Ronan has recently started at the Cambridge Steiner School in their Parent and Child group for children under 2.5 years. We were drawn to Steiner philosophy of teaching as it is by nature multi-sensory and therefore well suited to a blind child. An important part of Steiner education is storytelling. Stories are told repeatedly to allow the child to really imbibe the vocabulary and cultural concepts that it contains. We wanted to tried this approach with Ronan, to provide an additional activity to reading books which did not require Ronan to be stationary.
We started with The Three Little Pigs. Little by little I embellished it with gestures and movements. I had the characters wave and run from house to house. I emphasised the “p” of please, a sound his speech therapist asked us to work on. It did not take long until Ronan was preparing for each gesture and then doing the gestures himself. He asked for the story over and over again for weeks.
I found it a bit intimidating to become a storyteller, but little bit little the story emerged. My first attempt was to embellish the story with objects, hay, sticks and bricks. This did not work well as Ronan would not hold them. I then tried adding movement, something Ronan is always keen on, and this worked well. I then thought about adding in locations in the house in which each part of the story would be told. This did not go down well, as I told the story many times during the day and we were often out of the house.
The end result is in the videos above. I would encourage others to give this a try.