or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › Best Places to Live and Unschool
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best Places to Live and Unschool

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
Where do you think the best places to live and unschool are?

I have been thinking about where I would like to live. Right now I am considering Maui, Hawaii and Portland or Eugene, Oregon.

My ideal home would be a place with:
lots of resources and support for unschooling
a cost of living that is not too high
Green-forests for hiking and generally green/lush landscape (waterfalls a plus)
Open minded people
Someplace with an intimate feeling (not a big city)
A place that doesn't generally get too cold

Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas?
post #2 of 74
taking notes on this as well...

There are a lot of homeschoolers where I live but man, the weather is just so dry. It's terrible. Plus, I don't see a lot of cohesiveness in the hs community. There are lots of groups but not much cross-over. This is all my opinion, of course.
post #3 of 74
Thread Starter 
I have been living in Boulder for a few months. There are many things I love about this area, but the landscape and climate are too dry for it to ever feel like home. I have heard great things about both Portland and Eugene, but I have never been to either place. I did live in Seattle (prior to having kids,) and I heard that they have a similar feel. My brother is living on Maui, and loves it. The cost of living would be high there, but it is also possible to live simply (hiking and swimming for fun; year round gardening; wild mangoes, bananas, etc.) It doesn't seem like there is much of an unschooling community on the Island, though.

KaraBoo-I love the quote in your siggy.
post #4 of 74
I am in Portland, and LOVE it!



The community is welcoming, kids out during the day are not too unusual, and we have access to about anything you could want. The cost of living isn't very low, but I am getting by unworking - cobbling together a dozen projects. There are weird little pockets of cool neighborhoods scattered around. I live in an amazing 100 year old 5 bedroom house on 3 acres right in town, on the bus line no less, that I rent for about $1500/month. Weird and eccentric people aren't too unusual
post #5 of 74
If you are looking for a small town in Oregon, intimate feel, lots of unschoolers, I'd recommend Corvallis. It rains a lot here (sigh) but if you've lived in Seattle, you already know what that's like. Eugene is bigger than Corvallis, it's not any more progressive politically, but it does have more of an alternative culture. I think it's expensive (that goes for all of the PNW,) but moving from Boulder you might not think so.

I'm interested to see other responses, because I'd like to stay in the PNW, but wonder about cheaper, sunnier areas. I've been casually looking into Medford, which is a drier climate (sunnier) and has a lot of old houses that are not so expensive, and it's close to Ashland where the Shakespearean Festival is. I've had Bend recommended to me, but I'm skeptical, as that's more desert area and also a newer town.
post #6 of 74
I live over in Moscow, ID which is a little dot of culture in the middle of wheatfields. It does get dry and cold here, so it may not be what you're looking for, but for intimacy and crunchiness, you can hardly do better!
post #7 of 74
Thread Starter 
Please tell me about your unworking experience. What you do, and how it is going?

I am seriously considering Maui.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post
I am in Portland, and LOVE it!



The community is welcoming, kids out during the day are not too unusual, and we have access to about anything you could want. The cost of living isn't very low, but I am getting by unworking - cobbling together a dozen projects. There are weird little pockets of cool neighborhoods scattered around. I live in an amazing 100 year old 5 bedroom house on 3 acres right in town, on the bus line no less, that I rent for about $1500/month. Weird and eccentric people aren't too unusual
post #8 of 74
We travel/V full time. So home is where you park it for us!!!!! We have been spending bigger chunks of time in certain places but just LOVE being mobile! Eventually we will settle down on Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley most likely where we are from!
post #9 of 74
I'm also in Corvallis Oregon, and highly recommend it

I was born here, went to PS here, and am just now beginning to unschool my DS here. Corvallis has - a small town feel, doesn't get too cold (I don't think I've ever seen it below 20 degrees here) and has great summer weather. Also, within an hour and a half you have: the mountains, including the PCT (pacific crest trail) Silver Creek Falls (a easy hiking trail 7.5 miles long with 7 waterfalls!) as well as many other waterfalls, large and small (Salt Creek Falls is the second tallest in Oregon, and offers many hiking trails, other waterfalls to see). Also, the beach is about an hour away, including the well-known Oregon Coast Aquarium, which is a learning-oriented aquarium, and has many places to camp (legally, or on the beach if you want to chance it - I've camped on the beach many times and never had any issues).

There's also Eugene about 30 minutes away, which has some great music venues, and Portland, about 1.5 hours away, which has the Oregon Zoo, OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), which is completely kid-friendly, and Powell's Bookstore, the largest bookstore in the world.

Corvallis also offers a large Farmer's Market that runs mid-April until the weekend before Thanksgiving. You can also buy cheeses, meats, wine and other foodstuffs at the Market.

Corvallis is a very intellectual community, with events such as da Vinci Days, a local, 3 day long festival of vendors, music, and science-y type events and booths, as well a a parade of 'da Vinci's machines.' We have a really big library, an arts center where kids can take ballet, ceramics, and other class for about $60 a term, and a sports park, which offers soccer, among other sports for kids, for about $50 per term (14-16 lessons).

Anyway, if you couldn't tell, I love it here, and highly recommend it, so long as you don't convince a bunch of people from California to move here JK!

Also, there's a big, supportive group of unschoolers in town, who try to get together often. We're crunchy, artsy, laid-back, fun people around here

I think Corvallis is cheaper than Eugene - you can rent a 3 bedroom house here for under $1,000 in a nice neighborhood with a big backyard, but I don't think you could find that (in a nice neighborhood) in Eugene, based on what I've heard.
post #10 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahimsa View Post
Please tell me about your unworking experience. What you do, and how it is going?

I am seriously considering Maui.
Well, unworking for me compares to a job like unschooling compares to school. I do take a job occassionally, and I have loved some of them, just like I have loved some school experiences (I got my degree online at 50!) But I don't look at an outside job as an expected given in my life. I have a couple unofficial home businesses - I raise and train baby parrots for sale, and I make baby clothes that I sell at street fairs and the like. The bird business especially is a luxury-oriented business, and really struggling in the current economic situation. I am shifting the baby clothes business over to mainly items made from recycled adult clothes, t-shirts and Hawaiian shirts mainly, which is ecologically sound, as well as a smaller investment in materials for me. It is taking me some time to build up an inventory, but I expect to be ready for the summer season, and then the holidays next year. I have a minimal stipend for the care of foster children, but that hardly covers my kid's expenses. I have one kid who receives social security disability, but that goes almost entirely to his tutors. I am also facilitating some parenting classes, for a small but welcome fee, through the foster care agency. My 13 year old BigGirl provides childcare during classes - a win-win situation.

I try to live frugally - growing and canning fruits and veggies, hens for eggs, and I am considering a couple dairy goats this spring, for milk and cheese. Portland is fairly livestock friendly for a major urban area (they allow a total of 3 animals in the poultry/goats/rabbits category. My property has 3 houses on it, so I can have 9 total, because my neighbors don't want any). 5 or 6 laying hens is all I need, so I think a couple small goats would be a good idea this year. We'll see.

I think of my financial life a bit like a quilt - I find and piece together all sorts of little scraps, and somehow it comes together, bigger and warmer and more beautiful than I expected. But I never know what it will look like ahead of time. I suppose not everyone would be comfortable enough with so little security, but it really isn't much different from trusting that kids will learn what they need. We have some leaner times, and occassionally I get worried and apply for jobs, but something always comes through.
post #11 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post
I think of my financial life a bit like a quilt - I find and piece together all sorts of little scraps, and somehow it comes together, bigger and warmer and more beautiful than I expected.
That is absolutely beautiful.
post #12 of 74
I'm in San Francisco and it's a fabulous place for unschooling, we have beaches, mountains, lots of kids museums like the Exploratorium, Bay Area Discovery Museum, the Randall Museum, etc. Also, I live right by the woods and started a group called Presidio Wild Child, where we play in the forest or on the beach.
Of course ya'll know about the open-minded people here :
post #13 of 74
Thread Starter 

Oregon Moms

Do you know what Milwaukee, Oregon is like? I did this survey at findyourspot.com, and the #1 suggestion was Milwaukie, Oregon. A number of other Oregon towns and cities came up (including Eugene and Portland), as well as Maui, Hawaii. I have been giving it a lot of thought, and I am leaning towards somewhere in Oregon. I have thought of moving there off and on for the past several years. When I lived in Seattle, I loved it.
post #14 of 74
Milwaukie is right in the middle of I-5, I-205 and I-84 up in the Portland metro area. So, in other words, between 5-9 am and 2-6pm, it'll take you forever to get anywhere. If you're considering the Portland area, I recommend Tualitan or Wilsonville, which are south of Portland a little, and have less traffic issues. Of course, if you have to drive into Portland for work anyway, it'd be better to be closer in.

That being said, I kind of remember the Milwaukie area as being a little older and run-down. Lake Oswego is a few miles from there, and a much nicer area. I used to live in Tualitan, and unless you dig the city, I'd recommed Eugene or Corvallis before the Portland area. They are much more peaceful places than P-town.

A side note: I did the find your place thing too, a while back, and I think the criteria they use can skew your results one way or another - for example, if you say you want to be close to a big medical center (like OHSU - a research hospital), that automatically rules out Corvallis and Eugene, even though we have great hospitals around here.

Just sayin'

Hey! This is my 200th post!!!
post #15 of 74
Well, while I never really loved the idea of Texas, it actually is a good fit for many reasons. The laws are really easy here, there are plenty of unschoolers in and around dfw where we live, it does get insanely hot for a couple months in the summer but there is rarely a day during the year where we cant get out and about and spend time outdoors. Cost of living is very low compared to other metropolitan areas. There is quite a big "green" movement. around here.

I live in a pretty upscale, soccer mom area which has it's obvious drawbacks, but I am also 20 minutes from a cool groovy college town, 20 minutes from downtown dallas, 20 minutes from a great farmers market. We have woods and trails within walking distance, parks, great libraries, zoos and childrens museums. I have sources for raw milk, local eggs, get meat from local farms.

If you go about an hour out of Dallas there are a lot of smaller country/ranch little towns with more room to breathe.


Drawbacks for me- it's not as liberal or open minded as I am, there are huge vast amounts of very conservative groups, and I am viewed as incredibly odd by some. But there are also lots of people like me and I have found them.

The 6-8 weeks of 100+ weather isn't ideal in my mind either, but mom has a pool and we spend a lot of time in it in the summer. And again, there is rarely a day throughtout the entire year when we can't be outdoors.
post #16 of 74
Quote:
That being said, I kind of remember the Milwaukie area as being a little older and run-down. Lake Oswego is a few miles from there, and a much nicer area.
I don't know anything about Milwaukie, but old and run-down isn't necessarily a bad thing -- sometimes it means old, classic architecture for cheap, and a community of progressives. I'm thinking of going and checking it out now. Lake Oswego is EXPENSIVE and relatively conservative. That's where the rich people live.
post #17 of 74
Haha, my bias towards Corvallis and Eugene is showing :
post #18 of 74
Thread Starter 

Narrowing my Search

I am becoming convinced that Oregon is the place for me. I am now considering Portland (or Milwaukie), Covallis, or Eugene. I am researching all three, and I have joined yahoo unschooling groups for all three places. So far Corvallis is really drawing my attention. I like that it is between Portland and Eugene; that its a small, but crunchy town; and that the unschooling community looks like a good one.

Do any of you Oregon mammas want to add any more thoughts to consider about these places?
post #19 of 74
What's the unschooling climate like in Corvallis? (from what you can gather from the yahoo group)
post #20 of 74
Thread Starter 

KaraBoo

So far, it looks really good. I just joined the groups, so I am still getting a feel for them, but I most drawn to the Corvallis group.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Unschooling
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › Best Places to Live and Unschool