“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
The first basic question is “what do you teach in high school?” This may sound silly, with the obvious answer being to teach what your children will have to know to get into college. But let us back up a bit. One of the main reasons we homeschool is that biblically we (the parents) are being held responsible to God for our children’s education. So let us go back to the bible as the starting point of what to teach – God’s word.
Fact is, we have seen nothing in the bible telling us to prepare our children for college. Also, we have seen nothing about grades, SAT, ACT, PSAT. Nothing. What we do see is a great deal of time spent explaining to parents that they (we) are responsible for the teaching. It is clear that however we educate our children - we are responsible. In this, we first must teach discipline. In discipline, we are preparing our children to understand their relationship with the Heavenly Father.
“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24
“Do not withhold discipline from a child; it you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” Proverbs 23:13-14
"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:7-11
This issue of discipline and obedience is really stressed when it comes to sons. A good deal of time is spent in Proverbs speaking to the sons. Some might suggest that this term “sons” is generic and means sons or daughters. But we must remember, that if sons were obedient to God’s word, our daughters would also be obedient. After all, if men did not go astray, there would be no prostitutes. (Of course this does not negate the daughters responsibilities.) In Future Men Douglas Wilson discusses the Proverbs and their application to our sons in great detail. Wilson explains that while the Proverbs seem to constantly repeat themselves, we are reminded of our constant repetition of training to our sons – as if the author of the Proverbs is dealing with some kind of “old covenant attention-deficit problem.”  The point of this continuous repetition in Proverbs is we are to teach our sons to listen, to hear, and to heed our instruction.
Knowing the Word
The second issue to teach our children is to know and follow God’s word. It might seem like this should be first, but the need for obedience will come well before our children can understand God’s word. So the first part in teaching discipline and teaching them to listen is a method of getting their attention. Once we have their attention, we can really begin to teach them.
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, …” Deuteronomy 11:18-20
Honor your Parents
A good part of this knowing and following God’s word seems to be to teach our children to honor us as parents.
"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
This one is so important to God, that it is one of the Ten Commandments. We spend a good deal of time teaching our children many things, but a good look at society, and even into the church, indicates we are all weak here. Remember that much of what our society teaches is just the opposite. TV and the movies often have the parents as adversaries to the children. So a good deal of this work can be accomplished through the proper handling (or disconnecting of) TV and movies. Also, even more critical is our example of how we honor our parents. We are always teaching, but only sometimes instructing.
Of course, the best training for teaching our children to honor their parents is how we honor ours. Couple this with the fact that homeschooled families often have some disharmony at first with the grandparents. It seems that usually at least one set of the children’s grandparents seem to disagree with the decision to homeschool or to live by biblical standards. But we must still honor them. Remember, this commandment is for us also! We must remember that right or wrong, the grandparents might have different values, and might non-Christians. You must be careful what you say about or to the grandparents, while still not allowing them to be the head of your household. It can be a difficult situation, but a critical teaching element for your children.
If you are having struggles in the area of grandparent control, we suggest you seek the advice of a Christian counselor about how adults should honor their parents without letting them control their lives. An excellent book on the subject is Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
Teach your children biblical disciplines and responsibilities. These lessons should be the natural outflow from teaching them God’s word. Some of these disciplines are reading God’s word, prayer, discipleship, and the Great Commission.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Mathew 28:18-20
Teaching many of these elements should end up being part of our biblical training in homeschooling. The text Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney is a great resource for guiding this process.
Next, we find verses related to finding a good spouse.
"He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
Wife.“ Proverbs 18:22
“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life. Proverbs 31:10-12
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
While we teach our children about finding a good spouse, we certainly need to teach them to also be a good spouse. Many verses in the bible deal with this issue. The bible is clear for women on Proverbs 31 and Ephesians.
“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savoir. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. . ...and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:22-24,33
But the bible is also very clear for husbands. No, not just with the next verse of Ephesians, but in many places in the bible. As leaders of the family men become responsible for everything – safety, teaching, finances, nurturing your wives and children, etc. A friend and his wife teach a Sunday school class for recently married couples. In one of the early meetings they go over the responsibilities of husbands and wives. First his wife gets up and talks about how wives should submit, and then reads the above Ephesians verse. As the men elbow their wives and smile, then my friend gets up and says he will read the bible verses related to the responsibilities of the husband. He then drops a scroll that goes to the floor and then begins to read the many verses related to the husbands role. As he reads, the smiles of these young men fade. These husbands realize their overwhelming responsibility.
Next we are to teach our children to gain wisdom. Here is where we tend to spend a great deal of our time in the homeschooling education process. But we must remember that getting wisdom also makes for better spouses and parents.
"Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor. “ Proverbs 4:5-9
Finally, God’s word teaches us to work. It is odd that our society seems to think otherwise. The typical attitude is that work is punishment and should be dreaded. Many of us have been guilty of creating this attitude with our children by punishing them with chores. We do this partly because this is how we often view work ourselves – as if it is punishment for sins. Fact is work was given to Adam before the fall. But even more important to note is that God works.
"By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” Genesis 2:2
So work is clearly not a result of sin. In fact, to work is biblical. It is one of our responsibilities.
"For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10
“Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.” Proverbs 12:24
“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
“The laborer's appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on.” Proverbs 16:26
Perhaps we are just scratching the surface of the biblical areas in which we are to teach our children, but it all appears to be in the bible. More importantly, this is where we should start. As Christians, we are often guilty of acting and then looking to the bible to confirm and justify our actions. We find and pick verses to support our arguments of why or how we homeschool our children. But what we are suggesting is that we do it the other way around. Instead of trying to make the bible fit our plan, make our plan fit the bible.
"The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
PS: Care for the Temple
We cannot miss the issue of care for the temple.
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The bible does not order an exercise and diet program, but it does indicate our body is not ours, which implies we have a stewardship responsibility for our body. This includes not using out bodies for sin, such as sexual immorality, gluttony, or laziness. When we look at the United States today we can see a nation that has fallen into these sins.
Once we have jobs and other responsibilities, it is a tough fight to learn to eat right and exercise. This stewardship is something that the parents should teach. While we should be the first to speak about avoiding sinful and harmful behavior such as drugs and sexual immorality, we also should be teaching them how to care for their bodies. After all, most of us learned to brush our teeth as kids. But when and where did we learn to exercise? Did we ever?