Embodied Learning

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

Forage

wild food, play, belonging, bounty, sensuality….

Where do they intersect?   What connects us to each other and to place deeply?  What is inner tracking?  How are these questions related to how we learn, raise children, honour each others and our own purpose and gifts?

 

Trust

Can you guess what time of year this is?
Yes, March last year…the gorgeous deep Spring emerging is coming!
As some of you already know my love of photography is deeply intertwined with my love of learning, and observing learning.  For me noticing, and then painting the pictures for all to see, telling the story of Free Range Learning, Wilderness Play, Un schooling, honouring learning styles, and weaving strong attachments to community and place is gorgeous, yummy stuff.  its what I do.  That is why I started Apple Star Photo and Apple Star Independent Learning.  It’s all about trust, being present, and opening your heart. Of course, as a parent I have learned so much from my own child, Daniel, quiet man that he can be, thinker-tinker, explorer, runner. We are both so lucky to have access to Denman Island’s wonders.  Here at Maresia, my parents place, and the beaches surrounding, Daniel has been able to discover the very palpable silence of still waters, slowly drifting air, suddenly brought to life by a soaring flock of sea birds…he’s marvelled at that, and seen the Divine in it.  I always say nature is the great equalizer…She gives us space, space to be ourselves, space to collect, to gather, to disperse, to go slow, to quicken like a pulse excited by discovery.  Space to feel small, and huge all at once.  Space to belong.  She shows us unconditional, bountiful love by holding us to her boossom, and at the same time she shows us clear boundaries – the waters edge, the flight of a wild animal at our approach, the unclimbable tree, the polluted waterway.  Here, with her gifts and her storms, her softness and her edges, we encounter ourselves, our own capacity to love unconditionally, our own boundaries and limitations, lour very own resilience.  This is why free range learning with access to nature, time, self exploration, and freedom of movement and association are so vital.  While I have not been able to give my son the home learning, un schooling I would have liked.  I have done every thing I could to allow for these times.  Watching him grow up with this brings me so much joy.  I am so proud of us.  Dan taught me at the age of 3 to hold baby crabs for the first time.  Dan has been leaping over this stream every year since he was two!  Dan loves to crack these slate like slabs to make natural puzzles.  Dan and his friends run through the tunnel under the road, where, during high river salmon return upstream!  With his walking, sword, drum sticks in hand, my son plays!

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