Libertarian Homeschool Curriculum: Is The Freedom Approach Right For Your Child?

With plenty of curriculums out there for libertarian homeschool methods, the Ron Paul education system might be right for you.

By Erika Hanson | Published

Famous People Who Were Homeschooled

As public schools across the nation continue to lose sight of the basic educational needs of children, more and more parents are turning to homeschool. We covered much of this in our Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling. Often, parents believe that the government has taken too much control of education. This type of view, touted by libertarians, advocates for free-market education. And while there are plenty of resources out there available to advocate libertarian homeschool curriculums, one, in particular, puts a focal point on staunch libertarian beliefs.

Here at Go2Tutors, we have explained numerous popular homeschool styles such as the Charlotte Mason Homeschooling method, or even the Montessori homeschool curriculum. That’s a popular method that focuses on educating the whole person, not just the mind. Charlotte Mason’s ideals were built off libertarian beliefs that each child deserves a complete education. But when it comes to Libertarianism, no one more embodies that way of thinking than two time-presidential candidate Ron Paul. He’s an icon of the Libertarian political party and is known for liberal views on free-market economies.

Now that he’s retired from politics, Ron Paul has moved on to molding young minds. To do that, he teamed up with Libertarian podcaster and prolific author Tom Woods. Together, they created something called the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum. For many Libertarians, what they created is the go-to method for homeschooling their kids.

Who Is Ron Paul?

ron paul
Ron Paul

The man behind the libertarian homeschool method better known simply as the Ron Paul Curriculum founded the homeschool teachings in 2013. As an author, activist, physician, and retired politician, Ron Paul served as the U.S. representative for Texas’s 22nd congressional district from 1976 to 1977 and again from 1979 to 1985. Later on, he again served for Texas’s 14th congressional district from 1997 to 2013. 

Upon retiring from Congress, Paul continued his activist efforts. He often can be found giving speeches at college campuses or speaking on a new segment for his web show, The Ron Paul Liberty Report. As if the 86-year-old wasn’t busy enough, he also runs an online libertarian homeschool curriculum. 

Who Is Tom Woods?

tom woods Libertarian homeschool
Tom Woods

Tom Woods is a central figure in the American Libertarian movement. He hosts The Tom Woods Show, one of the most popular Libertarian based podcasts. He’s also a prolific author, having written more than a dozen books on history, politics, and even self-help. Tom has a Bachelors Degree from Harvard and a PHD in history from Columbia University.

In addition to creating the Ron Paul Homeschool curriculum, Woods also works as one of the programs teachers. As a credentialed historian, he of course teaches history. Of his classes Tom says his role is, “…to teach high school courses in Western civilization, the U.S. Constitution, government, and the history of American wars.”

Tom’s specific subset of courses in Ron Paul’s Libertarian Homeschool curriculum are available on the school’s main site, or separately here.

Ron Paul Libertarian Homeschool Fundaments 

The Ron Paul libertarian homeschool curriculum puts a focus on pro-western civilization and free-market perspectives. With a heavy focus on essays and college prep, Ron Paul believes study habits should be developed early for academic success. Claiming to be the only video-based curriculum, the Ron Paul education format focuses on self-taught studies, reading, and writing-intensive education that defends limited government and a free-market economy. The official site for the homeschool program has a nearly nine-minute video that dives deeper into the benefits of the program. You can see the video below. 

To elaborate, the Ron Paul libertarian homeschool introductory video touches base on the fundamental teachings this strict homeschool method follows. The teachings promote a biblical principle of self-government and personal responsibility. Teaching the history of western liberty, the courses detail western-civilizations development in the United States, along with liberty’s rivals. And finally, the video touches base on a key aspect of the program, its rigorously detailed curriculum.

What Does the Curriculum Look Like?

best libertarian homeschool

The curriculum is formatted online, with video-based course teachings for libertarian homeschooled children graded K-12. Parents have the freedom of choosing courses to enroll their children in, and the focus with each is to develop kids in a self-taught manner. Likewise, the classes do not assign any printed textbooks. Instead, the Ron Paul curriculum looks straight at the source of material for readings. 

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With over eight thousand video courses available in this libertarian homeschool method, the courses include five videos per week for a total of 36 weeks. Each class also comes with a weekly essay writing assignment. Beginning in the fourth grade, students are required to write weekly essays that help them master a “lifetime skill” in effective writing. 

With a heavy focus on teaching self-discipline, the libertarian homeschool program also boasts advocating children to become 98% self-taught by the fourth grade. Such discipline at a young age might seem daunting to parents of younger children, but the program puts a deep urgency on self-discipline in order to prep kids for college. 

Online forums also play a big part in the daily activities of this libertarian homeschool curriculum. Much like online college course layouts, students are required to speak and participate via online forums with classes. Similarly, students use the forums as a means to aid each other if someone gets stuck. And as an added bonus, older students often serve as tutors in forums to aid younger students. 

How Much Does it Cost?

The Ron Paul libertarian homeschool curriculum has an annual membership fee of $250. Regardless of how many children a parent enrolls, this membership fee stays the same. However, if parents don’t pay the fee on an annual automatic renewal, the price jumps up by $100 to $350. As for the courses, each online class costs $50 per student.  The membership fee and course fees do come with a 60-day money-back guarantee. 

Over on the
libertarian homeschool curriculum’s site, Ron Paul estimates the cost of classes at about $1.37 a day or less. There also is an affiliate program associated with this homeschool. Parents who refer new students pay only half the enrollment fee, as long as the referred student re-enrolls each year. Along with the money-back guarantee, the program also offers 40 free trial lessons in reading and arithmetic to see if the teaching methods are well-suited.

Libertarian Homeschool Pros :

Many parents that have integrated Ron Paul’s libertarian homeschool curriculum into their children’s education preach the benefits of the rigorous program. Over at Self Educating Family, reviews rave over the online format. This review focuses on the freedom homeschool parents feel using a self-taught program that reduces the workload on parents. They also praise the curriculum for having high-quality content, especially within the high school courses. 

Teach Diligently, an online resource site for Christian Education, speaks highly of the libertarian homeschool curriculum as well. According to the site, one of the online school’s teachers, Tom Woods, makes the entire curriculum worth it. Woods has a Ph.D. in history and is an advocate of libertarianism and free-market economics. He also has multiple classes available for enrollment within the Ron Paul Curriculum. The Harvard graduate holds strict similar beliefs to that of Ron Paul. Since the launch of the homeschool curriculum, Woods has been leading classes focused around western-civilization, much like his  Western Civilization I class that originally launched the program.

Those who value a divergent approach to standard homeschooling such as the classical or traditional methods will likely appreciate this approach. Because the curriculum focuses on more real-world issues and values a differing set of core values, learners are treated to a subset of issues that aren’t often given adequate space in other formats.

This is especially true around the aspects of freedom and economics, with approaches that will give students a completely different way of looking at each subject. For those who espouse a Libertarian lifestyle, or even for those looking to give their children a differing perspective, the gains made in these subjects will look quite different from classical or even public schools.

Libertarian Homeschool Cons:

Libertarian homeschooling may not be right for everyone. While there are plenty of positive reviews strewn across the curriculums site, other reviews shed light on some of the negatives to the Ron Paul homeschooling method. The method requires a lot of screen time. Similarly, parents often complain about the forums. The Self Educating Family might have left positive feedback on the curriculum, but they also pointed out how ineffective the forums can be with students responding with effortless feedback like “Great job, I liked it.” Similarly, the site pointed out that the available material for younger children, particularly through third grade, is sparse.

And for those looking to adhere to public school testing strategies, or even linear timelines on student learning, this isn’t going to be the course or curriculum for you. This model differs substantially and therefore won’t align with curriculum content standards from different states. That being said, those seeking this out likely knew that already, not wanting to take part in those methods to begin with.

Final Takeaways

Those considering the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum are likely trending this direction for a particular reason. This almost definitely involves an overall belief system within the home already that focuses on libertarian and freedom-based thought processes. Because of this, parents will likely find what they are looking for when it comes to their child’s education.

And one other piece that does set the Ron Paul liberatarian homeschool apart is just in the different lessons offered. One can see even on the front page of the website courses like “How to start a home business” or even “How to write advertising copy.” Given the practicality of this approach, it’s easy to see what sets it apart from some of the more popular curriculum alternatives.

If you’re looking for a libertarian homeschool curriculum with a heavy emphasis on free-market and college prep, the Ron Paul curriculum might be perfect for you. However, it’s definitely not for everyone. For further information on this homeschooling method, visit Ron Paul’s official course site here.