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 Carolyn Groves.



Unschooling in BIG Families

Let’s share ideas, tips and tricks that make the “big family unschooling” work. Hosted by Rachelle McCloud.

Finding and Getting a “Real” Job

Finding a job is very hard. The best training for getting a job is on-the-job-training. Also, most job postings for above entry-level jobs today list some sort of post-high school education as a basic requirement. This is a problem when you’re just starting out, can’t afford college or just don’t think it is worth the time and money it will cost you. Or, you can’t seem to find a suitable job that pays what you need, in a location where you would like to be. I’m hoping to have a discussion on how to find and get a job that you’re qualified for, and pays your bills, even though you may not exactly have the attributes listed. This discussion is intended for all ages. Hosted by Kevin Tucker.

Community Unschooling Resources

For unschooling families in the Portland area, this is an opportunity to share and discuss what resources for unschoolers already exist in the community, and what you wish existed. What classes do you attend, if any? Where do you go to learn more about the world? What mentors and role models do you have, and wish you had? What would a space look like that would best serve youth who are self-directed? Come learn from other families about what already exists, and brainstorm with us what else is needed. We’re starting a self-directed learning center in Portland in the next year and we’re excited to get direct input from the community we hope to serve. Hosted by Rachel Munzig & Karl Keefer.

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. Hosted by Rachelle McCloud.

The Big D

Been through or going through a  divorce  while unscooling?  Come share your stories, questions and insights.  This is not a “sit around and bash your ex” session; but rather a place where we can learn from one another the best way to support our kids and ourselves during this challenging time. Hosted by Carolyn Groves.


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). Hosted 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. Hosted by Mark McLeod & Dan Lake.



More Panels & Discussions will be posted soon!