Delayed Academics

From the brochure …

Research conducted by US educators Dr Raymond and Dorothy Moore led to several conclusions:

  • Delay formal instruction until the child is fully ready (not before 8 y.o.) Avoid workbooks; read what is true
  • Divide activities into equal thirds: study, family, service
  • Teaching good habits helps children become responsible
  • Limiting and guiding time with peers helps children remain family centred and avoids peer dependence
  • Surrounding a child with enriching life experiences and loving, interested adults helps them to excel academically
  • Projects and unit studies are most effective; drills help in mastering basic facts such as maths.

Delayed Academics allows parents to develop a balance between their child’s character, valuable life skills and academic capabilities.

To Elaborate …

Dr and Dorothy Moore are considered, along with other such as John Holt, to have revolutionised the way learning takes place. Their original studies, with a body of successive research to support their findings, indicated that delaying formal studies until a child is 8-10 years old is beneficial. They assert that pushing at earlier ages can actually be damaging to children, and the cause of many reading problems.

The Moores advocate reading to your child and having them narrate back to you, with lots of hands-on, physical and nature learning all forming part of early informal education. Learning certainly occurs during the first years, but it does not take on a formal guise before 8-10 years.

Delaying instruction in reading is off-set by a naturally accelerated pace once it is undertaken. The point to stress here is to wait until the child is developmentally ready and matured enough to handle the concepts being introduced, rather than simply delaying for the sake of delay. Attention span, interest, maturity, hand-eye co-ordination, etc., will provide clues as to when to start. It’s also quite okay to start, evaluate, and delay a little longer if the child proves unready.

The Moore’s also favour a phonics approach to reading, not a whole-language approach. Large print flashcards aid the eyesight development of young children

The Moore Formula

  1. Study
    from a few minutes to several hours a day, depending on the child’s maturity
  2. Manual Work
    at least as much as study
  3. Home and / or Community Service
    an hour or so a day

Additionally, Parents are Encouraged to:

  • focus on the child’s interests and needs
  • be an example in consistency, curiosity and patience
  • live with them
  • worry less about tests

Some Advantages

  • low stress
  • child-centric
  • long-term advantages which are well documented by the Moores

Some Disadvantages

  • possibly little correlation between your own child’s notable skills at certain ages and that of their schooled peers
  • potential ready criticism from those who assume you are disadvantaging your child

Personal Comment

On their own website they say, “If you are loving and can read, write and count, and speak clearly, you are a master teacher.” They also say, “we [have] analyzed over 8000 studies of children’s senses, brain, cognition, socialization, etc., and are certain that no replicable evidence exists for rushing children into formal study at home or school before 8 or 10.” I have no personal experience of this approach to home education, although I can see great merit to it.

Useful Links

  • The Moore Foundation
    This is the official site which expounds on the Moore Formula and offers comprehensive support for home educators who wish to utilise their strategies.

An internet search will yield additional resources, which you will be able to assess according to your own criteria.

At times it is folly to hasten at other times, to delay.
The wise do everything in its proper time.
~ Ovid