Monday, October 19, 2009

Sandra's Unschooling Symposium in Santa Fe

Most of the Presenters:

It's time to make reservations now!

More information is available with a Pay-Pal link or the optional address to which to send a check if you'd prefer (saves me the PayPal fees).

Some information that's also on that page, if you'd rather read here:

I need forty families who have unschooled at least five years and who have a teen. If I don't get forty of those, I'll open it up to families with younger kids or less experience. Alternately, the conference would be good for parents of younger children who leave their children at home, or who bring another adult to stay with the kids and find them things to do in Santa Fe or around there. Driving is better than flying, or flying to Albuquerque and renting a car could work well. It's off the path of public transportation, pretty much. But if you wanted to take the light rail to Santa Fe (or fly into Santa Fe if you're decadently wealthy) and use taxis in Santa Fe, that's a possibility. You might want a car to go up to Ten Thousand Waves (Japanese hot-tub/spa, in the tall pines), or skiing or snowboarding at Ski Santa Fe, if you're so inclined.

This would be the first and best conference for which an EXCELLENT arrangement would be for two or three dads, or two or three moms, to come without families and share a condo. This could be a great vacation for unschooling parents who have made friends with other parents they don't get to visit much. And honestly, if the kids got video games for Christmas, they'll still be mesmerized back home and one of the parents could sneak off to Santa Fe pretty easily; maybe both, if there are awesome grandparents or other caretakers the kids trust to feed them during video game play.

Most conferences emphasize the social aspect, and have workshops to introduce people to how unschooling works. I want zero beginner questions, and all very-advanced sharing of unexpected outcomes. I'll be learning too, if we take all our "Yes it's working; how and why did it work?" energy and bring it into one place where we can discuss things in depth.

The site is "Fort Marcy Hotel Suites" but the name is misleading. It's not a hotel; it's a timeshare condo complex with one main building. People's doors open to the outside, there are steps, it's hilly, and could be snowy or icy. We don't have lots of rooms, we have one big room for presentations and evening meals, and a breakfast room that could be used for gathering and visiting during the day. All the activities will be focused and together.

One of the most expensive parts of conferences can be the food and the cost of the rooms. Our condo rates are very low, but can't be had unless one is registered for the conference in advance. Each condo has a full kitchen and so food can be prepared inexpensively. Dinners will be shared in the conference room--two catered as part of the conference fee (not fancy catering, but plain and fun), and one will be a potluck.

Kirby and Marty will take and set up Rock Band and Beatles Rock Band in their condo, and other kids are welcome to go there and hang out. There will definitely be a session of the teens and young adults telling stories and answering questions, and one for dads only, as well.

The condos can be packed full. Two families would fit into a three- bedroom. A two-bedroom will hold probably four or five people easily. Any one-bedroom will hold three people, unlike hotel rooms. The living rooms all have either a couch someone can sleep on, or a fold-out bed, or both. You could bring a futon from home, too, if you drive.

We will furnish firewood and kindling, and each condo has either a fireplace or wood-burning stove. That might not sound good this week, but in January in northern New Mexico I can tell you for certain that it's magical.

Photos are on the blog, scattered throughout the posts, with more to come as days pass.

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