anyone ever gone to Life is Good conference? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 11-08-2008, 03:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We're going next year (well, I need to make the reservations ). I'd love to hear some feedback on anyone's experience at these conferences.

I generally don't like group things like this. It tends to feel a bit too church-y for my tastes, if you get what I'm saying. Also, is there a lot of the same questions all the time, "Hi. How long have you been unschooling?" I think I'll go mad if, like, 100 people ask me this in a row

What's it like?
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#2 of 41 Old 11-08-2008, 10:25 AM
 
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nak

here is a link to the blog post I did after LIG last year. not sure what you mean by churchy. we had so much fun!!

http://journey-throughlife.blogspot....e-is-good.html

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#3 of 41 Old 11-08-2008, 01:43 PM
 
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we had a great time as well!!!!::

it was our first conference, and we had just moved west from the east coast 2 weeks prior, we felt very welcomed. the people at the conference did not constantly come up to us to ask how long we had unschooled. people arrive at unschooling from all sorts of backgrounds, we came from a school background, and i never felt judged, NEVER. lots of smiling happened, people would walk up to us and introduce themselves, but the questions were more along the lines of where we were from and who/how old my children are. it is such a GREAT time!! there is so much going on, speakers, funshops, activities (like the game room, or the pool). so it is really up to you to get involved in as much as you like, or as little as you like.

my dh was unable to attend, and my 4 year old is shy and did not want to attend any speakers with me or funshops for herself, so we hung out with people at the pool or in the play room. i had so many great conversations with people no matter where we were hanging out, it still felt like we experienced so much and met so many people. my 8 year old immediately befriended a bunch of kids and had his own room key! it is such a family-friendly environment and if felt i needed to find him (if we had not come across each other in our room or somewhere else at the conference) there were always other parents who had seen him and could tell me where he was and what he was doing.

mary and jon gold are exceptional people (the conference founders), they had just met us but checked in with me at the conference several times to see how we were!! we have become close friends with a handful of families from the conference and i am SO thankful to have their friendship and support on our journey.

i did hear people say that staying at the hotel vs. staying somewhere else made a huge difference in their experience, that it was so much better and more meaningful to stay at the hotel. i also heard from several families that there is a special close feeling at lig. we CANNOT wait for this year!! we hope that helps
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#4 of 41 Old 11-12-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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We went. No one asked us how long we'd been unschooling. I didn't really know anyone there at first though I did meet a couple of people and run into one old friend (surprise! yay!)

We didn't really attend any of the workshops/presentations, or not for more than a few seconds at a time because the boys wanted to keep moving. They just wanted to play at the hotel which was fine by me since i felt a little shy.

Just being in a hotel full of kids having fun was very liberating. I'd do that anytime, conference or no. Like, hey, lets all go to a hotel and the kids can decorate their doors and can all play with each other up and down the halls, etc.

We'd go again but this time we definitely won't have the money.
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#5 of 41 Old 11-14-2008, 03:24 AM
 
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We'd go again but this time we definitely won't have the money.
I think they have a scholarship and you can volunteer for reduced rate or something like that. We are lucky to live in Vancouver so we don't have travel expenses but wish we could stay at the hotel. I do feel we missed some of the action not being there all the time.

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#6 of 41 Old 11-14-2008, 03:46 AM
 
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We went last year. It was me, DH and DD who was almost 5 at the time. I was still freaking out a bit about whether we would be homeschooling or not at the time of the conference.

DD had a great time. DH enjoyed himself. I was a bit overwhelmed, but I tend to get that way anyway, plus I had a lot going on in life that month before the conference. I took some time the last day to have some alone time (I'm an introvert and this is very important to me). I went to a very cool independent toy store that carries cooperative games and lots of fun stuff. I walked through the farmer's market and had lunch there. Then made it back to the hotel.

I did go to one of Alison McKee's things and bought her book and chatted with her a bit. I also attended a morning talk about "unschooling and the late reader" which I would never have attended except that I was volunteering to man the table at that hour in that room. It was interesting and useful even though DD has been interested in reading for a long time already. I believe the speaker for this one was an MDC'er.

We didn't meet too many people, though we did meet someone from up the street from us. And a wonderfully fun mom and two girls from a nearby city. We hung out with them a lot.

The hardest part for me was that shortly after we arrived, DD took off with another little girl we'd just met and disappeared. DD wasn't even quite 5 yet and I was not ready for that. DD tends to go off on her own at a whim anyway so I am used to it, but not in a large hotel teeming with people I have never met. Most were from the conference but not everyone and the hotel had several exits to the outside. We later found the girls hiding under a stairwell on the opposite end of the hotel. (They of course thought this was hilarious.) After a talk about letting us know when she wanted to go somewhere, we were OK.

DH enjoyed the SUDS (Secret Society of Unschooling Dads) meeting.

The pool was outside but it was heated so this was a plus since DD is a fish. We spent a lot of time at the pool That's where we met some people from our own city!

We will probably go again this year.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#7 of 41 Old 11-14-2008, 04:07 AM
 
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I'd love to go, but the travel is just so pricey for us. Just post about it so that I can enjoy it vicariously.
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#8 of 41 Old 11-14-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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Yay Karaboo! It will be so nice to meet you! I think we need to have an MDC meeting this time. If you go to my blog (link below) and click on the "unschooling" category you'll see my posts about the conference. I don't do group things at all well either. I hate small talk and I always start having this irrational feeling like everyone there knows each other and are great buddies except for me. Insecurity issues. But I took some good things away from it anyway. First, it was really good for the kids. They loved having bunches of kids to run around with, all the things to do, the positive energy. For me, it gave me such an emotional boost to be in the midst of all these people who parent conscientiously, who are nice to their kids, who like being with their kids. I also did make the beginnings of some friendships which have continued to grow.

One negative for me was the feeling of TOO MUCH -- there was always something going on and it felt chaotic to me. Although that may have had something to do with the fact that I was spending so much time focused on making sure my children were safe, maybe that constant vigilance became a tenseness that I projected onto the whole experience.

FWIW, it was worth it enough that we're going again this year. The kids are looking forward to it so much, it's six months away and they're already talking about it.
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#9 of 41 Old 11-16-2008, 10:30 PM
 
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FourLittleBirds I just want to say you were awesome in the birth circle chat!

I too think we should have a MDC circle chat or something. Do you think we could get one on the schedule?

Allison wife and mom to four. 

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#10 of 41 Old 11-28-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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Absolutely! Last year there were lots of times that rooms were open to use.

Oh, and thanks so much.
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#11 of 41 Old 03-05-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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Bumping

So, any other MDCers who are planning on going?
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#12 of 41 Old 03-05-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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Bumping

So, any other MDCers who are planning on going?
We're going! I'm really excited. We'll be staying only one night in the hotel, my parents live about 40 minutes away. But we wanted to have at least one night there to experience the whole deal.

Chessa , mama to Silas T (6/06) , wife to Chad . Welcome August Emerson! 2/8/10
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#13 of 41 Old 03-05-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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I went a couple of years ago. I was really bored, mostly because my kids were little, and I was too busy keeping an eye on them to socialize. I think it would be more fun for all of us when the kids are older-- more stuff they can actually fully participate in, and more possible for me to connect with others. It was also really chaotic, which many enjoy, but I personally do not.
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#14 of 41 Old 03-05-2009, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have had to cancel our plans to attend the conference. My stepson told us right before Christmas that his university graduation is that weekend...we absolutely must attend.
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#15 of 41 Old 03-05-2009, 09:22 PM
 
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I am hoping to go...if we do, we'll be taking our trailer with us. Apparently we can park it in the hotel lot for a fee (hopefully that includes hookup b/c $40/night is alot for a parking space!). It worked out really well b/c DH wants to attend a conference in San Diego that starts 2 days after the Life Is Good conference ends.

My only concern is that DS (4) needs close supervision around other kids (his age and younger) because if he gets angry or frustrated he tends to lash out physically. However, since I'll be with the kids while DH is at his conference, I'm hoping I can have him hang out with DS and allow me and DD (6) to explore.

My DD isn't highly social but I think she would enjoy meeting other homelearners and I think I'd love to just be immersed in unschooling culture for a couple of days.

I'll let y'all know, and I would definitely love and MDC mama meetup there!

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#16 of 41 Old 03-05-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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Gaaaah, I have to go!

I've been terrible about followup with people we met (Hi, Starflower!!), and they probably think I hate them but of course I don't, I just kinda suck, so I should really go and reconnect and repromise to get together with them, 'n' stuff.

DD1 will be devastated if we don't go, too.

We'll come to an MDC gathering, for sure, even though my participation here is impressively sporadic.

Unschooling mama to DD1, 11/2001
and DD2, 11/2004
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#17 of 41 Old 03-07-2009, 04:07 PM
 
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So, DD is due THE SAME weekend as the conference. Sad I've heard so much good stuff about it since we started unschooling last month. I guess we'll just have to go next year.

fourlittlebirds - do you think if I went ahead and signed up, and couldn't make it, they'd refund me? DS was two weeks late so maybe this one will be too! Although I'm probably crazy to want to go to a weekend-long conference about the time I'm ready to give birth!

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#18 of 41 Old 03-07-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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I'd love an MDC circle chat/meet up! I'll be there....quite pregnant

Randi
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#19 of 41 Old 03-08-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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I went a couple of years ago. I was really bored, mostly because my kids were little, and I was too busy keeping an eye on them to socialize. I think it would be more fun for all of us when the kids are older-- more stuff they can actually fully participate in, and more possible for me to connect with others. It was also really chaotic, which many enjoy, but I personally do not.
That must have been the first one. My girls were 5 and 2 and I felt disconnected from things because I was constantly running around after them. Last year seemed less chaotic -- the whole thing happened in one area so there was less moving around and wondering what was going on where and where we need to be, and there were more pockets of calm to settle into, but I also think it helped that we stayed at the hotel so could easily retreat any time we wanted to. I also let myself not feel pressured that time to make it to any of the talks or to try to make connections with people, and I was a lot happier that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyMae09
fourlittlebirds - do you think if I went ahead and signed up, and couldn't make it, they'd refund me? DS was two weeks late so maybe this one will be too! Although I'm probably crazy to want to go to a weekend-long conference about the time I'm ready to give birth!
You can register anytime, so you could just put off deciding until that weekend. You also might want to find out if there are any scholarships left!
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#20 of 41 Old 03-10-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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We went last year for the first time and it was so wonderful! I definitely recommend staying at the hotel, it was so much easier in many ways. DH and I traded off running everywhere with Aidan and attending different circles and presentations. Aidan loved the hallways best, and everytime we came upon a nursing pair, we'd have to land on a stair and nurse too, so I had a few great meets and conversations this way...lol.
I didn't meet alot of people, I am sortof shy in a big crowd like that. But, it felt so good to be surrounded by this kind of community. Noone asked us any rote questions about what or how long, it was just lots of smiles, laughter, running, play , good vibes and tons of good info.
We're planning to make it one of our annual family events!
I vote for an MDC chat too
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#21 of 41 Old 03-14-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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Well, cool. Looks like there will be a number of us.

For anyone interested who hasn't signed up yet, here is the website: http://www.lifeisgoodconference.com/

And the yahoogroups discussion list:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LifeisGoodconference/
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#22 of 41 Old 03-16-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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I think I'll try to go this year. And drag my DH. I thought about it last year, but now that we're actually homeschooling/unschooling/whatever, it is so much more exciting
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#23 of 41 Old 03-17-2009, 04:04 PM
 
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I am so bummed. I don't think we can make it this year and we live in Vancouver!! We just can't afford it. sniff, sniff.

Allison wife and mom to four. 

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#24 of 41 Old 03-17-2009, 04:05 PM
 
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Nadine
We went last year and DH had a great time. He is still semi on the fence about this whole unschooling thing even though we have been doing it for umm two years now. He really enjoued SSUDS so make sure your DH can go to that.

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#25 of 41 Old 03-18-2009, 11:30 AM
 
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Oh, we really want to go...kids are still too young to travel that far. Why is it the cool US conferences are all thousands of miles from the midwest? Hmmm. Gotta move. Can't wait to go in the future though - heard good things!

creative mom of two free-spirited boys (03/03, 11/04) : unschooling, nature loving, crafting, making, passion following family ribbonjigsaw.gif
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#26 of 41 Old 03-27-2009, 01:39 AM
 
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I didn't want to go because ds, at 5 (and still at 6) can't stand being more than 10 feet away from me, especially around people he doesn't know, and dh is an extreme introvert, so it seemed like it would have been a miserable experience.

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#27 of 41 Old 03-27-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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pookietooth, i went last year without dh, and my 4 year old never left my side either. the cool thing about the conference is you can still participate in EVERYTHING with him. kids are welcome at every single circle chat, speaker, event, etc. you can bring in toys for him to play with, it's very laid back and it's all about the kids. i chose a few talks to attend and then had THE best talks with people hanging out in the lobby or hallways or the pool. also once you attend, you can download the talks and listen to them at home.
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#28 of 41 Old 04-15-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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I'm an extreme introvert too. You can really participate, or not, as much as you feel comfortable and no one's the wiser. For me it was just cool to be around all the laid-back parenting energy, and the kids had a blast with all the different things to do. The number of funshops alone is staggering. http://www.lifeisgoodconference.com/Funshops.htm It is going to be so much fun!
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#29 of 41 Old 04-15-2009, 09:20 PM
 
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I'm an extreme introvert too. You can really participate, or not, as much as you feel comfortable and no one's the wiser. For me it was just cool to be around all the laid-back parenting energy, and the kids had a blast with all the different things to do. The number of funshops alone is staggering. http://www.lifeisgoodconference.com/Funshops.htm It is going to be so much fun!
I second the just being around the awesome energy thing. We didn't get to talk to anyone really, but it was wonderful just wandering around and dipping into whatever circle or talk was going on with or without Aidan who loved the hallways best and the big nursing chairs we found......lol. I am so excited it's almost time again!
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#30 of 41 Old 04-15-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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So everyone says you simply must stay at the hotel to get the full experience. Opinions? I live close enough to drive home, and there's the $$ factor. Plus I think it will be hard enough to get DH to go, let alone talk him into the whole weekend. Do most people go several of the days or the whole time, or just a day? It looks like you pay one admission for the whole weekend? Feels like it would be a waste not to go everyday.
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