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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......

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Unschooling gathering in Eastern TN!!

Some of you have probably read this at more than one list, but I figured I'd post it here anyway! I'm really excited to have Steve Cooperman and Eli Gerzon heading this way as I type. They are inspirational souls and we're lucky to have their presence at this gathering. Hopefully, this will spawn many new and unique get togethers for unschoolers in this region.

See you there! Here's the email that has been sent with all the information:

Autodidact Radical Gathering of Homeschoolers

ARGH is a two-day event loosely inspired by BarCamp, an experiment in bringing people together to share, learn and play in an open environment. For more information on Barcamps, check this website: http://barcamp.org/

How the Schedule Works

ARGH has no strict format. The actual schedule will be determined as a group on Saturday morning based on the number of, and interest in, the proposed sessions.

Event details

When: Friday November 23rd and Saturday November 24th.
Where: Johnson City TN area
Cost: Requested donation of $10 per family to cover space rental costs and help cover some of Steve and Eli's travel costs. If your family can help out with a bit more, that is great. If you truly can't afford it, please come anyway!! All are welcome regardless of financial situations.



~Potluck and drum circle 5pm-8pm at Kiwanis Rec Center on Market Street. Bring a dish to share and drinks for your family. If you have drums, please bring them along!

~For anyone wanting to stay up later and hear some live music, Cristabel and the Jons will be playing in downtown Johnson City at Acoustic Coffeehouse at 10pm. You can hear some of their music at myspace: http://www.myspace.com/christabelmusic

Acoustic Coffeehouse has food (including some veggie choices), great beer, smoothies and more for those that want to hang out for a while. It's a diverse and family friendly environment. Cristabel plays a lot of old standards and swing style music, great fun for dancing! They do request that minors leave at 11pm (city thing) so we could just hang out on the non-stage side after the potluck rather than waiting to get down there until 10pm.


10am-6pm at Trinity Baptist Church on Hwy. 11E in Jonesborough.
This church is letting us use a main room and a couple classrooms plus
a kitchen. The kitchen has everything needed to prepare/heat your lunch.

This will be loosely structured in the bar camp style. We will post all possible topics and everyone will decide which they'd like to attend. We'll split up into various areas with a very open format that gives everyone input and allows for a
lot of flow. The main idea is to have fun, learn and share while building connections with other unschoolers (and those interested in unschooling) in our

Proposed Sessions

~“Winging It Around the World: Assorted Nuts and Bolts of World Travel”

~“Self-Educated = Self-Employed: Entrepreneurism 101” (Steve/Eli)

~Grown Unschooler Panel (if you have a teen/young adult unschooler thatmight like to participate, please let me know!)

~"The case for creativity" (Ren)

~"The Zen of Unschooling" (Ren)

~“Creating Community: A Structured Conversation” (Steve)

~Ongoing ATC funshop

~Cob building and sustainable communities workshop (Katherine)

Please add your ideas here. Any passion or interest you'd like to share with others, is most welcome as a possible topic. Think of topics you might like to see discussed also. There just might be someone willing to facilitate such a discussion!:)

• Ren Allen, starsuncloud@comcast.net
• Eli Gerzon, egwizard@yahoo.com
• Steve Cooperman, stevecooperman@hotmail.com

Please email me to be added to the participants list.
Walk-ups are also welcome, but we need some idea of how many to expect in order to better plan. Thank you!!

Task List/requested items to bring:

~Anyone willing to bring a couple items to share for the toddler corner (open to any and all ages, the idea is to have items that are safe for little ones for ongoing play) let me know.
I will have large legos and brio train track in abundance. Bring anything other than those items. Once a person offers to bring an item(s) we won't have anyone else bring that so it's easier to sort out when the day is over.

~Any art supplies you might enjoy using for ATC's. More information can be found about artist trading cards here: http://www.cedarseed.com/air/atc.html
I will have plenty of blank ATC's for you and your family to create with. Bring some extra scissors (might want to mark with your name) glue sticks, stickers, funky papers, embellishments, stamps etc... anything you would enjoy using.
There will be art materials available for everyone to use also.

~Taco Bell, McDonalds, Arby's, Jonesborough Pizza Parlour and other restaurants are nearby if needed. The location is also within short driving distance to several grocery stores.

Overnight accommodations can be found at Sleep Inn. If our group reserves at least five rooms, the rate will be $62.00 instead of the usual $84.99. You can contact Sleep Inn at 423-915-0081. I will be emailing directions to both activity locations from the Sleep Inn
and from the freeway. The hotel is conveniently located near I-26, Barnes and Noble, Atlanta Bread Co., Natural Food Market and other businesses. It's an easy drive to both activity locations for Friday and Saturday. **NOTE: Please make sure you tell them you are with
the ARGH homeschool group so they apply your discount!!

Some local activities you might be interested in:

~Hands-On Children's Museum

~Historic town of Jonesborough TN (oldest town in TN...very quaint. One of the houses in downtown was the location of some of the very first abolitionist publications! It still stands today, with a sign out front detailing it's history. There is a log cabin that Andrew
Jackson lived in for a year or so while he practiced law in Jonesborough. It's fun to just walk around and see all the cute shops.)

~If you get here early on Friday, Jonesborough has it's annual art/craft fair:

~Storytelling Center, located in Jonesborough:

~Speedway in Lights (holiday display and ice skating rink at the Bristol Motor Speedway)

~Bays Mountain Park (my kids love the wolves up there. If you see a lake in the pictures, assume it's extremely low now. The drought has deeply affected our waterways up here)

~The Mall at Johnson City (not too exciting, but there it is)

~The Rocky Mount living history museum

~The Exchange Place, living history farm

~Davy Crockett State Park (and info. about other state parks here)

~Info. on Davy Crockett

~Info. on Daniel Boone and the Boone Wilderness Trail

Also: If anyone wants to stay around for Sunday to just hang out and walk downtown Jonesborough (or go to a park, or??) that is an option too! My family will certainly be available for more fun.:)

I hope to see you there! If you have any questions, or plan to come, please write me ASAP! Thank you,

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” ~Rumi


Blogger kelli said...

"oh man". Kyra says what I'm feeling..

Want...to..be..everywhere.... *cry*

looks wonderful!

11:13 AM  
Blogger Zenmomma said...

Have a WONDERFUL time! Non-Con was awesome and rejuvenating. Love to you all.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous arun said...

hi Ren,

we are trying to swing dates to make this conference... not sure yet but its looking possible. Looking forward to hearing your presentations if we do rather than just reading about them all the time...

8:13 AM  
Blogger Ren said...

All the way from Australia?? Dang, that would be awesome!
I wish you could all be here. The idea is to have something like this every 6months or so. There will definitely be more opportunities.

I'll be sending out hotel info. tonight hopefully. Hope you and your family make it Arun!

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Man! This sounds incredible...we would soooo love to be there. Maybe one day :0)

8:53 PM  
Blogger piscesgrrl said...

I've been itching for a roadtrip, so when I first saw this I thought, yes! But then realized I can't. Already booked for this weekend up north with family. Too bad for me!

Maybe next time. I hope it goes well - the concept is very intriguing. Maybe I should consider hosting one, try to sniff out a few radical unschoolers. (can find unschoolers, but not of the radical sort)

Can't wait to read about it. Have FUN!

12:23 PM  

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