The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

Moore, Raymond, and Dorothy Moore. The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook: A Creative and Stress-Free Approach to Homeschooling. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1994.

Researchers and educators Raymond and Dorothy Moore played an important part in popularizing homeschooling in the 1970s and ‘80s, particularly among conservative Protestants. Their star has faded in the homeschooling world, but their contribution to the movement is important, so I’ve been looking to see which of their many books I’d recommend for homeschooling collections. Their most recent, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook: A Creative and Stress-Free Approach to Homeschooling (1994), turned out to be the winner.

This book, a revision of their Home School Burnout, is one of the only Moore titles still in print. The book is packed with information, covering most of the philosophies and ideas the Moores developed in other books. It serves as a defense of homeschooling as well as an explanation of the “Moore Formula,” which emphasizes teaching children through study, manual labor, and service in the home and community. Like John Holt, the Moores assert that institutionalized schooling damages young children, and while they don’t advocate total unschooling, they do warn parents to delay formal instruction until their children are 8-10 years old. The Moores’ strong Christian faith permeates the book and their ideas, but, at the same time, it welcomes and encourages those of other faiths or even no faith to give homeschooling a try. The Moores’ writing is wordy and lacks spark, making the book a little less user-friendly than other titles, but, at the same time, the authors come across as extremely well-intentioned, well-informed, and likable. Smaller collections may want to skip this in favor of more practical, user-friendly titles, but larger collections will want this representation of the Moores’ work.

Explore posts in the same categories: Book Reviews, Christian Homeschooling, Curriculums and Other Homeschooling Resources, Unschooling

4 Comments on “The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Raymond and Dorothy Moore”

  1. Becky Says:

    Found you at your new home, Adrienne! That’s what happens when I don’t keep up for a week…

    Love the new look, and just a suggestion for your categories — it would be wonderful to see “Secular Homeschooling” along with the others.

    I read the Moores when I was first researching hs’ing and it had some good things to say. But the title I always find myself coming back to, especially now that I’m in my third go-round of first grade and I’m not a novice anymore, is David Guterson’s “Family Matters”.

  2. Adrienne Says:

    You are so right about secular homeschooling. I’ll add that, and I’m sure I’ll be adding more categories as I go along, too. I’m writing my chapters on religion in homeschooling right now, so that’s what’s been on my mind of late.

    I have the Gugerson title in my “to read” pile. I’ve been meaning to read it for years now and am a little ashamed to admit I haven’t yet. I’m sure I’ll post a review when I’m done…. :)

  3. Becky Says:

    Thanks, Adrienne, for the extra category and the promise of the review!

  4. homeschooler Says:

    Sonlight Curriculum is a literature-rich, Christian-based homeschool company that provides complete homeschool curriculum programs and materials from preschool to 12th grade. Our comprehensive curriculum has a global focus,and provides children all across the world with the desire to learn.

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