Sunday, April 29, 2012


Descriptions of the presentations are up now, in a tab at the top of the blog.

And please send an intro, if you haven't, if you want to!
Read others' intros here:
Seven of nineteen families have sent intros. Speakers' information is linked in the speakers' tab and the schedule tab, both.


Notes on MEALS for the Always Learning Live event in Massachusetts, May 18-20

Breakfasts will be provided (see below).

Friday night, some people might come after they've eaten, but for others, there will be sandwich opportunities in the lodge (and contributions are welcome).
Saturday morning, George Mahowald will make pancakes and provide maple syrup! Come to the dining room between 7:30 and 8:00 to help set up or to eat, if you want to. (Some people might rather eat in their camp, or sleep through it; that's okay.)

Saturday lunch will be a big shared monkey-platter buffet, so bring finger-foods for that—leave your contribution in the kitchen Friday night or Saturday morning, please, so it can be set up. This is your only food-related obligation.

Saturday night, you're on your own. We're not far from town if you want to go out, and there might be leftovers from lunch and Friday's sandwiches, but don't count on it. Provide for your family, Saturday night. (I hear there is a local pizza place that will deliver to the camp; we can provide that information at the site.)

Sunday breakfast will be co-ordinated by Michael Masterson and Brie Jontry. There will be eggs, toast, bagels, oatmeal with raisins, tea and coffee. Come to the dining room between between 8:00 and 8:30 to eat, and earlier if you want to assist with prep or set-up.

Food left from other meals will be available for lunch, perhaps out by the rope climbing, depending on the weather and whether people want to set some food up outside. Contributions to this lunch are also quite welcome. Campers might have leftovers to contribute, or we'll send someone to the store if we're out of food.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hotel option

George Mahowald, unschooling dad and our local coordinator, has reserved some rooms at The Courtyard Marriot in Marlboro, MA. He wrote:
The manager is a cutting us a deal that I appreciate…Normally, they charge $159 a night and she is bringing it down to $119…they have a salt water pool and nice dining facility btw….if it were a time they were not packed with graduations, I could get the $49 rate, it’s just not that time now…
When we first talked about doing this gathering, George was pretty sure he could get rooms VERY inexpensively, but when all the factors like weather, my schedule, and availability of the camp came to bear, we ended up in graduation season. So *IF* you want to stay in a hotel and you can't find a better price than $119 (I'm guessing that doesn't include all the taxes), write to me or to George and get in on his group of rooms.

At some point he'll need to let the rooms go back that won't be used, so please don't wait too long! Thanks!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tinker Family

This is our story!

My name is Trisha (43). My Husbands name is Bill (43). We are parents to two daughters, Julia (12) and Sinead (10) and we hail from Southbridge MA.

Me-I was born here in the USA but raised in Ireland, and when I was 22 I moved back here and worked in Day Care centers. I met Bill when i was 28, and began the best years of my life! I love to cook, and garden, and read and sometimes crochet, and I love to plan out our trips and adventures. Bill loves to eat what I cook, helps me in the garden, and he works daily (Electrician/ fire alarm technician) to pay for our trips and adventures! We even manage to bring him on some of our adventures!

Julia loves to read, play piano,listen to music, play with her sister, play computer games and the PS3, and Wii, and also to research the games. She loves to swim, especially in the ocean, so we plan day trips for that as we live inland. She is currently taking hip-hop dance lessons with her sister. She has a black cat called Orion who she dearly loves and spoils. She loves to tell her friends the funny stories of our cats! Julia loves travel, and we travel far and wide to see friends! She likes to hike with friends, or just with family, and has an interest in archery (but cant imagine actually shooting a real animal...) Julia loves to go camping, and riding her bike, and she has a rip stick skate board she like to play around on! Julia's favourite thing is skiing, whether is snow ski or water skiing!

Sinead also likes to read, listen to music and play computer games, she is also learning the electric guitar, and doing the hip-hop dance lessons, and (snow/water skiing lessons) She is currently doing trampoline classes, too. Sinead is still big into imaginative play with her Barbies, american dolls, and whichever other, stuffed animal / littlest petshop toy she fancies at the moment. Sinead loves animals too, she owns a rabbit (Cookie) and a cat (Twixie). (We actually own five cats and we have chickens.) Sinead loves to colour and has always something shes working on, whether it's a picture or a recipe or a dinner menu—because Sinead's talent is cooking. She loves to bake, and to cook. If she isn't cooking it she's planning it. Or drawing a picture of it! She also loves to fish with dad, and will get up with him real early to do just that while we are camping, another favourite family thing!

We are about to undertake cake decorating lessons! Yum!!

We have always unschooled, before we even knew what it was called. I have read up on it extensively, my husband hears about it second hand from me, but we are both enjoying the results! So this conference is to let Bill see and hear more on the subject, as there is always something more to be learned! And we wanna make even more friends!! We can't wait to meet you all!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rebekah and Dan Clark; Ezra, Ivan and Jonas

We are the Clark family from Glenside, PA.

I am the mom, Rebekah, and I am 39 years old. I hang out with my kids most of the time and I love to make things. I knit, crochet, draw, sew, paint, make dolls....anything I can get my hands on. I also love my garden, thrift stores, and costuming plays.

My husband Dan is 40. He works from a home office for a research company located in San Francisco. He loves music and plays lots of instruments. He also loves maps of all kinds.

Ezra is 15. He loves board games and role playing games. He spends many hours a week at a game store near our house playing games with people. He has been a stagehand for some plays and is currently working on lighting for an upcoming play. He also loves MMORPGs and x-box games. He appreciates good food.

Ivan is 13. He has always loved nature and animals and the world and space. He is a vegetarian. Lots of his time is spent listening to podcasts like This American Life and Radiolab while playing games at the same time. He loves to draw and also shares the love of theater production. He looks forward to being in more plays. He reads a lot.

Jonas is 8. He loves to play with Legos and make forts on the couch. He is passionate about Star Wars and can talk about it for hours. He considers himself a nature lover and really likes playing in the creek by his grandmas house. He likes jokes and drawing and playing computer games and Wii games.

We stopped school a little over two years ago and have never been happier! Unschooling suits us very well. We have a couple of unschooling families we spend some time with, but we have never been to a gathering of unschoolers before. See you soon!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Shan Burton, Annalise and Jeremiah

Shan Burton, age 42. I am passionate about words – reading them writing them, playing with them, reveling in them; Paul Simon and Spock; and my family (including my chef husband, Jim, who will be working to support our fun). Other interests include singing, animals, travel, laughter, photography, hiking, swimming, camping, gardening, and being outside; communicating and exploring ideas, emotions, and personal philosophies.

Annalise Burton, age 7 (8 in early July). She is passionate about wildlife and wildlife habitat, being outdoors, dramatic play (especially with stuffed animals and Littlest Pet Shop companions); fashion, challenging herself physically in many ways, art, storytelling, and horses. She very much enjoys girls in the 6-9 year old age range and dressing in her brothers' outgrown clothes, often mixed with her own.

Jeremiah Burton, age 10 (11 in September). Jeremiah is a minimalist. He enjoys gaming - especially on his 3DS, but also online, computer, and other systems. Recently, he's become interested in playing and creating board games. He enjoys animation, especially anime, and is interested in learning Japanese and Japanese culture. He is interested in physics and chemistry; technology and gadgetry; inventing; and online, text, and word of mouth research. He also enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits, especially camping, biking, and swimming. He enjoys time with a variety of playmates and time alone.

As a family, we are currently all passionate about The Big Bang Theory. =)

Shan lives in Stillwater, New York.