(L140) Bureaucracy & Brainwashing

Is tax-funded education inherently bureaucratic?

For the sake of simplicity, yes. The reason that we know this is because of the entire set-up of the educational system. First, money goes from the taxpayer’s wallets to the government. This money is then split up and a portion goes into public schools. Since the government is technically the source giving the money directly to the schools, it is the government who decides what the schools teach. In other words, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Public schools are an area/branch of the state; bureaucracy is the system through which such areas/branches are monitored. The monitoring is done through bureaucrats themselves – in the case of public schools, the bureaucrats are teachers and administrators. Each leader and/or representative of a tax-funded school is given a book of laws governing the entirety of their actions. This rule book spans from disciplinary action plans, to educational lesson plans and academic requirements. Again we find the issue of underlying special interests: the government is funding education through coercion, and mandating teachers every step dictating what they may and may not teach. (Otherwise known as common core education.) Government (tax) funded education goes beyond being a conflict of interest; rather it simply becomes means of indoctrinating children with a distorted and immoral view of life. Government schools dictate the teachings of statism because they are directly founded on statist principles. Tax funded education is undeniably and inherently bureaucratic.

(L130) The Ron Paul Curriculum & USPs

Identify at least two possible USP’s for the Ron Paul Curriculum. Defend each choice.

As a current student of the Ron Paul Curriculum, I must think back on the things that originally drew me in and ultimately led me to the decision of using this curriculum. These specific advertising points are called unique selling points; or USPs for short.

The first thing that comes to mind in identifying a USP of the RPC is the name itself: The Ron Paul Curriculum. Ron Paul’s endorsement is not only exclusive to this homeschool program, but it also led me to understand that it would be an education founded on the principles of liberty and freedom. This is extremely unique, and something that one does not forget; especially because the foundations are implied within the title. On that note, the Ron Paul Curriculum also offers classes taught by extremely well known advocates of the Austrian school of economics. When surveyed, parents reported that the number one reason for homeschooling their children was so that they would be able to incorporate religious and moral instruction into their daily education. The Ron Paul Curriculum is also Christian based (but not absolutely mandatory for students to follow the curriculum); so it covers both the moral bases, and religious bases of any families needs.

Another unique selling point of the RPC is the student-run feedback boards. This deals immediately with the issue of creating social connections for homeschooled children (and families). Many homeschooling families look for social interaction outlets from third party programs including town sports, summer programs/camps, musical enrichment, and much more. However the Ron Paul Curriculum incorporates community growth directly through the academic process, not only for educational advancement, but also for the growth of personal and recreational relationships. This is a unique selling point for the Ron Paul Curriculum because aside from encouraging a strong supporting community of like-minded families and children, it also teaches children independence by asserting their abilities to problem solve. Through allowing the students themselves to help teach and correct each other, each individual is able to attain leadership skills, confidence, and as previously stated, independence. These types of academic exercises are not found in typical curriculums or schooling programs; they lead to more mature and educated children at a younger age.

Lastly, one of the most interesting unique selling points of the Ron Paul Curriculum, is the age-grade guideline gap. I call this a gap specifically because the RPC, like no other, encourages parents to stop enforcing age-based grade levels! The founders believe that there is a great difference (or gap) between a child’s age, and their corresponding (traditional school) grade placement. It is widely understood that children learn at their own pace; placing them with other students who share nothing more than an age will cause them to learn either faster or slower than they are capable of. Placing them in different courses based upon their abilities is the best way to maximize their educational life-span, and teach them absolutely as much as possible. This takes away the frustration and stress of a typical classroom, and allows for clear, level-headed learning day in and day out. It is also the opinion of the RPC founders/endorsers that children should begin learning as early as possible! Waiting until your child has turned four or five to place them into an educational environment is a waste of such precious time! The younger your children are, the more sponge-like their brains are. When you have an education that is custom built to suit your child, learning is fun – not tear inducing (for children, or for parents); so it will be even easier to get them going on the path to academic success.

 

(L115) Why Should I Choose The Ron Paul Curriculum?

NOTE: If you are looking for an accurate and honest recount of what the RPC is like, please see my article/essay The Truth About Gary North & The Ron Paul Curriculum

1.) The ability to incorporate lessons/courses that are important to you or your child (which are not already included in the curriculum), and the ability to learn (or teach) through experience.
This is not to say that the RPC is lacking courses in any sense, however should you have a child interested in studying something specific, then you have the ability to meet their educational cravings. This means going into the real world and allowing your child to do exactly what it is they are learning about. If you pair this hands-on-learning with a years worth the essays, projects, research, etc. it could end up counting as a high school credit.
This ability to personalize your own (or your child’s) education is something that cannot be found anywhere but in a homeschool environment. Thanks to the RPC specifically, I was able to create my own entrepreneurship course with all of the information of I acquired about starting a business in my junior year. I designed the entire course myself, and with supervision from my guardian I set my own goals and regulations as well. I created my own business; this meant I had to create a written business plan, make a custom logo, advertise on a budget, manage a schedule, be in charge of tracking and allocating my own expenses and profits, serve my clientele, and so much more. It actually became a good source of income for the time I was running it, and I ended up expanding my services after a few months. (Had I not moved across the country, I would still be in business today.) Not only did this custom course offer me real life experience, but it gave me an understanding of entrepreneurship which has helped put me on a path to be a successful adult.

2. The ability to learn (or teach) at your own pace!
We all learn at different speeds and in different manors. Some people like to do one course each day of each class. Others (like me) like to focus on one course per week. The Ron Paul Curriculum offers the ability to learn and teach at your own speed for the entirety of your K-12 duration because the parents are 100% in charge of the deadlines! No rushing, no lost sleep, no stress; for you or your children! Sick child? Family emergency? No worries! School can wait until tomorrow – there will be no catching up to do, and no negative repercussions. You as the parent are in control; what better way is there to make sure you are satisfied with their progress and growth?

3.) A like-minded community of families and children, all at your fingertips.
The peer-run feedback boards of the Ron Paul Curriculum offer a broad range of constructive criticism, as opposed to getting one opinion from a single teacher. This allows your child to expand their own understandings of what they believe and why. It will also build your child’s conversational and debate skills, all the while connecting them with kids like themselves all around the world.
It didn’t take long for me to build both academic and personal relationships with other homeschoolers through our blogs. I learned how to put my knowledge into conversational practice, simply by offering and receiving feedback from other students.

4.) Flexibility
Every family dynamic is different, as is each individual child. No matter the work hours, travel abilities, and physical limitations of you or your child, the RPC can fit your needs. All you need to get class done is internet and a computer. In today’s day and age, these things can even be accessed for free at a library if need be.
During family emergencies, I have still been able to reach my own personal deadlines and goals because I do not need to be home to do school. I can be on the train, a plane, or even at the hospital completing certain tasks.

5.) Christian, and liberty-based: all in one!
Not only will your child get an honest and true education, but they will also get a morally sound education. I think that this piece really does speak for itself considering how hard it is to get top-notch educators living by the freedom philosophy.
The first year I was a member of the RPC, I was not religious. I was not offended, or crushed with Christian standpoints. I was simply educated enough to understand the morality of Christianity. By my second year in the RPC, I had been born again. I did find my new understanding of God to be quite helpful and enriching when it came to some of the things I was hearing, however this is not only a curriculum for Christian families by any means. The RPC suited my needs when I was both a Christian, and an atheist; it also gave me my first real life lessons about freedom, and liberty. I don’t know what more I could have asked for.

 

(L40) Fallacies of Homeschooling

This is my fourth speech for the public speaking course of the Ron Paul Curriculum, and I decided to cover some of the fallacies of homeschooling. It would literally take me years to cover them all, so I chose only four. Each quote I have chosen is something that has been said to me personally, and I am sure a lot of you have heard them too!
If there are any things that you guys would like to add, please comment! I love to hear about others’ experiences. Thanks for listening and please be sure to like, comment and share! If there are any topics you guys would like to hear me talk about, tell me! I would be thrilled to take requests. God Bless!

(L30) How Much Is Television Really Costing You?

How much money won’t I have at age 70 if I keep watching TV? Is TV worth this?

For the past week, each day I have recorded the amount of time I have spent watching television. I had estimated that I would be watching around 15-20 hours of television a week; the total ended up being extremely close at 15 hours and 2 minutes. Now to calculate how much money I would be losing in this time, I decided to multiply 15 hours (a week) by 4; this left me with 60 hours a month lost to television. I then plugged this information into a compound interest calculator at $1200 dollars a month (assuming I would be making $20 an hour at the very least running my own business), with 53 years to grow at a 10% interest rate. (I am 17 years old right now, so in 53 years I will be 70 years old. Because the compound interest calculator does not accept $0 as a current principle, I was left to enter $1.) At this rate of television viewing, by the time I am 70 yeas old, I will have lost $22,355,756.67! Now that is a lot of money!

Exercises like this help people such as myself realize how valuable time really is, and more specifically, how much downtime will cost you in the long-run! Who needs a few hours of relaxation every night if you can spend the better portion of your life relaxing because you spent those extra hours working. Television is absolutely not worth the cost, however to be fair, I do find myself watching more sermons, speeches, and outreach missions than meaningless television shows. I use the majority of my television time to learn, and expand my understandings of The Bible and God’s world around me. This learning time is important to me; it has a lot of value to me in an informational sense, as well as a relaxation sense. There will always be trade offs between time and money throughout each persons lifetime; value however is subjective, and so this is a decision each person needs make for themselves.

(L30) Learning Through Experience! Homeschool Vs. Public School (Through My Average Day)

This is my second speech for the Public Speaking course of the Ron Paul Curriculum. It focuses on learning through experience, and what my average day looks like as a homeschooler.
Unfortunately, I did end up speaking a bit faster than I would have liked, and I will have to work on that for my future speeches. I also went slightly over my projected time limit, which I will have to be more conscious of next time as well.
We also got an unplanned guest appearance/disruption from my kitten Rocky (yes, like Balboa)!
Be sure to like, subscribe and comment any constructive criticisms! It is all very helpful for me to improve upon my speech skills.
Thanks for listening and God Bless!

Bastiat’s “Broken Window” Applied to Online Schooling (L15)

“Online education is bad for society because it puts classroom teachers out of work.”

Although this prompt seems almost silly, many people fall into this one-sided train of thought by, in Bastiat’s words, only taking into consideration ‘the seen.’ They can take the most complex of issues and view it from one perspective only; this is where they go wrong. Of the more obvious things here, one can see that, yes – homeschooling kids (including online schooling) means less children in government indoctrination centers (elementary, middle, and high schools of all sorts). I suppose that if the number of students enrolled in a school dropped enough, then classroom teachers would begin to get laid off. However, ‘the unseen’ in this situation would be that more and more teachers are now being hired (although some volunteer) to teach children through online courses. Classroom teachers in this situation loose, but online instructors win; the students deciding to gear their education towards what best fits them also win. All things aside, it is generally absurd to say that switching from one education, to another that would greater benefit the mind, growth and development of any adolescent willing, would be bad for society. How could it be said that a stronger and smarter generation (who will soon make up society), would be a harm to society. Now, a harm to civil government – maybe, but to themselves – no.