Almost simultaneously, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, educational professionals Raymond and Dorothy Moore began to research the academic validity of the rapidly growing Early Childhood Education movement. This research included independent studies by other researchers and a review of over 8,000 studies bearing on Early Childhood Education and the physical and mental development of children.
They asserted that formal schooling before ages 8–12 not only lacked the anticipated effectiveness, but was actually harmful to children, particularly boys (due to their lag in maturity). The Moores began to publish their view that formal schooling was damaging young children academically, socially, mentally, and even physiologically. They presented evidence that childhood problems such as juvenile delinquency, nearsightedness, increased enrollment of students in special education classes, and behavioral problems were the result of increasingly earlier enrollment of students. The Moores cited studies demonstrating that orphans who were given surrogate mothers were measurably more intelligent, with superior long term effects – even though the mothers were mentally retarded teenagers – and that illiterate tribal mothers in Africa produced children who were socially and emotionally more advanced than typical western children, by western standards of measurement.
Their primary assertion was that the bonds and emotional development made at home with parents during these years produced critical long term results that were cut short by enrollment into schools, and could neither be replaced nor afterward corrected in an institutional setting. Recognizing a necessity for early out-of-home care for some children — particularly special needs and starkly impoverished children, and children from exceptionally inferior homes — they maintained that the vast majority of children are far better situated at home — even with mediocre parents — than with the most gifted and motivated teachers in a school setting (assuming that the child has a gifted and motivated teacher). They described the difference as follows: "This is like saying, if you can help a child by taking him off the cold street and housing him in a warm tent, then warm tents should be provided for all children — when obviously most children already have even more secure housing."
Similar to Holt, the Moores embraced homeschooling after the publication of their first work, Better Late Than Early, 1975, and went on to become important homeschool advocates and consultants with the publication of books like Home Grown Kids, 1981, Home School Burnout, and others.
One common theme in the homeschool philosophies of both Holt and the Moores is that home education should not be an attempt to bring the school construct into the home, or a view of education as an academic preliminary to life. They viewed it as a natural, experiential aspect of life that occurs as the members of the family are involved with one another in daily living.