Oh what an amazing four days! The LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference started on Thursday May 22nd and ended on Sunday May 25th. I went into this not really knowing what to expect. How does one attend a conference with little ones in tow? Would we even be able to see any of the speakers?
We did not get to see as many speakers as we originally planned but it was an amazing experience. The kids had a blast at the many Funshops. Joe attended SSUDS, The Secret Society of Unschooling Dads, and a few other presentations. I was able to attend a birth circle chat and a circle chat called Talking With Relatives. We managed the entire conference with only a few minor meltdowns, a few from the kids (mostly from exhaustion) and one from me after trying to chase the wild and crazy Marah around and hold the baby while Joe attended SSUDS.
It was wonderful to be in such a large group of people where everyone was respected, including children. The interactions between the kids (of all ages) were kind. There was no age segregation. I watched teens show younger kids how to play games and kids of all ages play gently with babies and toddlers. The energy was amazing.
I came away from this conference fully believing that what we are doing is right for our family. Child led learning, Life Learning, Unschooling whatever you want to call it. It was great to see all of the kids at various ages and see that it does work. I am energized and exhausted all at the same time. We are already looking forward to LIFE is Good 2009! I am sure I will have more to say later but my mind is still whirling.
Balloon Sword Maddness
Daddy painted Marah's face at the tattoo funshop.
Mommy and Marah walking the halls.
Not really a conference photo. On the way back from lunch one day there were two ducks using the crosswalk, they even waited until the light changed to walk. They did not quite make it in time and were to scared to move. The finally flew away after the car honked several times.
The kids participated in Fairy Godparents. Everyone draws a name and keeps it secret. For the duration of the conference you do nice, fun things for your God child. At the end you can reveal who you are or keep it a secret forever. Everyone who draws a God Child is also drawn by someone else. The kids had a blast picking flowers, drawing pictures, and doing things in secret for their fairy God children.
They also enjoyed receiving things from their secret God parents. Michael's left him things on our hotel door and he was always super excited. Madeline wondered the whole conference who hers was. :)
Some of the things they made for their God children.
Popsicle stick puzzles
The opening band on concert night. They are a group of unschoolers who live in Portland. Amazing!
While Joe was in SSUDS the kids and I walked up to Ester Short Park. It was nice and sunny for the first time that weekend so we played in the fountain.
Some of the cars in the parking lot.
Okay so I may have gone a tad overboard with the car pictures. There were some GREAT bumperstickers. :)
Campfire songs funshop
Playing in the lobby
Playing DDR in the game room.
Madeline with Mary the conference diva (organizer). Maddy was also Mary's Fairy God Parent.
The barefoot boogie on the last night.