Retreat Workshop – Unschooling in the Early Years: Birth – Age 5

Come hear about this age group that is often forgotten in Unschooling discussions. Wild-Soul Zen will share her unique perspective on Unschooling our babies and “pre-schoolers” which combines her training in Early Childhood Development, experience working in a school which took an Unschooling approach and Unschooling her own children.

Click here for the Speaker’s page to read Wild-Soul’s Bio.

Click here to see other Workshop Topics.

Click here to REGISTER for the Radiant Living & Learning Retreat
Hurry! Prices go up after Oct 15

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Retreat Workshops: Cast-Iron Cooking on the Go

If you are looking for an easy, fun way to cook meals while camping, road schooling or ANYTIME, then look no further!

Cast iron cooking is a great way to create meals for your family in every season of life. It is portable and compact, and cast-iron does not contain the toxins that most modern cookware can leach into your food. Summer Blessed will show you how to cook with charcoal and cast iron. It’s easy, fun and has limitless potential to save you money and keep you healthy. In an era where “food” so often is actually a “food like substance”, it’s paramount to have the skills to cook your own meals. It’s the best way to ensure that your family eats well with whole food ingredients. Come try it!

Click here for the Speaker’s page to read Summer’s Bio.

Click here to see other Workshop Topics.

Click here to REGISTER for the Radiant Living & Learning Retreat
Hurry! Prices go up after Oct 15

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Retreat Workshop: Creating Peace & Harmony through the Family Meeting

In an effort to find more harmony, reduce stress, and accomplish more of her family’s individual and collective goals, Doreen Fisher decided to implement a Family Meeting to create a little bit of structure in her family’s highly creative, free and unstructured lifestyle.

The result?  They became more grounded as individuals and as a family, found more peace in their home, and began to show up for each other in a way that resulted in measurable movement toward their individual and collective goals.

Join Unschoolers Doreen and Mila Fisher as they share their process for the Family Meeting and discuss the benefits of allowing all family members – of ALL ages – to participate in running family matters and discover their own interests and accountability in the process.

Click here for the Speaker’s page to read Doreen and Mila’s Bios.

Click here to see other Workshop Topics.

Click here to REGISTER for the Radiant Living & Learning Retreat
Hurry! Prices go up after Oct 15

Join Us on Facebook

Retreat Workshop: From Loss to Radiant Living

Discover how embracing the grieving process fully, and learning to love the emotions of loss and grief has taught one Mother how to love completely and unconditionally, and emerge to live authentically and radiantly.

From being shattered by love, and brave enough to revel in it, to finding courage enough to continue on, Leigh Anne DuChene will share how she re-built herself and became the person she had only dreamed of being; a stronger, wiser, more courageous, compassionate, loving, humble, and open person. There is a gentle and bitter sweet beauty, promise, and hope within the pain, grief and tears of loss.

Click here for the Speaker’s page to read Leigh Anne’s Bio.

Click here to see other Workshop Topics.

Click here to REGISTER for the Radiant Living & Learning Retreat
Hurry! Prices go up after Oct 15

Retreat Workshop: Peaceful Parenting from the Inside Out

Osunlade Photo crop

What is Peaceful Parenting?  How can I move from an Authoritarian parenting style to a more peaceful (and less stressful) way of living with my kids?

This will be a very experiential, hands on joy-shop lead by Daphne “Osunlade” Edwards-Emi using Byron Katie’s The Work (thework.com) to align with our inner peace – which is where all true peace resides.

We can ACT as peaceful parents, but that doesn’t make us truly peaceful. We can act non-controlling or non-authoritarian, but that doesn’t make these things so. These strategies/philosophies are a start, but what happens to the triggers that we are suppressing while “performing” as “good” parents? What happened to the stories, the trauma, and the deep seated emotions?

Come and find out how questioning our old beliefs and inquiring into our stressful thoughts can actually bring us true freedom. Come and see how this freedom gives us clarity. And then see how this clarity gives us the ability to act from a true place of peace. No philosophies necessary. See you there, my loves, with an open mind and heart!

Click here for the Speaker’s page to read Osunlade’s Bio.

Click here to see other Workshop Topics.

Click here to REGISTER for the Radiant Living & Learning Retreat.

Retreat Workshop: Starting Unschooling “Mid-Stream”

What are the unique challenges of switching to Unschooling when a child is older?  What can de-schooling look like and how long can it take for kids (and parents)?  How do making these changes in parenting and education affect the parent-child relationship when it happens “late?”
Su will share her experience and insights gained after taking her son out of school at age 13 and quickly moving from doing school-at-home to Unschooling.  She will answer your questions and facilitate discussion for others to share their experience and concerns about switching to Unschooling “mid-stream.”

Click here for the Speaker’s page to read Su’s Bio.

Click here to see other Workshop Topics.

Click here to REGISTER for the Radiant Living & Learning Retreat.

Retreat Workshop: Unschooling when your child chooses School?

Ami and Russell Campbell have always had their 3 children close.  As their babies grew they moved from Attachment Parenting to Unschooling and cherished the fact that home-education allowed them to spend so much time with their children.  The Campbell kids thrived as they were allowed to follow their interests, enjoy friends and other activities and play all day.  So Ami and Russell were a bit surprised when, at age 7, their daughter Aelish expressed a desire to go to school.  Despite their concerns, the Campbell’s supported their daughter’s choice and began the search for the right school.

After looking at the neighborhood public elementary school, Aelish instead chose a very small and homeschool feeling Montessori.  Her goals were to learn to read, to learn some math, to make new friends, and to see what all the fuss was about.  Her parents were pleasantly surprised with her enthusiasm, and with her quick progress from total non-reader, to reader, and at her quick grasp of the concepts in the classroom. Her teacher was unsure at first how to approach and teach this freethinking, unschooled kid, but she soon became a favorite of his, and he frequently spoke to the Campbells after school about her “surprising” progress.   By Spring, Aelish had learned what she set out to gain from school, and had also had enough of the school social scene and was ready to come back home.  Her parents were often amazed by her thoughtful insights about how the students were treated, how the students treated each other, and how her own mind was treated while in school.

Come hear Ami, Russell and Aelish share their experiences of giving school a try.  Aelish is THRILLED to share the insights she gained from her year in school and her return to home-education.

Click here for the Speaker’s page to read the Campbell’s Bio.

Click here to see other Workshop Topics planned.

Click here to REGISTER for the Radiant Living & Learning Retreat.

Retreat Workshop: When it comes to learning: Is “early” always better?

Donna&LuisWe are so pleased to announce that Donna and Luis Gonzalez will be leading several sessions at the retreat!  Donna and Luis have always Unschooled their three children, ages 21, 18 and 12.  They offer thoughtful and practical advice and insights regarding Unschooling, Attachment Parenting and Life in general.  I am lucky to call them my friends, and am so excited to share them with you!  Here’s just a sampling on what they will be presenting:

Is Early Always Better?
We live in a culture that thinks when it comes to children’s learning, “starting early is always better” whether the skills they are learning are academic, musical or physical (learning to walk, sports) etc.

Donna and Luis will share their experience Unschooling their kids who have been allowed to pursue their interests at their own speed.
Here’s one example from their family:
Donna and Luis are talented musicians, so originally their plan was for their children to start Suzuki at age 3.  When this resulted in tears, stomach aches and vomiting, they decided to listen to their kids desires and follow their leads.  Their oldest son, Bobby, eventually decided to take up violin at age 12.  Everyone said it was “too late.” They said, “successful violinists have to start around age 4.”  The Gonzalez’s decided to just go with Bobby’s interests and “trust” as best they could.  As an Unschooler he had time to practice 4-5 hours a day (without coercion).  He “caught up” to all the other kids who started so early and is now a junior in college majoring in music and has been hired as a full-time member for the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra!

Join the discussion exploring concepts like the value of practice (or not to practice), allowing kids to quit, parental panic attacks, admitting when Unschooling is “hard” and more.
Ask questions and hear how Donna and Luis have muddled their way through this Unschooling life through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Click Workshop Topics to see more descriptions of the various sessions we are planning for you at the Radiant Living & Learning Retreat!

If you haven’t registered – do it soon!  Discounts and available campsites won’t last forever!  Contact me if you have questions.

Heaps of Love,
Christina
469-733-7175
ChristinaWester @ mac.com

Retreat Workshop: An Unschooling School? The Sudbury Model for a Democratic “Free School”

We are pleased to announce that Mike South, co-founder of the  Clearview Sudbury School in Austin will be presenting at the retreat!

He will discuss the history and evolution of the Sudbury Model, based on the Sudbury Valley School (est. 1968 in Massachusetts).
From the Sudbury Valley Website:

Sudbury Valley School . . . has been a place where children can enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as they grow up in the newly emerging world. From the beginning of their enrollment, no matter what their age, students are given the freedom to use their time as they wish, and the responsibility for designing their path to adulthood.

In our environment,students are able to develop traits that are key to achieving success: They are comfortable learning new things; confident enough to rely on their own judgment; and capable of pursuing their passions to a high level of competence. Children at Sudbury Valley are adaptable to rapid change, open to innovation and creative in solving new problems. Beyond that, they grow to be trustworthy and responsible individuals, and function as contributing members of a free society.

At Sudbury Valley, students from pre-school through high school age explore the world freely at their own pace and in their own unique ways. They develop the ability to direct their own lives, be accountable for their actions, set priorities, allocate resources, deal with complex ethical issues, and work with others in a vibrant community.

There are currently 35 “Sudbury Schools” in operation in the US and around the world.  Mike will describe the set up at a few of these schools and the challenges they faced in getting Clearview going.

Can we put the Sudbury Model to work in the Dallas area?

We will discuss this possibility and creative ways that we might create a co-op or other “group Unschooling environment” for our kids using principles from Sudbury Valley.

Click Workshop Topics to see more descriptions of the various sessions we are planning for you at the Radiant Living & Learning Retreat!

If you haven’t registered – do it soon!  Discounts and available campsites won’t last forever!

2013 Fall Retreat Overview and Fees

Location: Cleburne State Park

1.5 hour drive SW of Dallas
1 hour drive South of Ft. Worth
3 hour drive North of Austin

38 minutes from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose

Dates:  Nov 15-18, 2013

We will have speakers, panels, group discussions and activities for all ages.
As well as unstructured time outdoors with other Unschooling families
(and those interested in learning more about Unschooling.)

Accommodations:

  • Tent campsites with water and electric (full)
  • RV campsites with water and electric (full)
  • RV or Tent campsites with water, electric and sewer
    ($10 surcharge per night)
  • Screened Shelters (full)
  • Indoor Bunkhouse (heated with bathrooms) (almost full)

For teens and tweens:

  • Girls’ Slumber Party in the Group Barracks building
  • Boys’ Campout at the Youth Group Campsite area.  Both will be chaperoned.

We will have crafts and other activities for kids and teens.
Playland” childcare will be available indoors close to the Main Dining Hall.
There is also a playground, spring fed lake and hiking and mountain biking trails.

Click here to see more details on the retreat.

Pricing:
Price includes EVERYTHING but your food!

  • State Park Daily Entrance Fees
  • Campsite Rental (Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights)
  • Workshop Registration Fee
  • PlayLand Childcare During Workshops
    (babies and toddlers who stay with parents the entire retreat
    do NOT need to register)
  • Kid, Tween and Teen Activities

REGISTRATION click here to register

Early Bird discounts have expired, but we are still offering a few discounts for registrations received by October 15th

$79 per person
family discount:
only pay $30 per person for the 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th people
in your family, including grandparents!

LATE REGISTRATION
(after October 15)

$89 per person
add $10 per night if sewer hookup is needed for RV campsite
(free dump station available)

Day Registration
$20 per person – per day (must exit park by 10pm)

Volunteer opportunities are available to reduce registration fees.

Please email christina wester @ mac .com if you would like to discuss volunteering and payment plan options.

No refunds given.
Registration can be transferred to a friend or used for future Radiant Living & Learning events.

If you’d like to receive updates on the Fall Retreat, Mini-Retreats or Blog Posts you can:

  1. click on the “follow” button at the top right of the page for email updates
    and/or
  2. join our Facebook group here
  3. RSVP at our Facebook event here