Published here with permission from The MOORE REPORT INTERNATIONAL - March/April 2001

The Moore Foundation, Box 1, Camas, WA 98607

How the Moore Formula Can Help All Families and Schools

by Dorothy Moore

For more than 30 years our research teams have been analyzing research on early childhood and discovering methods of education which are providing spectacular results for families who are following the philosophy which we have published in our books and publications. Parents and professionals have long ago labeled them the Moore Formula which addresses readiness, and a balance of study, work and service. All along we have been impressed by the significance of Malachi 4:5, 6 which many feel has been answered by the homeschooling movement. However, after reading Scripture, we are convinced that the principles can be used for all families and schools to help fulfill the Malachi/Elijah message.

READINESS. The principle of readiness says that children, especially boys, generally should not be sent to school until they are at least 8-10 years old. Would this apply to families who cannot for one reason or another homeschool their children? I think of a single parent with one small boy who believed as many do that her boy was too immature to be sent to traditional school. She had no other financial support than her regular day-time job, so she found good families who kept her boy during her work time, and she spent as much time as possible with him when she was at home. She had regular worship and Bible time with him, taught him how to cook, and worked with him to teach him how to work. She read to him from worthwhile, true books on nature, biographies and character-building stories. Unfortunately only traditional schools were available, so he didn't succeed as well as he would have, had he had the privilege of a Moore Formula school which would give his interests priority over a rote curriculum.

What can a school do about readiness? A number of years ago the primary teachers of the Nevada public schools invited us to come and talk about our book, Better Late Than Early, which they had read. Their policy was, especially for kindergarten, to persuade parents to keep their children at home for an extra year or plan on two years in kindergarten. There was also a school in Michigan which had a pre-kindergarten, a pre-first and a pre-second along with the regular grades, so a child could conceivably spend an extra two to six years before entering third grade. There was no "failure" involved and the first two years, especially, were true kindergarten style with hands-on learning experiences. A multi-grade primary room has often accomplished the same basic task of allowing a child to mature into his natural readiness for formal learning.

INTERESTS, APTITUDES AND ABILITIES. Classrooms do not have the luxury of one teacher to five or six children, as homeschool often does, but there are ways that even classroom teachers can adapt to the children's interests, aptitudes and abilities in their study. One way, especially with abilities, is to have the older or stronger students teach the younger or weaker students. Also, creative teachers can choose topics which are likely to interest any student, subjects with a lot of hands-on activities and experiments. A teacher in Maryland took her students out to the Chesapeake Bay to study pollution. They were fascinated, and found answers to their questions in reference books.

If a parent cannot homeschool his child, he can cooperate with the teacher by reading a library book to him about something he is studying at school or play an educational game on a subject in which he needs help.

WORK. If parents know the value of work for children, starting as soon as they can walk, children will prosper by learning how to be dependable and responsible and develop other character qualities.

If you doubt that students can spend several hours a day in practical work at school, investigate some working programs around the country. In California the Regional Occupational Program was started many years ago for delinquent students. It allowed students to go to school in the morning and work in various industries around the area in the afternoon. Because of labor union protests, they were not paid, but were supervised in whatever skill they needed. We visited one program in Modesto where we saw students working in Food Service, an Auto Body Shop, Service Stations and other industries. They turned out to be the best students in school, and soon a wide array of parents and students asked to be included in the program.

SERVICE. One of the hardest jobs a parent has to do is to help his children become unselfish for all humans are born selfish. One of the best ways for them to develop an unselfish spirit at home or in school is to provide service opportunities, where they help others without pay. Churches need volunteers and school children can always find worthwhile community projects.

It is no longer a secret that this kind of a program brings positive results. The biggest challenge is to convince parents that the efforts they expend to make these principles operate in their homes will bring results far better than they anticipated.