For a long time there has been a push by many concerned citizens, educators, politicians, and others to improve the education of children by getting them into school sooner. The idea being that the sooner children were taught to read, write, and do arithmetic, the more mastery they'll have of these subjects. I was surprised to learn that a hundred years ago in some states it was against the law for children to go to school until they were at least eight years old.
Raymond & Dorothy Moore spent years investigating the results of early education. They examined other studies and did their own studies. They found that in the early years, up to somewhere around ages 8 to 10, it is best for children to be at home in a loving and supportive environment. They found that children who are kept home until they are ready for school quickly catch up with the early starters.
One of the main points is children can't effectively learn until they are developmentally ready. The book explores readiness issues dealing with eye sight, hearing, coordination, ability to focus, emotional stability, and others. Once children have hit a certain level, then their ability to learn is amazing. The book explores some of the problems that can happen when a child is forced to learn before they are ready.
Another main point in the book is how the home is the best place for young children. It is acknowledged that in some situations, like a working single parent, a child may need to be put in preschool, but that the optimal environment is a home where the child feels secure and is free to develop at his own pace. They are free to make mistakes without 25 other students making fun of them. They feel loved.Read more ›
Though based on research from the 60's and 70's, I found this book invaluable. The addendum makes note that current research only confirms the earlier studies. Essentially, the first half of the book provides numerous arguments to support that children need nurturing loving homes first and foremost. It over and over again contends that formal education is better left until age 8-10. The research and arguments are vast. Resources are plentiful and convincing. Everything makes sense to me, a former educator, who is currently raising children of my own. The research provides a firm foundation regarding my choices for my children. The second half of the book is merely developmental ideas, but sound opinion nonetheless.
Even if you haven't considered homeschooling before, I believe all parents will find some valuable information in this book.
Moore was able to capture exactly what I feel in my heart about child development and schooling. Separation anxiety, peer socialization (no that's not a good thing) and the constant labeling of 'problem students' stemming from the core concept that children are just not ready for formal schooling at the age that we push them out the door in our society. Although the book was written a generation or two ago the problems he outlined are even truer today that ever before. There is enough meat here (resources) to give validation without being cumbersome to read.
If you are even considering homeschooling your family (especially those looking to hs from the start) this book will probably be your selling point and a great resource to hand to doubting relatives (your spouse maybe?).
BUT this isn't really a book about homeschooling, it is about child development and I do think all parents could benefit from reading it.
I read this way back in 1980 and immediately became the only homeschooler in my city and the 3rd in NY state!! I wound up meeting Dr. Moore and the early pioneers of Homeschooling...we were not all that many...and as people began to see the children and the families who listened to the Moores, homeschooling took off like a widfire.
DR.Moore has the experience and knowledge and he is CORRECT in all of his observations. I began to do things my way and let me tell you , I went back to Dr. Moores way.
Both of my kids have done extremely well and we are very close My son owns his own business,
my daughter has done everything from TV shows to working w/ the disabled..she has several degrees.
While this book does not tell you hOW to Homeschool per se ..it lays the foundations for raisning confident, intelligent children with excellent character and I believe caring parents will gobble this classic up ....especially when you look at what is going on around you
I love this book. Studies show that starting children too early in school can be damaging. Very few even think about this anymore. If a child is slower than usual parents are encouraged to give them an even earlier start so that they won't be behind children of their same age. What sad advice! We should wait until these children are ready. Then they can excel to their top potential. Every person I know that started school at age 7,8 or later has done very well and in most cases been able to skip grades beyond those student their age and ended up in the top of their class. I also know of many cases where children were started early and they struggled and became discouraged, eventually hating school and not finishing high school. Some early starters do okay but I still don;t think it's the best. When kids are ready to learn, they learn. You don't want to force it before they're ready. Don't worry about them being behind. In the early grades. I'd be more concerned with their education as a whole. Starting kids later is better by far. For the sake of your child I recommend reading this book before you start them in school. Libraries often have it if you can't find it used. It's been a great help to me.