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!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Keelie Reader, Alexis Fischler and Jack (5)

Our family profile

Dad: Alexis
Mum: Keelie
Son: Jack

We're an international family living in Melbourne - my husband is Argentinean, I'm English and my son is Australian. I've been reading about unschooling for the past four years. My husband has been hearing about it for the same amount of time! I'm learning about peace, playfulness and joy and realising that the more I know the less I know. It's a slow process for me.

Our son is five and - ironically - has just started primary school. He was very keen to go and I was (mostly) keen to support that. We are three weeks in and while it's quite an emotional time for him, he is still keen to go. He says he wants to try homeschooling at some point but not yet. I like that he is making the choice to go. I am still keen to prepare us for unschooling at some point in the future and make his home life as sweet as possible.

My husband works in construction. I work part-time as a writer and editor. My son loves computer games and is currently watching heaps of gamers on YouTube. He particularly likes the Lego games and Minecraft. He likes to draw and play Lego. He loves superheroes like Batman and Ben 10.

We are looking forward to learning more about unschooling!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Holly, Peck, Moss and Lotus

Hi we are Holly, Peck, Moss and Lotus and we are unschooling in Maleny QLD. We lived in a house truck travelling and working, from when Moss was 2 years old, up until this year when we wanted a change and base in a town. We love connecting with more people in the homeschooling community and the kinds of things you can get in to when you have a place you live in for a good stretch of time.

We have seen much of Australia and some of the world including Indonesia, Morocco, Europe (Spain, Portugal, France) , England and Thailand as a family and hope to go to the Unschooling Bali Adventure later this year.

Moss is 6 and a half and he loves gaming, he is really into YouTube and Minecraft, Pokemon, YuGiOh, pizza, weapons and movies, he is happy and active loves to play on our neighbours go cart they have a cool little down sloping driveway that absolutely rocks for speed and the buzz of go carting fast!. Lotus is now 3 and loves to dress up, craft out with me, play with animals and barbies, watch movies and visit the zoo as often as we can, we garden together and cook together most days.

Peck works away, in North Queensland pruning coconut palms. He is building a business that he hopes to expand enough and getting it running in a way that he doesn't require his physical presence so much. He is working towards dream of a global adventure climbing company and will be holding unschooling climbing camps as soon as he can! Currently he is studying for his "trainers and assessors " certificate so that he is legally able to show kids the joys of climbing and abseiling!

I love being with the kids as we explore life and what inspires us!

We are all coming along to the Gold Coast symposium and we look forward to connecting with old and new friends!

Jo Isaac and family

Jo, Brett and Kai (7).

We are excited to be hosting Sandra in Adelaide, and also doing a road-trip to Melbourne and attending the Melbourne ALLive event too!

We currently live in Adelaide, but first really learnt about unschooling when we lived in Colorado in 2009-2010, when Kai was just turned 3. While there we joined a large unschooling group, and met with Jill Parmer, Rebecca Allen, Lucretia Holcomb and many other unschoolers and our lives were changed forever, immeasurably for the better.

We have been radical unschoolers ever since, and after Colorado we lived in Tasmania for a while, and now Adelaide. Kai has never been to any kind of school, and enjoys a wide variety of interests and activities...he loves Minecraft, Skyrim, Left 4 Dead 2, Animal Jam and a lot of other games, he loves dinosaurs and animals, he likes Beast Quest and Sea Quest books, he likes skyping with his friends – local and overseas - and playing games, he likes park days, surfing, snorkelling, and skateboarding. We are lucky to have a small, but awesome, unschooling community of friends in Adelaide.

Brett is a post-doc at the University of Adelaide – he studies the evolution of limb length in lizards. I currently work part-time from home on various writing and research science projects.

Brett and I met while we were both doing PhD's in life history theory (his on lizards, mine on possums) in North Queensland. Brett is originally from Melbourne. I am originally from Birmingham in the UK. Kai was conceived on the wild and woolly west coast of Scotland in 2005 – while Brett and I were working on a water vole project for the University of Aberdeen - and born in Townsville, Queensland in 2006.

As a family we love, love, love unschooling, and are so very grateful that Brett has both a job that he loves and which allows me to stay home and unschool Kai. We are very excited to have Sandra come visit and be able to attend two of the Australia ALLive symposia