“Bicycle Man” visits PCWS

On Wednesday, April 10th at 3 pm, Wilfried Steinback spoke to students, parents and faculty about his adventure circling the globe by bicycle. He started by putting on his helmet and reflective vest, as he stood in front of the awestruck children. Even though the fellowship hall was very hot and the children were tired from their school day, they listened with such concentration to this man’s amazing story.  Wilfried is a Waldorf teacher who lives in Sweden. He began his journey there 10 months ago. He showed us on his map, the path he followed east, taking ferries across bodies of water, through Russia and on to several Asian countries. He then took a cargo ship to the west coast of North America, where he continued eastward all the way to Arlington, VA. He has visited many Waldorf schools along the way and enjoys inspiring people to use their bicycles to get around. He talked about how healthy that is for our bodies and our planet. The children had wonderful comments and questions!  They loved seeing his fully loaded bike and pop-up tent. You can follow Wilfried’s travels on his blog here


Father’s Workshop Held at PCWS on Saturday

PCWS parent Gordon Achtermann and PCWS alum and well-known woodworker Bill Merkel held a Waldorf Father’s Workshop here on the morning of Saturday, March 16. These annual workshops bring fathers together to discuss the challenges and joys of fatherhood.

After a round of brief introductions, facilitators Gordon and Bill read a passage from Jack Petrash’s book “Navigating the Terrain of Childhood” about the establishment of authentic authority that every father needs to be a good father. They then opened up the floor. Two and half hours later, they were still going but some in the group had to be on their way.

In discussions in a relaxed setting at Potomac Crescent, the group talked quite a bit about their own fathers (and surrogates when fathers weren’t present) and different types of authority figures. The experiences ran the full spectrum as the discussion ranged from the esoteric (archetypes of father figures) to the earthy (sons acting out with regard to potty training.)

The dads also opened up to some of their current struggles in fathering, and, as usual, discovered that there were far from alone.

The facilitators would like to extend a big “thank you” to all participants for joining us.

For more information on events like the Father’s Workshop, please email outreach@potomaccrescentschool.org.

PCWS Silent Auction Ends Tonight, 10 p.m.!

Our Silent Auction journey ends tonight at 10 p.m.!

Our Midnight Madness sale brought dropped initial prices on some beautiful items for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, even Christmas (only nine months away!).

Click on “1 Midnight Madness Sale* for incredible deals – truly – on artwork, textiles, acupuncture, a photography session, excellent food, and more.

See you at www.32auctions.com/PCWSauction2013

thank you*thank you*thank you for your donated items and for your bids

Midnight Madness Tonight on the Silent Auction!!!

Log onto to the Potomac Crescent Silent Auction site at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (Saturday) — www.32auctions.com/PCWSauction2013 — for exceptional deals!

Our volunteer Silent Auction Coordinator/parent of sweet Jack in Bluebird, Liz Beardsley, will astound with lowered prices on some very special items tonight at MIDNIGHT!

Auction closes, 10 p.m. Sunday.

Join us — only at www.32auctions.com/PCWSauction2013!!
See you there!

The PCWS Silent Auction is Calling Your Name!!

Only seven more days to bid on fantastic items like Cape Cod vacation homes, artwork, and exotic meals.

Visit www.32actions.com/PCWSAUCTIONS2013 for good deals on high-quality donations from Waldorf supporters.

Be sure to tell friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors: anyone can bid — and the more bidders we have, the more we make for the school. We ship anywhere!
See you at www.32actions.com/PCWSAUCTIONS2013 — only until Sunday, March 17th!!

Register for the Waldorf Father’s Workshop Today

Waldorf Father’s Workshop

All Waldorf community fathers, and fathers interested in Waldorf education, are invited to a relaxed and open discussion of the challenges of fatherhood in 2013 in greater Washington, DC.

We will discuss how our fathers established and nurtured their authority, what worked well for them and what did not; how we are following their examples and how we are blazing our own new trails; and what is working for us and what we are struggling to change.

Current PCWS parent Gordon Achtermann and alumni parent Bill Merkel will facilitate this Father’s Workshop.

Date: Saturday, March 16th

Time: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, casual conversation from 11:00 to noon

Location: PCWS, 923 S. 23rd Street, Arlington, VA 22202

Facilitated by Gordon Achtermann and Bill Merkel


RSVP to information@potomaccrescentschool.org


October Parent Education Evening

Standing Your Ground- How to Create Healthy Boundaries for Young Children

an article by Bonnie Ackley & Yunyun Cheng-Turim

Speakers Jeanne Feeney and Lani Hill led an experiential presentation and conversation about how to build a better relationship with your children through movement. Both speakers have extensive backgrounds in movement as trained dancers, choreographers and movement therapists (Jeanne is a certified practitioner of Body-Mind Centering TM and Lani is a certified Educational Support teacher), as well as have a deep understanding about body movement. Additionally, both are Waldorf parents and currently teach at the Washington Waldorf School, as well as teach a “Standing Your Ground Workshop” at WWS. This evening’s presentation provided participants with a taste of the workshop where the non-verbal realm of parent-child communication is further explored.

The speakers first emphasized the importance of movement by stating that human beings develop and form a sense of movement before the other senses. During infancy, a baby’s movement patterns develop in a progressive and critical sequence. Movement is one of the 4 foundational senses (Balance, Touch and the sense of Life/Well-Being are the other 3) critical to human development. Children absorb and imitate everything we do (e.g., slight facial expressions, subtle body language, etc.) and they take it all in completely withour filtration. As parents, the way we speak to our children in terms of movement has a profound influence on their emotional, physical and intellectual development. Through movement, we can help children better understand where their boundaries are. The non-verbal aspect of parenting is a helpful tool to communicate with your children.

Balancing Movement with Verbal Explanation: When a child is in an agitated state, he will not be able to fully process verbal reasoning. it is better to use gentle movements and calmly guide the child to move, rather than try to give commands verbally. For example, if a child had a meltdown in a public square, instead of giving instruction or attempting to comfort verbally, one can gently help the child gather his belongings put on his jacket and calmly hold his hand guiding him through and out of the agitated state. Very little words are used or needed.

Standing Your Ground: Children look to their parents for guidance. It is important to stand firm on the issue you feel strongly about and literally “put your foot down”. Movement is the embodiment of boundaries we set for our children. Standing you ground with noble and authoritative physical presence will give children a sense of security.

The speakers led exercises that represented metaphorical situations when a child tries to test a boundary, and how different ways parents deal with the situation produce different emotional outcomes for the child.

Finally, the speakers suggested finding the middle ground with your child that is neither too over powering, nor a “push over” between you and your children who will forever test boundaries. Stand firmly on the ground with love and kindness. it is a never ending process! To set a boundary is to provide your children with a clear model of what is right that can help them navigate through the big and complicated world throughout their life.

For more information about movement, you can check out Jeanne Feeney’s organization “Movement Laboratory” (http://www.movementlaboratory.org/). Jeanne and Lani also mentioned future “Standing Your Ground” workshops at WWS in the Spring.


Potomac Crescent Waldorf School’s New Parent Association

By Kay Sidahmed & Phil McMillan, Parent Association Co-Chairs 

The first month of the new school year is over. It was quite an exciting month with settling into the school routine, parent evenings, meetings and lots of information. Those of us, who were able to attend Patrice Maynard’s talk on the first Parent Education Evening, heard her point out the essential value of parent volunteers in the Waldorf school community. It is we, the parents, along with the faculty and administration that help build a healthy and growing community at PCWS and therefore allow our children to grow and learn in this wonderfully nurturing environment. It does not matter how big or small your contribution of time and labor is, what matters is that each and every one of us participates. Do what you can and it will be received with heartfelt appreciation!

To help you navigate the many opportunities to volunteer and find the branch that is just right for you, below is the Parent Association’s mission statement, structure and directory. Mark your calendar today for the next Parent Association meeting Monday, November 19, 7:30-9:00pm at PCWS. Thank you for all your hard work and we look forward to an inspiring and productive school year with your families.