The seventh year sees the commencement of "formal" schooling in the Steiner-Waldorf method...Around the seventh year the child completes the process of forming the second dentition sufficiently for forces that have been concentrated on growth and physical upbuilding to become active in developing the facility for independent, representational , pictorial thinking. Formal methods of teaching - in literacy, numeracy and other disciplines - are introduced. The child is still in a mood of dreamy wholeness, more able to bring broad awareness than focused concentration to learning settings. Much learning is continued through activity and imitation through which the child receives an image, internalizes it, recalls it and generalizes it into a concept which can be applied...Reading proceeds from writing and in first grade the children read familiar texts which the teacher has written on the board and which they themselves have written in their main lesson books.An integrated combination of whole word, phonic and contextual methods are used to develop reading, though with an emphasis on whole sentence/whole phrases.
The Tasks and Content of the Steiner-Waldorf Curriculum edited by Kevin Avison and Martin Rawson