Developed by the homeschooling pioneer Dr. Raymond S. Moore, the Moore formula is based on a balance of study, manual work and community or home service.
Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore: The Founders of Modern Homeschooling
The late Dr. Raymond Moore and his wife Dorothy are often referred to as the grandparents of the homeschooling movement. Their book, published in 1972 after years of extensive research, Better Late than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education expressed the philosophy that children who are not developmentally ready are not able to learn effectively.
In direct opposition to the beliefs of the public school systems, Dr. and Mrs. Moore explained how it is best for children up to the age of approximately 10 years old to remain at home in an environment of love and support. They told of how those children who remained home quickly caught up with others who started school at a much younger age.
The philosophies of Raymond and Dorothy Moore were embraced by many homeschooling families throughout the country. These core educational philosophies, combined with the couple's strong Christian belief of balancing head, hand and heart, as described by Ellen G. White, co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, led to the development of the Moore Formula.
What Is the Moore Formula?
The philosophical principles behind the Moore educational formula include balancing service, study and work in the lives of children. The formula according to the Moore Foundation states:
- Study from a few minutes to several hours a day, depending on the child's maturity.
- Manual work at least as much as study.
- Home and/or community service an hour or so a day. Focus on kids' interests and needs; be an example in consistency, curiosity, and patience. Live with them!
The following additional theories and principles form the foundation of Raymond and Dorothy Moore's educational formula.
- The belief that formal schooling, either at home or in a classroom setting, should not start before the age of 8 to 12, depending on the development of the individual child.
- Every child learns to read when he is ready. For some children it is as early as 3 or 4 years old; for others it may be as old as 14.
- The belief that every child between the ages of 5 and 10 years old needs individualized attention.
- Children do not reach their Integrated Maturity Level, known as IML, at the same time or at a specific age.
- During the early years, a child's focus should be on playing and service. Service is accomplished by volunteering with their parents at places outside of the home and by doing chores inside the home. Selfless service to others is an essential aspect of character.
- Paid manual labor and entrepreneurship helps children become productive and learn how to accept responsibility. It also takes away the stigma sometimes associated with manual labor.
The Moore Academy and Curriculum
The Moore Academy, part of the Moore Foundation, works with homeschooling families, providing each child a personalized curriculum plan based on their development, readiness and interests. The Moore Academy includes the following programs:
- High school
- Learning Developmental Program
- Special Needs Program
The curriculum guide supplied by the Academy does not provide tedious work in the form of daily assignments. Instead, it guides parents in creating a program that is interesting based on their child's abilities. It includes:
- Suggested materials
- Special projects
- Ideas for each subject area.
The Moore Academy is a stress free, creative method of homeschooling. Some professionals question whether or not it is a form of unschooling.
Many students of homeschooling families following the principles of the Moore formula have achieved excellent results becoming members of the Moore Academy Hall of Fame. Members include Baraby Marsh, Jerremiah Gentle, Nathan Clark and Jonathan Castleman.