The Principle Approach

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The Principle Approach to homeschooling looks at each subject from a Christian worldview. Based on the works of Rosalie J. Slater and Verna M. Hall, this approach seeks to teach using the methods of our founding fathers by using the Bible as our textbook and relating and applying God’s Biblical principles to all areas of education.

The seven principles associated with this approach include individuality, self-government, Christian character, conscience, government, local self-government and political union. You may come across different labels for these principles depending on the source. Lest you think this is merely a study of American history, these principles are applied to ALL subjects including seeing God’s providence in world history. The idea is to ground our children in the Truth so they will become discerning leaders of character. This is a meaty approach but well worth the time to investigate. Among the things that stand out:

“The reason the Principle Approach develops Biblical worldview thinking is that children learn to search the Bible for answers in all areas of life. ‘The effect is a self-governed, free and independent man among men, who reasons from God’s Word rather than adapts to his environment or acts without reflection.’” – Kris Scribante Bayer (quoting James B. Rose), Come, Let Us Reason

Biblical worldview. There is no better textbook than the Bible. Everything we need to know about how to live is contained within its pages. After all, isn’t “how to live” that which we are attempting to teach our children? Taking the time to see God’s hand in each area of learning helps us share our worldview with our children.

Notebook development. Generally speaking, you won’t find “fill-in-the-blank”-type work in the Principle Approach. Each student develops his own textbook by completing a notebook. The notebook includes vocabulary and applicable Biblical principles along with the student’s thoughts and meditations. This is truly individualized learning!

4-R. The Principle approach uses the 4-R method of study: research, reason, relate and record. The 4-R method starts with researching God’s Word to identify His principles on a topic, reasoning from cause to effect in applying the principles to the subject at hand, relating the applications to the student and recording the individual applications. The 4-R method of study is not just for our children, but also for us as adults desiring a more in-depth study of any topic and how it relates to God’s Word.

Further Reading
  • American Classical Education
    Dr. Carole Adams explains why the “Lost Tools of Learning” were never really lost.
  • Notebooking
    From a scrapbook to save those precious homeschooling moments to a personalized “textbook,” there are many ways to incorporate this unique method of making lasting impressions into your homeschool days.
  • The Principle Approach
    “It is America’s historic method of Biblical reasoning which places the Truths (or principles) of God’s Word at the heart of education.” An explanation of the approach from The Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE).
  • Principled Mom
    We try to avoid linking to blogs, simply because they tend to come and go so frequently. However, since the Principle Approach is less known than some of the other approaches, it helps to see it in action in someone’s home. We think you’ll find lots to chew on at this site.
  • Research Tips Using the Principle Approach
    Notebooking and “4-R”-ing explained by Lori Harris.
  • Yahoo Group: Biblical Principles
    “This group is dedicated to educating and mentoring those families who have braved home education and are looking to instill God’s Word as the Heart of their homes and homeschools.”
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