"A toddlers nature is in their physical body--they're sole job is to get used to be in their body. Once they are grounded in their body, then their brains are freed up to learn to read and write."
This is an opinion, not a fact. And this drives me crazy. The brain is part of their body. They are learning language and movement, all of which is based out of the the brain. I just do not agree at all with this premise of pre-determined developmental stages. Regardless of whether a child has been identified in a formal way as measurably "gifted" (bearing in mind that the definition of "gifted" varies and is evolving all the time) to do this is so very limiting. This is a Waldorf idea, which is a spiritual/religious idea, again, a theory, and one that has not been universally accepted as fact. While I don't disagree with the statement that formal instruction in reading isn't necessary at this age (in fact, I happen to agree), I wouldn't consider doing it in anyway detrimental to the "whole" child.
I am usually not one to post opinions or true disagreements with other posts, but this is one that has frustrated me for quite sometime. My dd is so far out of the range of "average" in so many ways, and so many people have tried to tell me what is "wrong" with my child since she was two and how to parent and what will/will not work, is/is not appropriate, that these kinds of one-size fits all statements are just frustrating.
That being said, with my daughter we did no formal teaching her to read before school started. She is one that will perfect a skill before displaying it and just about spontaneously started reading chapter books in 1st-2nd grade and in 4th grade is reading with comprehension and vocabulary (not just decoding or phonic reading) at a college level. Not only that, she is just so developmentally all-over-the-place in her emotional, physical, and intellectual being that putting her in an age-related developmental category just does not work for parenting, socially, or educationally.
I love so many of the practices behind Waldorf. However, I do not think that the basis of those practices are based on universal truths.
Okay, way off topic, but thanks for listening. I am not one for posting opinions..so I may come back and delete this...maybe. I don't like conflict (disagreements), but I think my opinion and thoughts on this are valid and worthwhile on this one.