Suggestions for a possible early reader? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 02-28-2010, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey folks!

One of the thing that really appeals to me about Waldorf is not pushing academics too early. That said, I'm also not going to avoid teaching my daughter things if she's interested in learning about them.

We went out to a restaurant for a huge family dinner with the extended family (great aunts, cousins, grand & great grands, that kind of thing) and at the restaurant, the kids meal menu came on a big paper that had a find-a-word on it. My 20 month old (at the time) points at one of the letters and says "S!" loudly to us all. Of course we're all shocked, she was right. Then she starts pointing at other letters & we tell her what they are. (The S was the only one that she knew.) Since then, she's learned the alphabet song & can correctly identify all of the letters in the alphabet.

We're not pushing her to learn this stuff, but she's genuinely excited to figure out the mystery of these letters. (We do read a lot.) Last week we were reading a book and she pointed at a word and said "Mommy". The word she was pointing to was, in fact, Mommy. I would wonder if she was just saying something to me (I'm called Mommy), but then she correctly identified the word again on another page. Somehow just by reading to her, she's figuring this out already.

So, what suggestions do you ladies have to help support her interest without overdoing it? She'll be 2 next week.

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#2 of 2 Old 02-28-2010, 04:22 PM
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Here is a good article on the development of the brain related to reading and writing:


At 2, your daughter is able to sight memorize a number of words. The important thing is to encourage all aspects of her development. My daughter is in KG at a Waldorf school, and there are definitely readers in her class. It is just not pushed. When her KG teacher came for a home visit last year dd proudly showed her how she could write her name on her chalkboard. The teacher ( without correcting the backwards "S") said " yes, that is your name" and dd went on to show her some dolls. The teacher explained that at this stage of development it is sight recognition- the symbols are lacking in real meaning.

Remember that because a child might be an early reader, this does not translate into a good reader later on. I love to read, and this aspect of Waldorf education was one that I had to really come to terms with. After much research I am fully on board with it. Of course we want our children to experience books and literature, for them to have rich intellectual lives stimulated by the written word. But memorizing sounds at 4 will not do this. Better to let the child be ready to not only read, but to comprehend.

I had to really hold myself back from teaching dd to read. We avoided the "early reader" type books in favor of ones that are beautifully illustrated and have rich meaning.
This one is a favorite:

Also, encourage the skills that will make her a good reader later on with cross-lateral movements like sweeping. Of course, avoid tv.
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