Colorado Homeschool & Unschool Events
My list of unique and unusual homeschooling and unschooling conferences, book fairs, classes, field trips, summer camps and other fun stuff. Most are in Colorado, some are not, but worth a road trip!
Ahem. Somebody needs to get their collective ducks in a row and coordinate an inclusive Colorado homeschooling/unschooling conference! No one’s attempted one [that I know of] since I coordinated the Homeschooling for Everyone Conferences in 1998 and 2000. Best selling authors David and Micki Colfax, and Mary Griffith were keynote speakers; Cafi Cohen held workshops on how to homeschool a teen and Peggy Webb with West River Academy offered several sessions to answer those millions of unschooling questions you/your hubby/your parents have. Kids were welcome and had lots of space to play and run. People from all over the country drove thousands of miles to attend. Musicians sang, strummed and strolled around the grounds. Lunch was eaten sprawled picnic-style on the grass, or sitting in chairs in the cafeteria. All religious beliefs — and secular ones — were respected and welcomed and nobody clashed. We even had an Unschoolers’ Gathering afterwards at a local park. We had a ball.
Yeah yeah … I know what you’re thinking. “But I couldn’t, I don’t know how, I don’t have the time, yaddah yaddah yaddah.” Everybody has the same excuses. I had the them, too. AND, I was busy unschooling my kids. PLUS running my own business. But I waded in anyway, a toe at a time. I researched for months, asked every homeschool and unschool conference coordinator under the sun for advice. I taught myself how to sponsor and coordinate a conference, the kind *I’d* always wanted. Not the usual Vanilla-Generic buy-buy-buy-curricula and microscopes and lesson planners and rulers and science kits until you break the bank shindigs that drive me crazy and bore me silly. Amazingly, even though I had no experience, it worked. Actually, it was a spectacular success, with the highest number of attendees at a first-time conference ever. People still talk about Homeschooling for Everyone. If you’re thinking, “Nah, I’ll wait till someone else does it”, think about this: No one’s done an inclusive Colorado conference in 17 years. Other states do them. But we Colorado home/unschoolers are, I dunno …. scared? lazy? So please consider it. For your kids. For yourself. If you decide to try (and are serious) and need a kickstart, ideas or advice … I’m right here.
Homeschooling for Excellence
by David and Micki Colfax
Using a combination of traditional homeschooling and unschooling, the Colfax’s are probably the most famous homeschooling family ever. Homeschooling for Excellence is their saga of how they home educated their four kids by having them help clear land, construct a water retrieval system, and build a homestead in the California wilderness in between doing worksheets and traditional textbook material. Three of the kids made worldwide headlines when they were accepted into Harvard University. Here’s what the Colfax ‘kids’ are doing today.
All Year ‘Round
HTML 101 for Kids: Basics of Web Programming
Free 14-lesson courses taught by a homeschool dad. These are self-paced, moderated, and completely online.
Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) FREE DAYS Calendar
What our budget likes most — FREE days! — at The Denver Zoo, The Museum of Art, The Molly Brown House, Four Mile Historic Park, The Museum of Nature and Science, The Museum of Outdoor Art, Hudson Gardens, The Children’s Museum, The Boulder History Museum, The Aurora History Museum and more.
UnCollege Gap Year
Not sure if you want to go to college? Unsure what to do after college? Here’s a nine-month gap year for students 18-23 who typically want one of these three things:
1) to explore and focus their interests before committing to a four-year program
2) to get unstuck before starting – or restarting – college
3) who are entrepreneurial, self-motivated, and impatient to begin their career
Your gap year will encompass international service learning, skill building workshops in San Francisco, and an internship anywhere in the world.
Colorado Springs Youth Sports
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Opportunities to play in leagues throughout the year: Soccer, Tackle Football, T-Ball, Baseball, Softball, Fall Football and Fall Fall Soccer. Because programs are so large, registration takes place one to two months in advance.
They also offer Judo, Boxing, and Golf, plus a variety of Sport Camps.
Colorado, the entire USA, Abroad
Offering life-changing trips, retreats, and virtual workshops for unschoolers, homeschoolers, and other self-directed learners ages 14-19. This year their big adventurous trips are to Spain and Southeast Asia. In previous years unschoolers journeyed to New Zealand, Argentina and Nepal. They also offer local Writers’ Retreats and other intriguing workshops. This is way cool!
Pikes Peak Library District Homeschool Resource Fair
Friday, August 11, 2017.
9 a.m.-12 p.m
Held in Colorado Springs, but ALL Colorado homeschoolers are welcome.
Wild + Free Family Camp
Buena Vista, Colorado
August 25-27, 2017
Three days of rope courses, zip lines, sports galore, hiking trails, pony rides, evening events and entertainment. Good ol’ family fun!
Not Back To School Camp
Oregon and Vermont
The internationally famous summer camp for teenaged unschoolers from all over the world, aged 13-18. NBTSC was created in 1996 by Grace Llewellyn, a former school teacher. Grace is best known as the author of the unschooled classics The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life And Education (highly recommended if you have a teen, pre-teen or just want to understand how unschooling works) and Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don’t Go to School Tell Their Own Stories.
Free To Be Unschooling Conference
Aug 31-Sep 03, 2017
A celebration of living and learning outside the box. We believe that one of our most important jobs as parents is to act as our children’s partners and facilitators . . . to walk beside them as they navigate the world, living and learning with passion and joy, according to their own personal path in life. This conference aims to help us support each other in doing just that. Come play with us in the Valley of the Sun!
AERO Conference 2017
Long Island, New York
August 2-6 2017
This year’s theme is: “If Learner-Centered Education Is the Answer … What Is The Question?” Given the current political climate, there will be two main questions explored in this year’s conference: 1) Could learner-centered education be accessible to all? 2) Is is possible to create societies without schooling as we have known it?
Keynote speakers include Jonathan Kozol, author of National Book Award Winner Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools, John Taylor Gatto, Award Winning Teacher and bestselling author of Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, Peter Grey, author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life, and Dennis Littkey, President of College Unbound.
by Diane Flynn Keith. For trips around town and those longer “Are we THERE yet?” journeys. Unplug from digital entertainment mind-fudge! Instead, engage with your kids and play Eighteen-Wheeler Chemistry, Drive-By History, Rock ‘n’ Roll Multiplication Tables or Rest Stop Olympics! The activities are fun, funny and far more educationally productive then staring at a computer/TV/cell screen. Remember, interaction with other people teaches socialization skills.
Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance: High School Edition
Registration deadline: September 15, 2017
FREE for Colorado homeschoolers ONLY
• Provides students with a full .5 elective credit
• Students work at their own pace
• 24/7 course access and complete visibility to student progress
• A Colorado credentialed teacher available for support
• Upon completion of the course, a transcript will be sent home
Contact Ron Benton or call him at (720) 441-0221.
Live Performance: “DaVinci & Michelangelo: The Titans Experience”
Sept 2, 3 and 10, 2017
Take a journey through the Italian Renaissance as seen through the eyes of monumental geniuses Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo, who were not only contemporaries but also fierce competitors. This one-of-a-kind, multi-media performance includes movies, 3-D animations, and images of DaVinci and Michelangelo’s inventions, machines, images of codices, artwork, paintings, and sculptures. Your host and presenter is the curator of the DaVinci Machines and Michelangelo Exhibitions located in the permanent Museum of Leonardo DaVinci in Florence, Italy. Held at the Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum.
The Air and Space Museum also has a separate and very cool DaVinci Machines Exhibition, but only through September 10th. It contains over 65 hand-crafted inventions built from Leonardo’s 500-year-old designs, many of which are interactive, meaning you can touch and handle them and see how they work. These include the “bicycle”, “parachute”, “hang glider” and the “air screw”, a precursor to the helicopter. This exhibition presents models grouped in themes: war machines, flying machines, nautical & hydraulic machines, as well as devices illustrating the Principles of Mechanics. Explanatory notes and illustrative panels with Leonardo’s drawings accompany each model. The exhibit also contains a 45-minute film, an interactive kid’s area, audio tours for nearly every piece and docent-guided tours!
CU Wizards Program
September 2017-June 2018
FREE monthly interactive shows that entertain and inform children about the wonders of science. They occur once a month, on Saturday mornings, from September-June and are geared toward grades 5-9, but everybody’s welcome! The 2017-2018 schedule should be posted in the next few weeks.
Constitutional Champions Camp
Colorado Springs, Colorado
June 19-22, 2017.
A day camp for children entering grades 2-6. Offering Heritage-based education with special focus on the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. constitution, and the founding generation.
Small Kindness Learning
An 8 week LIVE Online “SUMMER Before Algebra” Skills Review Course for students heading into Algebra I or Algebra II (after Geometry). $10/week.
Also offering a 4 week LIVE Online “Empower Yourself with Study Skills” Course for students students to get prepared for the new school year. $12/week
National Spanish Spelling Bee.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
July 13-16, 2017
San Antonio, Texas
Denver Writes: Where Kids and Community Come Together To Write
Summer writing camps and writing workshops for kids.
July 2017’s Theme: Fantastic Fairytales and How To Write Them
Adventures in Homeschooling Conference
San Francisco, California
July 27-30, 2017
Free Minds, Free People Conference
July 6-9, 2017
A national conference that brings together teachers, young people, researchers, parents and community-based activists/educators from across the country to build a movement to develop and promote education as a tool for liberation. The conference location changes every year.
YES! Educational Transformational Jam (“Ed Jam”)
July 3-9 2017
Ed Jam brings together 30 leaders and visionaries from across the oft-divided education world: public, private, independent, and charter schools, unschooling, homeschooling, learning communities, youth empowerment, and more. We will explore our experiences and visions of education, build relationships, deepen our perspectives of challenging questions, share places of growth, struggle and healing, and have a lot of fun.
Have an event of interest to unschoolers? Contact Cindy!