They learn letters two years later than students from public schools. However, Waldorf students are better readers according to research. This could be due to their privileged background or it could be due to Waldorf Education as such.
Researchers found no difference between the reading ability of early (from age five) and late (from age seven) readers by the time those children reached their last year at primary school. Comparing children from Rudolf Steiner schools, who usually started learning to read from age seven, and children in state-run schools, who started at five, he found that the later learners caught up and matched the reading abilities of their earlier-reading counterparts by the time they were 11.
"We do not interpret the results as evidence that the teaching of reading should begin only at age seven,“ the researchers point out. Nevertheless, there are indications according to the study that it should.
Read the German article on SPIEGEL ONLINE.
Or an English article about the research on nzherald.co.nz