Monday, March 24, 2014

Schedule change for Gold Coast:

Because now we've seen the site, and the sun will be going down, and mostly because I've seen how exhausted I am (and others, too) after a whole day of talks, I'm going to cancel this Friday night bit:

Dinner break, games (cards, board games in the room until 9:00, then straighten up

Q&A until 6:00 or maybe a little longer, pack up food and close the hall by 6:30.

Come back Saturday morning and do it some more.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kathryn Dubay

My name is Kathryn Dubay, Mum to Mia (12), Jude (09) and Rueben (6). The kids have never been to school, nor followed any curriculum. Over the last 5 years I’ve done a Lot of reading, reading, reading on Sandra’s discussion lists and websites, and put forward the odd discussion for inspiration and clarity.

I embraced unschooling when Mia was around 7; she remembers life when restrictions were plentiful around food, media and a lot more. It was Difficult for me; always trying to control, impress my values, etc. So much time and headspace spent enforcing rules and regulations. Now, I spend my time With them, learning alongside them. Helping them get what they need; being here for them. I have learnt so much from them! The biggest thing I struggled with prior to unschooling was the manipulation and coercion tactics I witnessed most parents’ putting on their children. I would never try to coerce or manipulate my friends, so why would I use such tactics with my kids? Unschooling reflects honesty, transparency, trust and So Much more in my relationship with my children.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Donna, Martin, Liam and Quinton

(Donna didn't say, but her family is coming from Fremantle WA, to the Adelaide gathering. —Sandra)

Our family- Donna, Martin, Liam (7) and Quinton (Quin 4).

About six years ago a friend loaned me a John Holt book, which helped me understand that children (people!) can continue to learn naturally beyond early childhood. It seems obvious now, but it was a revelation at the time! Since then I have had the pleasure of being with my children, without the interruption of school, as they naturally and happily learn with the support of myself and my husband.

To introduce my family a little more-
Liam enjoys Minecraft and playing games generally, with us and friends. He likes watching YouTube and is building his own channel. He also likes swimming, Pokémon, movies, trampolining, anime and manga, jokes and making new friends.

Quin likes Pokémon, Minecraft, swimming, climbing, exploring, and Ben 10. He loves animals and enjoys playing with Lego, knights and action figures.

Martin likes reading (particularly history), boxing, brewing beer, swimming, music, travelling, trying new whiskeys and being with his family.

I enjoy dancing, singing (so glad my children believe I am a fabulous singer!), travelling, reading, thinking deeply, yoga and being with my family and friends.

I am really pleased that I have this chance to meet Sandra and I am looking forward to spending time with new (to me) homeschooling families.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Kim and Lewi, from Bega

I’m Kim, 41 and my son Lewi, is 14. Lew has never been to school and has always unschooled. I first came across unschooling when Lew was 4 years old, at a time when I was deciding on where I would send him to school. The idea of school didn’t gel but I knew of no other option. I almost sent him to a Steiner school but after hours and hours of googling I stumbled across this US radical unschooler -Sandra Dodd! When I first found Sandra’s website I knew right away that unschooling was exactly what I wanted for Lew. I’ve never looked back.

We live on the far south coast of NSW on 3 acres just outside of a small town. I coordinate a local natural learners group which is really quite ecclectic but provides lovely fun things for Lew to do and cool people to hang out with. We’ve been a part of our local natural learners group since Lew was 5 and it’s definitely been a lovely part of our lives.

Lew loves drawing and wildlife. He also into snorkeling and swimming and gaming. His favourite games at the moment are Skyrim, Bioshock Infinite and Fall Out 3. He goes to an art class once a week and he’s also recently started learning guitar.

I really enjoy hanging out with Lew, pottering in the gardening, blogging, writing and homey stuff.

I’m really looking forward to meeting up with a bunch of unschoolers at the Melbourne conference. I’m excited to be finally meeting Sandra in person and hearing her speak amongst a group of parents who share the same sorts of ideas about parenting and learning. It’s going to be fun!

Kim x

Here's an interview Kim did with me a few years ago. An unschooling surprise: Sandra Dodd is in the house! From there you can see other things on her blog. :-) —Sandra

Annie Regan's family

Annie the mom will be at the Melbourne symposium, but the intro covers the whole family.

We are a family of five, living on a vineyard in the Yarra Valley, just outside of Melbourne.
I'm Annie, stay-at-home mum, Dad is Tony, who works in a winery, and we have Caitlin, 9, LiAM, 7 and Millie 4.

We have always unschooled - the ideas of unschooling fit so well with my ideas about parenting so it was a natural progression. I did get side-tracked for a few years by trying to control non-academic things like food and tv, but the more I explored radical unschooling the more it resonated with me and I have learnt to make decisions based on peacefullness, joy and learning rather than fear and it is wonderful.

Caitlin enjoys dancing, making jewelry, reading, music, and hanging out with people (she is the most social person I know, and she can quickly reassure people when they ask the 'what about socialisation' question). LiAM loves animals, Minecraft and The Avengers and has always questioned things deeply - he probably helped me discover radical unschooling more quickly than I might have otherwise. Millie loves puzzles,books and imaginative games and is amazing at expressing what she thinks (which is usually quite unique).

We also have a dog, a kitten, 8 chickens, a rooster and 6 chicks. I run a local homeschooling group (and a couple of other community groups) and we have a lot of interaction with other homeschooling families, and spend lots of time at the library, the park, the zoo, or hanging out at home.

Check out my blog at


The links at the top of the blog should be reviewed, especially the schedule for the days you'll attend.

I've finally put something (rough) up for Melbourne. I tweaked Adelaide's to add Jo Isaac each day.

The hours are different for different buildings, but other than knowing when to get there the rest is easy. Be there, hang out, Snack from the fingerfood table. Easy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Aneeta's family, coming to the Gold Coast event

We are a family of six.
Mum: Aneeta
Dad: Kelly
Kirsten, 8
Owen, 6
Macey, 2

We live on a beef cattle property in central Queensland. I first read
about unschooling in a natural parenting magazine 6 years ago. The
article mentioned John Holt and John Taylor Gatto. After reading all
their books we decided not to send our kids to school.

Our eldest daughter Tamsin was enrolled in a private distance education course
for Grade 1 (until we got braver) but the curriculum was a waste of
time. We are looking forward to meeting other unschoolers as we are a
very rare species where we live.

We are in a very bad drought at the moment so if everyone can send us
lots of rain vibes that would be much appreciated!!