The Ron Paul Curriculum

Update: My optimism about this project was completely misplaced. Please read this post.

Ron Paul has launched a project to promote an online homeschooling curriculum. The site says: “Here, you and your children can get an education in liberty like no other. I invite parents to take courses and participate on forums — to get the education they never had. Parents do not pay for the individual courses that they purchase for their children.” (Further on that strange-looking last statement is clarified: “What if you want to take a course on your own? It will cost you $50. But if you have paid for one of your children to take it, it’s free to you for the full year of the course.”)

The idea is an interesting one. Education is more important than politics in the long term; people who can think are the best defense for liberty. They’re currently charging $25 for enrollment until September 2, which is when serious content will go on line and the enrollment charge will go up to $250. (The $25 enrollment expires then.) The K-5 curriculum will be free.

The idea is good; it remains to see how good the execution will be. I’m a bit disappointed not to see a specific mention of training in logic or critical thinking, and the FAQ is an embarrassment. An article by Gary North stresses teaching with images, claiming that “if a person comes up with the right image, he can’t be fooled easily.” It’s necessary to be rooted in concretes, but concepts, not just images, are needed for critical thinking.

On the positive side, the emphasis on long-term goals and time management are good. I’m thinking of giving them $25 to sample the materials they offer and express my support. I certainly hope it’s worth it; good homeschooling options are a very valuable thing.

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