In this post, you will read a review of the Ron Paul Curriculum (RPC), which is an online, video-based curriculum developed by Ron Paul for K-12 grades.
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Ron Paul Curriculum got a much-needed facelift. The content seems more navigable.
Overview of RPC
The Ron Paul Curriculum is a very good online education program. Its teaching system of video lessons, reading, and writing assignments thoroughly cover each subject, and encourage deeper and longer lasting retention. The curriculum requires students to teach themselves with very little work required by parents, other than reading their child’s essays and tests. Having students teach themselves reduces the workload on homeschooling parents, while it trains students to learn self-discipline, a vital skill later in life.
What’s unique about this curriculum?
One of the most unique and worthwhile aspects of the Ron Paul Curriculum is its basis in liberty, the free market, and the Constitution. The incredibly liberal climate of today’s public education, from kindergarten though graduate school has caused many parents to look for other educational options. The Ron Paul Curriculum presents an intelligent, logical, libertarian worldview – exactly what many parents and students are looking for.
What are the courses like?
The courses themselves have a high-quality content, especially the high school courses. All courses consist of daily video lectures and assignments, reading and writing in the liberal arts classes, and problems and tests in the STEM classes. The video lessons, reading, and hands-on work combination proves far superior to far-too-common “textbook only” homeschooling methods.
The Ron Paul Curriculum’s high school math and history courses are particularly thorough and challenging. Both cover material commonly covered at a college level and they do it in an interesting and effective manner. For instance, after the Mathematics 9 (Algebra II) course, both my brother and I passed the College Algebra CLEP test. Many of the high-school courses are set up so that you can pass a CLEP test in that subject with minimal additional study.
The Ron Paul Curriculum is moderately expensive, but it costs about the same as most other online and offline home school programs.
What are the drawbacks?
There are a few drawbacks, however.
The Ron Paul Curriculum requires a lot of screen time. Since the program is completely online, you would expect this. Still, this concerns some parents and students.
Another downside is the forums. The forums are one of the more stressed features of RPC. The idea is that students post their school essays, as well as any questions or observations they might have, on the respective course forums. This feature works less than effectively. I have found that other students rarely give feedback on essays, and when comments are given they’re usually along the line of “Great job, I liked it,” with little advice or constructive criticism. Questions on the forums are often answered promptly, but sometimes go unnoticed both by course instructors and other students. Overall, I have found that the forums are fairly slow, rather inefficient, and not extremely helpful.
Finally, the material for younger students, K-3, is relatively light compared to the material for middle and high school students. But then again, any homeschool program for kids age 5-9 will probably be (and rightfully should be) pretty light.
Note: When this article was written, the lower level courses were still in development and has changed considerably.
To sum it up in an easy-to-read list:
- Libertarian, constitutional worldview.
- Video lessons greatly enhance learning the subjects.
- Self-teaching structure lets students learn lifelong skills self-discipline and self-motivation.
- College-level material in the high school courses.
- Relatively small amount of work required of parents.
- Forums don’t really work the way they’re supposed to.
Light material for young students.
- Large amount of screen time.
For more reading
We talk about some of our experiences with RPC in the following articles:
- My brother and I both wrote and published Kindle books in our Business class
- Some of my essays are compared in this article
- Unexpected lessons I learned in my RPC business classes
- Book review and notes from The School Revolution by Ron Paul
Overall, the Ron Paul Curriculum is an excellent homeschool program. It has a few flaws, but the first-rate course material, combined with the uniquely effective video-based self-teaching structure, makes the Ron Paul Curriculum well worth investigating.
If you’re interested check out this link to learn more about The Ron Paul Curriculum.
We hope you have found this review of the Ron Paul Curriculum helpful. Make sure to poke around the entire RPC site, since it has a lot of valuable information. Especially valuable is the ABC: Academic Boot Camp which has the first 15 lessons available for free to the public. Enjoy!