by Dr. Raymond S. Moore
Research Shows Benefits of Homeschooling
Home education at its best, is seldom well understood by writers and even by many within the homeschool movement. As the one whose research is generally credited for the founding of this fast-growing educational phenomenon, I would like to clarify a few crucial points about homeschooling.Although it plays a key role among most homeschool families, religion is no longer the overriding reason for it, but rather quality education and family togetherness. Remarks by National School Boards Association's Anne Bryant, the National Education Association and others about homeschoolers losing 'rich academic and social' lives and a need for more research are pitifully uninformed. Homeschooling is, today, the most widely researched educational field.
As a former city school superintendent, university and U.S. Department of Education research officer, I found that a key problem with our schools is that they reject research. For example, all educators know that boys lag a year or two behind girls in maturity, yet every state mandates them into school at the same age. The result is that there are about 10 boys to every girl in Ritalin-sot special education. Most are learning delayed, not learning disabled. We are gross practitioners of child abuse.In achievement and socialization, homeschool significantly excel conventional schools in all states. We don't claim perfection. But Idaho homeschool students, for example, average 87 percent compared with the national norm of 50 percent. A few years ago, Idaho parents were being jailed for teaching at home. The NEA claims homeschools can't compete in reading and math, yet standardized tests found Idaho students at 88 percent in math and 89 percent in reading. And nationwide in socialization, 77.7 percent of homeschoolers average in the top quartile of the nation.
Our Moore Formula students get around. In their balance of study, work and service, they spend half the day in business and serving their communities.NEA types also say they don't compete for college. With our Moore Formula students we have not had a rejection by the college of their choice since we started over 25 years ago. On the contrary, we are branded egocentric when we point to the highest averages of university scholarships. Our students are on full scholarships from Stanford to Harvard and onto Oxford on Rhodes Scholarships. Harvard gives us "the edge" for leadership, work and service factors built into students. Bryan College, Boston University and others advertise for them.On the other hand, the "rich" socialization privilege of the average school has been proven by many studies instead to guarantee peer dependency, a social cancer in which students lose family closeness and values and provide a precise breeding ground for drugs, ill-advised sex, etc. Many public schools acknowledge this and have sought our help from Alaska and Hawaii to Ohio and Florida.
History and common sense confirm research. Home education has far more than its share of homeschoolers, from George Washington, Abigail Adams and Benjamin Franklin to Abe Lincoln, Tom Education and George Washington Carver, and their like who brought our nation to the world's highest literacy level when they dominated American education for over two centuries.Today they are joined by farmers, congressmen, physicians, attorney generals and average Marys and Joes to bring America back from only half the population who are functionally literate to historic levels that topped 90 percent.The McDaniels family of Kent, WA (see Moore Report International, July/August 1997) are more creative than many homeschoolers. They have largely worked out their own curricula.
We are going to help them make it even more productive and fun by concentrating even more on the kids' interests instead of following the typical cookie-cutter idea of making sure all youngsters learn the same things. And they will hopefully complement their program with family industries and community services. It is the pressure from the states as well as the tendency to teach the way they were taught, which causes home teachers to use the cookie or sausage-making technique that has driven most homeschoolers to use package curricula which burn out both parents and children.