The Chalkboard - Waldorf School at Moraine Farm Blog

We keep reading articles that emphasize the importance of play in early childhood education.  This one stands out for being well supported and succinct.  Waldorf schools emphasize play in the early years and do not formally introduce reading until 1st grade. From the article –

“Reading, in particular, can’t be rushed. It has been around for only about 6,000 years, so the ability to transform marks on paper into complex meaning is not pre-wired into the brain. It doesn’t develop “naturally,” as do other complex skills such as walking; it can be fostered, but not forced. Too often that’s what schools are trying to do now. This is not to suggest that we shouldn’t increase access to preschool, and improve early education for disadvantaged children. But the early education that kids get — whatever their socioeconomic background — should truly help their development. We must hope that those who make education policy will start paying attention to this science.”

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