Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fun at the Rethinking Education Conference

Trainboy making a pine needle basket

We had a very busy weekend! We attended the Rethinking Education conference, went to Home Depot for the monthly project, and had a visit from Grandpa Actuary! Being busy makes me so tired, but is so much fun!
Trainboy at the toy creation station

The conference was four days long and consisted of a bunch of unschoolers taking over a hotel and turning boring conference rooms into cool places to play, including the board game room, video game room, dress-up room, box & tin can city room, music room, meditation room, junkyard golf room, race car room, and (little) kids village. There were also tables set up in the hall way with tons of legos and rotating loose craft themes such as take apart electronics, stupid sock creatures, toy creation, rock painting, flying machine making, mask decoration and more. That's just the fun stuff running all the time in addition to the classes, demonstrations & seminars.Dinoguy learns to fence in the mini-class after the demonstration

I wasn't really sure what to expect beforehand, this being our first unschooling conference. In fact I was a bit nervous about if the kids would have fun or if they were too young. Both boys thrived all weekend as they explored new interests and let their creative juices flow freely. Kids village was definitely a fun place to hang out and play, but they also enjoyed many of the other activities and crafts available.Dinoguy demonstrates his skills with the slide and mat in kids village

The atmosphere at the conference was amazing. There was an energy present, coming from kids and parents who let their interests guide them and expected interactions with all to have a basis in respect. We had some friends there from local groups we are part of, but I also met and talked with so many new and interesting people. The realization that kids were welcome everywhere - even those sessions meant more for adults was so cool. Trainboy came with me to part of a pine cone needle basket making class and made his own version of one. Parents and kids went in and out of classes as family needs required (though most kids were busy with their interests and weren't around, it was okay if they were).
Trainboy at the lego table

Classes I attended and loved included pine needle basket making, nourishing kids' passions, belly dancing, the brain-heart connection, raising a strong child, fencing history and demonstration (with mini-classes for kids), power of positive thinking in parenting...hmmm, that's all the classes I managed to get to I think! It was just a wonderful time!
Dinoguy building a football goal post at Home Depot

We did not stay at the hotel, which I think was better for us, as we came home at night and relaxed and slept in our own beds. We also went to Home Depot's craft day, one of our favorite free things each month!Trainboy building at Home Depot

Grandpa Actuary got into town late night Saturday for a visit before some work stuff that conveniently brought him our way. We had a really fun visit with him, playing Spongebob Monopoly and hide-n-seek as drawing special pictures for him. He checked out the conference a bit with us too, though we mostly hung out at home with him on Sunday, which was nice. It was great to see you Dad!
The boys with Grandpa Actuary


3 comments:

Stephanie S. said...

How fabulous, M!!
I so want to go to an unschooling conference!
They're always too far away for me to reasonably travel to, but I will definitely get to one, one day.
I'll bet y'all's brains are just bzzzing!!
I'm so happy for you.

Christa said...

Awesome! I AM going next year. We are setting money and vacation time away beginning now for it, an I WILL be there. (How was that for positive thinking? LOL!)

Roni said...

Wow!! You paint a pretty amazing picture of the conference!

I'm becoming more & more interested in it after hearing everyone's accounts! Maybe the kids & I can make it to one day of it or something next year!

I've GOT to try & remember about the Home Depot thing on Saturday mornings! It always looks like so much fun on your blog!! :-)

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