Tag Archives: conference panel

Dads! Dads! Dads!

We are SO very excited to have Vlaiko join us in gearing up the Dads! stuffs at UP 2017! Dads unite! Have a blast! It’s going to be a special FUN time!



Circle up and join Vlaiko in a conversation about being the DAD in your home/unschooling family!!
Come add your wisdom, anecdotes and thoughts!!
Bring your questions, concerns and ideas!!!
There will be opportunity for all to participate as we take a magic carpet ride through the wonders of having made the choice to home/unschool!!
Vlaiko Manojlovski has been organically settling into the unschooling lifestyle for the last 7 years.  The process has literally unfolded on its own and just gets better everyday!!  Having gone to school this was all counterintuitive out of the gate!!  But the realistic, practical and hard driving truths of the amazing benefits and overall life quality that have come to pass as the result of following his heart have anchored his value systems and philosophies in newly chartered waters – creating a life filled with parenting a-ha moments, deeper connections with his family and a whole lotta’ fun!!!
There will be more than one gathering so stay tuned for details!!




Excitement mounting!

Whoop! The funshops are IN and we are getting a schedule drafted for your curious eyes asap!

Shirts are IN and ordered! You’ll be SO excited to receive yours at the conference registration tables!

Conference wristbands in print and on their way!!!


There is still time to register and join in the fun! Don’t hesitate to come to Chicago and jump on the UP bandwagon!

Check out the newest countdown to the right ———————–>

Tick-tock! Just days away! 😉



We have so many cool folks coming to share their companies, products and more with our conference go’ers! We are excited to have them here in just a few weeks from now! If you take a peek at the side of our web page =========================>
you’ll see a few of them that are going to be present! We’re EXCITED!!

If you know of any other interested vendors, there is still some space for them! Have them check out our vendors tab (up top). Has all of the info needed to determine if this is a good fit for them!

Just a few more days till reduced rate registration ends! Take advantage now! 😉  See you in a few weeks!!!

#homeschool #unschool #unschoolersplatform

UP Deadlines

I’m sure time creeps up on you as quickly as it does me…. such is life with kids! 😉  As such, here is important deadlines approaching faster than you may anticipate!


For starters –

Reduced registration fee ends Friday! THIS Friday the 5th!

T-shirt orders must be purchased by Friday! THIS Friday the 5th!

Funshop submissions must be in by Friday! THIS Friday the 5th!

All can be found HERE….. our nifty list of reminders.


And…. Waterpark wristbands must be purchased by February 15th! They will *not* be available at the door.

Family Dance and the Tween-Teen Dance tickets must be purchased by February 15th! (Only if you will not be holding a family registration or day-pass registration.)

ABC’s to UP

UP Families!
We realize there has been a TON of information flying around about Unschoolers Platform conference! Perhaps tying it all down in one unique, spiffy and tidy list for you will help? We sure hope so!!!


Let’s GO!

(1) Most importantly… family registration for attending everything within the conference is $225 until February 5th. Beyond the 5th it will be $275 (as well as at the door). There are day passes to purchase as well. The family registration is the far better deal however. Find info HERE.

(2) The hotel group rate under the Unschoolers Platform conference can only be purchased/reserved on or before February 5th. After the 5th, the standard hotel rates apply. Find info HERE.

(3) Conference shirts (optional) *must* be pre-purchased on or before February 5th and will be available to you when you check in at the registration desk at the conference. Find info HERE.

(4) If you will *not* be a hotel guest during the conference but you would still like to play at the Waterpark at Key Lime Cove, you may purchase waterpark passes through UP on or before February 15th. Passes will *not* be available at the door. This offer is *special* to our conference only. If not purchased by 2/15/2016 there will be no other opportunity to obtain passes. Find info HERE.

(5) FUNSHOPS – If you would be willing to host a funshop during the conference, we would LOVE if you offered it. Free to offer, free to participate (for registered conference participants). Set your parameters and enjoy making new connections! Sumissions for Funshops *must* be in by Friday, February 5th. Find info HERE.

(6) Chicago and burbs’ locals – If you will not be at the conference on either Wednesday, or as/on a family pass, you and/or your kids are invited to participate in the Family Dance on Wednesday at $15 per person. Tickets to the dance must be purchased by February 15th and will not be available beyond this time. (Registered conference participants do *not* need separate dance tickets.) Find info HERE.

(7) To read about all of our fantastic speakers, please visit HERE.

(8) To see the schedule of workshops/talks, please visit HERE.

(9) Funshop schedule? TBA. Deadline for submission is Feb. 5th at which point we will have a published schedule.


Nuts ‘n’ Bolts:
The Unschoolers Platform is a *family friendly* event!!!! While UP does not provide childcare and does not hold responsibility for offspring, kids *are* welcomed!!! There will be several funshops and open table activity areas for kids to hang out at. The Teen room adjoins the Funshop room, adjoins the Conference hall. There is space for everyone to come and go freely and children, while attending a funshop, are *more* than welcome to pop into an adult talk to find their parent(s). Friends and community will be made and much cooperation provided when it comes to conference participation. Come on out and ENJOY!!!!


#homeschooling #unschool #unschoolersplatform

Life is Good!

That it is! Life is GREAT!
Are you a conference junkie like myself??? 😉

Conferences (homeschool, unschool, life-learning and everything in between) are such a beautiful way to come together with like-minded people and feel like you belong.  Be among people who cherish and support your journey, and well…. want to celebrate the paths that each of us have chosen for our families.

If you have not heard of the Life is Good Conference, you may want to check it out! Looks like a BLAST to be had up in Portland this fall! If you are unable to join us this February in Chicago, OR perhaps if you want to reconnect with UP friends elsewhere…. like perhaps the Life is Good Conference … this could be an option!


It announced on their FB page today that their super early bird registration ends Monday! If you haven’t scoped it out yet, you may want to pop on over to their info hub and check things out! If anything else, you might not want to miss Erika Davis-Pitre speak there!!! 😉


#homeschooling #unschool #unschoolersplatform



Meet Andrea

Rounding out our exciting panel: “Let’s Talk Philosophies! Meet a panel of homeschool, unschool, and life-learners and dig deeper in the ‘day-in-the-life’ topics” is Andrea. We are so pleased she will be joining us this February and feel you’ll enjoy meeting her as well! Meet Andrea!


Andrea Oliver is mom to 4 homeschoolers: ages 17, 14, 10 and 7. Finding balance in our family with all of our different learning styles, interests, needs and wants has been a challenge.  We have used curriculums, given up on curriculums, only to pick them up again in a different year.  I have always desired to follow unschooling philosophy but have never embraced it radically.  My trust issues and fear have frustrated our home life at times, but the kids keep learning and teaching me who they are and what they need to live into their whole selves.  Watching them learn and gain confidence through their interests and passions has calmed my fears and inspired me to trust the process more.  I am happy to have the freedom that homeschooling offers and grateful for the time spent  with my children.  I remain fearful, but hope for courage.



Dads Doing Their Dad Thing!

We have two very special men coming together to offer a very lively discussion with other dads…. doing their Dad Thing! You don’t want to miss out on hearing their experience and sharing yours! Meet Christopher and Danny who will be gearing up this amazing experience!



Meet Christopher:

Christopher Bakker, M.S., B.S., LMT, CEIM, CPMT is an entrepreneur & Dad whisperer. After 7 years as a stay at home dad (SAHD), he has explored in depth the world of school, homeschooling, unschooling, & worldschooling. Have questions? Let’s find answers together. Christopher’s published Dad work can be found in the 2nd edition of Dads Behaving Dadly June 2015 with 71 amazing fathers from around the world. The 2nd edition was again led by amazing fathers & dear friends, Hogan Hilling & Al Watts. Christopher is currently working on a manifesto tentatively titled “Dads: Make Your Mark.” With speaking engagements & conferences under his belt in early childhood, infant massage, education, & economics, it is an amazing honor to be asked to present at the 2016 Unschoolers Platform. From Director of Education of 100’s of school aged children to a Director of One with his son Pierce. Hear about the journey through this world of parenting & share with the other families at the conference. There will be laughter, tears, & new memories. With his talk, water park fun, amazing families, great speakers, & unschooling surprises, February is shaping up to be an event to remember.


Meet Danny:

Danny Dwarf is an unschooling dad and budding children’s book author-illustrator. After 18 years illustrating, animating and marketing in the medical industry, he remembered his answer to the age-old question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Without variance he’d reply, “an author-illustrator like Arnold Lobel.” So he took his own advice (better late than never!) and decided to spend his next 40 years creating illustrated stories of adorable hilarious animal characters, inspired by his free spirited kids / in-house critics. As a peaceful learning facilitator he prefers the “whatever the heck works” method. If he offends traditional schoolers or hard core unschoolers, he still has the uncanny ability to not lose sleep 😉 Any ethical technique that effectively prepares his kids for long term happiness is definitely worth trying.”

Let’s Get Real – Radical Unschooling

We’ve covered a ton so far, but here is our chance to truly get real about Radical Unschooling. Join Paula, Nancy and Amy as they debunked the myths and truly get real about radical unschooling. Join in this lively discussion on Wednesday at 3:30pm (Feb. 24), ask questions, share experiences, build a tribe. This is going to be a B.L.A.S.T!

Meet Paula, Nancy and Amy:


Paula Sjogerman, mom of two always unschooled now adults, is a theater artist and arts administrator living in the great city of Chicago. She likes Shakespeare, singing and short walks on the beach. Her unique and diverse experiences – including being a certified teacher and too many years of after school programs – formed her solid and steadfast “unbelief” in the current institution of school. She is unabashed in sharing what she stands for, will speak loudly about it, perhaps also jumping up and down.

Nancy Machaj first learned of unschooling & radical unschooling while she was pregnant with the first of her two children.  She knew instantly that she wanted to live this way!  Today, her 11 and 8 year old children have never been to school.  Nancy is very involved in the Chicagoland home/unschooling community and helps connect families through discussion groups, online and in person. You can count on her showing up at park days and various local meet-ups.  Nancy will share from her experiences how she has navigated the freedoms of radical unschooling and how it has evolved over the years. Nancy loves her tribe and community, and is looking forward to meeting lots of new friends at UP!

(Co-Founder, Co-Organizer of Unschoolers Platform)
Amy Jarjusey has an unquenchable thirst for spying a need and fulfilling demands. As a co-founder and sole coordinator of the AJ Collective Workshops she is constantly peering outside the box determined to supply everyone involved with new classes, fresh experiences and a place where families can gather, develop friendships and provide support to one another. Amy doesn’t take “no” for an answer and conversely doesn’t give “no” for an answer! With Amy there is ALWAYS a way — it’s never “DO?” — it’s always “DONE!” On the home front, she and her dedicated husband Seringe, are the anchors to the foundation of life learning that their 5 children are all deeply ingrained in as they sail about their days — crazy busy — but always connected!!


We’re just hours away from closing registration! Join us for some fun!!!


#homeschooling #unschool #unschoolersplatform


Meet Helen!

We are excited to have a plethora of amazing local homeschoolers come to offer their experiences to the Unschoolers Platform! Tuesday of the conference at 11:15am there will be a panel of speakers leading a discussion: “Let’s Talk Philosophies! Meet a panel of homeschool, unschool, and life-learners and dig deeper in the “day-in-the-life” topics!”

One of these amazing speakers on this UP panel is Helen!


Helen Michniewicz facilitates her children’s education while also running her own consulting practice where she assesses and coaches executives across the globe on leadership skills.  Helen holds a Master of Science degree in the field of business psychology and has 15 years of research and experience in increasing motivation, optimizing learning, and improving performance at Fortune 500 companies. She’s dedicated her professional career to developing leaders and creating work environments that promote life-long learning.  Helen leverages this experience as she guides her children’s education without a formal curriculum.  More importantly, choosing a path of life learning is a natural extension of the way that Helen and her husband raise their three daughters, ages 8, 5, and 5.  As infants their daughters ate and slept according to their own internal clocks, never on a schedule, and the family continued to follow their own pace and interests shaping their journey together.  Always exploring an eclectic mix of methods and theories, such as Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Place-Based education, Helen’s family takes what works but always stays centered around the core value of natural living and learning.  She is honored to be a panelist at The Unschoolers Platform and can’t wait to meet you!  Follow her on her Live and Learn Freely Blog, Facebook Page, and Twitter.   Helen is also a contributing author at Life Learning Magazine.


5 days left to register!

#homeschooling #unschool #unschoolersplatform