27 July 2009

London Unschooling Conference

On Saturday we went to the 1st Annual London Unschooling Conference.

Before we left:
Sunnyboy - "Are we going to a charity shop?"
Me - "No, we're going on the train to London for the Unschooling Conference."
Sunnyboy - "Is there a charity shop next to it?"

It was so wonderful to meet other unschoolers and Dayna Martin's 'Introduction to Unschooling' keynote speech was very inspiring, as were her circle talks 'Common Unschooling Challenges' and 'From Control to Connection'. I got a copy of Dayna's new book Radical Unschooling - A Revolution Has Begun and, although I've only read the first few pages so far, here's a quote I love already,
'Yes, this might sound strange at first, but as the old saying goes, Don't believe everything you think. Children do not need to be forced to learn, ever. They never need to be punished, or motivated by grades to learn what they need in life to be successful and happy. Children never need to jump through the hoops, like most kids in our culture do, to get from point A to point B. Open your eyes and see how brainwashed we truly are in our culture about what we think education and parenting are. It's time to embrace the paradigm shift and evolve as a parent. Your children deserve it!'
I also went to Sandra Dodd's talk about 'Unforeseen Benefits of Unschooling', a fascinating talk by Sophia Woodley on 'Unschooling in British History' and there was a group discussion of the Badman Report at the end of the conference.

Sunnyboy had a great time with his Nana (who came with us), playing with all the lovely toys set up in the playroom and making friends with the other children there. He also enjoyed climbing up and down the stairs to visit me during the circle talks held outside on the pavement (we live in a ground floor flat so stairs have always been fascinating to Sunnyboy).

In bed at the end of the day:
Sunnyboy - "I need to tell you something mama. I like the train set at the, um, um, you tell me mama."
Me - "at the unschooling conference?"
Sunnyboy - "Yes, that's it. I like the train set at the unschooling conference."

*Operation You is the home of Inspirational Monday. You can get more inspiration there and are invited to stop by and post your links of inspiration.


  1. I am going to read this book. You have fired me up. Thanks.

  2. I love the bed story!!!
    so cute!!!

  3. I was hoping you would go to this and post about it. I would have loved to ave gone, but too far nd family stuff... I ordered Danya Martin's book on Friday and can't wait for it to arrive.
    James got a new toy boat and proudly told his Grandad "Got in in the charity shop" :)

  4. Sounds fascinating, wish I could have gone!

  5. There should be a video of all the unschooled kids playing together so you can whip it out any time someone asks you about your child being socialized without proper school!

    Love that Sunnyboy was only interested in charity shops! My kind of kid :)

  6. Fantastic information! As always, I get some great stuff from you Sunnymama! So cool that Sunnyboy's desire was to go to the charity shop, one of his favorite field trips I take it?

    Happy Inspirational Monday!

  7. Sounds fascinating, I love that they had a playroom at the conference!

  8. That's funny about the charity shop! & how neat that they had a playroom at the conf.

  9. Hello! I was at the conference as well. I think I remember seeing your boy and mum going up and down the stairs! I was busy chasing my little one around too! Emma

  10. @Emma, yes I remember seeing your cute little one getting about at the conference :)