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Announcing: The Ron Paul Curriculum Is Open for Business
For several months, I have been talking about a homeschool online curriculum that I have been developing. Now I can go public with the story.
As you now know, the story is a lot bigger than what I indicated. This is not the Gary North curriculum. (Who?) It is the Ron Paul Curriculum. (Got it!)
This curriculum is like nothing else ever assembled. It is only possible because of Internet technology.
It opens today . . . in beta-testing mode.
It begins in kindergarten. It ends at the 12th grade.
FACULTY AND COURSES
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.
In order to help parents get started in homeschooling, the first six years, kindergarten through fifth grade, will be free of charge. I am a generous fellow, but there is also method to my madness. I figure that if a parent begins teaching her child in kindergarten, and she continues to do so through the fifth grade, when it is finally time to pay the piper, the parent will trust the curriculum. 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.
We need money for marketing. Anybody who tries to start a business without generating enough money to promote the business does not have an accurate concept of business. We could give it away for free, but how many people would ever hear about it?
What will it cost a parent from grades six through high school? About $550 a year. There will be a $250 tuition charge, and then there will be a charge of $50 per course. I figure that a parent who is not willing to pay $550 to get a faculty like the one I have assembled is not part of my targeted audience.
If a parent thinks that he or she can put together a better curriculum than I am putting together, and can do this without buying any textbooks and without paying the faculty, more power to the parent. That parent is very creative. That parent should set up a rival online program.
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.
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 is 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.)
Here is a basic summary of what this curriculum is all about. It takes less than five minutes to tell it.
I have no illusions that we are going to get a monopoly in this field. I would not want one. I really do believe in competitive education. I really do believe that parents ought to be in charge of their children's education, and different parents will have different standards for what they regard as a first-rate education. The last thing we need is a monopoly in education. What we need is rigorous competition.
Because of the World Wide Web, it is now possible for a group of a dozen people to create a curriculum comparable to the Ron Paul Curriculum. It is possible to put together a first-rate educational program for almost no up-front capital investment. I do not see how private schools are going to compete with this unless they adopt something like it. My goal is to sign up private schools. They will re-structure their programs around the Ron Paul Curriculum. I intend to allow private school entrepreneurs around the world to enroll their students.
If this project is successful, we will add courses on other national histories and literature. Eventually, there will be dozens of comprehensive national curriculum programs out there, all tied in with the Ron Paul curriculum.
The center of this curriculum is the history of Western civilization, and both Tom Woods and I will be teaching separate versions of these courses. I figure the Protestants will take my course, and the Catholics will take his. I think competition is healthy. (Note: the credit cards of both Catholics and Protestants are enthusiastically accepted at the Ron Paul Curriculum site.)
The full program will not be available until sometime in 2015, but we expect to be able to start the complete curriculum for the sixth grade, seventh grade, maybe eighth grade, ninth grade, tenth grade, and part of the eleventh grade, beginning on September 2.
ENROLL TODAY . . . CHEAP!
Until September 2, I offer a course on "Preparation for High School." This course covers the following: 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. I shall also help them to understand the basics on how to read a book critically. Here is the story in under two minutes.
I think there are some adults out there who would probably like to take this course. That is why I offer the whole deal for $25. Anyone who thinks that he cannot afford $25 for a course like this really does need the section of this course on personal finances.
Tonight, Ron Paul is going to speak to thousands of homeschool parents at convention in Cincinnati. I hope that other homeschool conventions will invite them to tell his story. He is convinced that homeschooling is the wave of the future, and I think he is right. I cannot think of a better spokesman for the homeschool community to bring the message of the legitimacy and efficacy of homeschooling to large numbers of people.