The full 2017 conference schedule can be found here.

 2017 Presenters


Erika Davis-Pitre

Erika Davis-Pitre and her husband Michael have 4 adult children – one daughter (38) and three sons (34, 32 & 24). They also have a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law and two grandsons (10 & 2). She has recently moved back to San Francisco full-time after living in Connecticut for more than a decade. They have been unschooling for many years and love it, so Erika is always looking for opportunities to share their unschooling joy with others. Erika has spoken at many un/homeschooling conferences, led quite a few funshops/workshops and has hosted and participated in many round table discussions about unschooling all over the US and Canada. She especially enjoys talking about unschooling teens, sharing the joy of unschooling and celebrating diversity through unschooling.  And she is a Artist Trading Card(ATC) fanatic-if you don’t know about ATCs please ask!


 Jayn Holly Coburn

Jayn Holly Coburn is a 17 year old young woman, and a living example of lifelong unschooling. Her many passions include makeup, drawing, character design, gaming, observing, and researching. Having been Unschooled her entire life by her (very cool) Mom and Dad, her experience as an only-child, and her perceptive view of the world and those around her gives her a different and unique perspective to present unschooling to those who are unsure about its virtues.


Jocelyn Cooper

Jocelyn discovered homeschooling in 1993 when she saw a TV news segment about a family of 5 who bicycled together across the US and met all 50 governors. She was instantly hooked by the thought of having fun with her kids as they learned. After reading a preschool curriculum while she watched her then toddler daughter learn so much more and have more fun naturally, she ditched the curriculum and began her journey to unschooling. Jocelyn and her husband, Martin, have 3 always unschooled daughters ages 23, 19, and 13.


James Coburn

James Coburn, father of always unschooled Jayn, grew up full of interests and passions that were rarely supported or encouraged. But he did find his passion working in film sound. Now he teaches Production Sound at New York Film Academy, and continues to enjoy his hobbies including miniature cannons, gardening, collecting LED flashlights, iPhone photography, occasional jewelry making with PMC, and generally enjoying gadgets and gizmos. He has spoken at Live and Learn and NEUC, but you may know him best as the maker of nitrogen ice cream at conference picnics.


Robyn Coburn

Robyn Coburn is the mom of an always unschooled 17-year-old, Jayn, who daily inspires her mom to listen, learn and grow into a kinder, more patient, and more creative person. A former designer in theater and film, Robyn now works as a writer, artist and crafter, and helps people with their resumes, especially for the entertainment industry. Her resume book series is available on Amazon, while her upcoming biography of the actor, James Coburn, will be available soon. She has spoken previously at Live and Learn, NEUC, Good Vibrations, and LIFE is Good. The Coburns live in Los Angeles in a little house, where they work on their garden, and watch a lot of Netflix.


Carolyn Winkler

Carolyn’s main influence in unschooling was her mom, who had read all of John Holt’s books and subscribed to Growing Without Schooling, even though 4 out of her 5 children went to traditional public school (and the 5th was home/unschooled for a relatively short time). Her mom also was an early advocate of extended breastfeeding and LLL. When Carolyn was a junior in college she subscribed to Mothering magazine, much to the confusion of her friends (she had her first child at 32). She was sure she wanted to have a career (and did, as, among other things, a DJ, an Executive Assistant, a public High School librarian, and currently, an Events Manager for Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider in Portland, OR), and also to stay home with her kids as long as possible.

Carolyn is currently a single mom with two always unschooled daughters who will be 15 and 11.5 at the time of the conference — they have attended every LIFE is Good conference and Carolyn has spoken at two.



Martin Whitehead

“When it comes to my family, I’m the luckiest man in the world.” Martin is a homeschooling father with three always-unschooled daughters age 23, 19 and 13. He is married to Jocelyn, “the best wife I’ll ever have.” Martin has an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia, studied film at New York University, and worked on some of the best known brands in North America and the world. In his spare time, Martin has kept bees, made films, and studied the visual display of quantitative information. “The greatest honor of my life has been the association I’ve had with my wife Jocelyn and our three daughters. They continue to inspire me.”



Marla Briggs

Marla lives in a rural town outside of Albany, NY, with her husband, Ken, and their two kids, Amelea (18 yo.) and Lily (13 yo.). Amelea and Lily have always been unschooled. Marla first learned about unschooling over 10 years ago, when the 3rd Live and Learn conference was held in Peabody, Massachusetts. Marla’s background is in wildlife biology, but she was certified in Secondary Biology and Chemistry, so she would be available during summers to do wildlife work. But after becoming certified and doing student teaching, Marla wrote one word at the end of her certification notebook . . “Homeschool.” Because she was disappointed and disillusioned by the whole school experience from when she was a student to when she was a teacher, she wanted to find an alternative to school for her children. In 2004, when Amelea was turning 6 years old, Marla knew that they were going to have to report to NY State and the family knew they had to make a choice. They first went to the New England Homeschool & Family Learning Conference in MA and were overwhelmed by all the curriculums, etc. A few weeks later they decided to check out unschooling at the Live and Learn conference, and that’s when everything fell into place and they’ve been unschooling ever since.

Funshop, Panel & Discussion Presenters

Lisa Weber & Maia Dealan-de
Lisa and Maia have 6+ years of combined self-publishing success between them. With catalogs including more than 110 published titles in both ebook and paperback in a variety of genres, their experience ranges from short stories to full-length novels and covers every step of the self-publishing process. They’ve both been supporting their unschooling families solely through self publishing since 2014, and look forward to sharing both their horror stories and successes with other aspiring writers and publishers at LiG.

Lisa and Maia will be hosting the Self-Publishing for Fun and Profit  funshop.

rachelleRachelle McCloud
Rachelle McCloud,MSW, CSWA, TFT-Dx, lives in Salem, Oregon where she lives with her husband and 4 always-unschooled children (10, 9, 8 & 4). Rachelle has a master’s in Social Work. After working in the fields of maternal and child health, addictions and medical social work, she currently works with an agency supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities who also have co-occurring mental health diagnoses. She also has a private practice where she works as a Thought Field Therapy Practitioner and Emotional Freedom Coach assisting clients to resolve emotional distress and to reach their goals using traditional and alternative methods. Rachelle enjoys unschooling alongside her children and follows her passions that have led her to many adventures including edible landscaping, volleyball, and entrepreneurialism.

Rachelle will be moderating the Unschoolers’ Mental Health Talk: Guided Discussion and Support & Helping Friends Through Hard Times  discussions.

Lyla Wolfenstein
Lyla is mom to two grown kids (nearly 19 and 22) who started unschooling at 9 and 13 respectively. They each had their own versions of spiritedness and Lyla spent a great deal of energy exploring ideas around parenting kids who are “more” – more intense, sensitive, energetic, emotional than average. Reassuring parents and helping them find tools for connecting with spirited kids is near and dear to her heart.

Lyla will be co-moderating the Spirited Kids Chat.

image1Genna McLeod
Genevieve “Genna” McLeod lives in Portland, OR with her husband, Mark McLeod, daughter, Emily Smoot (19), and sons, Gabriel (12) and Davis (9), (and sometimes her sister, Gelaine). They have been an unschooling family since 2005, and first attended LiG in 2014. Genna’s experiences in law, mediation, education, and the military have given her a unique perspective on the value of unschooling, collaborative problem solving, and crafting with yarn to relieve stress. Genna’s passions include advocating for differently abled children and adults, practicing respectful parenting, and nurturing her own wonderfully high spirited children.

Genna will be co-moderating the Spirited Kids Chat.

Mark McLeod
Mark McLeod is married to Genna McLeod and is raising their three unschooled children in Portland, OR. Mark is passionate about the happiness of his family and children, philosophical debate, soccer, and kilts. When Mark is not in the front yard playing soccer with his children while wearing a kilt, he plies his philosophical debate skills as an attorney. As an unschooling dad, Mark enjoys encouraging and supporting other dads along the unschooling journey and playing video games.

Mark will be co-moderating the SSUDS  discussion.

MeJake Troper
Jake Troper is 12 years old, always unschooled, and lives with his family and mini-dachshund in Portland. He taught himself how to code a few years ago, and enjoys sharing the fun of creating Minecraft servers and plugins. Jake is an animal and music lover, and all-around friendly guy. He also wonders if everyone knows he wrote this 3rd person bio about himself.

Jake will be hosting the Minecraft Server Development  funshop.

284500_2028274869836_3217944_nRobin ʻEhulani Bentley
Robin ʻEhulani Bentley is a long-time unschooling mum who loves all things Hawaiian. She has been dancing hula for 10 years with Halau Hula ʻO Lono in Burien, WA She has performed with HAPA, John Cruz, Brother Noland and Henry Kapono (known as the Rough Riders of Hawaiʻi), at the Live Aloha Festival in Seattle, the Folklife Festival in Seattle, the Bridge of Aloha in Ferndale, WA, 3 Days of Aloha in Vancouver, WA, and the Maui Mall in Kaluhui (amongst other events). She has been learning Hawaiian crafting for almost as many years and loves to share her knowledge.

Robin will be hosting the Make a Hawaiian Ribbon Lei & Make a Hawaiian Candy Lei  funshops.

image1Emily Troper
Emily Troper is the mother of four rad (highly spirited!) kids (ranging from 12 – 25 years old), a former preschool teacher and postpartum doula, and a long-time advocate for respectful parenting, unschooling, and non-violent conflict resolution.

Emily will be co-moderating the Spirited Kids Chat.



Saille Warner Norton
Saille is a mama of 3 children, 3 dogs, 3 cats, 4 chickens, and 5 ducks. She is an avid board game geek, Whovian, and all around geek.

Saille will be hosting the Life Is Good Rocks! funshop.


Leah Eads
Leah knew virtually nothing about Pokemon until Amos (9) and Clara (6) were introduced to the card game at LIG several years ago and were hooked. Now the family has a growing card collection and enjoys playing matches, trading and all things Pokemon.

Leah will be hosting the Pokemon TCG  funshop.

Scott & Nora Tucker
Scott is a software engineer by day and a dad and husband the rest of the time. Nora enjoys making videos and playing Minecraft. Scott loves playing Minecraft too. We’ve been Unschoolers for 4 years and this is our 5th LiG.

Scott & Nora will be hosting the Creating Minecraft add-ons  funshop.

001mistyMisty Murphy
I’ve been homeschooling my kids since birth and discovered unschooling many years ago. This will be our family’s 9th LIG.

Misty will be hosting the Lets Make Flubber! funshop.


AmeliaAmelia Van Brink
Hi I’m Amelia and my hobbies include: watching conspiracy theory videos at 2 am, knowing the entire history of Disneyland’s haunted mansion, developing characters only to completely change them the next week, and also drawing :)

Amelia will be hosting the Life Drawing funshop.


Annabel Paulson
My name is Annabel and I like space, dictators, and Brendon Urie. I hate Issac Newton and the ocean. Time Is fake.

Annabel will be hosting the Gameshow Trivia funshop.

16933791_10155105318808024_309676706_nJenny Caronna

Jenny is partner to Don and parent to 3 wonderful weirdos in Portland, OR. Their passions include queer and trans youth rights, racial justice, autism self-advocacy, and body autonomy for humans of all ages.

Jenny will be co-hosting the GNC Parent Club.

RebekahRebekah Crane
Rebekah is an unschooling mama of seven who wears many hats. A jack of all trades and a master of none, she loves crafting, herbal medicine, spinning yarn, repurposing old things into clothes and teaching yoga classes.

Rebekah will be co-hosting the Tangled funshop and hosting the Trashion: Trash to Fashion, Basic Herbal Medicine, and Daily Yoga funshops.
13672434_10209569168131089_716131287_nKristin Lake

I am a stay at home mother of four teens. Most of my time these days involves driving kids to and from different activities as they transition from needing me every second to young adulthood. It’s all happening so very fast. In my spare time, HA!, I have a pottery business and teach art classes at a charter school.

Kristin will be co-hosting the Tangled and hosting the Meet and Greet for Newbies funshops.
14670630_10208148084040020_2103394666884897258_nRenee Cooper

I am Renee, mom of Jamie & Lian, from Bellevue, WA. I am an avid knitter, software engineer and animal lover.

Renee will be hosting the Light-up-the-Dark Party funshop.

15267587_10209059023971237_9020430322345910099_nBethany Sells
My name is Bethany, I am a mom of three and an artist. After my kids being disappointed by the rigidity of several art classes I took them to, I began researching and learned about intuitive painting. I believe this is the most natural way for everyone to make art. I especially want children to have the opportunity to be free and trust themselves in the making of art.

Bethany will be hosting the Intuitive Painting funshop.