Who is the Northeast Unschooling Conference for?
Are you an unschooler or unschooling family, interested in alternative education, self-directed learning, joyful parenting, and connecting with community? You’ll fit right in! We welcome self-directed learners of all ages, parents, grown unschoolers, friends, grandparents, unschooling curious families, professional educators, and all those interested in exploring unschooling, making new friends, and connecting with our community.
How much does NEUC cost?
When and where is NEUC?
Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16 2020.
Our location is the beautiful Sheraton Four Points in Wakefield, MA, located at: 1 Audubon Rd, Wakefield, MA 01880. For more information about the hotel, check out the hotel section of our website or the Sheraton Four Points website.
What should I bring to NEUC?
Here is a list of things you might consider bringing:
Snacks! We are surrounded by amazing restaurants, and all of our hotel rooms are outfitted with a microwave and mini fridge, so feel free to bring what your family needs to sustain between mealtimes. Keep in mind that our conference is a nut free environment.
A refillable water bottle. The hotel provides us with water stations throughout the conference space, and disposable cups are provided, but we can cut down on the waste by staying healthy and hydrated with a refillable water bottle.
Games! There’s plenty of social time to make new friends and play games. Bring any games you’d like to share with our community! Don’t forget to bring a deck of playing cards.
Sweaters. Even though NEUC is in August, it can get a little chilly in the conference space.
Swimming gear. Our hotel offers a beautiful pool, so make sure to bring what you need for swimming.
Things that keep you and your family healthy. We do our best to create a clean, healthy conference environment, but with a lot of people in one hotel for a week staying up late and having fun, conference crud can happen. Be sure to bring whatever supplements, teas, etc. you and your family enjoy.
Your handmade crafts to sell at our UNtrepreneurial fair. Table space is free!
Cash. Speaking of the UNtrepreneurial fair, most vendors only take cash. You’ll regret it if you don’t have at least a little pocket money!
Musical instruments! We love jam sessions.
Toys and art supplies! We have a playroom and an art room, and always appreciate contributions.
Whatever you need to participate in the funshops and activities you plan on going to. We often have knitting, beading, nail painting, etc. Although oftentimes these workshops will provide their own materials, if you have a knitting project and are planning on going to the knitting circle, bring it!
Videogame setups. We have a gaming room, and if your kids love to game, feel free to bring desktop computers so they can play with other folks over the weekend.
Small gifts for your fairy godchild. Our very godparents program matches people with an anonymous gift giver for the weekend. Our conference location is surrounded by wonderful shops, but feel free to bring small gifts in preparation.
Materials for your funshop, if you’re running one.
Materials you might need for a performance in the talent show. The talent show is one of our favorite traditions, and talents (or untalents) of all levels are welcome and encouraged to perform!
What is the accessibility information for NEUC?
The conference is held at the Sheraton Four Points in Wakefield. The conference space is wheelchair accessible, with all rooms having ramp and elevator access. The main conference space is carpeted. The hotel provides wheelchair accessible rooms, as well as scent/chemical free rooms.
Our conference is nut free, and we are surrounded with wonderful vegan and vegetarian dining options a short walk or drive away at Marketstreet Lynnfield.
All bathrooms within conference space are gender-neutral, multi-stall restrooms. Restrooms in the hotel lobby are gender segregated.
The conference space itself does not have windows and is lit by overhead lighting, although there is easy access to the outdoors!
We do not currently have language translation services, so please reach out directly if you need these services.
We will have a designated quiet space for folks of all ages who need to decompress.
We strive to be as accommodating as possible, so please let us know if you have additional accessibility needs or questions. Contact conference organizers: email@example.com.
What does the conference registration cover?
We offer single day and full week conference registration, and both cover access to all funshops, keynote presenters, panels, discussions, and programming of all types! Registration does not cover hotel or food.
Do you offer scholarships?
Yes! We are offering a limited number of scholarships. Please click here to fill out our scholarship application form. The exact number of scholarships available will depend on the success of our fundraising efforts.
We are not able to offer scholarships for hotel rooms. We are hoping to roll out a more robust scholarship program next year.
If you would like to find other families or individuals who might be interested in splitting the cost of hotel rooms, feel free to post in our Facebook group.
We are committed to making NEUC accessible for everyone, and although we have no control over the cost of the hotel rooms, if hotel cost is going to prevent you from attending this year’s conference, please email conference organizers, and we will do our best to work with you and your family’s situation: firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I become a speaker at NEUC/propose a funshop/run a discussion?
Thank you so much for being willing to lend your skills, time, and heart to make our conference a spectacular, community driven event!
If you have an idea for programming, click here to fill out the Google form to propose your idea!
What kind of programming are you looking for?
We are looking for all types of programming! We welcome presenters of any age and any skill level, presenting on virtually any topic. We love hands-on, creative funshops, skill shares teaching about your favorite interest, closed identity-based programming, discussions on social justice issues, academically focused workshops on topics you might learn about in school, discussion circles on unschooling specific topics, support spaces addressing challenging topics, or anything else you can think of!
NEUC, like unschooling itself, is a celebration of who we are as individuals and as a community. For one short week, we get to come together to create the programming WE want to be part of. It makes our community stronger when we share from our hearts, come together around topics of interest, and create programming that supports our unique lives. We would be honored if you would share yourselves with us in this way!
What should I expect at NEUC? What do kids do at NEUC? Is there programming for parents? What about teenagers? Grown unschoolers?
Yes, yes, YES! We offer a wide variety of programming designed to appeal to everyone of all ages in your family.
Younger folks might enjoy our hands-on funshops that have historically ranged from playdough, to bead work, to story time, to creative movement. We have options in every timeslot for fun, hands-on workshops for kids to explore interests and play alongside other unschooled kiddos, a truly unique opportunity. Some of the most imaginative, creative, and free-spirited play happens when little unschoolers get together! Oh, and don’t forget access to our beautiful inground, indoor pool!
Although many older folks attend hands-on funshops as well, teenagers might be drawn towards funshops where they can learn a new skill alongside other unschoolers, such as guitar, American Sign Language, or knitting. They might also find themselves in our computer room, alongside other gamers. Or, they might be interested in speaking on or attending our teen unschoolers panel, attending programming about how to get into college as an unschooler, or connecting with grown unschoolers for mentorship or guidance. Or, of course, just hanging out in the hallways, talking with friends, and playing games.
Grown unschoolers will appreciate our closed, grown unschooler only spaces- as far as we know, the only one in the world. They might appreciate our deep, complex discussions about the goods and bads of unschooling, and might enjoy speaking on our grown unschoolers panel. They might also want to lend their voices to some of our parent programming, sharing lived experience with unschooling families who still have younger people in the house. Grown unschoolers might also appreciate our opportunities to connect with teenage unschoolers to talk realistically and honestly about shared lived experience.
Parents, grandparents, caregivers, and other older family members have a wide variety of workshops, panels, and discussions to choose from! Parents might be interested in attending workshops discussing unschooling struggles, and how they are handling difficult topics such as unschooling around food, screen time, personal hygiene, etc. Or, parents might enjoy specific community discussions on unschooling in low income families, unschooling with children with disabilities, or unschooling without the support of a spouse. Or, perhaps, you want to connect with other parents about the joys of unschooling, or how to help hesitant family members see the joy your family is experiencing. Many parents attend our teen and grown unschooler panels, or sit in on our dads or moms panels. Closed spaces to talk about the unique struggles and joys of being an unschooling parent who also earns a paycheck, and being an unschooling parent who doesn’t are also popular choices. We will have programming talking about what to do when you’re unschooler is college-bound, and how to support them when they aren’t. Maybe you’re the parent of a grown unschooler, and you’d like to connect with other parents with grown children? We’ve got programming for that, too!
Folks of all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend any type of workshop they find interesting! We also offer workshops on social issues such as racism and transphobia, and encourage all conference goers to prioritize learning about these issues in the context of our community. Close identity spaces (such as unschoolers only, or transgender caucus) will be marked as such in the program booklet. If you have ideas for other types of programming, or would like to lead a fun shop or discussion, please feel free to propose it right here!
We hope that all members of your family will enjoy our atmosphere of community and connection, as we celebrate unschooling, connect with each other, and make lifelong friends who deeply understand what it means to unschool.
I have questions about the hotel. How do I get those answered?
Click here to see our info about the hotel, click here to see our accessibility information, visit the Sheraton Four Points website right here, book a room in the conference block at the conference rate by clicking here, or call the hotel directly at: (781) 245-9300. Be sure to tell them that you are with the Northeast Unschooling Conference to receive our special room rates.
Sold! How do I register for NEUC?
By clicking right here! Can’t wait to see you in August!
I’m having a technical difficulty registering/I still have more questions that were not answered. Who do I ask?
If you have questions about the conference or are having technical difficulties registering, call conference organizer Emmett DuPont (they/them) at: 860-884-5829 or email conference organizers at: email@example.com