Homebodies' Guide to the Steiner Method
Welcome to the second of Homebodies’ Nanny Styles blog posts, where we’ll be talking about the various different styles of childcare. We’ve already covered the Montessori Style here. Stay tuned over the coming months to read about RIE, Pikler, and Reggio styles. Today, it’s all about the Wardolf Steiner style.
The Wardolf Steiner style (sometimes just referred to as just ‘Wardolf’ or just ‘Steiner’) was introduced by Rudolf Steiner who was an academic born in Austria. His ideas founded Anthroposophy. We have some nannies who use the Steiner method in their nanny style.
Homebodies’ five things you need to know about The Steiner Method:
1. Early development is usually through play and creativity.
The Steiner style uses a very broad curriculum to grow the child in all aspects rather than just focus on one or two. This style is about learning, rather than simply for passing exams. In earlier stages, it is usually through play and creativity.
2. You can use Wardolf practices at home, not just in a classroom.
Some activities that you might engage a child in are storytelling and making music. These activities help develop a child’s imagination, as they focus on creation rather than taking in. Having a child create a story with you can help them develop new ideas and language. The creation of music by learning to play instruments broadens a child’s mind and understanding.
3. Nature is essential.
As with the Montessori method, this style suggests that you let the child connect with nature. This shouldn’t be specific to summer either, as the child could learn about the seasons by exploring nature as the season changes. A Steiner nanny might take a child to the park and look at the leaves on the trees during summer, then visit the same park to see the leaves in autumn. This encourages the child to ask questions in the future.
4. Exploring with simple toys builds imagination.
There are an infinite number of toys in the world that children can play with, many being quite complex, but the Steiner style suggests that children build imagination when using simpler toys. Toys like wooden blocks, rocks, or wool could be used in an imaginative way for children and allow them to lead their own play.
5. Try to expose your child to other languages
This is a great option if you’re bilingual. You can speak to your child in both your native language and a new one. The earlier the better here, but there’s no problem with teaching your child a new language later on. Don’t expect the child to pick up the new language as quickly as they managed the first one. There are a huge number of resources available to you if you wish to raise a bilingual child.
You can choose to send your child to a Steiner school or nursery in the future as well. If you live in London then there are several that you can choose from.
Meet our Steiner Nanny, Stefania
One of our nannies, Stefania uses the Steiner Method. Here’s what she had to say:
“I like to use aspects of the Steiner method as it blends learning and play so easily. I love to get creative with children, whether it’s with paints, music, or through storytelling. I enjoy doing this in my native language Italian and we sing lots of Italian songs together as well as reading stories in both languages which the children love. ”