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#1 of 15 Old 11-20-2011, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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One must wonder letting children wait until the age of seven to read & write the problems that could occur. My dd is only 4 yrs and has a speech pathologist on reccomendation of our Catholic kindergarten. She also has help with social development & has been checked for dsylexia. Thank god she has not got that. But think of all the children that are not reading or writing to be picked up on these problems. I can only imagine it would be harder to stop the problem once it has been happening for so long. My dd was only speaking wrong for a little time & we have to re train her brain! Now she is writing she can already write her name without copying anything, she's only 4&3mth nothing bad is going to happen her for knowing how to write (i hope lol ha ha )

P.S My ds is learning even quicker he is 1&10mth & the speech pathologist cant believe how bright & wanting to learn he is. So to everyone who thinks that you have to wait to learn I think that is a load of HOO HA earlier the better. As long as you let them be kids as well, life is meant to be fun. My kids WANT to learn stuff because we do it in fun ways but it is still teaching them to read, write, maths, music plus what they get at kindy.

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#2 of 15 Old 11-20-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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That's great that you found a program that works for your children, and you got your DD the help she needed. It sounds like Waldorf isn't a good fit for you, which is absolutely fine, but it is a good fit for some other children. There are many reasons why parents choose Waldorf for their families and why they may or may not agree with 'the earlier the better' belief you hold with academics. If you're interested in learning more there are lots of great resources about Waldorf out there and a great forum right here with loads of information about the philosophy.


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#3 of 15 Old 11-20-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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I think the same can be said for forcing a young child to learn before 7.

I have 2 daughters that went to waldorf schools before we moved to an area where there is not a school.  Both of those daughters were in speech therapy at ages 3 and 4. I had NO problems identifying the areas in which they needed help TALKING, NOT reading.  Through everyday connections.  Just because said kids needed a boost in language didn't mean they were ready to read.

They loved their waldorf school.  They are 10 and 7 now and the 10 year old has no problems reading, UNDERSTANDING and writing. The 7 year old learned to read 6 months ago when she turned 7.  She's doing fine.  I felt both kids needed to learn to TALK before reading and writing, hence the therapy.

 

Waldorf is about waiting for the kids to be READY DEVELPMENTALLY.  For some that is at age 5 or earlier most others its later.  There are reports that suggest the young children CAN be taught to read, but when said kids get to 5th grade, comprehension is an issue as are later.

I'm glad it worked out for your family, as for us, we will keep preaching Hoo Ha and WAIT to educate!! 

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#4 of 15 Old 11-20-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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There is evidence that teaching a child things before they are developmentally ready will cause the brain to use lower, more primitive methods for learning. Neural pathways are then developed which are difficult to override later. This is why kids can learn to read early on but have comprehension difficulties later. The brain was not really ready and took a short-cut to master the necesssary information rather than processing it in the most efficient way for further development.

 

Furthermore, child educator Elkind has found that children today are reaching kindergarten with less cognitive development than children of previous generations, despite more emphasis on early academics. The reason? Children no longer have the time for free play that is so vital to brain development and much of their time is taken up by media. When children don't play early on, with open ended toys in creative imaginary ways, Elkind found that they have difficulties later with reading and writing. The brain never learned to imagine out scenarios and stick with them from start to finish.

 

It's also important to realize that early educational media has been proven to be "whoo-ha". Disney lost a millions of dollars law-suit over their Baby Einstein because media, in fact, has a negative effect on early education. Again, just because a child can do it, doesn't mean they are ready or learning it correctly.

 

Waldorf puts an empahsis on development of the whole child, an empahsis on research based relationships between play and cognitive development, an emphasis on the research on the harmful of effects of media with children, and an emphasis on art, music, and handwork such as knitting and its effect on cognitive development.

 

That being said, I do believe it is important for children to be treated as indivdiuals and not forced into any cookie-cutter approach, including Waldorf. My daughter was reading at age 4 and we do watch occasional media. But we also adhere to the overarching philosophies of Waldorf which are backed by research.

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#5 of 15 Old 11-22-2011, 12:03 AM
 
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I think it's a bit weird, OP, that your DD was already tested for dyslexia at *four*. Granted, we live in Northern Europe and maybe the protocols are differen here than where you live, but most clinicians and schools wait for an official diagnosis til around 8 or even 9. My DS is on the track to be officially declared dyslexic and he's almost 9. We've been watching out for it and have had a tutor for him, but due to the great variety in rates of learning to read, no one here would make an official diagnosis until a kid was older.

 

My DS also got speech therapy when he was 5 and 6 . . . . speech therapy has nothing to do with when the children begin to learn to read.

 

Basically, the fact that this is your first post on MDC and it is antagonistic (and disjointed and badly structured) makes me wonder what your point is in posting. Just stirring things up? Or is there a point to your post? If you'd like to genuinely know more about the Waldorf approach to education, then we can all recommend sources for that. If you just want to argue, please go elsewhere.

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#6 of 15 Old 11-22-2011, 11:40 PM
 
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We really shouldn't feed the trolls.  OP has one and only one post...and used it to come to this forum to post pretty much philosophically the opposite.

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#7 of 15 Old 11-26-2011, 03:16 PM
 
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Not feeding, more posting because I am worried someone may believe that nonsense :)

 

I asked our Dev ped he said they do not test for dyslexia at 4 and acually laughed at the question. LOL

 

I have kids with speech therapy and 1 yr 10 mo is pretty early for a speech path also.

 

My kids THRIVE in their Waldorf world of letting them be little kids, and the ones that are older now are equal if not ahead of peers. I can imagine the damage we may have done forcing them to do things they were not ready for.

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#8 of 15 Old 11-26-2011, 09:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyKelly View Post

Not feeding, more posting because I am worried someone may believe that nonsense :)

 

I asked our Dev ped he said they do not test for dyslexia at 4 and acually laughed at the question. LOL

 

I have kids with speech therapy and 1 yr 10 mo is pretty early for a speech path also.

 

My kids THRIVE in their Waldorf world of letting them be little kids, and the ones that are older now are equal if not ahead of peers. I can imagine the damage we may have done forcing them to do things they were not ready for.

My kids have out grown our local Waldorf community, which was only at the preschool level, but we still think of it fondly.  Nothing better than letting children experience childhood instead of academics, imo.  Its amazing how much children learn through playing and developing a love for the natural world around them.  I remember reading  that children that learn to read early and late are generally at about the same place/ability when they are around 12 years old.  Interesting how things can balance out.  I would rather have children that feel balanced and whole and remember childhood as a joyful time.

 

My child is dyslexic, and to get an dx, he had to have a neuropsych exam, which also evaluated for other potential learning disabilities that might be a root cause of his inability to understand phonics and phonemes.  Keep in mind, he could read, but he was slow and it was only the words has memorized.  He was diagnosed at 9 years old, and the school here does not dx.    My younger child started reading at 4 because she caught on to phonic when ds  was learning to read and he did not understand them.  No easy retraining the brain with dyslexia.  It takes more than double the effort to read, but these are some of the brightest and most creative kids, so do not underestimate them. 

 

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#9 of 15 Old 11-26-2011, 11:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post
Basically, the fact that this is your first post on MDC and it is antagonistic (and disjointed and badly structured) makes me wonder what your point is in posting. Just stirring things up? Or is there a point to your post?
 


My thoughts exactly

 

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#10 of 15 Old 03-11-2012, 01:40 AM
 
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Well the poster is gone, but many of us reading! 

I have to put my input here too! 

I was so proud of my boy who could say the alphabet at 2 (thanks to sesame street) And write things, (not just his name) at 3. But at the same time, I was using tv as a babysitter for cooking, showers, pretty much any time I could not sit at playroom floor and entertain him. I knew something was wrong, and wanted him to learn how to play independently, to have the imagination, I knew that it should be only natural to children. So tv became a huge black hole in the universe for us, and within a week my son was playing with a dishtowel as police hat until it turned to something else while I load laundry. it's been a wonder of amazing creativity ever since, and I never pushed another work book in front of him.

I pulled him out of academic preschool when I realized that these are the precious few years of freedom to JUST play and IMAGINE.

 

Kids generally learn how to read and write eventually, but will they be able to produce anything that would interest anyone else? Well only if they have imagination and creativity.

The poster is so worried that dyslexia would not be diagnosed early enough. I wonder, if the problems her daughter had, were just part of being a toddler, and she got "cured" because she got older.

To Americans Waldorf philosophy on this is maybe hoo haa... but how do the entire populations of northern european countries survive. There everyone starts academic schooling at age 7, and end up scoring at the top of the world in high school.

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#11 of 15 Old 03-11-2012, 04:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa17s View Post

 

My child is dyslexic, and to get an dx, he had to have a neuropsych exam, which also evaluated for other potential learning disabilities that might be a root cause of his inability to understand phonics and phonemes.  Keep in mind, he could read, but he was slow and it was only the words has memorized.  He was diagnosed at 9 years old, and the school here does not dx.    My younger child started reading at 4 because she caught on to phonic when ds  was learning to read and he did not understand them.  No easy retraining the brain with dyslexia.  It takes more than double the effort to read, but these are some of the brightest and most creative kids, so do not underestimate them. 

 



Yep! That's my DS. He's doing ok because he has a fantastic tutor (at his Waldorf school) who is doing a modified Davis method for spelling and helping him with sight reading. He got an A in reading comprehension on the national standaridized tests! (and a F in spelling! But we're working on it!). He's creative and the Waldorf school promotes that so he feels so much pride in his work and confidence in himself, despite the fact that he reads more slowly than other kids. He went to a "normal"  school til the middle of 2nd grade when we moved him and we'd never go back!

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#12 of 15 Old 03-11-2012, 04:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tittipeitto View Post


To Americans Waldorf philosophy on this is maybe hoo haa... but how do the entire populations of northern european countries survive. There everyone starts academic schooling at age 7, and end up scoring at the top of the world in high school.



We live in northern Europe and even in DS' old "normal"  school (before we moved him to Waldorf in the middle of 2nd grade), the kids didn't learn to start reading til 1st grade, when they were between six or seven years old, depending on when they began school. They may have had some letters introduced in kindergarten, but certainly no structural attempts at learning to read.

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#13 of 15 Old 03-11-2012, 09:30 AM
 
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My son has eye tracking problems and convergence problems. We waited until 8 to go to the Pediatric Optometrist. Teaching him to read earlier and not paying attention to the signals he was giving me would have led to frustration and possibly made him believe he was stupid when he has a physical problem. Waiting was the best thing I ever did. He is getting help, is learning to read AND he loves it! Phew! Applying pressure to read when he was younger would have most likely caused him to hate reading!

 

 


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#14 of 15 Old 03-11-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tittipeitto View Post

To Americans Waldorf philosophy on this is maybe hoo haa... but how do the entire populations of northern european countries survive. There everyone starts academic schooling at age 7, and end up scoring at the top of the world in high school.

 

No kidding?! That should be a sign. In US, when I was a child you learned your letters and then to put them together in Kindergarten.  Now a child is behind when they start kindergarten if they don't already have letters and numbers, and some words. And they can start kindergarten as early as 4 1/2 in some states with their ridiculous 'cut off' dates.

 

And at first I was a little offended at the insinuation that Americans think it is 'hoo haa' (yet amused at the terminology) but the more I think about the reactions I get from other people, you are right.  Though it would seem more and more are at least moving towards non-Academic Preschool, but I wonder how they 'bridge the gap' between that and highly-academic Kindergartens.  It's a mixed bag between 1/2 and full day Kindergarten in the US public schools. With my first child, I balked at them going for a full day so young until a friend told me when her child was in a 1/2 day public Kindergarten there was almost NO time for play. It was all academics and 'desk work.' How sad. :(  That is not how it was when I was a child.

 

So in the end, you are right. Waiting to start academics until 7 is thought ridiculous here by many well-educated (and probably otherwise) people. I do think that is the mainstream opinion. And I do realize there are some children with undiagnosed learning issues who then get diagnosed with them much later because of this, but there are also many children who would have been diagnosed with learning difficulties had reading been forced upon them at age 4, who at 7 are perfectly fine and ready. 

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#15 of 15 Old 03-12-2012, 08:29 PM
 
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It's true...there's been studies about Finland and how schooling does not start until age 7, which is when gentle formal academics start with many Waldorf schools.  They are light years ahead of us.  There is something to be said for delayed formal academics.  I tried pushing my son to read at 4 and forrrrrrrrget it!  He just wasn't ready. 


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