Unobstructed Horizons

by Flo Gascon

Sun, sand, and unschoolers- what could be better?  Maybe lively speakers, fun hands-on workshops, opportunity to chat with other unschoolers and mindful parents?  Find this and more at the inaugural Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference in San Diego, CA.

This conference was inspired by Kelly Lovejoy’s Live and Learn conferences.  I was infected with the conference energy at L&L 2007- it completely surprised and invigorated and I wanted more, more, and more.  In my mind I couldn’t shake the image of the unschoolers from around the country (dare I say the globe?) bringing their spirit to my area, San Diego.  It seemed the perfect combination:  a feast for the senses and all of my favorite local places intertwined with my kindred friends. So I committed to this goal and now find myself getting accustomed to opening my email and finding Sandra Dodd’s name there.  How in the world did that happen?   Since L&L has seen its final season, my hope is that the excitement and community Kelly started seven years ago is continued with Good Vibrations.

It is a thrill to be building this event.  I am excited that I have the opportunity to meet and know those who have inspired me through their writing, their advice, and their living.  I am excited that I will host friends, old and new in an area that is so unique and entertaining.   I am excited that I can welcome new families into my life and fill my heart even more.  I am excited that we have a community that can create magic in only a few days of being together.  I am excited that you all want to come!

What I’ve learned is that in the conference recipe, the most important ingredient is the individual.  I create a skeleton of parts, but it’s all of you who give it a heartbeat.  You bring your ideas, your stories, your openness, your laughter and unbridled spirits and you create an energy that is uplifting.  Everyone adds a bit of personal spice and you stir it all up and we get this bubbly, satisfying, life-giving feast.  If you’ve been to an unschooling conference, you’ve tasted it; you’ve felt it become a part of you.  If this will be your first, be prepared to wish the four days could stretch into four months.  You will feel refreshed, renewed, hopeful and supported.  If you want to be challenged on your unschooling journey, you will find that, too.  You will strengthen your friendships and make new ones.  You will laugh and your arms may ache from giving and receiving so many hugs.  Your kids will be in an environment of trust and love and they will have lots of opportunity to explore.   We are greater than the sum of our parts.

This is also a place to receive.  Observe peaceful partnerships with your children and your spouse, as Beth Fuller can explain.  If it’s spirituality you’re after, I’m betting Miranda Demarest will be willing to talk your ear off (in a really good way!)  Struggling with how Dad fits into the picture and how to create more balance between work and home?  Jeff Sabo’s your man.  Wondering about what grown unschoolers do with their time?  Roya Sorooshian is a great example of an accomplished and busy person.  Erika Perkins has lots of perspectives on trust and growing beyond labels and she will infuse you with her optimism.  If you want to soak up the wisdom and experience of those who have been thinking about and practicing unschooling for a long time (with really great results!), visit with Pam Sorooshian and Sandra Dodd for a bit.  They really are sweet and kind and eager to share their passion and I am so grateful they accepted my invitation to speak.

Here you can celebrate!  How many times a year can you take off the mainstream mask and completely embrace your choices?  Here no will ask you what curriculum you use, if you take a break for summer or what grade your child is in.  We all get it.  Our children are free, trusted and their voices are heard.  What a life!  And what an opportunity to immerse yourself in that joyous feeling that your children are whole and that possibility stretches before us like the oceanfront horizon at dusk: unobstructed, within sight, always present  and beautiful.  Often the sun glances up and paints soft color across the sky, making it richer than you expected.

We’ll be honoring that horizon as we christen this event.  You are invited to watch the sun set from the beach on Thursday evening after our first day of relaxing in the sand and surf.  There is nothing quite like a group of friends chatting while waves crash on the shore and kids romp nearby in the waning sunlight.  Savoring today and eagerly anticipating tomorrow.

Our hotel has been chosen for its proximity to the beach and its enchanting villages.  It is my hope that you will experience a bit of what Southern California has to offer while you’re here.   Grab a picnic lunch and relax at the beach.  Drive for dinner and shopping in refined Del Mar or quirky downtown Encinitas.  Hike up our renowned state reserve amongst the rare Torrey Pines for an endless view of water and horizon.  Act like a native- jump right in and take a surfing lesson.  Do some exploring!  We have lots to offer and I encourage you to make this a family vacation to remember.

Bring your spunk and unite for Southern California’s first ever unschooling conference. Unschoolers spread really good vibrations and after four days together, you’ll return home feeling really happy.  Please join us!