Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: a scatterling of Africa...
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The Waldorf pedagogy holds that a child is simply not ready for academic work until the change of teeth (and many other, physical signs), which is supposedly a sign of more complete incarnation into their physical bodies, which frees up their etheric forces to tackle more "head"involved activities.
Whether you buy into this philosophy or not, each child is different, and your dd may be ready (in your opinion) slightly before that time and the truth is, we should look at the individual child before deciding to "delay academics".
On the other hand, if you believe that children will lean something when they are truly ready for it, your daughter should have no trouble "catching up" with reading and spelling in 1st grade PS b/c she will be ready for it. I have friend who experienced exactly this: her daughter was home w/ her until she turned 6 and then enrolled her into a ps 1st grade where she flourished and is now academically on par w/ her peers in reading, without any extra help / tuition.
Alternatively, if you are worried about her feeling lost and behind, you could keep her in the W. kindy and do a bit of Waldorf-inspired letters and beginning reading as per the Oak Meadow kindy curriculum (look around for used copies) at home with her. If you can afford another year, I think the extra year of play and and nurturing in a W. kindy is so unbelievably valuable.
Just a few thoughts.
Michelle - Waldorf mom to ds (4 3/4 in a Waldorf kindy - to be homeschooled for 1st grade) and dd (7 months)