Homeschool Curriculum Review - Ron Paul Curriculum
You can judge the suitability of the Ron Paul Curriculum for your family based on what it costs, how many subjects are taught and the qualifications of the teachers at each level. This is how homeschool parents typically select curriculum for their children, but this curriculum is a bit different. This curriculum review will tell you all of the basic information you need to make a final decision, but you must first consider the viewpoint from which this curriculum is taught.
What sets Ron Paul’s curriculum apart from competing options on the
market is that all lessons are taught from the perspective of the “freedom
philosophy.” The freedom philosophy is a viewpoint that recommends limited
civil government and stresses the rights of the American people.
Since this perspective is the backbone of this curriculum, social
science lessons are not introduced until the high school curriculum begins.
Gary North oversees development of the curriculum and believes that the social
sciences taught in public schools prior to high school are introduced with the
purpose of controlling the American people. Since his curriculum is about freedom
and does not support social control, he leaves social sciences out of the
curriculum until high school.
You are probably used to reviewing homeschool curriculum reviews to
determine if particular programs are secular or Christian. Understanding the
political viewpoint behind the Ron Paul Curriculum is no different than
determining if other programs are Bible-based or secular.
If you know that these viewpoints will not fit your family, then you
know that this curriculum will not fit your family. There is a heavy focus on
history and economics so that children end up with a strong education as it
relates to freedom.
Homeschool Curriculum Review - Ron Paul Curriculum - Self-Taught Homeschooling
Another thing that sets the Ron Paul curriculum apart from many of its
competitors is the focus on self-teaching. Parents are involved with the
educational process only until their children reach the 6th grade. From 6th grade to the completion of high school, each
child watches a video lesson and completes assignments in order to teach
If your child does not understand something presented in the Ron Paul
curriculum, they ask a question on the forum. It is admitted that your child
may or may not receive a response to these questions, since the children
enrolled in the courses are the ones providing the answers. Children help one
another without any interaction from parents. Teacher interaction is limited to
one video-recorded lesson for each day of the school week.
The philosophy behind self-teaching is that children need to learn to
teach themselves in order to thrive in the business world or college. If you
know that your children will not do well teaching themselves or taking guidance
online from other students, then there are other curriculum options to
Homeschool Curriculum Review - Ron Paul Curriculum - What Is Included? What Does It Cost?
The K-5 Ron Paul Curriculum is free to download at any time. The
curriculum started being released in mid-2013, and is not currently complete.
Parents may choose to pay $250 per year to join the forums and discuss the
curriculum with other parents.
The 6th-12th grade curriculum requires a membership to the forums at the rate of $250 per family, plus $50 per child per course. Parents are allowed to take the courses without the $50 fee after paying for at least one child to take the same course. For each course taken at these higher grades, the following is provided:
You do not need to purchase textbooks for this curriculum, and parents
are not encouraged to do anything for their children beyond paying for their
forum access and course fees.
Any homeschool curriculum review of the Ron Paul Curriculum should note
that teachers do not grade exams in this program, and parents are only
encouraged to read the essays their children produce. No grading is recommended
for this curriculum, but that doesn’t mean you can’t apply a more hands-on
approach when using the curriculum.
The creators of the program suggest using CLEP exams to determine
proficiency in areas of study. It is also suggested that students who follow
this program from kindergarten through 12th grade can take CLEP tests to bypass the first
two years of college. This will not work with all colleges and for all
Curriculum vs. Academy
There has been a lot of heated debate over the value and reputation of
the Ron Paul Curriculum. When you get to the root of the issue, you see that
the creators of the program stress that it is a curriculum, not an academy.
Just as you would not expect a teacher to grade homework or exams for most
other homeschool curriculums, you should not expect that from the curriculum
prepared by Ron Paul and Gary North.
This is a curriculum based on the freedom movement. Just as the
movement advocates minimal government control, the program advocates minimal
parental control over the learning process. Those are ideas that will turn many
away from the curriculum, but it is just what others have been hoping to find.
For more information and/or to purchase the Ron Paul Curriculum, click here.