Ellen Dana is our guest blog author today.
Since 1983 we have been often asked “shall I hold my child back from learning?” because this child did not adhere to the picture given of a pushed and frustrated 6- or 7-year-old, clearly not able to sit down with books to struggle doing a task his brain could not encompass. Besides, he was not ready to give up his self-imposed Lego building projects. Is the Moore Formula only for the strugglers? It is for all learners! Remember, it is individualized, geared to each kind of learner.
First we must look at academic learning—all those subjects that school educators insist must be taught. We can divide them into two groups: skill subject are mainly reading, writing, math or the “three R’s”. Everything else does not demand acquiring learning skills at many levels for the student to advance to the next level. Nature study, or “science,” for example, can be emphasized and enjoyed by a 3 or 4-year-old, and may begin simply and without stress to 3 or 4-year-olds, swinging in a hammock in his own back yard! Social studies may begin with cultural studies spurred with mission stories at Sabbath School, or the continued story of Kado (used copies available on Amazon) (a great cultural story from India, or Sharna of Rocky Bay who lived a very different cultural lifestle in a fishing village. Both stories possess the added value of questions answered about the mysteries of living for Jesus.)
Moore Formula Learning at the primary level is a developmental journey where the student is not expected to have the 3 R’s pushed on him. The preparation for these subjects may go on all the time even while someone reads aloud to the student. An occasional recorded story can help when parents need a reprieve or an older sibling needs to read easy material with a reason for doing so. If you will think about the various things a true story is teaching and learn to categorize these overall learning values, it will help you view reading aloud to the little child eager to hear one more story, with a more positive attitude. Keep a chart if you must for awhile and practice checking off the various subjects that were taught that day. You might find your children may have learned reading skills (unconsciously? By all those special emphasis words you said with greater force and power) social studies, history, and Bible all in that one book.
Perhaps you and your husband took your children on a special “field trip” on Sunday to a nature preserve—today with the children, you will categorize or sequence the photos taken the day before. This is a great review and recognition of God’s organizing plan, and “test” of the names of the birds or animals seen. To the child it is simply great together time with mom and they are usually enthralled to recognize certain “critters,” again. They might even make a little book of those critters complete with copies of the photos in the right places.
So much for the majority of children who easily fall in the “late blooming” category. Now, What about that little “early reader”, eager beaver child who begins to read despite your desire to teach the Moore Formula way? Let me ask you a question; because he can read, does that mean he should read, and even encouraged to do so as long each day as possible?
Think for a minute; surely you have seen a few eager-beavers scholars in your day complete with their sturdy little glasses! Are the glasses for effect? –to announce that this is the world’s next genius? The Optometric world would have you know that the incidents of near sightedness in young children increased as school-entrance age was lowered–significantly! Why? Because these still-developing youngsters were not limited in using near-vision. Developing eyes need lots of distance vision, one reason active outdoor play is so important for growing bodies.
Let me say it again, education the Moore Formula way is simply common sense and heavenly-inspired learning. All the little children should spend lots of time working closely with mom learning to cooperate in caring for the home, letting him know how important he is as you rely on him to carry out certain tasks, and helping dad with the more manly upkeep of the home.
I know you want him to be a good student; but remember this saying, When you want to teach your child to be a diligent student, teach him to do physical work with all diligence!
Keep reading aloud—to your visually driven child, for even your eager beaver still needs to continue strengthening his auditory learning development, noticing your expression, how you read with commas, questions and period evident, plus hearing the pathos in your voice over touching scenes portrayed. Besides reading of places, other historical times, cultures, people who stood for Jesus and acted on Christian principles, the student who reads well or not at all, will both alike love arts and crafts. Keep that part of your school alive to develop fine motor skills, love of beauty, color and personal expression. Recognize those values and to log them so you really see how you have been having “school.” And know that a good art project is really a “written report,” with as much value as the 250 or 500 word, researched product. If you help them follow the theme of the stories read, so much the better, like building a wigwam when studying Indians, either outdoors or at the table with picked-up sticks, or even the same arrangement to provide a trellis for the climbing beans just planted. Include learning Bible verses, and of hymns. Faithfully lead him to Jesus when the trials overcome this inexperienced, not yet baptized young student. You will help him form habits of thought and feelings, preparing him to live happily within his future earthly home and ultimately heaven’s mansions.
Ellen Dana the Educational Director at Moore Academy. She enjoys helping families around the world to successfully homeschool their children. She strives to carefully and responsibly continue promoting a balanced educational effort with individualized curriculum planning and surveillance of enrolled families’ practice in using the Moore Formula type of education avidly taught by the Moores.