Yes, it’s been almost two months. So much to do, so little time! First, some birthdays came and went. My oldest turned 20 a few weeks ago, which means I have my first child in the twenty-something category. It was also the first birthday I didn’t get to spend with a child, as explained in my last post. But, my daughter and I had fun putting together our first “care package” for him with a few goodies. He e-mailed me telling me he received it and that he didn’t take long to “down the chocolate goods”. He was into Japanese cooking just before he left and had binged on some Japanese products before leaving, so I stuck a last package of udon noodles in the package. He commented that “the udon was a bit random, but appreciated.” Then he went on to put in a few more Japanese food product orders for next time. He continues to flourish on his mission, and is currently serving in his first location: North Salt Lake, UT.
Eli turned 16 yesterday and most of the family went to Cracker Barrel for his dinner outing. It can be hard and sad when your whole family can’t go to these types of things. Adam is just not at a place that he can tolerate that type of outing, so Abbey stayed home with him. She is such a gracious giver! On the other hand, she knows that she has a blessed life in being my traveling companion to conferences as well as much freedom in going wherever she wants when she needs to go. But, it’s still a choice to be amazing . . . and she is. Anyway, Eli wants to buy Rollercoaster Tycoon III – Wild as his gift.
And, speaking of conferences, Abbey, Eli and I just returned from the InHome Conference this past weekend, and we all had a blast! I still vote it as the best organized and most diverse inclusive conference I know of for both adult and children/teen workshops. Plus, we feel like such family among the organizers as we have attended and presented since 2000. I was invigorated and newly enthusiastic about some of my passions as I contemplated various things on my long drive home.
As always, my right-brained learner workshops were well-received. I presented a workshop on my Collaborative Learning Process for the first time that had mostly good reviews, with a few people who didn’t like it at all, which is always expected. It was my largest attended workshop this time, so there will always be someone who came and was expecting something different. Since this process has an unschooling “flavor”, and I didn’t write it up as such, some may have attended that don’t embrace that idea at all.
I became especially empassioned about the special needs arena after serving my second year on a special needs panel. I’m finally beyond frustrated about presenters who espouse the IEP/school process within special needs. I SO want to be a voice that shares another way . . . and, yes, to me, a superior way, than schools can provide our very different children. Around the discussion table after the conference, the organizers were eager to have me present next year at least one special needs workshop specific to autism, but they are open to me throwing in other ideas as well for another workshop.
On a similar note, I was able to speak to the organizer of Rethinking Education in Texas, Barb, on my way down as a potential speaker at her conference on Labor Day weekend. We are now working out the details, and I shared my enthusiasm about special needs topics that I would love to showcase at her conference, as well as the well-received right-brainer topics, so we’ll see how it all works out . . . Sometimes, passion and purpose hurts
Last, my recent post is up at Life Without School called From Snakes to Unschooling that I had posted here last year. I added some attributes to it based on the comments here at my blog, so go check it out and see what comes to mind for you. I actually should have mentioned two lessons for mom from that story. The one I didn’t mention, and I may add it after it is off the front page, is that children will learn what they are interested in if you supply the materials and resources for them, and be available and attentive to their requests.
I’m going to try to get back on my blog wagon . . . I missed everyone, but I had to prioritize, as you all can understand, I know!