Is storytelling not your strong point? Where do you start with storytelling and how do you build on that skill? I was a terrible storyteller, maybe still am, but I persevered and kept working at it and I hope to share this simple resource with you to help in your own storytelling journey.
Memory vs. reading stories
Traditionally within the Waldorf circles, stories are retold to the child using puppets or peg dolls in order to build the image in the child’s mind. This is more well known in kindergarten and the lower grades. With kindergarten almost all the time there are natural wooden toys or puppets used. In 1st grade the fairy tales are also told from memory so you really would not see a Waldorf teacher reading the fairy tales except for a short reference to look at notes while they are telling the story.
Within the homeschooling context, I generally think it’s up to the mom. I think there is a greater closeness that comes from telling a story from memory. There is eye contact and full engagement between you and your kids. I also think that it’s ok to read the stories if it’s too much for you. The kids will still get the story content and they can still summarize the story for you.
“I am a terrible storyteller,” that’s ok! I recommend getting the Storytelling and the Art of Imagination. It works like a workbook almost with you creating your own stories with different scenarios the author gives. It really stretches your own imagination and also your ability to create a story. You can use the stories you create with your kids anytime! Bedtime was usually my time to test the stories on my kids. You can also practice storytelling by:
– Retelling a story from your day
– Retelling a childhood funny story
– Sitting with a book and telling your own version of the story as you turn the pages
I also really love these Story Cards and when I was first starting off with trying to tell stories these cards made it a lot easier. My kids use them also and tell their own silly stores.
I think with storytelling it’s ok to let go of your perceived results. There is so much to compare yourself to within the Waldorf storytelling realm and that could be intimidating, almost discouraging you from moving forward. But I invite you to challenge yourself in this technique. It takes practice and hey if it’s not for you then at least you might have some fun exploring that part of your imagination.