Published here with permission from The MOORE REPORT INTERNATIONAL - September/October
The Moore Foundation,
Box 1, Camas,
What are we doing to our boys?
by Dr. Raymond S. Moore
In a time when feminists allege that we don't prepare our boys to be men who know
their place with women, we seem [determined] to prove them right. Every state in America and
every province in Canada winks at a scientifically established and universally-acknowledged
fact: At school entrance, little boys normally lag a year or so behind girls in overall maturity.
No wonder so many are antsy in body language and short in attention span through their early
Boys do not generally catch up with their sisters until well into their twenties.
Although this is one of the most commonly-conceded facts among educators and psychologists,
every state in America mandates boys into school at the same age as girls in one of the most
pervasive forms of child abuse in our nation. And the result is an inexcusable shame on all
of us. It is responsible for much of the train of failure, delinquency, violence, rape and
suicide that disgraces our neighborhoods daily and drives our society down the same primrose
path as ancient Greece and Rome.
More than ten years ago Professor Anne Soderman of Michigan State University was
deeply impressed with figures from the American Academy of Pediatricians on the "dramatic
increase of 'stress-related' symptoms...in young children." She had reason to be. So she
wrote ominously in Education Week (March 14, 1984), "Frustrated kindergarten teachers
acknowledge they are contributing to the pressure but say they feel caught up in having to
prepare children for 1st-grade expectations." Then she added the stunner: Because we fail
to apply in the classroom what we learn through research, "boys in our secondary schools
outnumber girls 13 to 1 in remedial classes and by as much as 8 to 1 in classes for the emotionally
There isn't a replicable piece of research in all of American education lore which
suggests that little children should be institutionalized by ages 3 or 4 as the National Education
Association insists, nor by 5 or 6 or even 7. We have rationalized ourselves into a collective
public school baby-sitting syndrome which accommodates our bent to get our children out from
under our feet as soon as they are out of diapers, and many can't wait that long. And then
we blame the schools for the certain results. From California to Virginia and New York we are
mandating our babes into institutional life by 5, and often earlier. For nearly 20 years Houston
has goaded them into school by 3, as urged by the NEA since 1976.
The NEA, of course, knows better, but appears more concerned about jobs than for
children, if we are to believe Spokesman Gerald Koch of Omaha, then education committee chairman
of the Nebraska Legislature and reputedly close to the NEA. He insisted that school attendance
should be reduced from age 7 to 3 (Lincoln, Nebraska Journal, Oct. 1, 1981). His rationale:
The change could help public schools reverse declining enrollments by creating a new population
reserve. No matter which side you take in the abortion war, it is tempting to ask the NEA if
it knows that its position on abortion loses it around 1,500,000 youngsters a year.
What does all this do to our boys and many of our girls? Ask the dispensers of Ritalin.
Or juvenile parole officers. Or any pediatrician or family counselor who gives slightest attention
to research and the early childhood distress all around them. Eminent scholars from Cal-Berkeley
to Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Yale and Tufts are disturbed, if not appalled. All of them know
children will find family, if not at home, then on the streets with a gang or in the back seat
of a car in the embrace of another parental reject.
We don't say that all Ritalin-riddled kids went to school too early. We are well
aware of the impact of (1) unbalanced, unhealthy diets, especially those overdosed with sugar
and fats, and over snacked to the damnation of their mental and physical immune systems, or
(2) TV-pummeled offspring who live largely without energy or aim.
Yet even those pervasive problems do not keep parents from changing the average
Ritalin- drugged youngster in short order if they will adopt a range of simple, possible and
proven therapies: (1) Shower theme with sincere, warm responses that are deserved, (2) build
their immune systems with well-chewed fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grain and plenty
of water, and avoid sugar and snacking, (3) keep them constructively busy doing their share
of chores at home and earning through their own businesses, (4) show them how to do good deeds
for others at home and in the community, in pediatric units at hospitals or learning and serving
at local nursing homes. (5) Encourage their creativity even if it sometimes seems odd. (6)
Develop their manual skills by hands-on work at home and in the community. (7) Build an altruistic
sociability by service in the home and neighborhood. (8) Increase their responsibility at every
practicable turn and award them commensurate authority or freedom. (9) Don't institutionalize
them until they are ready mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. (10) Keep them close
to home until their values are thoroughly established.
It is noteworthy that homeschool families who are following this formula are today
qualifying for scholarships from Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Cornell to Stanford, Cal-Berkeley
and Rhodes Scholarships at Oxford. If you need more information on such a virtually unanimously-proven
formula, write the Moore Foundation at Box 1, Camas, WA 98607 or call 360-835-5500.