"Albuquerque, Saskatoon, Cucamonga"

Sandra Dodd's Event Schedule
and notes on past presentations and gatherings


May 18-20—near Worcester, Massachusetts
ALL in May

May 24-27, 2012—Vancouver, Washington

Life is Good Unschooling Conference

SE Scotland, somewhere, sometime in there, I hope (probably June)
Leiden, near Amsterdam, June 30
Prevessin Moens (near Geneva, in France) and Lyon, early July probably
Ashford, Surrey; East of London, either July 14/15

August 2-5, 2012 Sacramento, California
HSC Conference

October 17-20, 2012 near St. Petersburg, Florida
Un in the Sun
With Holly Dodd!

December 27-30, 2012—Albuquerque, New Mexico
Always Learning Live Unschooling Symposium
Joyce and I did go to Portugal, Scotland and England. Spain didn't happen. Neither did the 2013 idea going to Australia and India. I had been there, but didn't return with Joyce, as things turned out.

Summer 2013: Portugal, Spain, England

Late fall, 2013, maybe: Nebulously congealing likelihood of a trip with Joyce Fetteroll to Australia and India; formal speaking is not a certainty, but meet-ups quite likely (didn't happen to happen)

Some Bios and Intros

Uzoma 2011postponed

Sandra Dodd (Keynote)

Sandra Dodd lives in Albuquerque with her husband Keith, son Marty (22 at conference time) and daughter Holly (19 in November 2010). Her oldest, Kirby, lives in Austin. Those three were unschooled throughout, and are all past school age, but not past learning! Neither are their parents.

Sandra is a former English teacher whose other jobs have all involved words and ideas and learning too, and whose avocation and hobby has become helping other parents find ways to live more richly and peacefully with their children. Sandra's website is the starting place for a great deal of her collection of writings, notes, examples, and great quotes collected from 15 years of online discussions.

Caring for Marriage Conference, 2011

Sandra Dodd lives with her husband, Keith, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their children are Kirby (24, living in Austin, working for a video game company), Marty (22, living at home and attending community college) and Holly (19 and working as a nanny for an eight year old homeschooled girl whose mother died last summer).

Sandra is involved in many discussions online about parenting, homeschooling (�unschooling,� specifically), and relationships with children and spouses. Lori Odhner was one of Sandra�s first La Leche League leaders (when Kirby was a baby) and they have stayed in touch ever since. Lori says �Sandra is incredibly creative, funny, accepting and playful. She has helped me look at life in fresh ways, without worrying about how change will play out. She is traveling a long way to speak to us and I am sure you will laugh, think, and maybe even change."

HENA 2008 (lifted most of the same bio from 2007)
Sandra Dodd's thoughts can be seen on www.SandraDodd.com and she says:

I've been interested in teaching and how people learn since I was six, and (as is usual in big busy lives) all I've done before has led up to what I'm doing now. I grew up in northern New Mexico, I've been blessed with curiously bright and curious friends who shared their questions and answers with me, and there's nothing to do with that but pass it on to any curious others.

My main online activities have to do with that sort of radical homeschooling known as unschooling. I write about unschooling and I speak at conferences sometimes, and run workshops upon occasion. Some nice unschoolers who'd been collecting quotes and paying attention to me made a Wikipedia page.

HSC/Sacramento 2007:

Sandra Dodd
"Connect the Dots"

Sunday, August 19th, 9:00 a.m.
Many of you have asked, and we've listened! We're very excited to welcome Sandra Dodd back to our conference! Sandra will be with us all weekend and will also be our Sunday keynote speaker! Sandra's keynote, "Connect the Dots," will be a discussion and illustration of the many different ways in which everything and anything can be connected in our minds, and how learning becomes easier and easier with each new connection.

During the weekend, Sandra will also be presenting workshops on "Parenting Peacefully," "Unschooling," and "Rounds and Responsorial Songs of the Last Seven Centuries."

Sandra Dodd is an unschooling mother of three (ages 21, 18, and 15), a writer, a former classroom teacher, and a well-known voice in online discussions about unschooling. She has written for and/or been featured in Home Education Magazine, Life Learning, Live Free Learn Free, and other publications. She has also published Moving a Puddle, a collection of her essays.

Minnesota, 2007:

Our keynote speaker, Sandra Dodd, will grace us with her humor and insight. Sandra is a well-known voice in the unschooling community, both online and in print. She has written for or been featured in Home Education Magazine, Life Learning, Live Free Learn Free, and numerous other homeschooling publications in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, France and the United States. Her delightful collection of essays, Moving a Puddle, has been very well received in the homeschooling community.

The overall theme of Sandra’s writings and her approach to education is that learning, parenting and everyday life can be wonderful in the absence of school. Sandra maintains a website with helpful resources and support for unschoolers, at sandradodd.com. She and her husband Keith live in Albuquerque, New Mexico with their three children, none of whom have ever been to school. Sandra’s unschooled 15-year-old daughter Holly plans to join us at this year’s MHA conference.

Good Vibrations, 2009:

Sandra Dodd has been unschooling for a lifetime (Holly Dodd's lifetime), because Holly was born when Kirby was five and the Dodds were in their first year of opting out of compulsory education. The alternative parenting was already going strong, with attachment parenting and family bed picked up from La Leche League when Kirby was a baby in 1986.

Sandra lives in Albuquerque with her husband Keith and two-thirds of their three children. Kirby moved to Austin in August 2007, at the age of barely-21, to work for Blizzard Entertainment. At the time of the conference, Marty will be 20 and Holly will be nearly 18. Keith (the dad of the always-unschooled Kirby, Marty and Holly) is an engineer by profession, a woodworker by hobby and a medievalist by longstanding habit. Sandra is a former instructor of English, a writer by compulsion, and by vocation examines the underpinnings and practicalities of unschooling and mindful parenting.

New Mexico, 1997:

Sandra Dodd attended public school in Espanola, and taught English at Espanola Jr. High for six years before retiring to the rustic and scenic northeast heights of Albuquerque. She lives with her husband Keith, an Alamogordo boy, and their three children Kirby (10), Marty (8) and Holly (5), who have never been to school. Sandra edits two e-mail newsletters, one for the Homeschooling Forum on America Online, and the other for Home Education Magazine's online homeschooling forum.


New Mexico Family Educators' Workshop Fair, March 23, 1996, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Computers in Family Education (with Linda Witz)
Home=Education, April 27-28, 1996, Anaheim, California
East Mountain Unschoolers Club, Doc Long's in the Sandia Mountains, June 5, 1996
Keynote speech: Don't Be Afraid--Developing Confidence in Yourself
Home=Education, August 23-25, 1996, Sacramento, California
Words as Toys
"That's Not Educational!"
Unschooling with Abandon
"Sandra gave a talk in Sacramento at the HSC conference - maybe 13 or so years ago. She talked about being brave enough to think dangerous thoughts - how just thinking them wouldn't hurt, just because you dare to think them doesn't mean you have to act on them. She said maybe we could get someone to spot us, sit in a chair, maybe duct tape ourselves to the chair, and have at it - think all the dangerous thoughts we could come up with. I sat there, in the front row, and I got chills. For real. I don't know why this meant SO much to me, but that was a major turning point in my life. I felt my brain change. From that minute on, I became aware of the moments when I was not thinking - when I was resisting thinking about something, when I was not being open to even considering the possibility of something different."
—Pam Sorooshian, June 2009
Exploring the Middle Ages
New Mexico Family Educators' Celebration of Natural Learning, March 21 & 22, 1997, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Introduction to Unschooling
Sometimes less is more. Sorting out how people learn from the way most of us were taught in school is a worthy undertaking for new homeschoolers. Adults routinely learn things on their own at their own speed, and children can too, with help and encouragement.
What Teachers Know that You Don't Know
Homeschoolers sometimes express concern that "real teachers" (or former teachers) can homeschool better or more easily than "non-teachers" can. This workshop will encourage and reassure homeschoolers by demystifying the secret knowledge of teachers.
Mindfull's Rethinking Education, May 24-16, 1997, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Thinking Hard Made Easy
The Importance of Play
Getting the Teacher out of the Homeschool
History Through Ballads and Songs
Third Annual Southern California Homeschool Conference, May 31, 1997 Riverside, California
"That's Not Educational!"
"Can all learning be fun? If a workshop is 'just fun' can you learn something? Sandra Dodd thinks so. If you can stump her with something you think has no educational value whatsoever, you'll get a prize. (An educational prize, of course.) Come and be inspired!"
Adventures in Homeschooling Conference, H.O.M.Educators, August 22-24, 1997, Columbus, Ohio
"That's Not Educational!"
The Secrets Teachers Know
Fourth Annual Southern California Homeschool Conference, April 4, 1998, Long Beach, California
Brave New Thoughts�Unschooling with Sandra Dodd
"This presentation will be a disturbing, humorous, uplifting, embarrassing, reassuring talk on how people think when they're not thinking about thinking, and how they COULD think if they thought about it. It will be about unschooling and thinking. About learning and life."
OHEN, Oregon Home Education Network, March 27, 1999, Portland, Oregon
Unschooling: What's That?
Conversations on Homeschooling (with Richard Prystowsky)
Fifth Annual Southern California Homeschool Conference, April 24, 1999, Long Beach, California
Permission to Think Without Permission
Enchanted Families Workshop Fair, March 25, 2000, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Unschooling: An Unconventional Adventure
Northern Nevada Home Schools Education Fair, July 2000, Reno, Nevada
What Teachers Know that You Don't Know
Beginning Unschooling
Advanced Unschooling
Seventh Annual Southern California Homeschool Conference, March 10, 2001, Long Beach, California
A Conversation with Sandra Dodd
Six ten-minute speeches each interrupted by a ringing timer, to make a point.
HSC's California Home=Education Conference, August 17-19, 2001, Sacramento, California
Unschooling Gloriously Introduced
To Question or Not To Question--That is the Question! (with Richard Prystowsky)
Seeing the Writing on the Wall, Even When the Writing Isn't There (with Richard Prystowsky)
Notes following this conference and the promised BOOK list.
Seventh Annual Southern California Homeschool Conference, April 6, 2002, sponsored by BayShore, Long Beach, California
A Conversation with Sandra Dodd
Ideas for checklists (which became an article) and how to deschool the parent for the good of the child.
Featured Speaker, HSC Home=Education Conference, August 16-18, 2002, Sacramento, California
Practicalities of Unschooling
Peaceful Parenting with Richard Prystowsky (sound file)
The Many Benefits of Video Games with Dan Vilter and Kathy Ward
Unschooling Panel member

Rio Grande Homeschooling Network Conference, September 6-7, 2002, Albuquerque

FOLLOW-UP PAGE! Questions and Answers from this conference

Texas Family Learning Conference, October 4-5, 2002, Houston

"Knowledge Beyond Numbers�NO BOUNDARIES," SHBE (Saskatchewan Home Based Educators), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Feb 28 / March 1, 2003

Live & Learn Unschooling Conference
Columbia, South Carolina, August 22-24, 2003 Keynote Speaker

2nd Annual Nevada Homeschool Network Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada. June 18-19, 2004
With Holly Dodd. Our appearance there is sponsored by the Las Vegas Life Learners.

December 2004, Southern California

Thursday, December 2, Barnes and Noble Bookstore, Rancho Cucamonga
Saturday, December 4, Garden Grove Friends Church
Introduction to Unschooling (Pam Sorooshian)
Ideas, Knowing, Being, Learning (Sandra Dodd)
Monday, December 6, Bakersfield
August 27-29, 2004, Live & Learn New England Conference in Peabody, Massachusetts

September 11, 2004, Chicago Unschoolers Workshop (2nd annual), Portage Park Center for the Arts on Chicago's north west side. This day long event featured Sandra Dodd, Dorothy Werner, Alison McKee, and Jean Vondriska.

October 2005, Live and Learn Conference St. Louis, Missouri

Unforeseen Benefits of Unschooling
Mindful Parenting (with Ren Allen)

September 6-10, 2006 Live and Learn Conference Albuquerque local details

Big Noisy Peace (sound file is in two places: noisy peace and Refresh/restore


HENA 2007 CONFERENCE: Home Education Network of Arizona, Tempe, February 24-25, 2007

wasn't exclusively an unschooling conference, but it did have Mary Griffith, Pam Sorooshian and Sandra Dodd as speakers!

HSC Home=Education Conference, Sacramento
August 16-19, 2007

Home School Association of California

FOLLOW-UP PAGE! Questions and Answers following the unschooling panel

Minnesota Homeschoolers Alliance, New Brighton
September 29, 2007

The Annual Conference
Holly Dodd (15) will attend, too.
FOLLOW-UP PAGE! Questions and Answers from this conference

Home Education Network of Arizona, Tempe
March 1-2, 2008


Home Education Network of Arizona, Tempe
March 7, 2009

Sandra Dodd: Infinite Possibilities in Unschooling

July 25th, 2009 (Saturday)
London Unschooling Conference
Unforeseen Benefits of Unschooling
When my firstborn son was four and we decided not to enroll him in kindergarten that fall, I thought I could foresee the future. I knew unschoolers. I knew alternative education. I knew it could be really fun, and good. What happened over the next nineteen years surprised me. Because of unschooling, I changed. My husband changed. The way we interacted with the world and other people changed, all for the better. Our relationships with all three of our children surpassed any of our imaginings. Let me tell you some stories...

September 10-13, 2009
Good Vibrations Conference
San Diego/Del Mar, California

November 10-12, 2009 (Tuesday-Thursday)
Monkey Platter Festival
Albuquerque, New Mexico


Unschooling Symposium in Santa Fe January 7-9, 2010 (Thursday-Saturday)

Saturday, June 5, from 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Centre Communid�e, room 120, Montreal, Quebec

Follow-up notes here:SandraDodd.com/montreal

June 7-10, 2010 Great Big Happy Life Unschooling Conference
West Milford, New Jersey

August 19-22, 2010
HSC Conference
Sacramento, California

October 31, 2010
Attachment Parenting talk, Pune, India (with Schuyler and David Waynforth projected on the wall via skype)


February 10-22, 2011 Northeast Tour
Thirteen appearances ranging from formal presentations to chats in NY, PA, NJ and CT.

March 25-26, 2011, St. Charles Illinois
Holly and Sandra, at the InHome Conference
Saturday, May 21—Edinburgh
Sandra Dodd: Talks in Edinburgh

Sunday, May 21—Edinburgh

Monday, May 22—Edinburgh

Saturday, June 11—London:
Learning Trust—Trusting Learning

June 14-17 (Tuesday-Friday)—Baud (France)
Gathering in Baud, Bretagne at Helene McNeill's home (following the London event)
(Camping didn't happen because of rain, but there were 12 families, some every day and some one or two of the three days.)

July 22-23, 2011 (Friday and Saturday)—Ontario, California
Family Expo
Radisson Ontario Airport

Did three presentations and a long Q&A, left late on day 2 of 3 to be home for Learn Nothing Day (my birthday).

September 8-11, San Diego, California
Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference, with Holly Dodd!

December 28-31, 2011—Albuquerque, New Mexico
ALL Unschooling Symposium

Places I did NOT speak, but was rumored to have said or done something stupid.

  • Boulder, Colorado
    • California (vague; I have spoken there, but...)
      • in a park, where I was really rude (I haven't spoken in a park in California)
      • at a conference, where half the people in the room stood up and walked out
    None of those happened. More on the false claim of Boulder