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Art, Play, Forest school classes with Apple Star Learning

Hi, I'm Belinda White,

Art~Play is the best of Forest School, Reggio and Tinkering school combined. Offering mentoring, classes and nannying where the environment is the third teacher!

Monday afternoons @ Trout Lake
East Vancouver Fall and Winter Sessions
6 to 8 yr-olds (flexibility around ages with approval)
I'm passionate about how children thrive through attachment, belonging, autonomy and contribution.

I combine over 30 years experience working with children and adults of all ages, a deep love of life-long-learning, and my need to understand and apply compassionate, non-violent communication, big impact play, nature healing, S.T.E.A.M education and more.  

I believe fundamentally that we learn best when we are happy, safe, and seen for who we are, and what we bring to the group. It takes a lot of patience and observation to honour each child's uniqueness and invite them into a group experience in the ways that work for them. This is what I aim to do, whether I am working with children from 1 to 5, or 5 to 13!  

Inquire about different times, locations and age ranges, parent participation and sliding scale.

My present offerings are small pop-up outdoor classes. They are an Atelier-Forest School that combines children's love of self-expression and experimentation with arts materials, with their fantasy and physical play needs in both natural and urban settings.  

I gently introduce techniques, materials, art exercises, without coercion or fixed outcomes. My focus is on process, discovery, child-lead learning. There is no cookie-cutter style finished "master piece". Each child's ideas, contribution, and needs are nurtured, hence the small group. Either individual or group projects may emerge, short-term or long-term. While, I arrive each day with a planned ideas to inspire or guide, I notice each child's suggestions, expressions, stories, and will lead the class in a way I hope honours what's bubbling up. This applies both to the Art part of the day and the Play part. :) Time spent exploring and imaging in contact with nature, and urban environments, noticing, gathering, creating stories with the raw materials and settings adds to each child's creative learning. This class is also a wonderful setting to work on the social skills of listening, sharing ideas, agreeing and disagreeing, seeking consent, collaboration and so on. Each child brings their own small art book and a few pencils and pens to use, snacks, lunch, water bottle, and weather-ready clothes.

The class is a minimum three month commitment after the first drop-in trial class. Fees are $35 a session.  

Other Classes, Play-Learning Groups

I am available to set up / co-create another class / learning group between Jericho Beach and Renfrew Community Centre. Ideally, there is both a handy indoor area, such as a library, as well as a lovely park or fun forested creek near by. For groups larger than five students, I will either hire an assistant, are have parent participation. I am interested in groups of children ranging in age from 3 to 15. A class could be once a week, presently Fridays are open, or, from 2 to 4 days a week through the summer, or 4 day a week / two week long daily summer camps. My passions are where inquiry, experimentation, and creativity intersect. Let's do a Maths and Art class, a Tinkering class? A love of Stories class, a Science class, an Optics class....the sky's the limit!

Who I am and Why I do What I do

I am a mother, a teacher / mentor / facilitator / nanny and alternative education consultant. I am a story-teller and photographer too. I am a single mum, co-parent of an 11 year-old who does not home learn. He's a Thinker-Tinker, Introverted processor, extroverted expresser, hands-on, focussed learner, who loves stories, battle play, ethics and moving!! I am a thinker-talker, spontaneous, extroverted processor, multi-tasker, creative analyst, intuitive, compassionate mentor who functions best in service, making connections, and collaborating with groups. I stopped my day job as an ESL teacher and started Bumble Bee Home Daycare to stay home and nurture my sons' and a small handful of children's needs for attachment, and free play, and I'm so glad I did! It changed my life forever. Through this process I encountered home learning, unschooling, inquiry-based learning, child-lead learning, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, Coyote Mentoring, attachment theory and NVC. I learned along-side my son and all the other children who have graced me with their company, laughter and unique look at the world. After running my home daycare, I supported several families home schooling, and since then have been working towards a balance of childcare, photography and home learner classes / tutoring / consulting. What I have learned over the years through heart-centered, non-coersive parenting and teaching that centres on trust, honouring natural rhythms of season and age, is that each of us has an incredible gift, our own unique way of learning, processing, expressing and attaching. When allowed to freely learn and offer up that gift, we shine! There's more than one way to cut an apple! What happens if we don't cut it the conventional way? What happens if we leave the core in? We get a beautiful stàr! A star that reveals the core and the seeds inside and lets the light shine through.  

My Experience and Education

I have over 11 years caring for children of all ages, 20 years teaching ESL, 11 Early Childhood, tutoring, 5 home learning, and 3 years offering workshops at Firemaker.
I have been a photographer and story teller on and off since I was 13. I have never had my work published, but am starting to be recognized for my photography. The themes that inspire me the most are how we learn, how we attach and belong, how we thrive through contribution and belonging.
I have a degree in Communications.
I have attended one Neufeld Conference, and finished several NVC classes.
I have read and practiced extensively in the areas of Un schooling, Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and many alternatives to Public Education, as well as compassionate, attached parenting and Non Violent Communication.
Over the last two years I spend a very long time healing form a knee injury. During my time off work, I volunteered at my son's school doing workshops that combined Art-Science-Math.

I hope you have found this information useful. Please do not hesitate to contact me with further questions, to try out a drop-in class, or to inquire regarding setting up another class.