Our family didn’t wake up until late in the morning. We were all tired and the rest did us well. I was very groggy and wasn’t sure if I would be able to attend everything I wanted on this last day of the conference.

First stop was a circle chat called Starting an Unschooling Group by Robyn Talman and Pam Tellew. It was a wonderful hour of information. The first point they made was it was easier to start a group with 2 leaders. Both Robyn and Pam started by putting out hooks for unschoolers in the homeschooler Yahoo! Groups. Once they had a several people who were into unschooler and radical unschooling they started their own group. The events they do include an evening picnic/potluck so that those that work outside the home could attend too. It has been a great success. Perpetual recess is another event they host which is a day long activity at a rented location. They charge a subscription cost that covers the rental and do this only once a month. Everyone cooks together in the kitchen for the meals, they have projects for all ages and computers are set up for gaming. They host an outdoor adventure day which is either swim, hike, or park day with a meal included. They host an video game club that meets once a month including a dinner. The last event is a something different day. They also do camping trips.

One thing they have found through experience is that unschooling doesn’t mean all-inclusive. Finding those other families that are radical unschooling is key because you find like minded folks who are not straddling the curriculum fence.

Problems do come up. What has worked for their group is to have a No-Rule-Space. In this space one can talk about what is going on and get to the real issue. Let’s solve the problem without generating a rule to solve it. For example, at the adventure day, the moms weren’t getting to eat because by the time they cooked the food and helped served. So several people wanted to start a rule like the teens eat last, Moms eat first. Since they had a no-rule-space, they talked about the problem. The problem was they didn’t have enough food. So the solution was to bring more food and more food that the teens really liked. Problem solved.

They also encouraged a mission and vision of what the group was about and how they were practicing radical unschooling.

Wow! I really felt jazzed after this chat. I want to seek out those radical unschoolers in the Boulder area. I am on several list that promote unschooling but the post I read seem like they come from homeschoolers. Boulder and the area is such a phenomenal place to radical unschool – I just know that there are others in the community like my family seeking other radical unschoolers.

Next was The Daily Grove with Scott Noelle. It was another circle chat. John was with Gemma. I could tell he was still a little tired and maybe a little saturated from all the activity. He was hanging in there and he knew what he wanted was to hang with ‘His Gemma’.

Brad and I attended the circle chat together. Scott started off with how to handle conflict with friends and family over unschooling/ radical unschooling. He pointed out that most of the time to be authentic it is going to create tension so don’t have a percpective that a battle is going to start. Instead when asked about unschooling/radical unschooling use it as a teaching opportunity. Once family and friends ask, they have opened the door for you to tell them in a peaceful way what you are doing and how your family is living it.
When someone is judging you, it can be easy to step off of your beliefs because you are motivated by fear. You may have a feeling of wanting to connect with this person who is off center, so you want to find common ground and start to get off your center to relate. Give yourself permission that it is OK for them to be off their center and you to stay on your center. It is OK for you to stay in your center and not move to the place they are at that moment. Allow them the opportunity to meet you were you are or to for them to stay in the place they are in at the moment. When someone judges you it can be a good thing because you can ask yourself if you are being authentic and then you can recommit to what you believe. That gives you the chance to stop judging yourself based off this other person and just let it go!

When something is not working don’t tolerate the tension that comes from the situation. Find a solution that will work for everyone instead of keeping the focus on my needs vs. the other needs or the ‘have-to’ feelings. Look for freedom in the situation and that will open up a creative solution. Start to imagine different alternatives and check in with yourself to how each feel with each scenario. Staying boxed inside a house doesn’t align with kids. Getting out of the house is very important. Think outside the zoo!!! Culture is limited. Be weird! Be expansive! Ask yourself,” If I was 3, 5, or 8 and I had an expansive mindset – what would I want to be doing?” Be relaxed about setting principles for your kids because they can turn into rules.

Lunch!!!!! Yes! I am starving and I am full mentally! I need some down time. I told Brad I need some time to myself to process all the information and the weekend. It said he would take care of John (what a great daddy) and I went to have lunch by myself. I love eating alone and thinking. I went to the hotel restaurant and it was good. I had wonderful clam chowder and really tasty fish. I let my mind wonder and relax. It really helped me gear up for the next half of the day. I meet up with Brad and John in the lobby. We had a great conversation with Mark Schlichting. Mark was part of The Farm many years ago. I have read a lot about The Farm and of course the books that came from The Farm. My favorite being Spiritual Midwifery. Mark was the graphics go-to-guy for all their publications and more. He moved to Cali to work at their soy plant. He is no longer involved with The Farm but he has many great friends from that time. He had a loving, positive experience and it was wonderful to talk about what it was like when he was involved with The Farm. The next speaker was How to use Your Problems as Stepping Stones to Happiness by Mike Biskup. Initially, Brad really wanted to attend but decided it would be better if I did because he had read Byron Katie’s books. Sounds like a plan so off I went to learn about ‘The Work’.

Wow! ‘The Work’ is an amazing simply but powerful technique. I am so happy that I have and continue to attract to me the most amazing tools. I started off many years ago by leaving religion behind looking for what would spiritually fil me. That let me to begin with simple meditation and study of the mind including undivided attention, goals, self-healing work with my dark side, dream study, and techniques be a creator with my conscious and sub-conscious working together with my super conscious. These techniques continue to support me on my life journey but it also brought me to a place where I didn’t need to understand the pain behind the situation or emotion, I just needed to let it go. My first thought was NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) but that has not resonated with me for whatever reason. I believe it is a very powerful tool just not the tool my soul growth requires, however, that lead to EFT (emotional freedom technique). EFT has been a power tool for me to move through emotions, health issues, situations, fear, and pain easily. It was a tool that I could and have incorporated into my lifestyle with ease. EFT has many opportunities for me to continue to study and learn but at the same time use it right now! Now I have The Work as another tool to compliment me on soul’s journey.