Sunday, September 28, 2014

Done! Tired.

I should have been reporting as these things happened, but when I wasn't speaking or sleeping, I was touristing. Beautiful things, beautiful places.

The library talk had a full room and they rushed us out suddenly at closing time.

The Common Ground fair had a full (overflowing) tent and no one after us so we stayed late and answered questions.

The potluck in New Hampshire would have had 35 people had not some of them had a flu, and others been afraid of that flu, so I think there were 17 people. It was plenty. :-) The food was good, and the house was great. Thank you, Susan!!

The free Friday-night follow-up offered to those who had attended the library or the fair was mostly attended by people who hadn't been to either one.

The Friday and Saturday "main event" symposium had a light group but attentive—interested and interesting people who brought good snacks and stories, and on Saturday some people cried and I was one of them, but then we kept cheering up and laughing.

We left the church cleaner than we found it, and tomorrow morning Keith and I fly back home!

Thank you for the positive feedback in person and on facebook, and please pass the best ideas on to others through example and advice!

Thanks to all who helped with set-ups and clean-ups, and who smiled at us.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Schedule and directions

I didn't realize I had hidden the directions to the church. They're linked from the "Site" tab now. And the schedule is up, with a bit more detail.

Anyone who has not sent a bio or intro who would like to, please do! To

Wolfrum Family

My husband Jim and our four children live in Camden, ME. We have an aquatic frog named Fred (named after Fred Schneider of the B52's).

Jim is a lighthouse enthusiast and history buff. He enjoys reading history books, visiting lighthouses, and taking photos of them from land, sea and air. During the weekdays, he is a pension administrator for Downeast Pension Services, Incorporated.

I have enjoyed ballet and jazz dancing since childhood and offer local dance and fitness classes. Reading, writing and walking are some of my other favorite activities.

Katie is 17 and has attended public school by choice since the end of eighth grade. She has her driver's permit, is working part time downtown and has been dating her boyfriend and best friend Zac since she was 13.

Keli'i is 13 and enjoys cooking, gaming, programming and is interested in how to create games. He's also passionate about eating vegan and how animals are treated. Li and Makana both like to play the game Werewolf with friends.

Makana is 9 and loves to play with Little Pet Shops, walk our neighbor's dog, read, skype and play Animal Jam and other games with friends.

Kanoa is 5 1/2 and is learning to swim! He loves reading certain favorite books before bed and often asks us to "make it funny!" Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggie series of books are the latest ones that he finds very amusing. He also likes to catch frogs, moths, and chicken eggs, dig up rocks, play Minecraft, play tag and pretend.

Some of the activities that we enjoy in our area are swimming at the lakes and beaches, visiting lighthouses, apple picking, biking, walking, skating and hiking. We continue to enjoy reading favorite stories aloud (right now The Land Of Stories book 3), watching Little House on the Prairie, and have recently discovered how great the Dr. Who shows are!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Robert, Colleen and Robbie Prieto

We are Robert, Colleen, and Robbie Prieto. We live in New Hampshire in a small neighborhood at the edge of the woods. We have a dog (Mo-Pug), two parakeets (Sibley and Peterson), a rabbit (Yoda), and an assortment of fish (Susur the Beta, and his trio of catfish).

Robert is an engineering consultant and Colleen is a grant writer - and we both working part-time, from home. So we get to spend lots of time together as a family, supporting and following Robbie's interests wherever they take us. Lately we enjoy (in no particular order :-)) watching Star Trek and Dr Who, going birding, wandering about in old cemeteries, reading and talking about history and "old things," spending time in the woods, spending time playing Minecraft, gardening, watching Food Network and watching House Hunters, playing Mario and other old and new Nintendo games, exploring places near and far in our state and beyond, and a bunch of other things as well :-)

Colleen loves taking pictures, so she takes lots and lots of them while we're out and about and while we're at home too.

Robert loves cooking, so he does lots of that and keeps us all very well fed.

And Robbie loves - well, he loves so many things. Unschooling has brought us much joy and good times, and we look forward to continuing along this path for many more years to come.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Some feedback on my presentations

New notes this week, two from people who have heard me speak:

Thank you for encouraging me (through your words on Always Learning, your symposiums, the Just Add Light and Stir blog, your visits) to create this wonderfully rich life that is dripping with fun, interesting and challenging opportunities for my children. A life that is so rich, in fact, that it is simply not possible to do everything that comes our way.

If there is one person to thank for the increased number of smiles on faces of people around me, it's you :)

(A comment on someone else's video about me:)
I vividly remember hearing Sandra for the first time at a conference. I remember feeling her passion for her children coming through as she described many aspects of unschooling. I felt so connected to the concept and the process because of my painful memories of school. That day really changed my life! I actually found her afterward and spoke to her because I HAD to thank her for opening my eyes to new possibilities. Thank you Sandra!

To me and the moderators of Always Learning and of Radical Unschooling Info, 2014:
I am writing to state that our lives have been drastically changed, for the better, because of your gracious willingness to stay on topic and share what works. I cannot overstate the effect on our small family, in ways I could have never imagined or predicted. The difference in attitude, patience, peace and general well being is tremendous. I wanted to thank you for continuing to put yourself out there, unfortunately with all the abuse and negativity that often entails, so some of us can improve our lives with the gentle, mindful lifestyle you keep sweetly and patiently explaining :-)

I rarely post since I often find a solution from archives or as I am editing. I do read as much as I have the time thank you, all, for your patience and generosity. It really does make a difference!

That and more feedback are here:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Robert Prieto's talks

Have you wondered about Minecraft? (Or are you already knowledgeable?)
Would you like to see a year in the life of an unschooling family?

This is preliminary information—the final namea haven't settled, but there are two great sessions planed:

(In the words of Colleen:)
Robert is planning on doing a year-in-the-life sort of overview of what it looked like, for us, to follow Robbie's interests. A year's journey sort of thing, he says - or a journey of connections - along those lines. He says he can work on a formal title :-) Birding, cemeteries, Minecon, history, politics, people, etc. and how it all connected and wove together and led to a great big pile of learning and fun for all three of us :-)

And for the other, he was planning on doing something specifically related to the learning and fun that comes specifically from Minecraft.

He's going to do a Powerpoint presentation for each, with photos, screenshots of Minecraft creations, etc. to give himself talking-points, and give folks things to look at while he's talking :-
Colleens writings have enriched the discussions she's been in, increasingly over the past few years and I'm excited to finally get to meet her, and her family, and to see photos. Her husband, Robert is willing to speak, but Colleen doesn't want to. Her writing, though, is available!

Some art by Robbie (and his dad, too, on the Lego page titles):

Friday, August 8, 2014

Karen James

I'm Karen James. I like to make things ( My husband is Doug James. He works in computer graphics at Cornell University ( He also plays guitar, piano and Starcraft 2. Our son is 11, loves video games, talking about his ideas, running, jumping, twirling. He is wonderfully curious and loves life. Ethan went to a co-op preschool for a couple days a week when we first moved to Ithaca, NY. When he was done with that, he was done with school. We've been unschooling ever since with ever-growing understanding, confidence, and joy.

Karen might be there alone, or Doug and Ethan might be there too for a while.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

About "ALLive in Maine"

I've added a bit to the "about" tab:

Please do read this, and if you're inviting others or mentioning this event in a discussion, that might be a good link to use. :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lodging in Camden

In addition to Laurie's list of where to stay

When working on flights and a rental car for me and Keith, I came upon this list of places to stay in Camden, along with information about the area:

Don't gawk at the rich people's houses, and if you wait too long or can't afford the local accommodations, try a nearby town. But please don't wait too long! We're going in the same season lots of people go to see beautiful autumn colors, so reserve a room early! (And don't forget to cancel it if you change your mind beforehand.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

A quieter, gentler gathering

When people go to a homeschooling conference, it's likely there will be speakers who aren't homeschoolers and might not even know any unschoolers.

When unschoolers go to homeschooling conferences, the same thing can happen, in that even the homeschooling speakers might know nothing about unschooling.

Time to wind down slowly, and clarify, to laugh and to smile is missing from big conferences. Here, those things are scheduled. After many years of attending and presenting at conferences, I've heard many times that someone came just to hear me, or just to hear the unschooling speakers. At least half the time, too, the room I'm assigned is busy until just before time, and we have to get out quickly, or parents have to leave to get their children.

Read at the tabs above, please, and consider coming to this gathering in Camden, Maine, Friday September 26th and Saturday September 27th 2014.