By Gary North
The Ron Paul Curriculum is a self-taught curriculum. Parents whose children are above the second grade are asked only to read weekly essays.
The weekly essays are central to the curriculum. The courses are structured in a 4/1 sequence: four days of new material, and one day of review. On the review day, students are not required to do daily readings. Instead, they must do an academic exercise. They write an essay in the social sciences and humanities courses. They may do another form of exercise in math and science courses. But they must produce something on review days.
Writing an essay forces a student to focus. It takes self-discipline. That is why it is part of this program. This program develops student self-discipline, which is required for success in college.
Reading a weekly essay is a very good way for parents see if the student is steadily progressing. Over time, the quality of the essays will improve. The student will have become a skilled writer by graduation day.
As part of the curriculum, each student is required in middle school to set up an academic blog site. There are numerous free blog site hosting services. I recommend WordPress (www.WordPress.com). Those students who pursue the home business track in the final two years of high school will have to set up a WordPress site. It is best if the student masters the basics of WordPress early in the program.
Students take more care with their essays if they know that other students can see their sites. This is another important aspect of the self-teaching curriculum.
Parents are 100% in charge. A parent who is opposed to a public site has the option of vetoing this aspect of the curriculum. But then the parent needs to read each paper as a separate document. This makes things more difficult to monitor, especially over a period of several years.
It is common for students to cut corners. We all cut corners in life. So, in order for a student to maximize the benefits of this curriculum, the parent must evaluate the student’s performance. Is the student cutting too many corners? The parent must decide. This is a self-taught curriculum, but there must be rules imposed and enforced by parents in order for this curriculum to work as advertised.
The best way for a parent to make sure that the student is not cutting too many corners is to review the academic blog site every week. Read the essays. Make sure the student is writing them on time. The parent may or may not grade them, but the parent really should review them.
Here are a few student sites.
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