Can someone point me to an article that does a good job of explaining the how and why of the Waldorf approach of delaying teaching reading?
I'm about to have a new part-time nanny help me 3 times a week, and while she is smart and eager, I am pretty sure the idea of delaying reading may seem odd to her. I'd love to point her to a good resource. I really do want to minimze the role of books at this point in my daughter's life (she's only 2), in favor of free play, lap games, songs, storytelling, etc. Our current nanny had an older daughter and was really, really into reading with her, and, as a result, our home became overrun with books, and it rubbed off on my daughter. It wasn't that big of a problem, but our days always seemed to flow better when I had put all the books out of sight during nap. The idea of delaying books makes total sense to me.
So, any ideas?
I'm not sure why you would to limit exposure to books. I think when people talk about delaying teaching reading, they are talking about delaying actual phonics or forced reading instruction. I can't think of any reason why a child should not be read TO, and in fact EVERYTHING I have read goes talk about the importance and benefits of reading frequently to children outloud.
Well, ideally, the emphasis with young children would be on simple games and storytelling that is fundamentally and naturally more alive between the child and parent, as opposed to a written storyline coming from a book. There's a world of difference between me telling my daughter a story I have learned (or made up for her) and what happens when we simply sit together and read from a book. There are a lot of reasons I want to limit books at this age, frankly, and the main reasons are because I believe reading can wait, I would rather do more interactive things with her (like live storytelling) or let her do her own imaginative free-play. She's only 2, after all, and I would prefer her to grow, bloom, and unfold naturally, and I don't want to spend too much time feeding her from outside stimulation (like books). Without really knowing, I'm guessing these are the reasons I've never seen books in a Waldorf nursery or kindergarten classroom. I'm guessing the idea is that in those early years, children are better off without them.
I think context is important. Of course it is wonderful to read to children, especially if the alternative in some households is TV or videogames. But I believe it is even better yet to do other interactive things with children, like singing with them, making up a story just for them, or telling a familiar fairy tale that has been learned by heart, especially when I think about toddlers.
These are blasphemous ideas to be sure! And I should point out I'm talking about a particular approach that I believe in and want to implement in my family, and I believe based on my exposure to Waldorf education is consistent with Waldorf philosophy. Others may disagree, but that debate is not really the point of my post, I was looking for something to explain all this more eloquently than I can. So, on that note, any resources?