Sunday, December 1, 2013

2013 Maine Unschooling Mini Conference Audios

Here are the 2013 mini-conference audios!  You can access them via Dropbox.

They are mp4's and may be listened to via itunes.

Thank you Dave Lovejoy!!  Enjoy!!  Laurie :)

Here are the presentation descriptions from 2013 -

This is How We Shine:  Growing and Expanding 
~ a little bit of a culinary education disguised as a radical unschooling talk 
Anne Ohman

As our children get older and bigger, their Visions for their lives grow and expand along with them.  It can sometimes be a challenge for radical unschoolers, who have been deeply respected, honored and celebrated for all of their lives, to fulfill their Visions in a world where this is not the case for most everyone else.  My always-unschooled son, Sam, a 19 1/2 year old aspiring chef, has given me permission to share some stories of his path from His Glorious Radically Unschooled Life to his integration into the culinary world "out there."  I'd love it if you joined me for this hour-long journey of growth and expansion and self-discovery and radical-unschooling-in-action… 

Unschooling Diversity - Would you like to be more welcoming?
- Erika Davis Pitre 

This talk is about how to be welcoming to families from a wide variety of backgrounds that exist in the unschooling community.  It is also a time for families of diverse backgrounds to come together and make connections with other families.  Come with your questions, concerns and solutions to opening up your family's unschooling experiences to folks from different backgrounds/experiences.  All are welcome.  

Ask a Teen Unschooler - Olivia Bradstreet

When the questions from grocery store strangers turn from "What grade are you in?" to "How are college searches going?" do our answers and attitudes change?  Is prom or graduation something to miss or manufacture for ourselves?  Are those things even important?  When playgroups have run their course, what resources (from community colleges to internet partnershops) are available to teens?  I, Olivia, sixteen years old and always unschooled, would love to talk about these topics.   

How to be Ridiculously Happy and Raise Happy Kids 
- Kathryn Baptista and Beth Toolan

Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, has made extensive studies about being happy.  Come hear Kathryn Baptista and Beth Toolan share what they've learned about life, learning, happiness, parenting, and unschooling, complete with how to do it and why it's all scientific.  They'll bring handouts and fabulous prizes.  

Do What You Love - Nikki Sheilds 

This session is for teens - and adults - who wish to make a living doing what they most love to do.  We'll cover some ways to discover your passions and dreams, share ideas on creating a career using those talents and skills, and help you begin taking action toward your goals.  We'll explore the options for young adults: college, apprenticeships and internships, travel, volunteering, and other ideas.  We'll also share ideas for finding a mentor in your chosen field.  Resources include: The Teenage Liberation Handbook, College Without High School, What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens, and Hacking Your Education.  

Making Space: The Creative, Joyful Home - Amy Bradstreet 

Unschoolers live intensively in their homes.  Learning how to organize, care for, and cooperate together in the home can be challenging.  How do we meet the needs for comfort, creativity, and purpose in the home while respecting the individual?  How do we make space for each other, and how do we use the space we have, so that it works better for us?  

Words Influence Thinking - Thinking Influences Words - Cara Barlow 

We as parents learn about, and how, to unschool largely through observation and spoken, written (and thought!) words. Considering words and how you and others use them is very helpful in "getting" unschooling and living a kind, mindful life.  
The words we use in written and spoken conversation can give us clues to our thinking, sometimes thinking that we're not even aware of ourselves until someone else points it out.  
Please join me in briefly considering the science behind this, what it really means when someone says, "Oh, it's just semantics," and finally some of the buzzwords that I'm sure you've come across as unschooling parents. I'll have a few to start off the conversation and then will be looking to you for input.

Free To Learn Book Chat - Pam Laricchia 

Learning about unschooling is challenging! In the process, we find ourselves reconsidering much of what we thought we knew about living and learning. Soon there is no start or end to learning in our days - living and learning become intimately entwined. It becomes a lifestyle. Looking back, I realized there were five paradigm-changing ideas in particular that helped me as I learned about unschooling and began viewing our lives through that lens.

But that challenge is also a large part of its fun! So bring your curiosity and your questions and together we'll dig into the ideas of real learning, following your child's interests, the importance of choices, instead of no, and living together.

Freedom: What It Means And Why It's Important - Kelly Halldorson 

Often people new to unschooling hear the word "freedom" and think it means allowing your children to "do whatever they want" which is something that makes unschooling a challenge. Kelly will discuss what true individual freedom means and how (when understood) can help your family's unschooling life flourish.

Unschooling Your Teens - Is It What You Expected? - Erika Davis Pitre 

This talk 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.  

Pass The Bean Dip - Laurie Wolfrum

We care so deeply about how we parent and raise our children, and why we are drawn to the path of unschooling.  Sometimes others (from strangers, to acquaintances to close friends and family members) are curious or concerned about our children's education and our lifestyle choices.  When is it worthwhile to share details and explanations about your unschooling life, and when is it best to change the subject (pass the bean dip)?  What are some options to consider when strangers or those we love and care for share their doubts, concerns, criticisms or well-meaning advice?  

Unschooling Through Homesteading - Alex Bradstreet 

As a family, we have been on a journey of discovery about what we want, who we want to be when we grow up, and how we can achieve our life goals.  Everything changed for us a year ago when the family farm dream became a reality.  This past year has been full of challenges and changes.  I will discuss our urban homesteading history and our rural homesteading activities to date and how this relates to what one does with one's life "after unschooling."  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Many Thanks!!

The conference may be over, but the good feelings are lingering.

I am so grateful for so much help!

Thank you to everyone who brought snacks and drinks to share!

Thank you to Kathryn, Beth, Erika and Makana for painting many tiny white boxes for a funshop!

Thank you to Erika for helping me set up the church very late on Friday night!  And to Makana who put flowers and other items on the snack table that night too!

Thank you to all the presenters and funshop leaders for sharing their stories and themselves!  You are what makes the day engaging, informative and inspiring!

Thank you to Aimee and Kim for greeting everyone and handling the walk-in registration!

Thanks to Heather for helping with funshops and the snack table!

Thanks to Cara for helping with the play doh and legos funshops!

Thank you to Trevor who drove my kids when they needed to come to the conference or go home and who helped carry Li's computer!

Thank you to Brent for watching the registration table so I could hear part of a talk in the other room!

Thank you to Dave for taping the presentations again!

And thanks to Kathryn, Beth, Erika, Cara, Heather, the Bradstreets, Trevor and Makana for help in cleaning up!  I hope I didn't miss anyone!

And thank you to those who came so that we may all connect and open our hearts and minds by asking questions, sharing stories and ideas, and encouraging each other in a supportive environment. <3   

And thank you to my family as organizing a conference is a lot of work - good work, but a lot of work!  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Walk-in Registration

Yes!  There will be walk-in registration starting at 9:15am for anyone who has not registered by mail. :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Informal Pokemon Meet Up Added To Schedule

From 10-11am there will be a Pokeman Meet Up for anyone who is interested - Informal meet up - Come and bring your DS or 3DS and/or any Pokemon cards to trade, battle or play together.  We'll bring some decks to loan out for those who want to learn how to battle with the Pokemon cards but might not have their own decks.  You can bring some plush Pokemon too to say hello, not sure if ours will be too shy or not. 

Joyce's Unschooling Toolbox Cards

5 of Joyce's "Unschooling Toolbox Cards" will be available for sale at the mini-conference. The ones that are available for purchase are the brightly hued cards without the tea tin. They are ten dollars each. Please let me know if you would like me to hold one for you. If we run out or you prefer the ones that come with the tea tin, you can order directly from Joyce.  :)

Joyce Fetteroll's "Unschooling Toolbox Cards "

The Unschooling Toolbox is a set of 48 business-sized cards, each with an unschooling idea on front *and* back (so 96 thoughts total), plus a magnet.

Each day pull out a new card and attach it with the magnet somewhere you'll run across it several times a day (like your refrigerator).

The deluxe version comes with a tea tin and has a memory stone to carry in your pocket. So if there's an idea you're having trouble remembering to do in the moment, you put the memory stone in your pocket to remind you.

Some sample Unschooling Toolbox ideas.

* The right answer isn’t as important as trying things out to discover what is right for them.
* If they can’t say no, then you aren’t really asking.
* Build meeting your own needs into your day. You have that power!
* Unschooling is about creating an environment in which natural learning can flourish. — Sandra Dodd
* Why not?

Two options for the cards (WITHOUT the tea tin and stone):

$7 for buff/oak tag/manila folder color card stock (limited supply)

$10 for brightly-hued card stock (colors vary). (They're also available bilingual in English/Portuguese, translated by Marta Pires and Alexandra Souza Lima Polikowsky.)

$5 extra (for postage) for tea tin and stone **WHEN** Joyce gets some more tea tins

Contact Joyce if you're interested:

Friday, October 11, 2013

The conference schedule is done (though subject to change if needed)!  Looks like we'll have a great, full day!

This year we'll have a small vending area.  Please contact me if you'd like to have a table.  There is no charge for being a vendor.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

ATC Supplies

For the Erika's awesome Artist Trading Card funshop, we'll need the materials listed below. 

Would anyone be able to bring some supplies? 

1. Colored paper of various weights and sizes. 
2. Old gift wrap, Magazines and Catalogs for collage cards.
3. Fabric scraps, Buttons and other sewing notions for embellishment.
4. Watercolor paints, Crayons, Colored Markers, Gel Pens, Colored Pencils etc.
5. Scissors, Paper Punches, Glue, Tape, etc. 
6. And any other Arts and Crafts supplies that you would like to share 
(Most Scrapbooking Supplies work well for making ATCs).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Free To Learn" Book Discusson!

Pam Laricchia, author of "Free To Learn: five ideas for a joyful unschooling life," will be doing a book chat at the conference this year!

"Free to Learn" is an excellent resource as Pam explains unschooling concepts in a clear, understandable way.  Not only is this book great for those new to unschooling, but it may provide further clarity and reaffirmation for seasoned unschoolers.

If you would like to read the book ahead of time (which would be helpful), it can be ordered as an ebook for $2.99 or paperback for $9.99. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Speakers for November 2, 2013

I'm very excited that all the wonderful speakers from last year will be presenting again, along with Anne Ohman and Cara Barlow!  It's going to be great!!  

Friday, June 7, 2013

2013 Conference Date (November 2, 2013)

Mark your calendars!  The date of the 2013 Maine Unschooling Mini-Conference will be Saturday November 2, 2013.  Looking forward to having something special to do in November!