Online Government Class From FreedomProject Education: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Both of my high school aged children need a government credit for graduation in our state. It’s a subject I don’t know much about, so I’ve been looking for a good way to offer them some foundation. I also wanted the teaching to be in line with our own political and government views. Enter an online government class with a very intriguing name- Mother, Should I Trust the Government. The course was offered by FreedomProject Education and was taught by the author of a book by the same name.

We were invited to be a part of the class- Mother, Should I Trust the Government. This was an eight week class offered by FreedomProject Education. We also received a physical copy of the book Mother, Should I Trust the Government. This class is not going to be offered again right now, but it is my understanding that it will be offered again in the future. You can see the current classes offered for 2015 at this site.

FreedomProject Education offers classical education for grades K-12. They are an accredited private school and do not choose to conform to common core standards. In addition to the complete curriculum they offer, there are some campus classes offered individually. The classes are advertised as free with a request for a donation. They are online classes offered in an online classroom. We were sent a login for the classroom, and each Monday evening we logged in and watched the class which lasted for two hours. During the class we could watch the speaker, view any visuals that he put up, and participate in a live, ongoing chat. The classes are recorded so that you can check in later if you miss one. The classes are advertised as family classes with a suggested minimum age of 13. I had my two highschoolers participating. They are 14 and 15. I watched with them as well.

This particular class was taught by Jake Jacobs, the author of the book Mother, Should I Trust the Government. It was recommended that everyone in the class have the book, and the speaker gave reading assignments each week. The main thrust of the book is to tell about how our American government was founded, what really is a republic, and how America has moved away from the ideals of our founding fathers with our current government. Each week, the speaker discussed section of the book with more in depth discussion.

The idea behind the book and the classroom teaching is a good one. I agreed with much of the material in the book. And I like the idea of classes that are not necessarily influenced by standardized tests and common core standards. I had high hopes- from the title of the book and the description of the class- that this would be a good fit for my kids for a government class. But it wasn’t a great fit for us.

I quickly realized that all of us were in over our heads for this class. With very little government knowledge myself, I had a hard time following the discussion. And the kids, with no government classes so far, were totally lost. I ended up reading the book aloud to them, and we could understand a little more from the book. That made some of his discussion easier to follow. I think we could have gotten more from the class with some government knowledge beforehand.

The format of the class included quite a bit of discussion. There was a live chat box on screen. Often the first part of the class would be some bantering back and forth between the speaker and those chatting. This could be great if you like a discussion sort of class. But it wasn’t what I had expected. And the bantering, combined with our lack of knowledge, made it especially difficult to really understand the material. The open chat itself concerned me. In our setup, I used the computer and the kids just watched from the couch. So they weren’t following the open chat. I was glad of this for there were occasionally some heated discussions there-even though the speaker was not acknowledging them and was continuing to talk.

Unfortunately, this class turned out not to be great for us. However, FreedomProject Education isn’t offering this class again right now. The two current classes offered are How to Think: A Crash Course on Critical Thinking and The Bible as Culture. Because I haven’t participated in either of these, I do not know if we would have some of the same issues there or not. You can check out these current classes and get details and class descriptions here.

As always, I recommend checking out what others thought. Just because our experience wasn’t good doesn’t mean the class wasn’t a good fit for someone else. You can see what the other Crew members thought by clicking below.

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