When it comes to literacy the subject is permeated by controversies. While some schools are committed to reading and writing, others advocate the idea of preparing children before literacy.
The Austrian educator Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), in 1919, argued the thesis that the only healthy task for a child of 7 years to develop in school is to play. For him, trust is gained when the child participates in play and physical recreational activities. In addition to spending energy, play helps in motor coordination, which reflects in the body domain, in the oral language and, mainly, contributes to the intelligence of the child.
In Waldorf Pedagogy, we must first of all integrate holistically or physically, spiritually, intellectually, and artistically, two things, to improve these characteristics, and to learn more or better.
Rudolf Steiner warns that eliminating activities that favor creativity and thinking can have serious consequences for the childish future.
But, unfortunately, many of these practices are being replaced by early schooling. Parents find cute children know how to read and write and think they are smarter than their peers. Sad mistake, because literacy is a long process and full of steps, like gestures and expressions.
There are children who learn earlier, naturally, and to stop this process is as harmful as writing.
Literacy begins as an infant when the mother mumbles the first words. When the child draws symbols in the air, for example, she is manifesting her learning. And this language must be developed in Early Childhood classes, without mechanical reading and writing activities hampering or forcing developmental stages.
Literacy is important, but it must be started at the right age.
Forcing reading early can jeopardize the formation of the individual. In addition, it can cause problems such as overload, deficiencies in motor coordination, apathy, lack of interest, demotivation and stress. Learning to read goes beyond memorizing letters, joining syllables and forming words. It is a very important period of appropriation of the various forms of communication.
The goal of the educator should be to focus energies, without missing any stage in preparing the student in Early Childhood. Doing so means anticipating initiatives related to literacy and literacy processes so that it goes well in the next stage, in Elementary School.
At the same time that the educational institution plays an important role, parents should also redouble their care with early literacy. In most cases, pressure begins to occur in the home, when family members exaggerate by encouraging the child to read words or to write random names.
It is critical that everyone heed this. At home, as well as at school, activities should be appropriate for the age group, with no bar forcing.