Here, it is not considered necessary to teach children formally until they are seven. I have had many an intellectually demanding conversation in English (a foreign language here) with an Austrian 14-year-old. I cannot say the same of as many English pupils of the same age.
The creative needs of a young child can develop much more easily than the need to read. Is playing a musical instrument of less value? Any educational development in a Steiner nursery would be nurtured, but it wouldn't be forced or measured before the child shed its baby teeth. Is that sufficient grounds to prevent caring parents from choosing a stress-free nursery education for their child?
CATHERINE WALKER Schloss Streitdorf 2004 Niederhollabrunn Austria "Opportunities to foster wonder are at their peak": pupils at the Rudolph Steiner School, Forest Row