In an announcement today by Dr. Gary North, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, has opened RonPaulCurriculum.com. The curriculum being developed is aimed at homeschoolers, but is available to anyone and the best part is that you have six years to try it for free!
The Ron Paul Curriculum website touts, “The Ron Paul High School Curriculum is academically rigorous. A student who does not have the basics of time management, the memorization of facts, and writing skills is at a disadvantage. But a student needs far more than these skills to succeed.”
That’s right, courses for Kindergarten through Fifth Grade will be absolutely free. According to North’s announcement, “A free curriculum that you can try for six years will create trust. That trust will be converted into income for the program, beginning in sixth grade.”
According to North, who was commissioned by Ron Paul to develop the faculty:
I have assembled a first-rate high school faculty. One of them is Tom Woods, the author of Meltdown. Another, Professor Timothy Terrell, is an economist. One of them teaches engineering at the Ft. Smith branch of the University of Arkansas. One of them was formerly a highly successful mathematics instructor at a local community college. The chairman of the mathematics department did not want to lose him. I do not blame her. I will be teaching my share of courses.
We will cover the basics, but we will cover them from a free market and Christian point of view. I will teach two courses in economics — plus a four-year course in the Bible, which will present a high school version of my 31-volume Economic Commentary on the Bible. Professor Terrell will teach a course in personal finance. Tom Woods and I will teach competing courses in the history Western civilization and the history of Western literature. We will share a course in government.
There will be standard science high school courses: biology, chemistry, and physics. Mathematics will go from algebra through calculus. There will be a statistics course. There will be courses on how to start a home business. I will teach at least one of them. There will be a course in local government, where students will be encouraged to monitor local political entities: the city council, the county commission, and the school board.”
The purpose in making the curriculum free for the first six years to help parents get started in homeschooling. Both Paul and North, as well as myself, encourage homeschooling and know that getting started especially if one parent stays home can be a major shock to a budget. So this encourages not only trust in the curriculum, but assurance that those producing it do so understanding the needs of modern families today.
So what will the costs be if you decide to continue into grade six? “About $550 a year. There will be a $250 tuition charge, and then there will be a charge of $50 per course.”
Keep in mind, unlike the curriculum our family uses, this one does not require you to purchase books. Everything is online. I’ll tell you that we budget from $1200-$1500 a year for our curriculum. Keep in mind that is in addition to paying for other people’s children’s education in the public education system via our taxes. North writes, “There will be no textbooks for parents to purchase. There is only one textbook in the program, and we are going to offer that one for free. All a student has to do is print it out. I do not believe in textbook-based education. Textbooks have been screened by committees. Worse than this, they have been screened by committees of educrats. Textbooks are not subject to rapid revision. They are not tied to other courses in the curriculum: history, literature, economics, and government. They are dumbed down. The appeal to the lowest common denominator. The Ron Paul Curriculum does not target that low a denominator.”
He goes on to give the highlights of the curriculum at the high school level:
“One of the things that makes the program unique is this: two years of Western civilization at the high school level. The student will also be given two years of Western literature. We will show the students the interconnection between historical development and the literature of each culture. So, the student will understand the connections among literature, culture, politics, economics, and religion. The student will see that a culture as a package deal. The Western Civ/Lit courses will be self-reinforcing. The materials in each course will stick in the mind a lot better, precisely because the courses interact with each other.
I am going to teach basic American history. Tom Woods is going to teach a full year of constitutional history. He is also going to teach a course in the history of American wars. He is going to make the connections between the way the government got us into each war, the way the government financed each war, and what the results were politically and economically after each war was over. There has never been an American history course like this. I think it is going to be a major historical contribution. In short, students are going to get an education which is structured in terms of a package deal.”
Some students will go into the natural sciences as juniors. Others will go into the humanities and social sciences. Others will want to specialize in going into business. We offer separate tracks for each of these approaches. Students will be able to choose which track they want. (There would be a fourth track, fine arts, if I could figure a way to teach the fine arts by means of a completely self-taught curriculum. I would like a fine arts track, but I have not figured out yet how this can be delivered digitally.)
Additionally, North is offering a course on “Preparation for High School,” which covers study habits, goal-setting, time management, personal finance, leadership, note-taking, essay writing, how to set up a YouTube channel, how to set up a WordPress.com site, and public speaking. There will also be help in understanding the basics on how to read a book critically.
Dr. Paul is scheduled to speak to thousands of homeschool parents at a convention in Cincinnati. He believes that homeschooling is the best hope we have in America to turn the nation around and is not bringing a curriculum into the mainstream to help in that endeavor and providing the means to families on tight budgets to engage in teaching their own children.
The curriculum is scheduled to be available September 2, 2013.
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