The Elements of Support

Autumn forces enter as color, wind, and falling leaves the sound of whirl. Some seen some silent swirl. While all around remains silent support.


Seeds planted by thought and hand now become fruit for the harvest. As we say in Waldorf education, Michael arrives with loving action to conquer dragons that linger and languor and act to lay waste to our deepest desires and creations.

As such, we clip away what has sustained the fruits of the harvest, which now sustain us and make way for the winter garden of life, here on the east coast.

Even in loss, there is support in places we might not know. The sculptor works in loss, taking away material to reveal it’s greatest strength. A solid work.

The night sky here in the Northern Hemisphere is a prime example of silent support. “Fomalhaut – the Autumn Star – is making its way across the heavens each night. It appears in a part of the sky that is largely empty of bright stars. For this reason, in skylore, Fomalhaut is also often referred to as the Lonely One or Solitary One or the Loneliest Star.

White Fomalhaut is more or less opposite the sun in early September, and so it shines in the sky all night long during the autumn months.”

All night long.

If you are curious you can find the Autumn star, just look up.

“Just face south on an autumn evening and look. Fomalhaut is the brightest star in front of us on autumn evenings, as we face south.

"Water from the Water Jar of Aquarius going into the Mouth of the Fish. In the real sky, you can see a zig-zag line of stars representing this flow of water."
“Water from the Water Jar of Aquarius going into the Mouth of the Fish. In the real sky, you can see a zig-zag line of stars representing this flow of water.”     –


According to Richard Hinckley Allen, Fomalhaut was one of the four guardians of the heavens to the ancient Persians, and given the name of Hastorang. (The other guardians were Aldebaran in Taurus, Antares in Scorpius, and Regulus in Leo.) Allen also says that Fomalhaut was a source of worship at the temple of Demeter at Eleusis in ancient Greece. In about 2500 BC, Fomalhaut helped mark the location of the winter solstice, meaning that it helped to define the location in the sky where the sun crossed the meridian at noon on the first day of winter.”

I give thanks to silent support.

I give thanks to each and every individual and school I have had the pleasure to consult with and learn from.

This is my harvest and it is bountiful.

Thank you to all of you who have such great giving power. I am deeply grateful for all of you.

Silence is a bright and giving teacher.  Maria Shriver calls it “the pause”.

The wind carries silent seeds.

May your year be bountiful!




In addition, to all who are interested in my work, please know that I strive to adhere to the Charter set in 2016 by the Curative Education and Social Therapy Council of the Anthroposophical Society – which sets a paradigm for initiatives in the field of special education in Waldorf environments.



Photo and Support Credit to Larry Sessions and Deborah Byrd from


Fostering Free Movement in the Waldorf School

How free movement encourages the language development...and much more
How free movement fosters the development of language…and much more


     I love this work by artist Katherine Worel. It conveys so much. In fact, the artist has left it “untitled”. I find myself captivated by the lightness of being, the open gesture of the arms, and the almost “teetering” quality that the child presents. Teetering on uprightness and becoming the “I” in “I am” is a concept we work with in the Waldorf school. The open gesture of the arms is a reflection of the gestures in Eurythmy, a movement art we offer. It expresses, to me, how the young child remains somewhat above this world and ponders on touching down to earth; to learning and being self sufficient in the way that they must for their own individual growth and happiness.


The "I" gesture
The “I” gesture from Into the Henhouse

     The Gesture for “I”, or the sound “ee” is a long straight stretch, from the tips of one hand to the other. It’s the feeling of being drawn into polarities and awakening to oneself holding the balance between them. Individuality.

The "I" gesture
The “I” gesture from The Whole Child Education Centre

An introduction to Eurythmy:

In our speech Eurythmy, we can express the letter ‘A’ through an opening gesture or an ‘I’ through stretching.
 ‘B’ has an embracing character. There are, for each sound, specific movement gestures which express the quality of the sound. Imagine what you would see in the air if somebody is speaking a sound. Some people experimented with smoke – we can create a picture in the air if we are speaking a certain sound. For example, the ‘O’ was round and the ‘S’ sharp like a knife.

With Eurythmy gestures we create the same picture through our movement.

We make the spoken word visible.
That offers us the possibility to express the character of a poem or a story, as a living art piece.
Added to this, each sound has its healing potential. There are different sound sequences which calm us down or enliven us. For example, an ‘R’ sound gives us energy, 
a ‘D’ sound helps us to connect with the ground, an ‘L’ sound harmonizes and so on. 

Eurythmy always offers ways to balance and harmonize.”  

– from The Whole Child Education Centre, Manitoba

Copper eurythmy ball

     One way movement can support the healthy development of a child with visual impairments is through Eurythmy. Here is a wonderful video that expresses how we practice this in the Waldorf school throughout the grades, and how it reaches the child at each stage of growth. Enjoy!

    This is the first in a series of posts on movement. In my next installment, I will address movement related to Orientation & Mobility as well as the connection to language development. I wish you all a happy, healthy, joyful, and incredibly fruitful school year,





Lynn Hill – 3,000 feet up the world’s most famous rock wall: Yosemite’s El Capitan


“People said, Oh, no, you can’t do that. That’s too hard‘.

It doesn’t look like there’s holds, but I just looked at it with an open mind and found just enough to make it possible.”

                                                                                                                                                 – Lynn Hill

In 1993, Lynn Hill became the first person to free-climb the Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, California. Revered as one of the best rock climbs in the world, it boasts a 3,000 foot pitch straight up solid granite. Lynn attributes her success to adaptation. “It’s all about adapting yourself to the rock,” she says. “The rock is what dictates the moves.”  Fear and awe dance together with each finger hold, and a cavernous feeling works it’s way across my gut just watching Lynn and fellow climbers Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell inch and jump their way up and across the Nose – without ropes. Their amazing feats have been captured on video by Google Maps, the company’s first ever vertical “Street View” camera work, which gives all of us non-climbers and climbers alike a climbers-eye-view, safely accessed right from our desktops and kitchen counters.

In 1996, Erik Weihenmayer successfully climbed the Nose, and became the first blind person ever to do so.

I’ve never climbed, yet I’m fascinated by people who do. I am thrilled every time my eleven-year old daughter moves effortlessly up the artificial turf in snake-like fashion, as indoor rock climbing has become her passion.

If adaptation is the key to success, let’s use it. The only way we can adapt is to first know the basics. Beginner’s mind is a very appropriate way to honor adaptation. Mindfulness – it’s important. It’s important to be present to a student’s process and needs.

In my work, adaptation is the tool I offer so that students may climb and achieve the “Oh no’s.” Every teacher of the blind knows that a blind child’s hand is a treasure. In Waldorf education, we understand on a very deep level the importance of the hand, through Steiner’s insights, research on brain development, plasticity and connection, as well as the care of the hand in particular. It is not uncommon for Waldorf nursery and kindergarten teachers to consciously devote their attention to providing hand massages to the children in their care. In our work, we say, “This is a necessary component. This is kindness. This is life-giving”.

Arthur Auer, Program Director of the Waldorf Education Program at Antioch University, New England, expresses how Waldorf teachers view the connection in this excerpt from Learning About the World Through ModelingSculptural Ideas for School and Home. “Physical grasp and manipulation thus set the stage for emotional and mental grasp of experiences and ideas.  Hand activity and grasping not only initially help establish the awe-inspiring neural network of the mind in our very early years, but also contribute to keeping it vibrant, flexible and active throughout our most formative learning yearsfrom birth to 21and into adulthood. Without regular, rhythmic, and active engagement of our hands, many neural pathways would remain unused, underused, or would fail to receive the permanent myelin sheathing they need around them for remembered and repeated action. They would remain disordered and chaotic, atrophy, and wither away. Our minds would be reduced to underdeveloped reflections of their true potential.”

As always, I am inspired by the healthy insight that Waldorf education provides and by individuals who climb 3,000 feet up sheer granite rock. I am most inspired, as always, by the children who must climb the world without sight.

If you’re so inspired, as I am, you can learn more about the world’s top female rock climbers through their essays in: Leading Out: Women Climbers Reaching for the Top by Rachel Da Silva. For children, No Summit Out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven Summits by Jordan Romero and Linda Leblanc, available from Bookshare through Sonne Valley School, and book sellers.

Getting to Groundbreak

Ground break seed

What is important to me, especially as a single mother, is that my child does not continue to struggle to learn at any stage. Growth, of course, includes the initial ground-break – forces needed to propel a seed upward and out of it’s casing, through the earth, to ultimately sprout and flourish. I want my child to experience the ground-break as well as the flourish, because both are needed to achieve balance and foster a true sense of independence and achievement.

As a teacher, I have observed and taught children with special needs struggle to get to ground-break. I have observed and worked with teachers who struggle daily to help them access it. It’s a daily practice – and there is nothing wrong with it. Except, the goal is for the child to learn in the process and find clarity within themselves. If we are not achieving this in the classroom environment, something is wrong.

Learning that meets the child at every stage
Learning that meets the child at every stage

There are tools and methods to help children access a way in to their process without forcing an impression or creating more disturbance. This is where fluidity happens, and it is crucial to learning. For the child with low vision, or without sight, to have the chance to experience learning in this way is the goal.  It is not a small task. It can be done.

Connect this learning style with the teaching of braille, available books in UEB braille throughout the grades, and current technology to support the child’s transition into adolescence with real world skills – that is the goal I am continually striving to achieve.

Until next time…with more good news…I welcome the Spring, which is fast approaching here in Pennsylvania, and I applaud you for the ground breaks in your own life.



A New Year Unfolding, Embracing Strength

Nautilus color

“Nautilus revealed that there is so much more than we see or hear in this world.
There are other worlds underworlds that were being kept secret until now.
More will be revealed in the future, so stay tuned for the new mysteries to be revealed.”  – Nature’s Blessings

The strength of a teacher lies in being intuitive and present to what the student finds in their work.  The nautilus represents the past and the future, which is directly how Rudolf Steiner believed that a teacher should see the child.

In my first year of coursework as an art student, I was introduced to simple materials; shaping them, constructing with them, finding all of their capabilities, strengths, limits, and basically how each material performed when manipulated.

A beautiful way to introduce the strengths of a material and explore geometry in mathematics work with children who have visual impairments is through tactile work such as Origami and material manipulation.

Richard Sweeney gives us a fascinating artistic experience of this through his work. Listen to how he describes his process. Then think about the possibilities of origami and material manipulation in the classroom.



Richard Sweeney video describing his artistic process:

Happy New Year, and may it unfurl with beauty.

With Kindness,




Experiencing Warmth and Allowing Natural Movement

Warmth and Movement
Warmth and Movement

(photo credit Shining Rivers Waldorf School)

Experiencing what’s possible. For a child with visual impairments? Yes. Warmth, open space, softness, natural light. Moveable tables. Natural objects, colors, fabrics. All this and Braille enrichment, too? Yes. It is possible. Here, at The Sonne Valley School. ©

This is the Waldorf education experience. A classic education. Free from textbooks, tests, and tracking. Children learn and excel at their own pace. Classical literature, knitting using natural dyes and fibers, mathematics through movement, and more.

Interested? Let’s get a dialogue going! Leave me a comment here, on my new site.

Can’t wait to hear from you!


With Kindness,


P.S. This educational model and adapted curriculum is the sole Intellectual Property of this site owner and © copyright by the owner.