According to a story in the Daily Caller, Ron Paul, a libertarian-minded former representative from Texas, has developed his own home-school curriculum for grades K-12 based on his ideas of individual liberty.
The Ron Paul Curriculum
According to the Ron Paul Curriculum, the course of study is a work in progress, but with free education for grades K-5 and courses for grades 6-12 available for members only. Much of the course material will consist of online lectures, which can be reviewed by the students, and primary source material (i.e. no special textbooks.) The weekly school schedule will consist of watching lectures and reading source material for four days with the fifth being for review of the material and for grades 5 and up writing essays to be posted on a student's website.
Courses to be offered
The Ron Paul Curriculum will teach history and literature from a free market perspective, math, science, the U.S. Constitution, economics, geography, and how to start and run a home business. The philosophy of the course of study will be from Paul's perspective of liberty, with instruction of how it is under attack and how it can be reclaimed. Other cultures will be studied with a view of the relationship between literature and history. The philosophy and history of liberty and "its rivals" will be compared and contrasted. The courses are described as "academically rigorous" based on primary source material. Students will be encourage to teach one another, with the coursework self taught above grade 5 with parents reviewing their children's progress.
Goals of the Ron Paul Curriculum
According to the introductory video, students having completed the Ron Paul Curriculum will be able to speak and write effectively, run a website, run a YouTube channel, understand math, science, the histories of western civilization and America, the United States Constitution, the interaction between literature and historical development, the influence of Christianity on world history, and the Austrian school of economics, start a home business, and defend free market principles.
Issues of accreditation
In a separate essay, Gary North, Director of Curriculum Development for the Ron Paul Curriculum, states that accreditation from any state agency will not be sought on the idea that this will require compromise on the makeup of the courses offered. North suggest that parents who might have to deal with state intervention, say the visit of a truant office, should sign up with a pro-home-schooling organization called the Home School Legal Defense Association, which helps to provide legal defense for home-schooling families who find themselves in conflict with state education entities.
Laws regulating home schools vary, but in the state of Texas, where Ron Paul hails from, the regulations are simple and straightforward, according to Home Education and Responsible Teacher (HEART). In Texas, a home school is considered a private school for purposes of state regulation. Such schools are required to teach children "reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and good citizenship." State officials, such as truant officers, are not permitted to visit the home school but must put their concerns about the operation of a home school in writing. The operator of a home school is then required to respond in writing in a "timely manner."
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
- Teaching & Learning
- Ron Paul