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Sharing the Joy of Unschooling!
This talk is all about the Joy that unschooling has brought to my family’s life. I will cover many topics in a humorous and fun way, from just starting out basics (is it supposed to be this fun?), to how to convince your extended family that you are not crazy (really, you’re not!) to how You yourself can become the next great unschooling guru! Come ready to share a laugh, a smile and some good time with your “people”.
Unschooling Your Teens-Is it what you expected?
This talk is for all families who either have teens, will have teens soon and/or have the pleasure of looking back on their children’s teenage years. It will be a chance to ask questions, share insights, and find support among other families with unschooling teens. Both parents and teens are welcomed and encouraged to attend.
Talking About Race and Racism: A Frank Discussion
The idea of race has a difficult and complex history, especially here in the US. It has been used for centuries to categorize, reward, and penalize people based on perceived differences. And despite often being misguidedly defined by skin tone and other physical attributes, race has no genetic basis but this powerful social construction has a tremendous impact on individuals’ lives because it is often employed to establish and maintain privilege and power dynamics. Even the definitions of race and racism are themselves a product of racism’s long and conflicted history in our society. So with all of that in mind, how does one go about having a dialogue about this important topic? By coming to this informative and lively discussion! This talk will discuss Race and Racism and how it impacts us all, especially us as Unschoolers. Please come with your questions, concerns and solutions as we navigate this very important topic. All are Welcome.
We All Encountered Unschooling Before We Started Unschooling
In this presentation I use fun and interesting stories from my life (even a “quiz”, say what?!!!) to show how I encountered and rubbed shoulders with unschooling even before I knew what it was. I bet you have too. If you’re not sure about that, I’ll point out how unschooling has always been in your life and reassure you that it’s a completely natural way to live and learn. If you’re a long time unschooler, I’ll jog your memory and invite you to look back and connect the dots from your pre-unschooling days to the present. In hearing some of my stories, my hope is that it will remind you of some of yours, so that throughout the rest of the conference we’ll all make new connections and strengthen old ones as we share our stories with each other. I’ve found that doing that helps us support each other wherever we are on our unschooling path.
From Math Teacher to Radical Unschooling Mom
Chrissie followed two generations of family members into a career in education. As a math teacher, she taught high school and middle school students in small districts where she was the sole math teacher and large schools where she was mistaken for a student, as well as students in five different countries. Chrissie and her husband, Justin, naturally started their children in public school, which was a disaster. They tried private school, then traditional homeschooling, and finally they lucked into radical unschooling during the early elementary years. In this talk, she will share how she transitioned from a traditional math teacher to a radical unschooling mom of two fabulous teens. Join Chrissie as she shares her experiences, ideas, lessons learned, cautionary tales, and unschooling joys.
Soft Doesn’t Mean Weak: Gentle and Vulnerable Parenting
Coming to you with a background in psychology undergrad, gentle parenting TikTok, and every book Brené Brown has ever written, Marjie Maier is a grown unschooler who believes that the willingness to be vulnerable and take risks will better your life and well-being and transform your parenting into a kinder and more connected experience. She will dig into what vulnerability looks like, how it feels, how we can use it, and the consequences of trying to avoid it. Whether you’re just dipping your toe into unschooling and afraid to take the leap, having doubts, or just trying to improve the good thing you’ve got going, she will talk about how to tap into your feelings of vulnerability and lean into them to help you be braver with your life, more connected to the people around you, and gentler with them and yourself. This talk will also touch on how this experience differs for mothers and fathers, shame and the consequences of living and parenting from a place of it, the impact of outside judgement, and how raising kids can trigger your own traumas. The overarching goal of this talk is that you leave it willing to be the kindest and most authentic parent you can be who fosters a truly connected relationship with your children based on mutual respect and openness – even or especially when it scares you.
Giving Ourselves a Break
As unschoolers we live free of the arbitrary constraints and stresses of a schooled life. But we’re still human beings! We have been living through unprecedented global turbulence and change. In the midst of our full lives, how do we find some time and space just to be, to find our center in the middle of upheaval? How do we connect with our warm heart? How can we experience the rest and renewal of a vacation here and now, without traveling anywhere? How do we shift the inner story both intellectually and experientially? In this session, we’ll discuss and try out very simple practices to help us reconnect with the inner peace that is always here, below the surface of the waves of life.
Unschooling Unschooling – Getting Meta and Ditching The Rules
While some of us may have been fortunate enough to grow up in an unschooling atmosphere, most of us have come to unschooling through discoveries in our adult lives. This can mean that a lot of us have begun to explore unschooling with a mind firmly set in the schooling world. The inclination to measure things and to have some kind of structure and reassurance for what we are doing can be dominant. Even if we feel we can let go of our schooled upbringing, it can sometimes lurk in the background and inform many choices that we make. A lot of unschooling is often linked to ‘deschooling’ or learning to unpack our many assumptions about childhood, parenting, education and the culture at large! How do we do that?
After almost a decade of unschooling, Alan and I continue to find ourselves re-examining the choices we make and the habits we follow. Sometimes this can mean getting comfortable with the uncomfortable while also developing trust and confidence in our everyday choices as a family. In this talk, I’ll be looking at the messages that are out there in relation to ‘the rules of unschooling’ and I’ll share the various ways that we have found helpful in interpreting and processing the many, sometimes disparate, messages on ‘how to’ unschool. I want to hear your experiences, as well, if you are inclined to share. Let’s have fun discussing and exploring unschooling unschooling!