Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Update

Hello Unschoolers! I'm sure most of you are making the most of this beautiful summer we are having in Maine, or at least I hope so! Summer for my family has often been a season of growth, not relegated to the garden alone, as Maine offers an abundance of learning opportunities, large and small.

making fire

I hope, however, perhaps while you are relaxing in that beach chair or paddling that canoe, all of you are thinking about contributing to Maine Unschooling Network in the coming months, perhaps with a post or in the contribution of resource links. I realize that living in the southern part of the state means I have a limited knowledge about unschooling resources statewide. So this is where I need your help. If you live in the southern tip of northern Maine Bangor, for instance, I'd love to include a unschooling-friendly resource, whether it's a class, workshop, community outreach, facilitator, etc, let me know about it please, and I'll put it on the list. I used to live up that way, and central Maine, too, but before I had kids. That said, I'd like to keep the resource page links focused on those organizations or individuals that have been known to accommodate unschoolers.

In other news, my family will be attending our first ever unschooling conference next month, when we attend the Northeast Unschooling Conference. We're very excited and looking forward to meeting so many that we have gotten to know via the ol' interwebs. Are any of you attending a conference sometime soon? Have you been before? What was your experience like? Perhaps you would share, say in a blog post? Hmm?

Also, calling all shutterbugs out there--I started a companion flickr group for Maine Unschooling Network and it would be great to see how unschooling looks for all of you!

Again, I look forward to building this Maine Unschooling Network with you, so I urge you, please, share your writing, your photography and your knowledge!


  1. I wish I had known about the unschooling conference before so I could have planned. I am going to try and make it with my kids. I have family in Lynn so we may be able to stay there. I am sure there are no rooms available.

    Soon I am going to start a blog on educating teens (unschooling style) because I have an 11 and 13 yo and there isn't much around for that age. As the kids get older seem like more and more so to school

  2. We went to two years ago. What the girls remember most (they were 5 and 7 at the time) was the indoor pool, hot tub, and the hotel room (they put their clothes away in the drawers for the first time ever - or since). Also, we went with a family who are some of our best friends, so that was fun. We went to the Artists Trading Cards workshop and that was a great hit. Listening to some of the speakers I've been reading online was also a highlight (Ren Allen, Dayna Martin).

    Structurally, the conference was disappointing. I've been to a variety of conferences (mostly professional ones), and they all have some way to introduce people to each other and events that encourage mingling and meeting. At this conference, you really had to do this on your own, nothing was really provided to make mingling easy. There wasn't even a room or lounge to hang out in and meet folks other than the restaurant. And for shy people, that means sitting in the halls or in conference rooms with people and never really meeting the other folks who are too shy to introduce themselves. Honestly, we met very few people, and I did try. My husband thinks maybe unschoolers might be a tad reclusive/antisocial (or maybe it's just the organizers, bless their hearts). I don't know about that, but the organizers could have done a lot more to encourage mingling. There wasn't even a grand opening meeting to welcome us all, explain the weekend and say, "Everyone from New Hampshire, stand up!" so you could see who your neighbors were.

  3. Hi - We live in Camden and will be attending the NEUC conf for the 4th time. Just got a msg today that the Sheraton Colonial in Wakefield will be holding the room rates until August 5, 2010. So you can still book a room! :) Looking fwd to meeting more Mainers! (Wife to Jim and Mom to Katie who will be 13 next week, Li age 9, Makana age 5 and Kanoa age 19 months)

  4. Hi Folks, thank so much for commenting. I apologize for the delayed posting--my hotmail changed on me last week or so and many things ended up in my junk folder--anyway, it's fixed now.

    Patty, I know exactly what you mean, that's one reason why I started this blog. Not that it's geared only to teens, but hopefully it will help with meeting some of the needs of that age range. Also, our kids are exactly the same age--my son is 11 and my daughter is 13. Their blogs are listed on the right sidebar: Super Adam Galaxy and Tales Of The Green-Eyed Girl.
    Re: the conference, this is the last week to reserve a room at the Sheraton, so you should be able to get in on the block.

    Liza, thanks for that heads up. That's what I've been preparing myself for, and partly why we haven't gone until now, in that our kids are seeking out social connections indpendently. Also, I know a lot of my interweb friends are going to be there, so hopefully that will help. But I get what you are saying, and as unschoolers on the organized end of the spectrum, I realize we will have to do much of the footwork. Thanks! Also--I hate Outlook and usually just copy & pasted the email addy when those pop up, but in any case, I've reformatted the contact info. Good call, and thanks.

    Laurie, wonderful! Yay--Olivia (13) is always on the lookout for other teen girls. We'll see you there!