Home School Court Report
Current Issue | Archives | Advertising | About | Search
No. 5

In This Issue

Special Feature Previous Page Next Page
by Court Report Staff
The Passing of a Pioneer

Dr. Raymond S. Moore, 91, passed away on July 13, 2007.

He is best known for his 1975 book, Better Late Than Early, coauthored with his late wife, Dorothy, and credited by many with launching the modern homeschooling movement.

Courtesy of www.moorefoundation.com
Dr. Raymond S. Moore,

His career began in education—as a teacher, principal, superintendent of California public schools, then president of several colleges in the United States and abroad—and culminated in passionate advocacy for homeschooling, for the value of meeting students’ individual needs, and for the importance of allowing them to mature at their own rate.

In 1963, Dr. Moore cofounded Hewitt Research Foundation with Carl Hewitt. Later, Dr. and Mrs. Moore started the Moore Foundation and Academy to continue their work—encouraging parents to homeschool. The Moores authored many books and articles and spoke about homeschooling across the U.S. and around the world.

In 1982, James Dobson twice interviewed Dr. and Mrs. Moore on his Focus on the Family radio broadcast. These programs caught the attention of many parents in the Christian community and accelerated the growth of the then-fledgling homeschooling movement.

In fact, the Dobson interviews were the instrument that God used to introduce Mike and Elizabeth Smith, in California, and Mike and Vickie Farris, in Washington, to the concept of homeschooling.

Mike Smith recounts, “Dr. Moore loved children and he knew the best place for children is at home. He also deeply believed that parents should be their children’s primary teachers. He went to his grave knowing that he had committed the last 50 years of life to these beliefs.

“Shortly after I heard the Focus on the Family radio program, I contacted Dr. Moore and he invited my family to a homeschool conference in Weimar, California. There were less than a dozen families there, but they were homeschooling and we were impressed.

“After that weekend, we decided to begin homeschooling our then 5-year-old son, Andrew. Shortly thereafter, the Moores visited our home in Santa Monica, California. Our 10th-grader, then in private school, took a walk with Dr. Moore and, upon returning, announced that she wanted to be homeschooled. So we started with a 5-year-old and a 10th-grader in 1982.

“It’s a decision that has made it possible for me to spend the most enjoyable and productive next 25 years advocating homeschool freedoms.”

“Raymond Moore introduced me to homeschooling face-to-face in April 1982,” Mike Farris remembers. “Without his influence, my family would not have begun homeschooling and HSLDA wouldn’t exist.”

Christopher Klicka recalls a phone call from Dr. Moore in the mid-1980s: “He called me and was so thankful that Mike Farris had established HSLDA. Up until that time he felt the burden to help these families legally, but he did not have the legal training. Nonetheless, Dr. Raymond Moore faithfully traveled to many court hearings to testify as an expert witness to the academic statistics and success of homeschooling. He also testified in many state legislatures when bills were introduced to legalize homeschooling.

“I remember in the 1980s when Dr. Moore and Dorothy would call and ask for the latest legal update, and we would tell them about the cases and legal conflicts we had around the country. They would report in their newsletter about our work and how the legal battle was going. They encouraged everyone to join Home School Legal Defense Association.

“Dr. Moore always had a passion for helping children learn. He believed, with his whole heart, that homeschooling was the best way to teach children,” Chris adds. “In the last, few years, Dr. Moore would call me and check on my health. He would also share His faith in and dependence on Jesus Christ. He genuinely cared.”

Dorothy Moore passed away in 2002. Dr. Moore is survived by his second wife Bernice Reid Moore; brother Charles and two sisters Loraine Webster and Helena Reid; son Dennis Moore; and daughter Kathie Moore Kordenbrock, her husband, and three sons; daughter Mari Tokizaki Lim, her husband, and two children; and numerous other “chosen” children.