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What is the Moore Philosophy of Education?

Beth Hodgkison 0

What is the Moore Philosophy?

This style of education allows a lot of intellectual freedom, while also focusing on family, community and work ethic. The three tenets are:

  1. Study
  2. Work/Entrepreneurship
  3. Home and/or community service

The Moore philosophy is a type of home-education pioneered by Dr Raymond Moore, a Seventh Day Adventist and educator, and his wife Dorothy. Although he was a prominent figure in public school education, he also became a passionate promoter of homeschooling. In particular, he wrote about the practice of delaying formal academics as long as needed, even to the early teens, in favour of allowing children to play and explore, rather than be chained to a desk and workbook.

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The Moore Philosophy, also known as delayed academics, encouraged education based on life skills and practical knowledge relevant to each child. Typical elements often left out of public school syllabuses would be money management, careers advice, volunteering, part-time jobs, relevant vocational courses and household management.



1) Study from a few minutes to several hours a day, depending on the child’s maturity.
2) Manual work at least as much as study.
3) Home and/or community service an hour or so a day.


But the Moore philosophy is also a delayed education philosophy- it claims that there are little to no benefits of introducing full-time, formal study to children under the age of 8, and in some cases will encourage you to wait until the age of 12. Before they reach the age when they are genuinely ready for academia, the following are encouraged:

  1. Free play
  2. Reading aloud to your child, and letting them learn to read when they are ready
  3. Clubs and activities
  4. Simple chores
  5. Field trips
  6. Singing
  7. Art
  8. Learning manners and ethics
  9. Oral counting games and number play
  10. Identifying and nurturing interests
  11. Tools rather than toys; equipment for their interests

A huge part of the Moore philosophy is allowing your child to develop and fully explore their own interests, and to allow them to work or volunteer in some capacity related to the things they enjoy. Even once they reach the age where formal study is deemed important, it is not the focus of the day- 30 minutes to 3 hours is the norm. Followers of the Moore Philosophy are more interested in the ‘contribution’ side of a child’s experience, including household chores, household management (such as shopping and budgeting), community service and involvement, clubs and groups, volunteering, good deeds, helping with the family business, part-time jobs and ‘cottage industries’/small business ideas. This balance aims to prevent burn-out for both the child and family, nurture a well-rounded child, and truly prepare them for the demands of adult life, such as being able to juggle responsibilities and support others, whilst being independent and able to care for themselves. To further support the latter aim, Moore educated children are often encouraged to pursue cooking or nutrition studies, and choose their preferred form of physical education.

Another common factor of Moore education is a focus on Religious Studies and developing Christian ethics. Children will be encouraged to attend church services, Sunday school, events and charity fundraisers. This can easily be replaced if needed by the study of another religion, spiritual exploration, humanitarian studies, or more community service.

So, an average day for a 13-year-old following the Moore formula might look like this:

6:30 am: Rise, get ready, help prepare breakfast, eat, and tidy the house. Half an hour of Qigong practice.
9 am: Math, spelling and grammar drills
9:30 am: Calligraphy class on Youtube
10:30 am: Interactive lesson on the history of medicine on EdX
11:30 am: Quiet half hour reading a book from the library
12 pm: Prepare lunch and eat
1 pm: Joins in on a community project to plant flowers along the roads leading into town
3 pm: Tends to the orchids in the garden greenhouse they are breeding to sell
4 pm: Picks little sister up from nearby school and takes her to the park
5 pm: Does their own laundry and tidies bedroom
6 pm: Eats with the family and does the dishes
7 pm: Prepares themed snacks and a Hayao Miyazaki film for a family night in


If you’re interested in the Moore formula, check out the resources below.

Recommended resources:

The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook, (The Handbook)

Mind your own business cottage industry book

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