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My family and I are very new to your teaching program, Mr. and Mrs. Bluedorn. We have only just recently finished reading your book, Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style. We are slowly starting to implement your specific teaching plan, though we have always, instinctively I guess, approached learning and critical thinking in a way somewhat similar to the Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric paradigm you recommend.
In any case, we receive your newsletter, and are intrigued by the Ron Paul Curriculum — in particular, that it is self-taught. You see, we have seven children, and we both work fulltime (though Mom works from home). So, needless to say, the logistics of actual teaching is very much a concern. Your suggested teaching schedules are a little out of reach for us. However, the Ron Paul curriculum seems to us quite a ways from what we like so much about what your book emphasizes (a family-oriented culture in the home, together-time, spiritual emphasis). Nevertheless, you do recommend it. I guess I want to ask, where is the middle ground between these two approaches? How, if at all, could a family get the best of both worlds?
I might add that our oldest is 14, and he, moreso than any of the others, is the college-type. And so, in that respect, it would seem that time is of the essence. Thank you, T.S.
On our Trivium Pursuit web site we talk about what classical education is and how we can implement it in our homeschool. One question people ask is, “What do we hope to accomplish by giving our children a classical education — what educational results will we see when they are grown?”
Here are four desirable outcomes which can be accomplished with a classical method of education:
1. Enable our children to think for themselves (not be ruled by peer pressure or tied to educational systems, such as the government schools);
2. Enable our children to logically think through arguments and to speak and to write with clarity and force;
3. Enable our children to read and to understand the great and worthy literature of past years (the definition of worthy is another topic for discussion).
4. Enable our children to master a new subject on their own.
Yes, I think the Ron Paul Curriculum is compatible with our book Teaching the Trivium and can help you develop the four outcomes listed above. In addition, the RPC is advertised as self-teaching, which, in your situation, would be helpful, but a family can use it as they wish — participating with the children by learning along with them or allowing the children to learn independently (please note — the RPC is considered self-teaching after Grade 3).
If I was homeschooling my children today, I’d be using it for Grades 6 and up, although if I was in a situation where I had to work outside my home, I would consider it for the lower grades also. I would also add to the RPC subjects and activities as needed, such as Bible, reading aloud, logic, and Greek.
Ron Paul Curriculum courses I would consider for my children
The Academic Basics Course (ABC) should be taken by students ages 14 and up. Parents will also benefit from taking this course on preparing for high school and college by learning how to study. You can read a review of the ABC here.
11th Grade English 3: Western Literature II, Instructor Gary North
11th Grade Western Civilization II, Instructor Tom Woods
11th Grade Government 1A, Instructor Gary North
11th Grade Government 1B, Instructor Tom Woods
11th Grade Computer Science (This course is offered free of charge by Udemy. A student who takes this course should be able to pass the Advanced Placement exam in computer science. This will count for college credit.)
Since your oldest has college in his future, the RPC can be especially helpful. By taking AP (Advanced Placement) exams and CLEP (College Level Examination Placement) tests, a student can receive college credit and can reduce the cost of the first two years of college. The RPC encourages students to participate in these programs.