A photo showcasing a serene study area, adorned with a Bible, where a parent and child engage in homeschooling, symbolizing the biblical values and principles guiding the educational journey.

What Does The Bible Say About Homeschooling?

Homeschooling has become an increasingly popular option for parents in recent years. As Christians consider whether to homeschool their children, many wonder – what does the Bible say about homeschooling?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: the Bible does not directly address homeschooling, but it does provide principles about parents’ responsibility to raise and educate their children that can guide decisions about schooling options.

In this comprehensive article, we will examine key biblical passages concerning a parent’s role and responsibility in educating their children. We’ll consider examples of education in the Bible, look at verses about all authority coming from God, and study scriptures relating to parents training children in the Lord’s ways.

Biblical Examples of Home Education

Adam and Eve and Their Children

The first example of homeschooling in the Bible starts with Adam and Eve educating their children Cain, Abel, and Seth. As the first parents, Adam and Eve had the responsibility of teaching their children about God, nature, farming, animal husbandry, and life skills.

The Bible does not provide details about their homeschooling methods, but we can assume Adam and Eve taught through oral instruction, modeling correct behavior, and engaging their kids in hands-on activities and chores around their home.

Jewish Education in Biblical Times

In ancient Jewish culture, teaching children was considered extremely important. The primary responsibility for educating children fell on the parents, specifically fathers. The Torah commands fathers to “teach God’s words diligently to your children” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

This informal “homeschooling” in Jewish families focused on passing down religious beliefs, morals, practical skills, and trade knowledge from one generation to the next.

By age 5, many Jewish boys went to elementary school at the local synagogue to memorize and study the Torah under the village rabbi. Girls often learned domestic skills at home from their mothers until they were old enough for marriage and motherhood.

Home education reinforced what was learned at the synagogue.

Jesus as a Child in Nazareth

The Gospels tell us little about Jesus’s childhood and education. However, we can make some assumptions based on typical Jewish customs. As a boy in Nazareth, Jesus likely received His primary education at home.

His earthly father Joseph was a carpenter, so it’s probable Joseph taught Jesus his trade from a young age. Mary must have educated Jesus about the Jewish faith, synagogue traditions, holidays, cooking, cleaning, and more.

When Jesus was about 12 years old, He went with Joseph and Mary to the temple in Jerusalem for the Passover festival (Luke 2:41-52). In this account, Jesus impressed the temple teachers with His wisdom and bibilical knowledge that He had likely gained from diligent study, discussions, and homeschooling with His parents.

Timothy’s Upbringing and Education

Timothy was a young man from Lystra who was mentored by the apostle Paul in the faith. Paul wrote to Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5).

This verse suggests that Timothy received his early education about God from his mother and grandmother at home.

Timothy became Paul’s disciple as a teenager and later joined him in his missionary work. Paul gave Timothy advice, trained him for ministry, and entrusted him with leadership roles in the early church.

Timothy’s biblically-grounded homeschooling as a child prepared him well for Christian service as an adult.

Parental Responsibility and Authority Over Children

As the Bible teaches, parents have a sacred duty to raise their children in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). This parental authority and responsibility comes from God himself.

The Fifth Commandment About Honoring Parents

God’s fifth commandment instructs, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). This commandment establishes the duty of children to respect and obey their parents.

Fathers Instructing Children in the Lord’s Ways

Fathers in particular carry the responsibility to nurture their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). God calls fathers to train children in his ways from an early age (Proverbs 22:6). This biblical parental authority provides the foundation for homeschooling.

Parental Authority Comes from God

Ultimately all parental authority over children originates from God, not the state or any human institution. God gives children as a heritage to parents (Psalm 127:3-5) with the expectation they will raise the children to honor him.

Therefore, parents have the foremost duty and right to direct their children’s education, whether through homeschooling or other means.

Homeschooling affirms this biblical model of parental responsibility and authority for raising and teaching children. Rather than delegating that authority to others, homeschooling allows parents to exercise their God-given authority directly through customized instruction and discipleship.

Goals and Priorities in Educating Children

Teaching Children God’s Commands

As Christian parents, our top priority should be to raise children who know, love, and obey God (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). We must teach them Scripture and biblical principles starting from a young age (Psalm 78:5-7). This means not only educating them academically, but spiritually as well.

According to a 2019 Barna study, the most common reason young adults leave the faith is feeling disconnected from God. So we must make our children’s relationship with God our primary focus in homeschooling.

Not Conforming to the World’s Standards

God calls us to live according to His standards, not the world’s (Romans 12:2). As homeschoolers, we have a unique opportunity to shape our children’s worldviews and counter the messages they receive from secular culture.

We should be discerning about the influences we allow into their lives, like friends, media, and technology access. Our goal is not to completely isolate them, but to instill discernment so they can engage culture without compromising biblical values (1 John 2:15-17).

A Heart for the Lord as Most Important

While academic success and career preparation matter, the best homeschoolers realize the most important goal is for children to develop a heart for the Lord (Proverbs 4:23). More than high test scores and college acceptances, we want them to love God with their whole being and desire His will above all else.

This happens through daily Bible engagement, service, worship, and walking in the Spirit. According to educator Stephen E. Jones, “More than any other academic or professional pursuit, the shaping of souls should drive what and how we teach.”

Potential Benefits of Home Education

More Individualized Attention

One of the main advantages of homeschooling is the opportunity for more personalized learning (Ray, 2022). With just a few students rather than a classroom of 20-30, parents can tailor the curriculum to match each child’s unique interests, abilities, and learning pace.

Home educators have the flexibility to spend more one-on-one time addressing any weak areas while allowing gifted students to accelerate. According to a study, the average homeschool student performs at the 80th percentile on standardized tests.

Instilling Biblical Values

For Christian families, homeschooling allows for seamless integration of faith and learning. Lessons can point back to God’s truth revealed in Scripture. Morning devotions may kick off the school day. Parents have control over influences and can filter content not aligned with their beliefs.

Home education fosters an environment where children learn a biblical worldview from an early age.

According to the National Home Education Research Institute, the top motivation for homeschooling is to provide religious or moral instruction. Over 90% of home educators identified this as an important reason behind their decision.

Sheltering from Negative Influences

Homeschooling allows increased protection from societal issues students may encounter in traditional settings such as bullying, discrimination, violence, drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, and pressure to conform.

Parents can reduce outside influences through greater oversight of friendships, entertainment, technology use, etc. Home education advocates believe this sheltering allows students to develop their values and character before interfacing more independently with the culture.

In his article, “The Benefits of Homeschooling,” Dr. Greg Hall cites protection from negative peer pressure as a key advantage. Home schooled students tend to be more confident and self-assured since their beliefs and morals face less attack from those with opposing worldviews.

Challenges of Homeschooling

Time Commitment and Responsibility

Homeschooling requires a huge time commitment from parents. Unlike sending kids to traditional schools, homeschooling parents take on the responsibility of designing curriculum, creating lesson plans, teaching, grading assignments, and more.

This can easily amount to a full-time job on top of other responsibilities. Having patience and being highly organized are vital skills for successful homeschooling parents.

Homeschooling falls almost entirely on the parents’ shoulders. While traditional schools provide structure, social settings, and professional educators, homeschooling parents must fulfill all these roles.

It’s a big responsibility to oversee a child’s entire education throughout their formative years. Many parents feel overwhelmed, at least initially, by the task at hand.

Providing a Well-Rounded Education

While homeschooling allows customization and flexibility, it can be challenging for parents to provide a comprehensive, well-rounded education. Most parents do not have expertise in all subject areas or teaching methods.

They must determine how to teach subjects outside their wheelhouse, like advanced math and science, foreign languages, arts, and more. Some parents address this by forming co-ops, hiring tutors, or using online courses.

Since homeschoolers aren’t required to follow state education standards, it can be difficult for parents to know if they’re covering all the bases. Annual standardized testing can help assess if children are at grade level in core subjects.

Limited Social Interactions

Homeschooling offers wonderful opportunities for family bonding. However, some worry that homeschooled children will suffer socially without daily peer interactions at school. This concern is understandable but often overstated.

Homeschoolers today have abundant social opportunities through sports teams, clubs, co-ops, camps, field trips, and community activities. Socialization occurs naturally through these activities without the negative peer pressures often faced at school.

That said, some homeschooling parents do need to make an extra effort to ensure their kids get adequate socialization. This may mean regularly scheduling play dates, enrolling in group classes, or joining homeschool groups that meet regularly.

The social aspect requires intentionality but is very manageable with today’s abundant resources.


In closing, while the Bible does not directly address modern home education, it does make clear that parents have a responsibility before God to raise and educate their children. Scripture provides principles about parents instructing children in the ways of the Lord that can help guide decisions between public schools, private schools, homeschools and other educational choices.

There are potential benefits as well as challenges to consider with home education specifically. Most importantly, Christian parents need wisdom and discretion from the Holy Spirit to determine what schooling options will best assist them in fulfilling their biblical roles of training their children to know and follow Christ.

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