ALL stands for "Always Learning Live," in reference to the Always Learning discussion group at yahoo. This is one of a growing series of ALL Unschooling Symposia, the main gatherings of which will be in Albuquerque in December. This is the first smaller one outside New Mexico. There will be one in Minneapolis in the Spring of 2013, and two or three in Australia that Fall.

The first one, by a different name, was in Santa Fe in early 2010. (SUSS)

Although these gatherings would be comprehensible to newcomers, some of the information presented will be more intermediate to advanced. They are good opportunities to see and meet other families, and to get to know some of the regular authors on Always Learning.

The type of unschooling to be discussed is that on Joyce Fetteroll's site and mine, which has grown out of discussions over many years, and has been refined and polished through thousands of hours of discussions, with some of the same people for over fifteen years now. We're aiming for rational, logical ways to create better relationships within the family. There are looser and more off-center ideas on unschooling, not all of which we can defend or discuss politely. We're not interested in The Law of Attraction, nor in any sort of wild-for-the-sake-of-wild "unparenting," though there are people out there equating those things with or attaching them to radical unschooling.


When people go to a homeschooling conference, it's likely there will be speakers who aren't homeschoolers and might not even know any unschoolers.

When unschoolers go to homeschooling conferences, the same thing can happen, in that even the homeschooling speakers might know nothing about unschooling.

Time to wind down slowly, and clarify, to laugh and to smile is missing from big conferences. Here, those things are scheduled. After many years of attending and presenting at conferences, I've heard many times that someone came just to hear me, or just to hear the unschooling speakers. At least half the time, too, the room I'm assigned is busy until just before time, and we have to get out quickly, or parents have to leave to get their children.

We will have two adjoining rooms in the Lodge—one for toys and quiet play, and one for the presentations and meetings. There are other things older kids could do in nearby buildings and outside. Rather than switching rooms and buildings, the speakers will come and go in the same place, so that all attendees can meet each other and have a shared experience. Kids will know where their parents are.