Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education” as Want to Read:
Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  216 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
"Moore brings a wealth of evidence from a wide variety of sources to indicate that early schooling, although promoting (perhaps) earlier cognitive organization, introduces a host of fateful "iatrogenic"- disturbances. Our knowledge of maturation, development, developmental stages, and critical developmental periods for the human, all support Moore's basic thesis... Of what ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published August 1st 1989 by Reader's Digest Association (first published 1975)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Better Late Than Early, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Better Late Than Early

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mystie Winckler
Jun 27, 2009 Mystie Winckler rated it liked it
Shelves: education, 2009
Borrowed from Mom & Dad.

I've always wondered what exactly was better late than early. Any teaching at all? No. Apparently, it is better not to put your child in an institutional setting until your child is at least 8-10 years old (day care, preschool, day school) -- basically, in any setting with more than 5 kids per adult that replaces parental supervision and authority (i.e. a parent [figure:] of the child isn't there). He uses brain, eye, hearing, and educational research to show that unt
Kate Hyde
Jul 07, 2009 Kate Hyde rated it really liked it
I had never heard of anything like the "Integrated Maturity Level" before, but now that I have, it makes perfect sense. If a child is not ready - physically, emotionally, or mentally - for school, even the best teacher in the world won't be able to get the child to really learn. Why does society continue to believe that getting kids into school younger and younger will somehow make them smarter?

There is nothing better for a young child than to have consistent, one-on-one care with a mother figur
May 01, 2011 Natalie rated it liked it
I am new to Dr. Moore's thoughts on delayed academics and the more that I ponder this, I feel that there is truth in it. This book gives the why, some of the research and the method for "teaching" ages 0-8. While I have skimmed over his specifics of what each age level needs, I do lean towards the thought of teaching formally when the child is emotionally, mentally and physically ready.

Why oh why do we feel the need in our culture to push children at such a young age? They should be free to disc
Jennifer Brukiewa
This book provides some very good insights on why "hot housing" or accelerated learning and measuring kid's successes by ridged benchmarks can be harmful. It advocates letting your kids learn at their own pace. Kids experience growth spurts and can all of a sudden get things that they struggled with for years and "catch up" with no problem. But why is it that these kids feel they need to "catch up"? Who dictates what a normal learning pace is for each child anyway? :)

This book, however, may be
Jun 19, 2009 LaDawn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school, non-fiction
One of the books I read at the beginning of my homeschooling journey. It helped me get over the "why-can't-I-teach-him-to-read" stage, and helped me through the early years when people tend to duplicate school at home and burn out quickly.

If you are thinking of homeschooling your young children, this is definitely one I would recommend!
Sep 05, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok
Shelves: homeschooling
Borrowed from my parents. This one was important to them and their decision to homeschool me (and my younger siblings). So, for that I'm grateful.

However, I think the evidence is lacking in this book. Jessie Wise flat out contradicts what Moore says about children's eye strain (and that's just one problem).

If we're talking about putting children into an institutionalized setting (public school), then yes: better late than early. But better still: never.

Children love to learn when they're young.
Keren Threlfall
Although homeschooling (a.k.a., home education) has technically been around since home and education have been part of our world, Dr. Raymond S. Moore and his book  Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education  have frequently been credited as having been one of the main catalysts in the rise of the American homeschooling movement. (Interestingly enough, homeschooling is hardly mentioned in this book.)
Better Late Than What?
Together with his wife, Dr. Dorothy N. Moore, the a
Dec 13, 2014 Ilib4kids rated it really liked it
372.12 MOO

My comment: Children is hyperopia, reading is not good for them until 7 or 8

pxv ..normal child's brain is not ready for sustained learning programs - until he is 8 or 10 years of age. Some specialists doubts even then he should be forced into school.
pxix We have conclusion
(1) The home is the primary institution for young children
(2) We doubt the need for preschool for larger segment for population

Chap1 Behind the early childhood scene.
p5 Such reasoning has results largely form Dr.
Jan 06, 2017 Laura rated it liked it
I felt like this would have been a good book had I been on the fence about homeschool or had I needed reasoning to keep my kids at home. It was full of statistics, which I wasn't terribly interested in and I feel like it dared the book. I would need an updated version if I was looking for an argument for homeschool. I was a good reminder to let kids be kids and to not push and pressure them academically too early.
May 19, 2013 Elaine rated it liked it
Interesting concept. This book discusses the shortcomings of early formal education, due to lack of emotional, physical, and cognitive maturity in children who are younger, and advocates waiting until the child's 'Integrated Maturity Level' indicates readiness for an academic school setting, rather than starting all kids at school at a young age (and promoting younger and younger school settings for kids). The book presents research that kids typically aren't ready for formal school education un ...more
Feb 15, 2012 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: homeschool
Written by a DOE official during the push for preschool, research in cognitive, physical, and psychological development is synthesized to propose that school readiness is most appropriate at age 8-10 when these facets of development are in sync. Particularly interesting about visual and auditory perception being less developed than most adults assume, age 7 or 8 being a better age for eyes to physically do the work of reading letter shapes.

Some quotes:

As children are placed together in group car
Dec 05, 2013 Hannah rated it it was ok
Shelves: home-education
The author lamented that some states were lowering the age at which school becomes compulsory; until I read this book, I had not realized that the compulsory age had once been as high as eight within just the past few decades. In my own state, the compulsory age is six. He also discussed how he thought that the push toward greater preschool availability was a move in the wrong direction. Again, an interesting perspective to read in hindsight, because the idea of preschool has gone from “someplac ...more
Megan Triplett
Feb 09, 2017 Megan Triplett rated it liked it
I really appreciated the encouragement to delay formal education until our children are older. I found the book very practically helpful as we approach the years of homeschool. It did take me quite a long time to get through this book as it was heavy with statistics and facts (and I was a bit under-motivated), but I enjoyed it all the same!
Apr 13, 2015 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
This book is in 2 parts:
Part I: I give 4 stars for its critic and compilation of data and research regarding sending children to school early, reading too young, and challenging the assumption that school can start at 3 years of age. This section also backed up by gut instinct that my 5 year old is not ready for a formalized classroom 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, months on end.
Part II: I give 2 stars. It offers advice that is out of date (such as not swimming after eating) while also offering g
May 21, 2011 Leahjoypro rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
I picked up this book b/c I heard it referenced to and thought it might be helpful in learning more about whether to send my son to kindergarten when he is 5 or to wait until he is 6. Although this book is old and some of the information might be outdated, I still found the research very compelling in terms of the advantages of putting off intensive learning as long as possible. This furthered my personal conviction that my son should wait for kindgergarten until he is 6.
I have to admit that I
Oct 04, 2014 Lindsay rated it really liked it
While a bit of a challenge to read as it overflows with statistics...I really appreciated the overall encouragement not to rush our children into formal academics. It proved time and again that delaying formal education till age 8 or later is actually quite good for the child and parent. Very freeing to read after pushing my first daughter too hard early on in my excitement to homeschool only to result in frustration on both of our parts. It's coming much more peacefully with my 2nd as I take th ...more
Feb 01, 2016 Savannah rated it it was amazing
I think every parent with young children should read this..schools and society pushes children to read so early and most kids aren't ready yet, and aren't ready until they're 7 or 8 or even older. If you push a child to read too early, they will learn to hate it and resent it. If you wait until they're ready, they'll take off and catch up and surpass so quickly! They will NOT always stay 2 or 3 years behind. My son is proof of this. He didn't start reading at all until he was 7, and now he's new ...more
Feb 27, 2013 Jamie rated it liked it
This book rocked my world somewhat. I know it is old published in 1975 but if what they're saying is really supported by research like they claim then it is very odd that the popular idea that more school and earlier school is better for kids is so strong right now - even mentioned in the State of the Union by Obama. While I agree with a lot that's in it, it can be kind of judgmental towards some parents. This book has definitely sparked my interest to read more about early childhood education a ...more
Oct 27, 2016 Ashley rated it really liked it
Although the research is quite dated now, to my knowledge it hasn't been proven wrong. What I liked most was the structure of the book: part one laid out the hypothesis, the relevant data, and answered some potential questions. Part two was a developmental guide giving information about the child at each stage as well as practical ideas for how parents could best create a rich environment at home. It was a quick but valuable read.
May 16, 2011 Gina rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting, education
I give 4 starts to Part I, which describes the research the authors relied on for their thesis that children are best kept at home until they reach their integrated maturity level (IML) around the age of 8. Part II delves into their parenting recommendations, and I would give that section of the book only 2 stars. I disagree with much of their parenting style, but there is enough "good" information there for the reasonable reader to "take what works and leave the rest."
Erin Henry
Oct 07, 2012 Erin Henry rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction

I really wish the people who set school policy would read this. I would be more amenable to sending my kids to school at age 8 rather than 5. They are just to little and immature at 5 to be out in a school environment. This book relates study after study about the problems that come from early schooling and the benefits of later schooling.
Jul 10, 2008 Jenny rated it liked it
Actually I'm currently RE-reading this book (ignoring the parts on discipline). I was loaned this book by a neighbor when we first began homeschooling. It was very helpful in putting things in perspective amidst the push for formal education at younger and younger ages. Now, 6 years later, I'm reading with a different perspective.
Julie Clark
Jan 06, 2010 Julie Clark rated it liked it
Shelves: education
Moore argues that kids in our country are put into school too early and has research to prove it. He also states that some kids can actually be hindered by early education. Great information about how kids learn and develop. Also speaks much to the fact that the push for early education is more about money than it is for the benefit of the children.
Shelley Lawrence
Jan 25, 2012 Shelley Lawrence rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012
Really interesting concepts that I fully agree with in regards to home being the best place for kids and mom and dad the best teacher. School may have a place, but not for the young ones! Well documented and interesting read.
Jan 14, 2010 Mugsymkelly rated it it was ok
This book discusses the benefits of waiting to formally educate children until their intellectual maturity reaches a certain age. Contains interesting research.
Mar 29, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it
Really wish I had read this YEARS ago, when my children were infants, not nearly teenagers.
Audrey Jenkins
Feb 27, 2016 Audrey Jenkins rated it it was amazing
Raymond and Dorothy Moore are like principals, grandparents and home coaches all wrapped up into one. I became a fan after reading this book.
Jan 11, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it
I loved the principles that were taught in this book...with great research to back it up.
Briony Sinclair
A well balanced arguement written by people with a lot of experience in the field. All arguements are backed with research and text.
Erminia Kines
Nov 25, 2012 Erminia Kines rated it liked it
This book has really helped me on my homeschool journey. A great companion for any homeschool parent.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Learning All The Time
  • For the Children's Sake
  • Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling
  • A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion
  • Discover Your Child's Learning Style: Children Learn in Unique Ways - Here's the Key to Every Child's Learning Success
  • Ourselves (The Homeschoolers Series)
  • When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today
  • The Unschooling Unmanual
  • A Little Way of Homeschooling
  • Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense
  • The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon
  • You Can Teach Your Child Successfully Paperback
  • Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace
  • Educating the Wholehearted Child
  • Free to Learn: Five Ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life
  • Homeschooling for Excellence
  • The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World as Your Child's Classroom
  • The Way They Learn
Dr. Raymond S. Moore, author of Better Late than Early, the book that launched the modern homeschooling movement in the United States, passed away on July 13, 2007, at the age of 91.
Moore’s book grew out of an article first published in Harper’s in 1972, at the time when California was considering a law to make school compulsory for children as young as 2 years, 9 months. The article was republis
More about Raymond S. Moore...

Share This Book

“It would save money in the end if the Government paid a comfortable allowance to all mothers of young children who would otherwise be compelled to work. . . . It doesn't make sense to let mothers go to work making dresses in a factory or tapping typewriters in an office, and have them pay other people to do a poorer job of bringing up their children.” 1 likes
More quotes…