Posted by: katlea611 | March 24, 2008

Moore for Ethan

I’ve been doing a lot of research on the Moore Formula and I think that this might be good for Ethan’s personality. Being an actual-spontaneous learner, I don’t want to force Ethan with daily formal lessons when clearly, he’s still not ready for that. I think the Moore concept of delayed academics will do Ethan a lot of good. I’m planning to research more about it and maybe purchase Dr. Raymond Moore’s books so I could have a clearer idea of this philosophy. I’m not sure if the books are available locally, but I’ll at least try to check the bookstores for copies. I already informed Ruther about this homeschooling method and I have yet to hear his opinion about it. For sure, we might not agree with everything in the Moore formula, but I know that with Ethan’s personality, this will be a positive step forward for him.  Also, since the Moore Formula is very much similar to unschooling, we might be using these 2 philosophies for our little boy.


Some excerpts from Delayed Academics: Key to Preventing Learning Problems

Today … the most arduous efforts of our public schools cannot produce high school graduates who can compare favorably in knowledge and skills with the 8th grade graduates of 1900. What on earth is going on? It is claimed by the education establishment that the fault lies variously with the children (learning disabled), their parents (incompetent and /or uninterested), or the government/tax payers (low funding), or all three. Educators seldom blame their own methods, materials, timetables, etc. Most people would agree that “one size fits all” items actually don’t fit most people very well, but when it comes to education, otherwise intelligent folks are inclined to bow to the “wisdom” of the established educational order in the matter of what a child should learn and when he should learn it. Homeschool parents come to me every day asking for “the list” of what their children should be learning at each grade level. Or, they come in very worried because Jr. is in third grade and doesn’t yet know his multiplication facts or parts of speech or the difference between a parallelogram and a trapezoid! Oh, my!

The problem is compounded by the tyranny of “experts” who are determined to “help” homeschoolers by “diagnosing” and offering to “treat” all manner of suddenly discovered maladies from ODD (opposition/defiant disorder) to ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) to my favorite: Auditory Processing Disorder(APD), a wonderful catch-all for the late bloomer who hasn’t yet cracked the phonetic code of English. These “experts” would have us believe that otherwise normal children suddenly become “disordered” when they enter school or begin formal “homeschooling.” This is not to say that there are not children with very real medical and /or psychological problems, but the vast majority of children diagnosed with a “learning disability” are simply normal children with either a low tolerance for boredom (ADD), too much energy to sit still for long doing boring, repetitive work (ADHD), developmentally unready to absorb the material presented (LD, ADD,APD, Dyslexic, Dysgraphic, etc.) or possessed of a learning style which is incompatible with the curriculum in use(ADD, etc., etc.)

The “Moore Formula” includes three elements in approximately equal portions: study, work and service. They do not recommend formal academic studies before age 8 and in some cases, as late as 12… This does not mean that the child does not learn anything until age 8+. Children are learning voraciously from birth and only the roadblock of clumsy “schooling” can retard or stop a child’s otherwise insatiable thirst for knowledge. Books are useful and important tools, but for a young child, the world is filled with much better learning opportunities than can be found on the printed page alone. When a child is allowed to explore and question and wonder, whole worlds of interest can open that might never be discovered otherwise. In this homeschooling style, a child might learn to read at five, at seven or at twelve, depending on the child.

This more relaxed early learning/teaching style will incorporate important developmental areas often neglected or ignored by formal curricula: listening, hand-eye coordination, large motor skills, spatial relationships, personal relationships, knowledge about the physical environment, memory development, imagination, logic and many more. Because of the overwhelming presence of electronic media in our lives, children are often have difficulty using their own imagination or even listening to a story without pictures. They are so bombarded with constant sound from radio, TV, and electronic games that they can hardly think for themselves. Giving children time in the early years (hopefully with a minimum of TV, etc.) to develop physically, neurologically and emotionally allows them to move into formal academics with a maximum of preparedness and energy.

Delayed academics does not mandate delayed reading; it encourages parents to wait until their children are ready. Until that time, parents can read to their children, play games with letters and sounds, and watch for signs that their children are beginning to catch on to the code. Once that happens, you cannot stop a child from reading. Some will move quickly and others will make slower progress, but as long as the instruction is phonetic (this is vital), children will make gradual progress until they are reading at an adult level.

 The best education for your child is one that is developed for his or her unique learning schedule and learning style. Only the parent can judge the appropriateness of the schedule by watching for things to “click,” but we can get quite a bit of guidance from Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s many books on homeschooling and Willis and Hodson’s Learning Style Profile found in Discover Your Child’s Learning Style. Trying to get a head start by pushing early academics can backfire, causing difficulties for years to come. Instead of worrying about a “learning disability” because your child does not fit the style and sequence of “in the box” schools, spend your energy on developing your child’s natural interests. You will be amazed at the results.


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