Vancouver (No the other one)

Last year when we visited Vancouver we really weren’t able to get out and do much. THIS TIME however, we did and let me tell you, that city has now moved way up on the list of “places I could live as long as I still got to travel.”

A few weeks ago, we attended the Life is Good Conference for the second time.  Only last year at this time, I wasn’t really “feeling” like life was all that good and ended up spending more time in the hotel bar than anywhere else. This time, I brought my own booze and actually didn’t even drink it all (such a slacker, right)

The conference was at the Hilton in Vancouver. Slacker me failed to make hotel reservations in time and so we ended up staying next door at the Red Lion (which is where the conference was the previous year) We had poolside rooms and guests of our own!  My mother came out for a visit as well as my sister and her sons. None of them had ever been to an unschooling conference before, so having them there was a double treat.

If you have never been to an unschooling conference, you can expect to find a group of independent thinkers of all ages, races and financial backgrounds. There are single parent families and families with multigenerational homes, there are large families and small families as well as traditional nuclear families with 2.5 kids and a dog in the dog run.  That’s about where the similarity to the rest of the world ends, however.

The rest of the world sometimes teaches that children should be seen and not heard.  Unschoolers believe that everyone deserves a voice.  The rest of the world says that parents are “in charge” and unschooling says that every individual is “in charge” of his own self.  The role of parents, in an unschooling family, is more of a mentor, a safety consultant, an instant-alternative-perspective generator, a chauffer, a debate coach, angel’s advocate, a role model and a learning facilitator.  The world isn’t a big scary place to unschoolers because we strive to radiate love, acceptance and peacefulness so that children are welcomed into it and learn to navigate by participation rather than sitting on the sidelines until it’s their turn.  Who wants to live their life in fear?

John Holt once said that “Birds fly, fish swim and humans learn” and that reality is never more evident than when you’re in a group of hundreds of families who haven’t subjected themselves to the “schooled” lifestyle.


This is my tribe these are my people, and I’m glad we’re back.

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