Panels & Discussions


The Big Six

What Are The Big Six?

The Big Six are the parenting issues that historically have come up most often on unschooling e-lists, groups, and discussion boards. Most folks trying to understand the parenting aspects of unschooling will be concerned by at least one; some by several. If you are worried about any of these areas, know that you are not alone.

In no particular order The Big Six are:

  • Sleep (“what, no bedtimes?!”)
  • Chores (especially tied to consequences)
  • Food (“but I want them to be healthy”)
  • Television
  • Electronic Gaming (yes, this is different from TV concerns)
  • Personal Hygiene/Appearance/Self Care

The Big Six Panel Discussion is designed primarily for newer unschoolers, to address these most basic issues. The Panelists have been unschooling for many years, repeatedly reassuring new unschoolers about these very fears. In the course of answering questions and discussing typical concerns, we will show how these issues are generally approached, based on our real living experiences with our own long-time unschooled children. Ultimately how you come to handle these basic issues becomes the foundation of your whole unschooling life. They are paths to understanding the tentpoles of unschooling – Trust, Partnership, Living By Principles, and creating an enriched environment where natural learning can flourish. Moderated by Genna McLeod & Frank Maier

Dads’ Panel

Do you have a burning question for the dads among us? Do you wonder what goes on in the male psyche when the subject of unschooling is the topic under discussion? Have you been curious about what goes on in those SSUDs meetings?

Well, we won’t divulge *that*; but here’s your chance to visit that undiscovered country called What Goes On in Dads’ Heads. Join a panel of unschooling dads for a Q&A session. Discover their challenges and inspirations as they answer your questions and share a glimpse into their perspective on unschooling life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

EVERYONE is welcome. That’s the point of it. We know you have questions. Come ask them. Anonymously! So you can let it all out. There’s nothing to fear but fear itself. Moderated by Frank Maier.


Helping Friends Through Hard Times

A discussion of how to approach and help friends going through situations that seem toxic/harmful to themselves (self imposed or from an outside cause), and ways you, as a friend, can prevent the situations they are in from getting worse. Including information on how to recognize drug and alcohol addiction, self-medicating and harm reduction. Hosted by Rachelle McCloud & Cyndi Connolly.

Sex, Drugs, & Drinking

Few subjects cause parents as much anxiety as sex, drugs, and drinking! Bring your questions and concerns. We’ll discuss age-appropriate behavior, what to expect, what to prepare for, and how to navigate this period. It’s not as scary as you may be imagining! Moderated by Kelly Lovejoy.

Unschoolers’ Mental Health Talk: Guided Discussion and Support

Join Rachelle as she facilitates a discussion about mental health concerns, diagnoses, treatment, and support relevant to you. You’ll have the opportunity to meet other unschoolers who have had mental health challenges as well as those who love and support someone with a mental health challenge. You’ll get to ask questions and hear responses from Rachelle and other participants in the group as we share our experiences, challenges, triumphs, what has worked and what has not. Moderated by Rachelle McCloud.

Unschooling Grief Circle Chat

The Unschooling Grief chat is a discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. Grief can come from many things, and while grief from death may be the main or leading subject, it is not limited, at all to death of a person. A death of a relationship, of an idea, of one’s health or the health of loved ones – loss – can produce grief also, and all forms are welcome. Nothing is demanded or asked from anyone, other than to be respectful of another’s experiences. This is a confidential chat, please respect the privacy of those that share and keep what happens in Unschooling Grief, in Unschooling Grief. Moderated by Karen Pielke Santos.

Teen Sex Talk

Teens only PLEASE.
A sex-positive, nuts and bolts discussion covering a wide range of sexual health topics including consent, safer sex, birth control, and more. Participate as much or as little as you feel comfortable. Get your burning questions answered anonymously, practice putting a condom on a cucumber, or just watch, listen and learn. Hosted by the LiG Teen Scene.


Moms-only gathering for conversation, questions and friendship in a casual setting. Don’t miss this opportunity to get to know other unschooling moms and what they’ve learned on this incredible adventure. If you can’t come to the evening Moms-only get together or have more to discuss, there will be a lunch time meeting as well (SSUMs More). Moderated by Erika Davis-Pitre.


The Secret Society of Unschooling Dads is guaranteed to host a round of lively discussion. This is a ‘dads only’ session to allow the menfolk extra freedom to talk, share and get those questions out in the open. Beverages, support and honest discussion will be the name of the game. Moderated by Mark McLeod & Dan Lake.




More Panels & Discussions will be added soon.