approach® Is Internal
The Purpose of God’s Principles
In our family’s personal experience with the Biblical-Principle Approach, we internalize Biblical principles; they form our convictions and inform our conscience. Our thinking and reasoning become infused by them. They’re a way of life—first internally and then with an out working. As we grow, we conform more to the likeness of Christ’s character. It’s our Savior Jesus Christ who governs in and through us.
God’s Principles are Applicable to All of Life
Additionally, we believe that God’s principles are intelligent and practical. Therefore, we accept the His wisdom and design behind them and that they impact the world for His glory (as they are applied to life). That’s not to say that a utopia of sorts is formed. We still live in a fallen, broken world. And, it will only be fully restored at Christ’s second coming. However, God’s principles in all spheres help to improve things in the here and now. It all begins with our mindsets (thought life) and convictions; these are internal. The internal gives rise to the external. Thus, there is a cause to effect whether we choose to honor or dishonor God’s principles.
Inspiring the Heart of the Child
Inspiration is internal. And, a Biblical Classical education inspires the heart (and mind) of the child with the Truths of God’s Word. Notably, this is done with the use of Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (the Biblical worldview dictionary), the Bible, and a concordance. You can read more about inspiring the heart of the child here.
The Bible teaches us that the internal qualities of an individual is the primary cause of every thought and action and their effects.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…
-Proverbs 23:7a (KJV)
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
-Proverbs 4:23 (KJV)
Understanding the Principles
Core Principles That Are Highlighted
History is emphasized in the Biblical-Principle Approach because there is much to learn from it. Plus, it’s about Christ and His Story. Furthermore, there’s an emphasis on civics/government because the internal change that Christ gives us has an out working and application to civics/government. Internal freedom gives rise to external freedom as God’s principles are applied (this is seen as we study America’s Christian History).
There are seven core principles when it comes to history, civics, and government:
- Self-Government/Christian Self-Government
- Quality Character/Christian Character
- Private Property/Conscience is the Most Sacred of All Private Property
- Biblical Form/American Form of Government (America’s application of the Biblical Form)
- Local Authority/American Political Union (America’s application of local authority)
The seven core principles do not apply to every subject, however some of them do cross over to other subjects. For instance, God’s Principle of Individuality spans all subjects.
There are, however, many principles in the Bible for life and learning. We discover these as we apply the 4R Method that is mentioned above in this article.
Another important aspect of the Biblical-Principle Approach to life and learning is learning how to think governmentally. We think about:
- who or what is in control (governing)?
- the Biblical Idea of God, Man, and Government vs. the Pagan Idea
- being governed (directed, regulated, controlled, restrained) by Christ Jesus
- reasoning from Biblical principles that govern our lives
It Develops the Christian Home’s Culture
A family’s Christian culture is developed as the parents and children learn and live a principled life. One of the beauties is that God’s principles have to do with the cross: they impact each individual so that one’s vertical relationship with God has a positive impact on the horizontal relationship of family.
As a result, I’m thankful for this philosophy and method that was used in education for our first 250 years as a nation. And, I think that if our children were in a school that implements it, there’d likely be a disconnect between what our children learn and believe and what we parents learn and believe. But instead, our family is unified in how to think and reason Biblically. My heart is full of appreciation to God for directing our family down this path of life and learning.
God’s Principle of Individuality is Honored
Since a homeschool is about life and learning together, we shape our homeschool to suit our individual families. Personally, our family incorporates a lot of nature studies and we follow the Charlotte Mason idea of 10-20 minutes daily of learning per subject for elementary ages. And, we follow the Charlotte Mason model of no more than 40 minutes daily per subject for older students. We do certain subjects daily and others once a day or twice a week.
Additionally, we allow room for:
- learning handicrafts,
- exploring interests and additional topics they’d like to learn about,
- nurturing their individual gifts and talents,
- a lot of time outdoors,
- field trips/field days
Something to keep in mind is that while some Principle Approach® guides are available, they’re guides for a school that is full of a team of teachers. Those teachers teach a specific subject or two. But, that’s not the case for a homeschool.
The ultimate goal isn’t to “get through a certain list” and to “check off the boxes”; that’s focusing on the external.
Rather, the goal is to:
- develop the internal character qualities of the individual,
- learn principles and to learn how to reason from principles,
- see life through a Providential lens
- honor Christ as the Focal Point of His Story
- think governmentally
- voluntarily choose to allow Christ to govern in and through him/her
- allow the Holy Spirit to teach the individual
- guard one’s conscience as the most sacred of all property
- live a life that honors God as sovereign
- be an active participant in life to help restore God’s Principles of Liberty to the individual, the home, communities, and the nation
The internal is what makes any Biblical-Principle approach homeschool a success.
Learn More About the Biblical-Principle Approach
To learn more about a Biblical-Principle Approach homeschool, visit the Start Here section of our website. And, if you’d love to have some Biblical-Principle Approach online courses, visit our growing Biblical Classical Community.
Biblical-Principle Approach Discipleship
If you want to learn how to teach the whole child with the Biblical-Principle Approach, we have the Biblical-Principle Approach Homeschool Experience™ membership. This is where we disciple and mentor parents in how to take ownership of their own and their child’s education. You’ll meet like-minded parents and enjoy community. It’s specifically designed for the Christian homeschool lifestyle.