The Magical Years of Childhood
... Waldorf education actively protects the first magical dream-like phases of consciousness which are natural to the child until around the age of seven. This runs contrary to the majority of programs and influences acting on the child today which try to prematurely "awaken" the child to the adult conceptions of time, space and cognitive thought.
...While it is possible to teach some four year olds to read and write, such early gains are easily matched by the child who waits until age seven, and what is lost is the imaginative, magical element of the young child. Indeed, according to Steiner, the awakening and hardening influence of cognitive work before the age of seven directly influences a child's developing organs and can result in various illnesses in later life.
...There is tremendous pressure to hasten children's entry into the adult world. But an understanding of the process of development and a trust in its unfoldment in their individual child can give parents confidence to resist hurrying their child and to enjoy him or her at each stage.
-Rahima Baldwin Dancy