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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

NE Unschooling conference

Got back Monday afternoon from the Peabody conference, tired and full of great memories. Highlights from the weekend include folk dancing in a big circle with many unschoolers, some old faces and new, laughing so hard we were falling down. I have this image of Manoj in the center as we all danced, making goofy faces and entertaining us all with his antics! Haven't decided whether Jon, Ken, Ben or Manoj was funnier yet...what a bunch of crazy and fun guys.
It was amusing to have Ben, Ken and Ren all at the same table one night...I heard Jen was somewhere close by. Talk about rhyming!

Got to meet and hang out with Michael and Maureen Carey (also in the People magazine article) who were absolutely charming! They were great folk dancers too.

The talent show was awesome as usual. Marji's sweet voice soothing us and the Briggs family jamming down with some blues. There were karate kids and violinists, pianists and poets. One thing for sure, unschoolers are a diverse and talented lot!

My cousin Jill took me sightseeing and then hung out at the conference. Her 8y.o. was asking to be unschooled by the end of the conference...I may be in trouble!!:) Robbie stayed overnight with me on Saturday so I wasn't kidless the entire weekend after all. He provided some interesting fodder for conversation. Hilarious!

Other parts that stay with me are Rue's swirly and colorful skirts, Erika's pithy humor, Cathy's sweet nature and resilience in the face of obnoxious, loud, drinking unschoolers that stayed up WAY too late and Ben flaunting my makeup job around the hotel. Dagny convinced me to bring my makeup kit and I spent Sunday evening doing many, many makeovers, from quasi-drag to butterfly and leopard faces on wee girls, funky teens and natural mama's to Elissa's smoky, dramatic look.

One of the best parts about the conference...seeing Elissa and Marji walk up the hallway when I didn't even know they were coming!! Two of my favorite unschoolers that I haven't seen in a long time..very cool. I met the Camden's who are considering a move to the area. They're kids were so sweet and interesting, we would dearly love to get them right here in Jonesborough. My ATC funshop was really great, several new ATC'ers joined us and Maddie and Quinn brought some gorgeous cards to share. Some of the kids made cards right on the spot that were fabulous!

So many new faces and great friends, too much for words. It was a swirly, interesting, fun and exhausting weekend....just as an unschooling conference should be. Manisha and Manoj have some pictures to share over at their Flickr account if you want to check it out.

Thanks to Beth, Kathryn and Julian for creating such a wonderful venue for us all to connect.
See you all in Albuquerque in three months!!


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