Opposing infringement on parental control of education and promoting alternatives to government-run schools is a vital task for the liberty movement. When government usurps parents’ right to control their child’s education, it is inevitable that the child will be taught the values of government officials, rather than of the parents. The result is an education system with a built-in bias toward statism. Over time, government-controlled education can erode the people’s knowledge of, and appreciation for, the benefits of a free society.
This is why throughout my congressional career I fought against any legislation that infringed on a parent’s right to control their child’s education, especially any legislation that limited a parent’s right to homeschool. Many so-called education experts claim that parents who are not “government-certified” educators cannot provide their children with a quality education. However, the numerous studies showing that homeschooled children out-perform their publicly educated peers in every academic category shows that most parents are more than capable of providing their children with an excellent education.
The Internet has made it easier than ever for parents to homeschool. Because of my interest in promoting alternatives to government-controlled education, this month I am launching my own homeschool curriculum. The Ron Paul Curriculum consists of a rigorous program of study in history, economics, mathematics, and the physical and natural sciences.
Older students will also have the opportunity to gain experience creating and running their own on-line business. Frequent written assignments will ensure that students have the maximum opportunity to develop strong communication skills.
Students and parents are invited to participate in on-line interactive forums. The goal of the forums is to maximize participation so the student is not a passive recipient of information conveyed by the teachers. Instead, the students are encouraged to actively engage with their fellow students so the students can learn from each other as well as from the program’s instructors.
Of course, many of the offerings, particularly in history and economics, reflect my belief and interest in the freedom philosophy. However, unlike the pro-statist curriculum used in government-run schools, the curriculum does not place promoting an ideological agenda ahead of ensuring that students receive a quality education. The economic curriculum will cover all significant schools of economic thought, but will emphasize the free-market “Austrian” school.
Parents interested in providing their children with a quality education that incorporates knowledge of the principles of liberty will find this program a good investment. The curriculum also does not shy away from addressing the crucial role religion played in the development of western civilization. However, the materials are drafted in way that any Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or atheist parent who wants their children to receive a top-notch education incorporating the history, philosophy, and economics of liberty, can feel comfortable using the curriculum.
I expected interest in my curriculum to grow over the years, as the young people who have recently become interested in the ideas of liberty marry and start their own families. These men and women will want to make sure their children’s education includes instruction in the ideas of liberty that was lacking in their government-provided-and-controlled education.
I am excited to be able to help provide the increasing number of parents interested in homeschooling with a quality curriculum that emphasizes the history and philosophy of liberty and free-market economics of the Austrian school. For more information on my homeschool curriculum, please see here. And to order a copy of my new book The School Revolution: A New Answer for Our Broken Education System, see here.
Ron Paul, MD, is a former three-time Republican candidate for U. S. President and Congressman from Texas.