Ideal: familes who have unschooled at least five years and who have a teen.
Also welcome: 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.

State "bed tax" and other taxes will be added to these rates, but the basic daily rates for condos for the conference will be:

1 bedroom suite:     $79
2 bedroom suite:     $99
3 bedroom suite:    $149

(That's about a third of their prime rates during tourist season; maybe less.)
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.

We will have attendees from New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, California, Arizona, California, Iowa, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and England.



Off-season rates in touristy Santa Fe, winter sports opportunities and a break for those working as college professors were the factors that made January good for this. I didn't want to conflict with bigger conferences, and I wanted a quiet environment for some serious consideration of the basis of unschooling.

Joyce Fetteroll, Carl Fetteroll, and maybe Kathryn
Pam Sorooshian, Cyrus Sorooshian, and maybe Roya, Roxana and Rosie
Sandra Dodd, Keith Dodd, and maybe Kirby, Marty and Holly

The "maybe" isn't maybe they'll be there, but maybe they'll take the microphone and maybe they won't. This will be the first (and probably only) time all those families will be in one place at one time.

There will be only two sessions per day, plus a shared dinner each night. There will be time to explore Santa Fe and visit with other unschoolers without rushing around.

We'll be in condos with kitchens and fireplaces. Kirby and Marty will have Rock Band and other games available for adults who haven't tried them before, and for kids who want to hang out with other kids rather than go to the sessions. Room rates are in the box at right, and our available dates are January 6 (Wednesday) to January 10 (Sunday night). The conference dates are the 7th through the 9th (Thursday through Saturday), so you can have a full day afterwards at the conference rate in case you want to hang out, explore Santa Fe, ski...

Oddly, for a conference, this is not geared toward whole families, nor young children. The physical layout is not great for toddlers at all, and there could be snow and ice, on steps, outside. There won't be side activities for children, so this is best for either parents attending without children, for some unschooling parents to get together (not the couples, but the groups of mom-friends or dad-friends) or for families whose children are old enough and responsible enough to come and go, to stay in the room, or to be in the sessions without being disruptive.

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"Getting it" Tales of how people "got" unschooling after they thought they already had it