Yesterday, I attended the Unschooling Conference here in Madison and it was a great experience. I had a chance to to talk with some friends and meet some new homeschoolers/unschoolers. I also had a chance to sit back with a hot cup of good coffee and listen to John Gatto, author of Dumbing Us Down and Weapons of Mass Instruction. He is full of life and enthusiastic about every question he was asked. As well as very approachable. You really felt like you wanted to talk to him for hours. I only hope that I have that kind of passion when I'm 75.
The conference had a limited amount of participants which made for a lovely environment. I was also pleasantly surprised by the delicious and healthy food for breakfast and lunch. I was expecting a sub sandwich and some chips. Instead, there was a salad of mixed greens, homeade soups and homeade ginger cookies -delicious. (Thanks again to the amazing cooks!) A sure fire way to feed the soul while pondering big education questions.
What I walked away with was a sureness about what we are doing. I heard John Gatto and Jen Lynch (http://circletheworld.blogspot.com )another fellow unschooler speak and offer a lot of insight about the power of Play. I also gained a lot from asking and talking about my concerns (really talking, without a fear of being criticized for how we have or are doing things) I learned a lot from listening to other participants ask the same questions that had been rolling around in my brain. I only wish that I had asked these questions a few years ago. I may have not been ready for the answers then but right now, the answers fit perfectly for us.