Signing up for an unschooling conference can feel like a commitment – from arranging transportation to packing up your family for several days away. But on the plus side of things, attending a conference can be a real benefit for many different types of unschooling families. If you were ever tempted to attend an unschooling conference but never took the steps to make it happen, here are three great reasons to make it happen this year!
You are new to unschooling and want to learn more.
One of the best things about an unschooling conference is that there are plenty of veteran unschoolers around. While all of us – regardless of how long we’ve been unschooling – are continually learning, those of us with lots of experience can be amazing resources for families that are just beginning. Provided that you come with an open mind, other families will often answer questions and share their experiences. Just spending time around so many unschooling families for several days in a row can be an eye-opening experience for those of us that live in the real world (e.g. all of us!). This is especially true for families who live in an area with little or no unschooling community, or for partners that work long hours and don’t normally have the chance to experience unschooling for long blocks of time. The opportunity to really immerse yourself in unschooling often leads to new ways of viewing things. And if your partner or spouse is a little bit unsure about unschooling and how it works, the opportunity to dig deep and experience unschooling surrounded by a supportive community is often enough to move a parent in a new direction.
You are thirsting for community.
While some of us are lucky enough to live in a community with lots of unschoolers and a vibrant unschooling community, many unschoolers don’t have much in the way of community simply because there aren’t very many of us. If you live in a bigger city you might be lucky, but families that live in more rural areas may live far away from other unschooling families.
Unschooling conferences bring people together, from far and wide, in a way that most of us normally don’t get to experience in our regular lives. Conferences tend to encourage friendships, as attendees spend lots of time in talks and activities together. By the end of a conference, everyone (both adults and children) tends to have made many new friends. So even if you go home to a place where not many unschoolers live, you’ll have made friends that can bridge the gap and continue to support you well into your unschooling future.
You need a recharge for your unschooling batteries.
Unschooling is a very high-energy form of parenting and education. We don’t solely function as parents when we unschool. We are educational facilitators who are highly attuned to each of our children’s interests and needs. We are social facilitators, who help our kids to build relationships and discover friendships out in the real world. We work hard daily to live life to the fullest and to help our children do that, too. Given all the energy we are putting out, even the most seasoned unschooler will occasionally need to recharge.
Unschooling conferences recharge you by exposing you to new things: new ideas, new families, and new perspectives. When families leave an unschooling conference, they usually feel excited by all they have learned and have a new sense of energy to go home and put it all into practice. In one sense, you might view an unschooling conference as a sort of vacation from everyday life, and a place where you are surrounded by a protective sense of support. At the same time, though, unschooling conferences also challenge and invigorate you. In the end, most families feel more able to meet challenges and enjoy the benefits of unschooling when they go home.
Have you registered for Un in the Sun 2017 yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Click here to see our low rates for families that register early (Super Early Bird rates are available until March 31st, 2017!).