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Homeschool Scheduling: Cut 500 Teaching Hours a Year With Online Videos

Written by Gary North on July 25, 2015

Most homeschool mothers shortchange themselves — in time rather than money.

They are young. They have not come to grips with reality: life is a trade-off between time and money. The cheaper you are in money, the more you must pay in time. Homeschool mothers don’t have much money, so they pay a heavy price in time.

They place a value on their time of about $1 an hour — or less. They would rather lose an hour than pay a dollar. They needlessly waste enormous amounts of time — at least 500 hours a year — because they value their time so little. We can see this waste in their homeschool scheduling: they do all the teaching, when a video-based curriculum does 99% of the teaching. They ignore the technological revolution in 21st-century education.

They trade off time as mothers for time as teachers — time they cannot afford to waste. They can never get this time back.

I have a solution, but I am having a difficult time selling it.

As a marketer, I am still searching for the #1 benefit of the Ron Paul Curriculum in the minds of potential buyers. Lately, I am testing this Google ad:

Cut 500 hrs/yr–teaching
Use my $500/yr curriculum–Ron Paul
100% online. Videos and PDFs only.

The add directs the person to click a link to this landing page:

I think it’s a good ad page. It lays out these propositions. It focuses on homeschool scheduling: parents who pay through the nose with precious time rather than paying a standard fee for a homeschool curriculum.

You’re working way too hard. Stop it, beginning today. (Tomorrow, at the latest.)

Your children will get a better education if you will just stop working so hard. Why? Because your present curriculum is not based on a systematic program of daily video lessons. It forces you to do most of the teaching. Mine doesn’t.

Let me tell you what you already suspect: your kids would rather have you back as a full-time parent, rather than a part-time teacher and a part-time parent. Ask yourself this: if you could find a highly skilled replacement teacher for $250 a year, plus $50 per course, would you make the switch?

I have found a dozen replacement teachers who are ready to take over your teaching burdens, so that you can become what your kids really need: a full-time parent. They are ready to do this today.

What is your time worth — to you and to your family? You can get back 500 hours per year — maybe more. What is that worth per hour? A dollar? Even as much as $1.50? It all depends on the number of your children who sign up, and how many courses they take.

If someone offered you a job for $2.00 an hour, would you take it? Of course not. But that’s more than what you will be “paying” yourself if you pass up my offer for your replacements. You will save the tuition money, but you will lose the family time that you could have re-claimed. And then you will still have to buy textbooks and all the other teaching materials that rival curriculum programs require every year. My curriculum is on-line and digital — videos and on-site reading materials. There are no textbooks to buy.

You can stop worrying about these problems:

Fighting the sense of being unprepared

Picking exactly the right materials

Preparing daily lesson plans — for years

Keeping every student motivated every day

Staying relevant in different academic years

Staying ahead of your children in all courses: Algebra, calculus, chemistry, physics

It goes on.

Do you think this would make sense to a mother? Yet I am beginning to think it will not work. Here’s why.

In 2010, I set up a website: Free Christian Curriculum. I abandoned that project when Ron Paul’s retirement from Congress in 2013 made possible the opportunity to create the Ron Paul Curriculum.

Every day, two or three people sign up for the Free Christian Curriculum. Yet the front page says this:

Welcome to Free Christian Curriculum. Warning: It has a major flaw: it is not video-based.

You need a video-based curriculum. Students can watch a video repeatedly until they understand it. The video never gets frustrated.

There are only two ways you can get an online video-based curriculum: the Khan Academy and the Ron Paul Academy. The Khan Academy is based on the Core Curriculum. The Ron Paul Curriculum is not.

I run the Ron Paul Curriculum. He and I launched it in 2013.

If you adopt a video-based curriculum, you can cut your teaching hours by at least 500 hours per year above grade 3. To estimate how many hours the Ron Paul Curriculum will save you, click here.

Half of the curriculum’s lesson time is based on readings, but the readings are free: on-site PDF’s. There are no textbooks to buy.

I teach these courses: government, high school English (4 years), business, economics, and American history. Dr. Tom Woods teaches Western civilization (2 years). Dr. Timothy Terrell teaches personal finance. Dr. Benjamin Richards teaches math. Prof. John Hamilton teaches physics.

Students earn college credit.

I set up Free Christian Curriculum in 2010. It’s good, but it will never match the Ron Paul Curriculum. This site was a good idea a few years ago. You can use the free materials. But it is no substitute for a video-based curriculum.

I no longer am engaged with this site. No time.

I never promoted this site. I’ll leave it online, but I will not be adding any materials. My time is best spent with the Ron Paul Curriculum.

So is your child’s.

For details, click here.

This does not work. They join the Free Christian Curriculum. Every few hours, I get another subscriber.

So desperate are these women to get a free curriculum that they cannot resist. Yet their “free” curriculum, if they find it, will cost them at least 8,000 hours. If they have large families, it will cost them a lot more.

I cannot comprehend this. To place so little value on your time is inconceivable. Yet this is what they want. They do not understand how important homeschool scheduling is — how every hour saved is valuable.

Video-based education is the wave of the future. The Khan Academy proves this. So do the MOOC courses that have been posted on YouTube by every major prestigious university.

Yet these mothers do not see this. “I want my children’s educations to cost my family no money.” This is another way of saying: “I place zero value on my time.”

We should treasure our time. It is irreplaceable. The quest for “free” is an illusion — like “free” TV. I have covered that great sinkhole of time here:

These mothers come to my Free Christian Curriculum site because they have searched for the words “free,” “Christian,” and “curriculum.” If all they want is “free,” they could use Khan Academy, which is free. They would get free lesson plans, too. But they sign up for my program, despite the fact that I recommend that they don’t.

I do not understand this. But I keep my site online, since it’s an ad for the Ron Paul Curriculum. If I can persuade just one mother to sign up for the Ron Paul Curriculum, it will more than pay for itself.

The time value of money is not taught in most Christian financial planning courses. It should be. But these courses should also teach the money value of time.

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