Tag Archives: starting unschooling

Upcoming Unschooling Conferences 2009-2010

Here’s a list of upcoming unschooling conferences all over North America in 2009-2010 with dates, locations, and websites.

Most of the list was actually compiled by Erika Davis-Pitre: she posted it on the African American Unschooling list: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/AfAmUnschool. She’s an awesome speaker who will be at many conferences including the Northeast Unschooling Conference near Boston in less than two weeks (!) where I’ll be speaking too!

I just added the new UWWG webiste and an inclusive homeschooling conference in Illinois (it includes unschoolers and all other homeschoolers) that’s happening in March, 2010.

All are welcome: these conferences are great for parents, kids, grandparents, people starting unschooling, looking for more unschoolers to connect with, curious about the philosophy, and unschoolers looking for support, encouragement, and inspiration.

Unschooling conference can be a great (re)inspiration when you’re surrounded by a “schooled” society to be reminded you are doing the right thing!

Please comment or contact me directly (eli@eligerzon.com) if you know of any others, anywhere in the world!

MA
Aug 27 – 30, 2009
Wakefield, MA (north of Boston)
Northeast Unschooling Conference
www.northeastunschoolingconference.com

TX
Sept. 4 – 8, 2009
Westlake, TX (west of Dallas)
Rethinking Education Conference
http://www.rethinkingeducation.net/

CA
Sept. 10 – 13, 2009
San Diego, CA
Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference
www.goodvibrationsconference.com/

MD
Sept 21 – 22, 2009
Frederick, MD
Enjoy Life Unschooling Conference
www.enjoylifeunschooling.com

Ontario
Oct 2 – 4, 2009
Caledon, Ontario
Toronto Unschooling Conference
www.livingjoyfully.ca/conference/

GA
October 8-11, 2009
Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta, Georgia
The School’s Out Forever Homeschool Getaway
www.schoolsoutforever.org

NJ to Bermuda
Oct 24 – 29, 2009
Unschooling Adventure Cruise
www.unschoolingadventurecruise.blogspot.com/

NM
Jan 7 – 9, 2010
Santa Fe, NM
Sandra’s Unschooling Symposium in Santa Fe
www.santafeunschoolingsymposium.blogspot.com/

OH
Feb 8 – 12, 2010
Sanduskey, OH
Unschoolers Winter Waterpark Gathering
www.ugo.unschoolgathering.com/

SC
Mar 12 – 14, 2010
Columbia, SC
Autodidactic Symposium
http://theautodidactsymposium.com

IL
Mar 18-20th, 2010
St. Charles, IL
InHome Conference
www.homeeducatorsconference.org/

WA
May 27-30, 2010
Vancouver, WA
LIFE is Good Conference
http://lifeisgoodconference.com/

Digg!

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Filed under homeschooling, starting unschooling, unschooling, unschooling conferences

Freedom, Fear, and Unschooling

After I left school and started unschooling,  I had freedom, I put my trust in myself, and  I did a lot of healing work. Still there was a fear inside me that took me years to be fully aware of and make the choice not to let it control my actions.

Recently I rediscovered a poem I wrote during my second year of homeschooling/unschooling in high school, when I was about 17 years old that surprisingly addresses this fear.

In the beginning of the poem I say:

But once the song’s over or the race is done
I’m just me again:
Scared shitless
Living heartless
Terrified of investing myself
In something or someone else

(You can read the whole thing here.)

I had trouble convincing people about unschooling, freedom, and their ability to direct their own lives partly because of my own emotional wounds regarding the subject. But I realized years later I also had a fear of being effective, fear of success, in talking to people about freedom and unschooling. There was an element of self-sabotage involved.

There was a part of me that knew it was possible I could very effective in talking about these subjects: I could help inspire people to leave school, or let their children leave school, have freedom, be trusted, and pursue their dreams.

That would be a truly wonderful thing and have so much meaning to me. For some reason, I think because of, not in spite of, that fact it’s also very scary. I’ve found that:

The more meaning something has to a person, the scarier it can be.

The more meaning something has the more painful the disappointments can be. You can feel pressure and new responsibility. With real success your life can change. And I always try to remember when I feel anxious:

Change, even if it’s good change, can be scary.

Writing these blog posts about unschooling, freedom, trust, diversity, and healing, then hearing how some have connected with them and been appreciative of them has had so much meaning to me! I’ve also definitely felt some fear and anxiety: I’ve heard from my toxic voice as my uncle Robert Gerzon calls it.

But the other thoughts that have come to my mind are:

“I love my life!” and “I feel free. I feel like writing is setting me free.”

More and more I’m letting parts of my true self come out and be heard. And it feels good! It feels like it’s taken years and epic journeys to get to this point, actually.

I guess it’s good to remember that when I feel disappointed or frustrated that there aren’t more people trying to learn and live in freedom or pursue what has meaning to them when they do have freedom: it takes time and is challenging.

Still, I hope that in talking about my own experiences it encourages others to make the choice to be free, the choice to use their freedom, the choice to follow what has meaning to them, and finally, the choice to do what has meaning to them regardless of fears that may stand in their way.

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Filed under adult unschoolers, change the world, freedom, homeschooling, lifestyle design, unschooling, worldschooling

My Unschooling and Trust Journey

In my last post I talked about how trust is key in unschooling. To learn to be free we need to trust ourselves even if things start out rough, and they certainly did when I started unschooling!

Decompression” is what unschoolers call it when you start unschooling and “do nothing” for awhile. My first several months homeschooling I hardly left the house (following that stereotype about homeschoolers!) and had only ultimate frisbee and cross country running as organized activities: nothing resembling school or academics! But honestly, more than that, I was just an angry and unhappy guy.

It’s kind of like cleaning up a big mess: often things get messier before they get nice. There’s a lot that comes to the surface and needs to be sorted out: things to decide to keep or throw away. Sometimes it’s very hard to throw things away! And it takes a lot of trust in the process when things look pretty bad on the surface.

Many people thought I was making a bad choice when I left school. Sometimes my reaction was very strong against this, but ultimately I thought, “I’m just going to try doing this myself and see how it goes. If I need to, I’ll go back to school, but I’m gonna try relying on myself.”

Underneath my initial anger and defensiveness about homeschooling and unschooling, I had doubts, fears, and insecurities all along the way; still do. I’ve been humbled from the beginning with the mistakes I’ve made after I left school and even more while I travelled the world!

But by the end of that first year of unschooling things were getting a lot better: I was working on an organic farm, going to a wilderness survival school, then even taking great courses at a community college and going  to homeschooler classes that people organized. But my real education came from all the healing work I did sorting through things and healing wounds that were stopping me from doing what I really wanted to do.

Through unschooling and exploring the world around me, worldschooling, I’ve come to honestly understand what my strengths and weaknesses are. I’ve learned to accept the wise and caring guidance from others when I need it, reject the false fear based pressure from some, and follow my bliss and inner knowing and learn from my mistakes.

Despite my insecurities, in the end, with my actions, I put my trust in myself. Looking back, I am so thankful for that journey I started a decade ago. Again, when I wanted to run my own business and I was reluctant to go to college, some people weren’t sure it was a good idea: I decided I’d see how it went. Including some ups and downs, it continued to go well, so I continue to put my trust in myself.

I still have more worries and fears but they don’t stop me from continuing to learn and grow. They don’t stop me from shining my light and loving my life.

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Filed under adult unschoolers, grown unschoolers, homeschooling, starting unschooling, trust, unschooling, worldschooling