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.)


  • 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.

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!

(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
  2. join our Facebook group here
  3. RSVP at our Facebook event here