Posted on October 7, 2017
Apple Star Learning outdoor class….
My photography informs my mentoring work with children. Inspired by the Reggio model of education, I use loose parts, arts supplies, and an engaged, observant, curious, experimental, inspired approach to my outdoor education classes. I believe fundamentally that attachment to place, creative learning, and compassionate child raising and educational practices go hand in hand. I use my photography as an observational tool, an art form, and a celebration of what my students and I engage with, leaner from and create.
Fall is well on it’s way with its wonderful shifts of temperature, air pressure, colour, and more! Isn’t it amazing how these seasonal changes engage us and invigorate our senses inviting us to touch, explore, connect deeply? When it comes to outdoor education, Summer and Spring are wonderful for their ease, light clothing, or none at all, making it easy to go on hikes, access the water, enjoy the outdoors, whether running, swimming, climbing, or lazing around studying shadows. However, there is nothing like Fall and Winter to keen our senses, and propel us like sticky burrs into a state of survival….seeds fall, their textures and secrets calling to us, telling a story, birds migrate south, scribing the air with their graphic presence, waters begin to flow, moulding the landscape, light and colour become precious, poignant, rain, cold and wind mean we need to take stock, take care, carry our load. Did you know, that children come alive in these settings? Their bodies tingle with belonging, with competence, with awe….
I am excited to be heading int my second Fall and Winter Sessions of Art~Play at Trout lake with a small group of students for our place and inquiry-based, free-range play classes that combine Forest School Tinkering and Reggio elements, all the while centring around compassion, heart-centred and non-violent com munition and problem-solving.
These classes are a wonderful small student-to-teacher ratio group for children aged 6-8 who love to move-to-think, use their hands, hearts, entire bodies and imaginations to engage with learning; and, who benefit from a gentle, attached, mentor-teacher style. Here they can safely explore connecting with self, other children and their natural surroundings without pressure t conform or produce. Here their unique ideas, suggestions and divergent learning styles are honoured.
Also, if your child is new t home learning, or is even still in school, but needs an outdoor, more embodied, activated break from the four-walled classroom, Art~Play could be perfect! It introduces the concept of child-lead learning to both student and parent, while allowing a lot of freedom of movement, association, thinking and creative styles. With my extensive experience working with children of many learning backgrounds, i can help both your child and you get a more integrated understanding of how she/he/they learn.
Don’t let the cold wether scare you! Even children who have less experience carrying their own weight, and toughing it through the hard weather, grow immensely in this setting, gaining incredible self-confidence and mutual care with the group.
We have space for one more student, maybe two depending on the individual. I am open to sliding scale fees, and parent=participation. Please con act me here on Apple Star Learning on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for a trail class or for more information.
I look forward to hearing from you and to sharing some glorious days playing, creating and learning outdoors this Fall!
#fall #applestarlearning #artplay #forage #forestschool #reggio #tinkering #outdoorlearning #outdooreducation #artoutdoors #artclasses #atelierforestschool #letthemplaywithsticks #rewild #riskyplay #playlearning #playwork #bigimpactplay #placebased #inquirybased #steam #hansdon #divergentlearningstyles
Posted on February 25, 2017
Holding space, Belonging to Place and Letting Play!
I love children!
I have worked with babies, children and youth as a teacher, caregiver, nanny and mentor for over 20 years now. Throughout this time, and especially over the last 12 years since I gave birth to my son, I have also enjoyed observing and photographing children of all ages (including adults) learning through play, through attachment and belonging to place, to land, to community and to loved ones, thriving through this freely chosen, autonomous engagement with each other, and with their surroundings.
On this journey, my photography has been an incredible resource for me, as a document and testimony to the power of play and attachment. I am coming to name this, just now, embodied play, embodied learning. Enriched by my studies of Forest School, Coyote Mentoring, Play Work, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio, Tinkering School, Peak Experience, and Parkour or Big Impact Play, I am stunned daily by the lack of movement, the lack of engagement with place, with space, with natural environments, rural, farming work, chores, and urban architecture, design and landscape. All around as teachers are struggling to get student sot stop moving and pay attention, students with diagnosis, get special chairs. Meanwhile, adults and children alike sign themselves up for sports, yoga, martial arts, contact dance, bouldering, indoor parkour, pilates and more to compensate for our sedentary, crib, car-eseat, desk, sofa life-styles.
What is embodied play learning? Why do we exist in space, with all of ours muscles, tendons, bones aching to move, our nervous system tingling and alice, our sense attuned to so many external stimulus? And, yet we send them to school…..
Waldorf education spas of proprioseption…
Montessori of the prepared environment…
Reggio Emilia of the environment as third teacher…
We pay big money to get our over-active children into bouldering, martial arts or parkour, why not just let them climb trees?
Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful to be payed to hold space for children’s embodied play, children’s innate exploration and creativity outside of the classroom! I love, love, love doing Mini Photo Play Sessions, where the whole family gets into some embodied play, and those eyes sparkle and natural smiles ignite as the endorphins flush through….
But I thought I’d just let you all know that alongside this work with children and families, my other passion is to tell stories, to shift perception, to get more of us out there in the big old work, wild, rural, or urban to play, full-bodied, embodied, attached to place.
#ForestSchool #CoyoteMentoring #PlayWork #Montessori #Waldorf #Reggio #TinkeringSchool #PeakExperience #Parkour #BigImpactPlay #applestarlearning #applestarphoto
Posted on March 28, 2016
Spring Mini Photo Play Sessions
This is what I love to do.
I do mini sessions as a way of offering accessible, affordable, gorgeous, pro family portraiture to all. No one turned away fro lack of funds. :)
$20 for a 10-15 minute mini session and 2 pro-edited digital images from 8-10 or
$35 for 5 pro-edited digital images from 12-20.
Contact me at http://www.facebook.com/applestarphoto, or call 604 441 6913 to get details on the next Mini Sessions, bring three other families or groups, and get yours FREE!
Ask about arranging another Mini Session in a location of your choice. Warmly, Belinda White, Apple Star Photo, Shining from the Inside Out!
#Springminiphotoplaysession #Springminis #Naturalphotography #Familyphotography #Funphotography #Applestarphoto
Posted on November 11, 2015
Fall Mini Photo Play Session
What is a Fall Mini Photo Play Session?
I love this one, the first of this season. The session is short, super affordable, and therefore accessible to all. But more importantly it’s fun, it’s in a gorgeous setting, with different play zones to inspire my subjects. My photo sessions are quite different from a traditional formal shoot. I have a background in working with children, and love to see them shining, doing what they love, free and having fun….for a three year old, that is NOT sitting stiffly in front of a strange person with a camera that they just met. My goal is to engage, get the family trying some fun stuff, jumping off a log, climbing, throwing rocks into the lake, snuggling, making funny faces, chasing each other and so on. This gets everyone warmed up, and children and adults alike lose some of that self conscious awkwardness. Our photos turn out more candid, natural, and most typically it is at the end of our session that I get my favourite group shots. Everyone is feeling relaxed, they trust me more, and have forgotten a little that the camera is there. I hope you enjoy what you see.