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Dr. Raymond Moore, 'Teaching Myself', Preparing to Homeschool

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, July 16, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 56    July 16, 2007
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2007 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

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Notes from Heather
-- Tribute to Dr. Raymond Moore
Helpful Tips
-- 'Week's Worth of Food' Project
Resource Review
-- I Learn Better by Teaching Myself
Reader Question
-- Before We Begin - Where to Begin?
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

For those who haven't yet heard, Dr. Raymond Moore passed away
Friday, July 13th, at the age of 91.


"Dr. Raymond Moore is a name few homeschoolers don't recognize.
For many people when this name is mentioned, a walk down memory lane
begins to unfurl -- a rough and renegade lane. It takes us back to
the days when families homeschooled underground. Laws were questioned.
Officials scrambled to stay on top. Laws were interpreted incorrectly.
Enforcements and unfair judgments were enacted which jailed people,
took kids, and left moms and dads alone, openly crying. People stood
firm in their convictions. An envelope of support began to surround
them. And then we saw Dr. Dobson sharing good news, Dr. Raymond and
Dorothy Moore speaking, and people listening. Out of the woodwork
came true pioneers, voices of reason in a wilderness of the unknown:
JohnHolt/Growing Without Schooling Magazine, John Taylor Gatto, the
Colfax family, Home Education Magazine. Support groups sprang up
everywhere along with conferences, massive assemblies and new laws on
the books. A national awakening." -- Gena Suarez, http://tosmag.com


I guess for me this is not so much of a tribute as it is an opportunity
to reflect on the way the Moores (Dorothy passed on a few years ago)
really impacted my life and homeschooling style. Everyone gets old and
eventually dies, but few get to have the influence that Dr. Raymond and
Dorothy Moore did.

For me it was a book I read over and over and recommended to friends
countless times. That book was "Better Late than Early". In this
totally against-the-tide book, the Moores asserted that not only was it
appropriate and harmless to wait for a child to be ready and willing to
read before formal training in this area, it was actually *beneficial*
to wait.

In an age of accelerated everything, it was comforting for me to know
that these educational experts were giving me permission to not rush
my children -- in my case, boys. Everything they've learned -- from
talking and walking to reading and writing has been at their own pace.
For all the potential wasted time and anxiety I've been spared in the
past 12 years, THANK YOU Dr. Moore! You will be missed.


Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather @ familyclassroom.net


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Helpful Tip

[Note: The following was a contribution to our Homeschool Country
Living Group -- http://www.hscountry.com -- I thought it sounded
like a very FUN and educational project for any family to try!]

A Week's Worth of Food - Time Magazine Inspired Homeschool Project

"We read the article in Time about food for one week for various
families in different countries around the world. That inspired a
homeschool project here at our home of 'what do we eat in a week?'
Check out this post for a photo of all the food, list and links to
the original Time photo article. Cheers!"


Walter Jeffries - Sugar Mountain Farm in Orange, Vermont


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: HN-ideas @ familyclassroom.net

Resource Review

'I Learn Better by Teaching Myself'
by Agnes Leistico

-- Review by Karen Lange

Agnes Leistico didn't want to homeschool her children, in fact, the
idea didn't appeal to her in the least. She merely decided to learn
about homeschooling to support friends who were doing it. Her chil-
dren were doing well in school. She felt that if a parent was as
actively involved in their children's education as she was, things
would have a way of working out.

Then her son entered third grade. His interest in school had waned,
and he complained of various maladies so he wouldn't have to go.
Things got progressively worse, and finally, in sixth grade, she
pulled him out of school. It was apparent that her son was suffering
from burn out and needed some down time. She allowed him time to
pursue gardening and things he was interested in - exactly what he
needed. Leistico saw a return to his normal self with the pressure
of school off. He was relaxed and getting along with his sisters

Leistico shares how she found a balance in educating her kids (she
eventually took her daughters out of school too). By observing them
and their learning styles, she realized that they were best motiva-
ted and retained more when they were interested in what they were
studying. Most of their learning became interest directed and hands-
on. To her delight, the kids learned much more than she expected.
She saw the value in interest initiated learning, and realized it
dovetailed with what she had done since her children were young:
surround them with books and learning opportunities.

Adults often fall prey to the myth that children learn only when
adults make it happen. In contrast, Leistico urges us to consider
the old adage: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him
drink. She gives us terrific food for thought and encourages us to
give our children the opportunities to learn by using things they are
interested in, according to their learning styles. Additionally, she
offers tips on how parents can keep the balance to avoid stress and
burn out themselves.

'I Learn Better by Teaching Myself' is a refreshing reminder that
interest initiated learning allows students to utilize their abili-
ties in an optimal manner. Leistico offers wonderful insight and
advice for equipping our children for a lifetime of learning. We all,
regardless of our teaching philosophy, need an occasional reminder
that living is learning.


Karen Lange homeschooled her three children K-12. She is a freelance
writer, homeschool consultant, and creator of the Homeschool Online
Creative Writing Co-op for teens. Visit her website at:

Last Issue's Reader Question

"We're just starting to look into homeschooling for our family, and
though we only have a toddler, I've heard it's good to start looking
and thinking about what we want to do early. I'm already feeling
overwhelmed at all the different options out there. Where do I go
for information to get started and how do I figure out what is going
to work for our family? Thanks for your help." -- Rebecca in WI

Our Readers' Responses

"Hi Rebecca -- I think the simplest place to start is with a
slender volume by Lisa Whelchel titled 'So You're Thinking About
Homeschooling?' You will get brief but thorough overviews of
most methods of home educating, and without your head spinning.
Have a lovely adventure with your children; we are!" -- Shani


"Yes, Rebecca, you are wise to start doing your research now.
Knowing that you have lots of time to make a decision should help
you to relax and not get too stressed out over all the many options.

I would suggest that you subscribe to one or two good homeschool
publications and read them. Also, look at their ads. Request
catalogs from companies that offer them, and visit the websites of
the others. Spend a few minutes each day browsing, and you'll
find yourself being drawn to certain types of materials.

Try to study different approaches to education: Principle Approach,
Classical, Unit Study, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, and Thomas
Jefferson. Again, you'll find certain aspects of these more
appealing to you than others. You might want to use bits and
pieces of different approaches. Learn about learning styles, and
be sure to take your child's learning style into consideration
whenever you choose materials or plan lessons.

I highly recommend 'I Saw the Angel in the Marble' by Chris and
Ellyn Davis; 'Educating the Wholehearted Child' by Sally Clarkson,
and 'Wisdom's Way of Learning' by Marilyn Howshall.

If possible, it would be a good idea to attend your state home
education convention.

You are about to start on the most wonderful journey of your life!"
-- Mary Beth


[Editor input follows!]

Rebecca -- one my 'tried and true' websites I like to recommend to
new homeschoolers to begin reading is Barb Shelton's Homeschool Oasis.

Here is the BEST page to begin -- and you can follow the 'bunny
trails' from there --


-- Heather

Answer our NEW Question

"I have 2 teen daughters who are not college bound and I am think-
ing of taking an unschooling/delight-directed approach with them
in their schooling this year. I do also have some topics/subjects
that I want them to learn so that they function well on their own
when they leave my house, such as how our government operates and
life skills. Any advice or suggestions on how to do this? Recommen-
dations? Can you take this type of approach and have requirements
for them on some of the things that you think that they should
learn?" -- Heather L.


Do you have suggestions and/or experience to share with Heather?

Please send your answer to: HN-answers @ familyclassroom.net

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