The Truth About Gary North & The Ron Paul Curriculum

Let me just start this off by saying, wow. What a journey it has been these past two years.

I began homeschooling in my junior year of high school with the Ron Paul Curriculum. My classes were great for the most part, and I was just struggling with getting into the swing of things. I had teachers like Tom Woods (my favorite!) and Gary North (we will get to him later). After completing all of my classes for junior year, I decided to re-enroll and finish my senior year with the RPC too. This is where things get interesting.

In my first year, I took notice of how Gary North talked to students; especially in comparison to how other instructors regarded students. (For anyone who does not know, the instructors do not grade your schoolwork, and all communications are through online forums. The forums are probably about 95% student moderated, and all posts are visible to all members.) Although I enjoyed his courses, I was met with animosity whenever I asked a clarification question, and I was not the only one. Since I was so new to the curriculum, I mostly just kept my head down when I saw North making an effort to belittle students.

The way he spoke was not with authority, but rather, arrogance. Students as young as freshmen were subjected to public embarrassment and humiliation on the public forums; ¬†and each and every question asked was answered with another question: “do other students feel the same?”. If other students would confirm that they agree, he would again ask more questions to avoid fixing his mistakes. Under no circumstances would North accept advice or requests from the students.

Within 6 months of being in the curriculum I had seen an encounter between North and another student that actually upset me so much I contacted the support email for the RPC. North was far beyond disrespectful towards the student, and was clearly aiming for public humiliation in an attempt to deter him/her from asking North to fix his course mistakes. It was my understanding at this point in time that Ron Paul was the founder of the curriculum (hence the name) and it was my honest intent to have Gary North spoken to about his demeanor. Instead, I discovered that Gary North is the founder, and that it is his curriculum. He also puts out a great deal of the courses himself. Ron Paul’s only involvements are his name and his photo on the front page (which is extremely misleading). I was basically told to deal with it.¬†(And suddenly the relentless displays of power and rudeness all made sense.)

In my two years with the RPC, I have not once seen Dr. North directly answer a student’s question, or offer to fix any of his mistakes with the coursework. It did not take very much observation to gather that Gary North sits on a horse so high he has to shout down upon middle and high school children. I was however taken aback by his most recent actions.

(Disclaimer: I am not here to justify my actions; I was not as polite as I could have been. Two years of being disrespected and talked down to in a curriculum I helped pay for myself is atrocious. Students deserve to be respected just as much as instructors do. If I wanted to continue the treatment I received in public school, I never would have left in the first place. When I first began with the RPC, I was extremely polite and kind with North. That behavior lasted up until the past few months.)

This is the final conversation that broke my patience and kindness:

STUDENT 1: Hi I have just started Business and am greatly enjoying it. Thanks Mr. North for the wonderful course. I have a few questions about the lessons and assignments however.

In Lesson 12 below the videos, you state this: For the next lesson, make a list of three things: “How will I add value that is worth paying for in 2030?”. What exactly are you trying to say? How will I make people want to pay me for something that robots can’t do? If you could clarify this I would appreciate it so I can do the assignment with a clear vision for what I have to do.

Then in Lesson 18, I feel that you are telling us to make a goal list for our life but I can’t quite tell. Is there something I missed that tells us straightforwardly that we should?

Finally in Lesson 19, you tell us: For tomorrow’s lesson, you will be required to write an essay on the program you selected, and why. Then in Lesson 20, you say: No writing assignment. What are we meant to do? If you didn’t contradict yourself it would help a lot.

Thanks for everything. I really appreciate this course and am trying to get the most out of it as I want to start a business myself.

STUDENT 1 (after no response): What I am trying to ask is if you could clearly write out the essays and assignments you want us to do on each lesson. Thanks again for the wonderful course!

GARY NORTH: Are others confused?

If so, suggest new instructions.

STUDENT 1: Would you just be able to answer my question? I would greatly appreciate that instead of you just making your own question for other students. Thanks.

GARY NORTH: There is an old rule: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I think you are needlessly confused. If I change the wording, others will be needlessly confused.

I want to see if others are confused.

STUDENT 2: Hi Paul (that’s your name right? ūüôā ),

It can get a little confusing, but here’s what I did:

1. I made my own opinion about how I think robots couldn’t replace us. You will write an essay on this for lesson 15 (I think), so that’s the purpose of the question. Here’s my essay: https://baroquemyriam.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/robots-and-jobs-employment-in-2030/

So, I believe what Dr. North wants is that we develop our opinions on the subject.

2. I believe Dr. North’s main purpose in posing all these questions, etc…is more than to have us make an actual list (although that’s really good) is to start thinking about this and make it part of our lives.

3. This last part is a bit confusing. I think Dr. North changed this since I did it because I had to write an essay on it, and then another the next week. (Here are my business essays: https://baroquemyriam.wordpress.com/school-essays/business/ )

So, I don’t know what you should do, other than just follow the instruction to the letter, or else write the essay anyway. ūüôā

I hope this helps,
Myriam

ME: Dr. North: Yes, this is confusing. You were being inconsistent with your work/essay requests. If you typically place all requirements above the videos in text, and then you request some things verbally but do not include them with the rest of the assignments it gets confusing.
(To student 1) Unfortunately, I suggest you get used to the absence of direct answers. Dr. North (from my experience) will only answer questions with questions, and call upon other students in the process. While this seems to be his attempt at forced student to student problem solving, it does not fix the root issue. For example, in this situation another student helped you decide what to do, but the clarity of Dr. North’s request has not been improved, only avoided. The symptoms of the issue (confusion) were remedied, however the issue itself (Dr. North’s clarity and consistency) has not been resolved.

Good Luck!

STUDENT 3: I have found a few assignments confusing. Especially on Lesson 19 and 20. You mention out assignment for lesson 20 and in lesson 20 you say we have no assignment. The course is great though!

ME: Dr. North, now that we have established that it is in fact “broke”, and that this students confusion was not “needless”, are you planning on fixing these issues?

GARY NORTH: You fix them. Then get agreement from the others.

Then I will post your jointly agreed-on recommendation.

GARY NORTH: Fixed.

ME: Considering we all pay you good money for a quality education, I feel that you should be the one to fix your own mistakes. Do not volunteer for a position you will not completely fill. Take some responsibility and use the advice we have all provided here.

As per your request, I stated earlier that I believe all of the assignments and requirements should be in one place: above the videos in text. It seems that other students would want this too because the widespread confusion came entirely from your inconsistent tactics.

It is not the job of the students to clean up your messes, Dr. North. You asked if other students were confused in order to avoid fixing your issues. When it was confirmed that yes, other students were confused as well, you then dodged responsibility once again. This is seemingly consistent behavior on your behalf.

You had two options here. One: take the easy route, shift responsibility onto the students (customers) and lazily avoid fixing the problem. Or, two: take the constructive criticism that you specifically asked for, use it and learn how to be a better teacher from the whole experience. You chose option number one. That is on you, Dr. North. Not us.

(At this point, I was KICKED OUT of the curriculum. My subscription was cancelled mid-year. I was not the most polite student here, but I was also not wrong; I took it upon myself to speak to North like he has spoken to me and others. In a curriculum based on personal responsibility, you’d think that North would own up to his issues.)

GARY NORTH: Sorry, but I have not understood what the problem is.

If one person is confused, and I have no idea what the student is talking about, then I want confirmation from others.

I have understood none of the criticisms. So, a group solution is called for. If I fix what I do not know is the matter, I am like to make it worse.

There is a rule: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I do not want to break it for others by trying to fix it before I understand it.

Group knowledge is usually a good way to deal with an imperfection. Committees are not creative, but they are a good way to prevent or repair mistakes that affect a group.

Now, group, please spell out in detail what you think is wrong. I want (1) agreement on what is wrong; (2) a suggested solution.

I want to make sure that everyone agrees on the solution before I implement it.

GARY NORTH: I wish to respond to Camillie.

She writes: “Considering we all pay you good money for a quality education, I feel that you should be the one to fix your own mistakes. Do not volunteer for a position you will not completely fill. Take some responsibility and use the advice we have all provided here.”

Who is “we”? Your parents pay. You do not. The Ron Paul Curriculum has a contract with legal adults. Minors are not legally allowed to make contracts.

She writes: “As per your request, I stated earlier that I believe all of the assignments and requirements should be in one place: above the videos in text. It seems that other students would want this too because the widespread confusion came entirely from your inconsistent tactics.”

If there are examples of this, let me know. I fixed the one example I was given. I said so. Then she posted her complaint.

She writes: “It is not the job of the students to clean up your messes, Dr. North. You asked if other students were confused in order to avoid fixing your issues. When it was confirmed that yes, other students were confused as well, you then dodged responsibility once again. This is seemingly consistent behavior on your behalf.”

She is disrespectful of authority.

She writes: “You had two options here. One: take the easy route, shift responsibility onto the students (customers) and lazily avoid fixing the problem. Or, two: take the constructive criticism that you specifically asked for, use it and learn how to be a better teacher from the whole experience. You chose option number one. That is on you, Dr. North. Not us.”

She was incorrect. I had a third option. I cancelled her parents’ subscription to this site. She is now locked out. She will remain locked out. Her parents will have to find a different curriculum for her. I will give her parents a full refund, of course. I have told her that they must contact me by email for an explanation. I will provide this by sending them her comments. They will see what tone she adopted.

There is a biblical principle: count the costs before you take action (Luke 14:28-30).

Be very careful when challenging someone in authority. He may have more options that you have thought about.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

 

Gary North was in violation of a contract between himself and my grandmother; that is why he offered a refund. (He was also wrong about the money, I did help pay for my own schooling.) What he failed to mention to the other students after kicking me out was the fact that he offered me my membership back ONLY IF I never posted on the forums, and if I agreed never to write about the Ron Paul Curriculum on my blog or elsewhere. He also took it upon himself to make a new username and password for me should I decide to come back. The username was Humble and the password was Self-Restraint2016. (He really loves public humiliation as we have already covered.) I chose to retain my right to free speech and share my experiences with others. My personal experience is the most important thing to me regarding the situation now, and the fact that he attempted to silence me makes me feel that I should be speaking out even more!

Besides his social behavior, I also began having issues with his economics and his business courses. Towards the end half of the courses (and throughout other courses as well), our assignments were solely written for the purpose of promoting the RPC. Each week, we were instructed to write a specific number of good things about the RPC. Believe it or not, for a 10 day session in business, North even had another teacher do special instruction lessons on how to buy a domain name and run a website. We were expected to pay around $100-$200 to buy a domain name, and pay to run our own website in promotion of the RPC. We were supposed to sign up as affiliates with the RPC and when we got another person to join he would pay us. This was explicitly stated, not implied; as a student I was nothing more than free advertising to Dr. North, and it became more and more clear every week. I had already been creating alternative assignments for myself because I was so uncomfortable with how I was being used when this assignment rolled around. (Many RPC-promotion assignments can be found in my Business 1 course category, but keep in mind I refused to do many.)

The RPC is not about you. It is not about your children or your family. It is about Gary North. He constantly assigns articles he wrote himself, requires us to watch his own speeches, etc. As unfortunate as it may be, Gary North is the only instructor in the RPC I would not recommend for anyone, under any circumstances. I loved every other instructor and never had a single issue with anyone else.

Gary North is an egotistical man of self-preservation and promotion. He has put himself on a pedestal so far above the rest of us that the education of your children is one of his last priorities with the Ron Paul Curriculum. If you want true education, I am sorry to say go elsewhere. The only other option I would recommend would be to get courses released by people other than North (ex: Personal Finance, Govt 1A & B, Algebra, Western Civ, Public Speaking, etc.)

Good luck homeschoolers, and do not be discouraged! Although this experience was nothing like I expected, I still learned a lot from it. I have no regrets. I wish you all the best in your curriculum hunts! I hope I was able to shed some light on the truth of the Ron Paul Curriculum for you.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to comment!

 

God Bless,

Lillian

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(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.

 

(L120) Benefits of 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.) No stress
Let your children go at their own pace, and don’t sweat it if something comes up. There is always tomorrow and you are in charge of the¬†deadlines!

2.) Timely online support for parents and students
If you have a question that other students on the forum cannot help you with, just shoot an email over! Quick and simple.

3.) Flexibility
Whatever schedule you or your children may be on, the RPC will work for you. Since you are in charge of when everything needs to be done, you can change times and goals of assignments to fit your personal schedule.

4.) Personally tailored to your needs
If your child wants to learn more about something specific that the RPC does not have, you have the ability to get them that education elsewhere. Because the RPC does not issue diplomas, it is up to you to decide what criteria must be met to get a high school credit. This can mean completely creating your own course! (I did this last year – I started and ran my own business. It was successful, and great training!)

5.) Average cost with no monetary risk
At around $500 a year, the cost of this curriculum is nothing above average. Your membership and courses¬†come with a (time limited)¬†money-back guarantee; if it doesn’t work for you and your family, get your money back and go elsewhere!

6.) Great professors & complete courses
From well known names like Tom Woods to Gary North, your child is guaranteed top-notch educators. All courses are complete, and consistent. You will never have to worry about going elsewhere for information – each class has been meticulously planned.

7.) student to student interaction
The comment/constructive criticism boards are all student run. This means that students hear many angles of feedback, rather than just one response from the teacher. Everyone helps each other and it is a great sense of community.

8.) Entrepreneurship training
Typical college is not the only route to success! Teach your children all about CLEP exams, starting a business, and so much more. Your child will pick up on hundreds of life-hacks throughout the course of their education that they could not acquire anywhere else.

9.) Real-life training and preparation
Most adults know the struggles of learning to do taxes, what money really is and where it comes from, etc. But wouldn’t life have been so much easier if you had learned these things before you had to put them into practice? The RPC has your children covered with a personal finance course, government 1A & 1B, business, and many more. Your children¬† have to stress like you did after their personal real-life preparation courses.

10.) The course plans are already made for you Рjust set your kids up and let them go!
No more late nights planning and stressing out; with the RPC all you need to do is give the kids deadlines for their work and let them go. Every lesson, assignment and course is already created and structured for you.

11.) You have more time to focus on each child because they learn independently.
Chances are, when one kid needs help the other will be preoccupied with a lecture or essay. Since you are not teaching them all at once by yourself, you can focus individual attention without slowing your other children down. The time of a homeschooling parent is precious, and the ability to successfully stretch yourself over multiple kids in a school day is priceless.

12.) Freedom based curriculum (Austrian Economics)
Do you want your kids to grow up sharing the same core values as you and your spouse? If so, then look no further. You kids, no matter their age, will be taught in language that they understand the truth about freedom and how to live a liberty-based life.

13.) Christian insight and problem solving with morality are always present
If you are looking to avoid the spineless and inconsistent teachings of the public school system, then you have found your destination. Here with the RPC your children will learn that the right, just, and moral thing to do not only corresponds with the freedom and rights of each individual, but with the core teachings of Christianity as well.

14.) Non-violent approach to a quite violent world
Your children will learn when they are being coerced, and when they are having their rights violated. They will also learn how to deal with these occurrences in a calm, non-violent, non-aggressive manor in order to deescalate the situation.

15.) Political knowledge and understanding
Teaching students how to act and thrive in the real world both politically and socially is extremely important. Knowing your enemy is half the battle, and the RPC will gear up every student with the knowledge to defend their stance.

(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 Рthere 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.

 

(L45) The Lion & The Mouse: Aesop’s Fable

This is my fifth speech, and it covers an Aesop’s Fable known as The Lion and The Mouse. This was the first time I have ever retold someone else’s story, rather than telling a speech I had written myself. I was also tasked with including movement, and grand gestures. Because of this, my sentences became incomplete, and I tended to use the word “and” a lot, no matter how many times I re-did my speech.
I could always use constructive criticism or tips that anyone has to offer! Be sure to comment, like and share if you feel so compelled.
Thanks so much for listening, and God Bless.

(L10) The Secret of Selling Anything: Harry Browne

What is the #1 task of a salesman, according to Browne? Why?

According to author Harry Browne, the number one task of a salesman is to discover the motivation of the buyer, and appeal to his needs as best you can. Browne argued that no one man could motivate another (to do anything at all) that he does not want to do already. The reason for this is that each man already has his own motivations set in his mind. The task of the salesman is simply to ask questions, and listen intently, before he even begins to pitch a product. Once a salesman thinks he may know the buyers motivation, he should summarize it; once he confirms from the buyer that he understands the issues (motivations), he may then pitch his product, or conclude that his products will not meet the buyers needs. Browne also believed that a successful salesman would only try to sell the client what he actually wants! If the salesman cannot help, he should be honest, and refer the client to another product that will meet his needs. This honesty is hard to come by nowadays from salesman, and it will ensure you get in the door the next time you have a product to present. (Most money is made on the second, third and even fourth sales; ensuring repeated service from a buyer will guarantee you success.)

“If You Chose to go to College…” (L130)

If you chose to go to college, what would be a¬†short list of majors you’d consider?

From a young age I was¬†forced into adulthood;¬†eventually, I became more of a parentified child. Now, well into my teenage years, as independent as I am, it is time to really¬†learn to be an adult. I’m talking about choosing a career, and a school; applying for scholarships and looking into payment plan options. I absolutely wouldn’t¬†have been able to plan¬†as efficiently for my future, had I not had (Timothy Terrell’s) Mr.Terrell’s¬†Personal Finance course.
I am nearing the end of my Junior year, and have decided to get my estheticians license. I will be attending a vocational school, (probably while I finish my senior year) for a 400 hour course.
However, if I were going to a traditional college, I would go to be an animal physical therapist, not a doubt in my mind. I love animals and think I would be really good at it – but school takes years and lots of money; it isn’t the best option¬†for me right now. Helping people is the only thing I love just as much as helping animals; skincare and truly healthy products is right where I belong! I will be good at it, and I will enjoy it. Not to mention the healthy income it brings.