Ask a Waldorf Teacher: What Should I Do About an Enthusiastic Self-Taught Reader (First Grade)?

Every Wednesday our members get to ask Waldorf teacher Diane Power questions about their homeschooling experience, Waldorf education and more. These Q & A sessions are posted on the member blog every week so you have access to all the past Q & A sessions. Become a member of Earthschooling to get your questions answered personally every week.

Question from Member: Hi Diane! My question is about reading. My son (turned 6 in March) taught himself to read a few months ago, and now it’s his go-to activity. I always have a plan of things to do for the day including weekends, but if I am too slow transitioning from one activity to the other or if I dare to take a break for myself, he goes back to reading and it’s hard to get him back to, say, a chore. Should I allocate a certain time during the day for reading only and try to keep him busy with all kinds of other activities outside that time? Perhaps, I need to make some changes in our everyday routines? I was planning to start Grade 1 this September and have him play (not read) in the summer. – N.L.

Reply from Diane: Sounds like you have a bookworm in the making! I can completely understand your son’s desire to read every moment he can. I can so relate!!

The issue at hand is balance. Your son has responsibilities-chores and lessons-that need to be completed. I would also have him spend at least an hour outside every day (without a book). When his chores and lessons are done for the day, he can choose what he wants to do during his free unstructured time.

During the summer encourage playtime. Movement is so important! If he wants to read during quiet time or during car rides, I would allow him to do so on his own – not as part of any lesson. You could also read to him at bedtime.

N.L.: Thank you, Diane! I’ll work on establishing must-do routines first thing in the morning.


  1. I hope you clarified with this parent that her son turning 7 now should be currently doing first grade, not starting it in the fall of 2019. It was a little unclear from her wording. Take care, Helen

    Helen S
    • Yes, I think this was discussed in the rest of the conversation. I will see if I can find it and add this clarity. I am posting your comment so everyone can benefit from the added input.


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