Learning to read the Waldorf way–delayed teaching of reading and writing–is probably the most controversial aspect of Waldorf education. When I was growing up, I wasn’t taught to read until the 1st grade, but in today’s world when even babies are being taught to “read”, a Waldorf (inspired) parent can start to have doubts…I know that there were times when I did.
My daughter told me it was okay to write this, but she was a “late” reader. Up until 3rd grade, she struggled to read–even though I know that she had an extremely high desire to read. She began to get very discouraged and frustrated. My daughter’s class teacher was amazing though and helped us all to be patient. We kept reading with her every night and embraced a very dedicated movement regimen (building proprioceptive strength)–which hard science now is verifying that it helps open up brain pathways.
Almost like a miracle, my daughter suddenly started reading–really reading–in the past year. And…she LOVES it. She’s currently reading a thick, 700 page book–the 4th book in a series. It’s gotten to a point where we have to force her to stop reading at night and turn out her light. At a holiday sleepover with a fellow Waldorf friend, I became worried because the girls were “too” quiet. When I went to check on them, they were lying by the Christmas tree totally engrossed in their books. It was so endearing…
I guess that sometimes learning to read the Waldorf way takes a leap of faith.