The Ayn Rand Institute has opened the Free Books for Teachers program to homeschoolers! This means that you can get free copies of Ayn Rand's novels plus teacher's guides for your homeschooled children. You can find all the recources at this new section of the ARI web site. Excellent!
Many non-Objectivists seem obsessed with the question of how we Objectivist parents will expose our children to the works of Ayn Rand. As a parent, I've never seriously considered whether, how, or when I would suggest that Samantha read Ayn Rand's novels or non-fiction, although I've had idle moments of curiosity about it, and I've asked children of Objectivist parents about their experiences. But I don't think Adam and I have ever even discussed it. It's just such a non-issue.
I'm much more concerned with raising a thinking, independent, selfish child. Sure, you can get these ideas (and choose to develop these virtues) by reading Ayn Rand, as most of us first-generation-ers have. But proper parenting is a much more direct route to a happy life. There are so many things that are more fundamental in parenting than is reading Ayn Rand. I won't write about those things here. If you read my blog, you know what I'm talking about. But as emphasis, I'd say that even something as simple as fostering a love of reading is more important than putting The Fountainhead on Samantha's nightstand, as obvious as that seems.
Having said that, if I do my job and Sam makes good choices (she does have free will, you know!), I can't imagine that she won't be interested in reading the books that have had such a profound impact on both her parents' lives. (Adam and I met at an ARI event, and that alone is sure to intrigue her. I'll save that story for another day.) And, if I've done my job, Sam will be ripe and ready for the ideas.
All of that is said strictly as a parent, but if I am homeschooling Samantha as a teenager, Anthem and The Fountainhead will certainly be a part of the literature curriculum, as I believe they should be for all high-schoolers. I haven't thought much about any other of her works, but I suppose I would also include Ayn Rand's essay, Philosophy, Who Needs It if we were ever to delve into basic philsophy because there really is no better introduction to the subject. But that is a decision to be made much later.
In the meantime, it is very exciting to me that ARI has recognized homeschoolers in this way, and I hope that many will take advantage of the free books offer.