More to Reading than Meets the Eye
In my experience, Waldorf is exceptionally strong in nurturing good comprehension and visualization skills in the students. While the mainstream educators are these days immersing students in written text earlier than ever, Waldorf takes a much more graduated path, emphasizing instead oral storytelling, verse, playacting, etc in the early years. I'm convinced this pays off in the long run, helping these students to develop (as I've seen in the Waldorf students I've known) their memory skills, their ability to listen so attentively, to interconnect what they read or hear to what they recognize or understand in other contexts, and to *care* about it!
This varies by school or by teacher, but like other small schools, Waldorf schools rarely have a broad spectrum of resources available, such as those in better public school districts, for diagnosing or remediating reading problems. Reading later, rather than earlier, can be a problem in Waldorf in some students who later are determined to have certain reading problems. There are various schools of thought on this, but my own opinion is that it isn't that it's *easier* to teach reading to a younger aged child, but that often it is *easier* to remediate reading problems *before* they become long reinforced bad habits or poor coping strategies in the student. In other words, it is easier to correct problems in readers early when they learn to read, not early before they turn a certain age.
In a public school, everyone is expected to learn to read together, on a timetable, and that presents problems for students who aren't helped early, problems of defeatism and feelings of inadequacy which tend contribute to further failure. This is much less of a problem in our Waldorf school, where children are given a chance to read much more at their own pace without pressure.
And in a public school, there is such an heavy emphasis on textbooks, that from very early on, children who struggle with reading are handicapped in nearly every subject. This is not a problem in Waldorf.
I hope this was of some help.