Saturday, November 17, 2012
Thoughts on Dr. Raymond Moore's belief in delayed formal academics:
It seems that the Moore's emphasized that learning begins at birth. Some of their books outline concepts to be taught starting from birth. They share age-appropriate activities and events that help a child achieve appropriate milestones for their age. So, it seems that their idea of delayed education speaks of "formal" and "school-like" learning. Essentially, most early school concepts can be taught in a variety of ways. Teaching a child to write using finger-paints on a large sheet of paper uses different motor skills (more appropriate) than using a pencil and paper. The key is to keep learning age appropriate and to avoid burn-out.
In the beginning of my homeschool years I was fortunate to be able to attend a week-end series of lectures by Dr. and Mrs. Moore. One of the key points that struck me was hearing Dr. Moore emphasize that from his experience, most early-schooled children might do VERY well with early learning when taught formally, but that by 4th grade they were generally burned out and it was nearly impossible to bring back the love of learning, exploration, etc. that most of us value so highly in childhood learning. So, although a child may seem to be doing well and advancing properly --- it could be possible that long-term damage could occur in the form of burn-out.
Guided, planned, purposeful experiences that are age appropriate are never out of line. I believe it is wrong to hold a child back when they want to learn. But, I would encourage them to learn in a relaxed, non-paper and pencil, bookish manner. It is so much more fun and interesting for everyone (parent and child) if collections, cooking experiences, field trips, building, etc. projects are done to create that learning rather than relying upon a book.