SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES 2016

Adult workshops, talks and FUNshops for all will be offered all day Tuesday, February 23 and Wednesday, February 24, 2016. Along with our headlining speakers we will have a host of other very seasoned homeschool parents offering wonderful opportunities. ** Schedule of workshops and funshops will be updated as it becomes more solidified. Here is the working schedule as of now: **

 

WELCOME TO OUR FIRST ANNUAL UNSCHOOLERS PLATFORM
MONDAY BIG KEYS MARATHON CLOSED TEEN BOARDROOM
3:00PM -6:00PM REGISTRATION OPEN – PICK UP YOUR WELCOME PACKETS! CLOSED OPEN
6:00PM WELCOME! AND KEYNOTE SPEAKERS INTRODUCED CLOSED OPEN
7:00PM – AN ALL-CONFERENCE MEET & GREET TO FOLLOW DIRECTLY AFTER KEYNOTE WELCOME CLOSED OPEN
9:00PM – DAD’S UNITE! MEET IN THE LOUNGE & GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER OVER A COLD ONE! CLOSED OPEN (TILL 11:59PM)

 

TUESDAY BIG KEYS MARATHON A LEGO TABLE, A CRAFT TABLE AND AN ELECTRONIC GAMING TABLE WILL BE GOING AT ALL TIMES. MEET FRIENDS AND PLAY! TEEN BOARDROOM
8:00AM – & 9:00AM – 1 HOUR OPEN REGISTRATION TAI CHI OPEN OPEN
10:00AM – 11:00AM A STORY FOR EVERY QUESTION: SNAPSHOTS OF UNSCHOOLING IN ACTION WITH PAULA SJOGERMAN MINECRAFT SKILLZ FOR BEGINNERS &  MAGIC THE GATHERING OPEN
11:15AM – 12:15PM LET’S TALK PHILOSOPHIES! MEET A PANEL OF HOMESCHOOL, UNSCHOOL, AND LIFE-LEARNERS AND DIG DEEPER IN THE “DAY-IN-THE-LIFE” TOPICS! FIDGET FUN AND SMART MOVES  &  DR. WHO OPEN
1:00PM – 2:00PM THE ONE-DERFUL ODYSSEY: HOMESCHOOLING A SINGLE CHILD WITH CATHERINE MATTHEWS AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR WORKSHOP MONSTERS – A PARTY GAME
2:15PM – 3:15PM MATH: DON’T BE AFRAID WITH PAM SOROOSHIAN MUTANT TOYS MINI-LIGHTS, BLINKING LASERS AND ARDUINO
3:30PM – 4:30PM BUILDING FAMILY MISSION STATEMENTS WITH JULI WALTER STORIES IN ART TEEN Q&A WITH OUR AMAZING KEYNOTE SPEAKERS; PAM SOROOSHIAN, PAULA SJOGERMAN & REN ALLEN
5:00PM – 5:30PM FAMILY CRAFT FAIR SET UP (IN THE HALLWAY) – COME TO THE CONFERENCE HALL BY 5P AND WE WILL FIND YOU A TABLE TO SELL YOUR FAMILY WARES OPEN OPEN
5:30PM – 7:30PM FAMILY CRAFT FAIR (IN THE HALLWAY) OPEN OPEN
7:00PM – 11:59PM FAMILY MOVIE TO BEGIN AT 7:30PM FAMILY GAME NIGHT (BRING YOUR FAVORITE FAMILY GAME TO PLAY!) OPEN (TILL 11:59PM)

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY BIG KEYS MARATHON A LEGO TABLE, A CRAFT TABLE AND AN ELECTRONIC GAMING TABLE WILL BE GOING AT ALL TIMES. MEET FRIENDS AND PLAY! TEEN BOARDROOM
8:00AM – & 9:00AM – 1 HOUR OPEN REGISTRATION YOGA! OPEN OPEN
10:00AM – 11:00AM UNSCHOOLING FROM THE LENS OF REALITY WITH REN ALLEN STOMP UP LOUD OPEN
11:15AM – 12:15PM FROM SCHOOL  TO HOMESCHOOL WITH CARA CAROTHERS ARTIST TRADING CARDS GAMEMAKER WORKSHOP
12:30PM – 1:30PM DADS DOING THEIR DAD THING! WITH CHRISTOPHER BAKKER AND DANNY DWARF MANDALA MAKING  &  WEIRD AL DECISION TIME: CAN YOU BUILD A BETTER GOVERNMENT?
1:45PM – 2:45PM GETTING REAL ABOUT RADICAL UNSCHOOLING WITH PAULA SJOGERMAN, NANCY MACHAJ AND AMY JARJUSEY UNSCHOOLING AND BOOKS  &  GAMES AND SONGS BROUGHT TO YOU BY CAMPERS TIME KILLERS, or THE NOBLE ART OF HUNKERING
3:00PM – 4:30PM KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Q&A WITH PAULA SJOGERMAN, REN ALLEN, PAM SOROOSHIAN FOAM WEAPON BUILDING OPEN
4:30PM – 6:00PM MOMS GET TIME TOO! – MOMS MEET IN THE LOUNGE AND ENJOY SOME BUBBLY WHILE RECAPPING THIS AMAZING WEEK! OPEN OPEN
7:00PM – 9:30PM FAMILY DANCE FAMILY DANCE OPEN
9:30PM – 11:59PM TWEEN & TEEN DANCE TWEEN & TEEN DANCE
(NOTE: MUSIC WILL STOP BY 11:30PM BUT KIDS MAY HANG OUT THERE TILL MIDNIGHT WHEN THE ROOM WILL BE LOCKED BY KEY LIME COVE.)
CLOSED

 

 

 ** Vendor Hall will be open all day Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb. 23-24, 2016) from 9am – 5pm. **   FOLLOW US: Yahoo Group: https://groups.yahoo.com/groups/unschoolersplatform Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unschoolersplatform Join us on Instagram: unschoolersplatform Or Twitter! @UPConf_Chicago

 

TALKS/WORKSHOPS

WELCOME FROM UP AND OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKERS! *AND* OUR ALL-CONFERENCE MEET & GREET! Not to be missed! Come on our and meet our conference hosts, Amy and Michele. Welcome our keynote speakers, Paula Sjogerman, Pam Sorooshian and Ren Allen! AND….. Let’s mingle and get to know each other in this casual, warm and FUN evening of meeting and greeting!!!!

 

A STORY FOR EVERY QUESTION: SNAPSHOTS OF UNSCHOOLING IN ACTION WITH PAULA SJOGERMAN My talk will be about unschooling ideas and how they unfold in everyday life. If you’re still fuzzy about how musicals lead to history or you really want to pin down what “strewing” means, this is the place for you. It will not be a list of activities to do with your kids; rather, it will explore the concepts of unschooling using examples from real life.

 

LET’S TALK PHILOSOPHIES! MEET A PANEL OF HOMESCHOOL, UNSCHOOL, AND LIFE-LEARNERS AND DIG DEEPER IN THE “DAY-IN-THE-LIFE” TOPICS! Let’s get real about what it’s all about. Homeschooling, unschooling, life-learning! Meet some amazing moms: Helen Michniewicz, KellyAnn Corcoran, Annie Guter, Andrea Oliver and Sandra Estrada as they share their life jouney experiences and lead us in a lively discussion and answer hour!

 

THE ONE-DERFUL ODYSSEY: HOMESCHOOLING A SINGLE CHILD WITH CATHERINE MATTHEWS I’m going to cover topics ranging from the general challenges and bonuses that arise while homeschooling/parenting a single child to the importance and benefits of seeking and utilizing a support system. As with everything else I enjoy, the atmosphere will be laid back and I’m hoping for lively debate and discussion vs a solemn, structured lecture. I cannot wait to meet and converse with new people who are on this incredible journey of homeschooling as well!!!

 

MATH: DON’T BE AFRAID WITH PAM SOROOSHIAN You’re at the grocery store, cart loaded, and you’re ready to check out. What do you do? You eyeball the lines at each checkstand, noting how many people are in each of the lines. You also note how full each of their carts is. You notice that some checkstands have baggers helping out while others don’t. You might even notice the rate of speed at which the checkers seem to be working. You quickly take in all that (mathematical) information, estimate the effects of all those variables in your head, and choose the line you think will move the fastest. This is not just mathematics; this is sophisticated and complex mathematics that includes solving systems of simultaneous equations and incorporating probability-of-error estimates. Yet you do it almost effortlessly. You ARE a math whiz! You don’t need a math program and there is no reason for you to be afraid of helping your child learn math. Pam will talk about how you can you get over the fear, NOT pass it on to your child, and have fun along the way!

 

BUILDING FAMILY MISSION STATEMENTS WITH JULI WALTER In this workshop we will explore the idea of a Family Mission Statement.  If we remember the reasons that we choose to homeschool in the first place and remember what we wanted to foster in our children and families and write it down in a concise sentence or two, it can be something that we can constantly refer back to.  A Family Mission Statement can keep the reality of our everyday in check with goals of the homeschooling life we wanted to attain.  This may sound like a very “corporate” idea but sometimes we can feel lost and forget why we started this adventure in the first place.

 

UNSCHOOLING FROM THE LENS OF REALITY WITH REN ALLEN Life is often messy business. Raising humans is messy business. Add in a large family, Aspergers, moving across the country more than once, starting a new business, divorce, death, and even a blended family. What do you get? One big messy, beautiful life adventure. It’s all learning. All the time. How our family lived and learned outside of school for over two decades now, and some of the results of this lifestyle. Hint; what looks like play is often important business. Also, chocolate is actually medicine. I’m not kidding.

 

FROM OF SCHOOL TO HOMESCHOOOL WITH CARA CAROTHERS – Cara will talk a bit about the journey she and her son have been on going from school to homeschooling… Almost two years into their journey she will share her struggles, triumphs and philosophy while opening the conversation up for discussion, sharing and best practices. She looks forward to lively, open, engaging conversation and camaraderie!

 

DADS DOING THEIR DAD THING! WITH CHRISTOPHER BAKKER AND DANNY DWARF Dad’s please join us, for a once a year opportunity to connect and speak freely as men! Together we’ll share experiences, successes, challenges and fatherly wisdom. We’ll discuss any topics that are relevant and of interest to you. We’ll do our best as a group to answer questions and solve issues you may be experiencing. Most importantly you’ll get a chance to meet and stay in touch with a supportive network of fathers. (children welcome)

 

GETTING REAL ABOUT RADICAL UNSCHOOLING WITH PAULA SJOGERMAN, NANCY MACHAJ AND AMY JARJUSEY Join these women as they discuss their RU journeys, what the ‘day-in-the-life’ is like, and getting to the truth about radical unschooling! Paula brings about her experiences with her two children as they are now grown a busy adult-ing, Nancy has been thinking, reading, writing, and discussing radical homeschooling for the past 11 years. Her children are 12 and 8 and have never been to school. And Amy has organically found her path and lively journey with her five children very early on when her oldest (at that time) had absolutely no interest in preschool. Hear their journeys and ask your pressing questions during this lively hour discussion group!

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Q&A WITH PAULA SJOGERMAN, REN ALLEN, PAM SOROOSHIAN We’re wrapping up our amazing week with our three fabulous ladies! Did you attend their talks and not get to ask your pressing questions? Or did you miss their talks and want time to pick their brains? THIS is your time to reunite with our wonderful women for a full hour and half. Here their answers, experience, feedback, encouragement and MORE!

 

FUNSHOPS!

Tai Chi Start the morning off right! Come explore the wonders and practice of Tai Chi! Ages 14 years and older.

 

Magic the Gathering This funshop is for playing Magic the Gathering.  It is not instructional but a place for those who already know how to play.  Please bring a deck, see you there!

 

Minecraft Skillz for Beginners This is for beginning level players (parents are invited to come and learn as well!). Explore the creative and survival worlds of Minecraft. We will show you how to build from the ground up to the sky. In survival mode we will teach you about mining and why it is so important to knowing this in order to beat Minecraft. George will bring humor and fun to your gaming experience. Zoe is very creative and loves art in her worlds. You are encouraged to bring an electronic that has Minecraft on it already; although ti is not necessary.

 

FIDGET FUN and SMART MOVES! Join Deb Singleton, lifeschooler and Whole Learning Coach- Calling all movers and shakers! Do you wiggle in your seat and fiddle with your pencil? Does it drive you crazy when you can’t touch really interesting things? Do you love hands-on learning, creating, and building things? Do people constantly tell you to stop fidgeting or pacing? We all benefit from moving when we learn, but some of us need movement more than others. Join Deb Singleton to play movement games that are great for your brain too- like Swamp Slogging, Double Doodle, Fidget Fun, clapping games, hand flipping and move. And if you find out how to boost your brain power with movement- without driving the people around you crazy – so much the better! Just don’t expect to hold still in this funshop! Ages 10 and up. We will provide all supplies. You may- but are not required to- bring your favorite “fidget.” Bringing your body is a good idea too.

 

Dr. Who Ages: all ages Fun Dr. Who-themed activities and clips from the show.

 

Author-Illustrator Workshop Join Danny Dwarf (children’s book author illustrator) – Participants will develop book writing and illustration skills, including character development, story telling, and illustration. Supplies provided: paper, staplers, drawing supplies, books for inspiration. Supplies recommended but not required: – paper – drawing supplies – your favorite book – smart phone, digital camera or hand held mirror for capturing facial expressions – smart phone or images to use for reference (photos of your dog for designing a cartoon dog, for example).

 

Monsters – a PARTY game for teens and tweens! This is a game that can be played with up to 15 people, Kaidin Jarjusey will explain the rules, while also rallying up teens and tweens who are interested in playing. This game is aimed towards BOTH boys and girls alike! come give it a try, Kaidin Jarjusey will be playing it throughout the week! This is a creepy game about a village under attack by shapeshifting monsters, it was based off of the game “The Werewolves” and it was designed by Kaidin Jarjusey. The game will involve a lot of trickery and deceiving, so put your poker face on before playing! Ages: 11 to 18.

 

 

Mutant Toys Let’s mix it up! We’ll dismantle and reassemble old toys into new creations. Some will be bizarre, some will be cute, all will be fun. All ages welcome, 10 and under please bring an older companion to help with tools. Toy donations greatly appreciated, but please make sure your children will be okay with toy destruction.

 

Mini-lights, Blinking Lasers, and Arduino Like stuff that lights up? Coding a microchip? What about blinking lasers? Come make and break stuff with Bit Space in this one-hour, drop-in funshop. We’ll have a number of stations available where kids can make cast hot glue mini-lights, and practice their soldering by taking apart, reassembling, and modifying laser pointers. We’ll bring the tools, soldering irons, wires, and electronics, your kids bring their creativity and curiosity! At 2:45PM we’ll be doing a 15-minute demonstration of the Arduino microcontroller, with particular emphasis on where to find resources to learn how to use it. Attending this brief talk will get your kids kick-started in coding! Ages 12 and up.

 

Stories in Art All Ages! Come join us in drawing a group comic strip. We will come up with the story line and draw the pictures to go along. If you don’t feel like you can draw, still come and help us make the story. Creative and full of laughter, Zoe Tikkun will help make this comic come alive.

 

 

Teen Q & A Panel with Keynote Speakers Teens, it’s your turn! Join our amazing keynote speakers Paula Sjogerman, Pam Sorooshian, and Ren Allen for an exciting hour of discussion on anything that comes to your mind! Joining these amazing women who all have grown children, adult  children who can enlighten you on the wonderful paths they have each taken. See that cool Q & A box in the Tween & Teen Boardroom? Feel free to pop your pressing questions in that nifty box and they will address them all and more during this exciting hour!

 

Yoga Come start your day with a gentle yoga practice perfect for beginners and beyond. Cara will guide you through a sequence of poses to gently quiet your mind and prepare you for an invigorating final day at the conference! Bring your mat! (If you don’t have a mat please still come! There will be a few extra mats…and/or Your practice can be done on the floor) Looking forward to seeing you!! Namaste

 

Stomp UP Loud! Creating rhythm and fun with just about anything. Join Deb Singleton, lifeschooler and Whold Learning Coach – just about anything can be used to creat rhythm- from bushbrooms and dustpans, wooden spoons and spatulas, ziplocs and decks of cards, to move traditional drums and rattles, to your own body. Join Deb Singleton to create Rhythm Circle, do Rhythm Dialogu, try Body Percussion, Make a Rainstorm, and co-create our own “Stomp UP Loud” performance pieces! A variety of drums and other rhythm instruments (conventional and otherwise) will be available. Please bring something usual/wacky to use for rhythm instrument. You are also welcome to bring a drum or other percussion instrument if you want! Do bring your body too. Ages 9+ years.

 

 

Artist Trading Cards Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are miniature works of art, trading card sized. They can be any media, and as simple or elaborate as the artist wishes. Small in size, they’re non intimidating for those of us who think of ourselves as not creative. I’ll bring a large supply of base cards and materials for creativity. I especially like using recycled materials, particularly the things that would ordinarily go straight into the trash or recycling bins. Look around your houses and bring along with you bits that might be interesting on an art card – junk mailings, bits of pretty papers, ribbons and bows – whatever strikes your fancy. Also, flattened card weight packaging, such as cereal boxes, that we can cut into card blanks. I’ll bring lots of collage materials, as well as materials for drawing and coloring. All artists are invited to trade with each other (and me!) at the end of the session, but there is no requirement to trade. Young artists in particular are often reluctant to give up their creations, and I encourage them to keep their cards if they wish. Everyone is invited to play! This project is the most fun when there is a large happy mixed age group, and is especially fun for adults who consider themselves “not artistic”.

 

GameMaker Workshop Learn to make a platformer game using GameMaker. Participants will need a Windows laptop with the free version of Game Maker software installed. http://www.yoyogames.com/studio/download. Ages: 10+, participants need to be able to read and type.

 

Mandala Creating Join Lori Upchurch in Mandala creations – “Mandala:  Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.”  Making mandala art is a simple, meditative and fun activity that produces a beautiful image.  Mandalas can be made by an individual or as a group, and the end result can be permanent, with ink or pencils on paper, or temporal, made with colored sand or other materials.   I would supply the paper and some art materials, participants should bring a set of markers or colored pencils.  In this workshop we will make both a group mandala, and work on our own personal mandala.

 

The “Weird Al” Parody Funshop Ages; all ages Have fun with some of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s best family-friendly parodies and “Weird Al” themed crafts and activities.

 

DECISION TIME: Can you build a better government? Recommended for those 13+, but all are welcome. On trips, as in life, you’re going to have to make some big decisions. And no decision is bigger than who gets to eat what. Join Micah Leinbach, the Director at Crystalaire Adventures, and experience the trials and tribulations of building your own government. Some good eats will be provided – but you’ll have to determine whether you actually get to eat them! Crystalaire Adventures uses wilderness expeditions as a setting to teach about society and social justice. This is a common workshop we use to explore how decisions are made. If you come, expect to leave with a greater understanding of how you make decisions with a group – and maybe even some candy, if you can figure out how to get it!

 

 

Unschooling and Books Join Ben Huizenga to discuss various books that are useful for unschooling. Lotsa books. Books that you’ve found useful.

 

 

Games and Songs Brought to You by Campers All Ages! We will show you games, songs and activities that we did at Camp Woodbrooke. You will run around, laugh, sing and know what cool things we do at camp. This Funshop is run by campers Zoe and George and should be very entertaining!

 

 

TIME KILLERS, or THE NOBLE ART OF HUNKERING Recommended for ages 13+, though all are welcome. At Crystalaire, we’ve found that after a long hike or paddle (or day of conferencing), you just need to kick back and relax. And after many hours spent resting our feet, lounging by a fire, or hiding from the rain we think we have the hunkering down to a noble and creative art. So there you are, lounging with friends – on the couch or in the woods. But what do you do when boredom strikes? We’ll train you in the secretive arts of time killing, and help you become a lounging master. From riddles to ethical dilemmas to word games, impress your friends and win over your enemies with the skill of chill. Lounging doesn’t have to mean lazy – find out how and begin to have the best conversations of your life. All you need to bring is yourself, but comfy clothes and comfier things to sit on are always welcome.

 

 

Foam Weapon Building Ages 8+ Come build some foam weapons! Materials will be provided (while supplies last) * please provide a $5 donation for your weapon creation to workshop hosts.

 

 

 

 

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Or Twitter! @UPConf_Chicago

 

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