Zoe (15) and I (Chris, 48) are thrilled to have the 2013 MN Always Learning Live Symposium hosted so close to our home. We're from West Des Moines, Iowa and it's just a little over a four hour's drive away!
We have attended two Live and Learn Conferences (St. Louis & Albuquerque,) Sandra's 2009 Santa Fe Symposium, the 2010 Life is Good Conference in Vancouver, WA and the 2011 ALL Symposium in Albuquerque. We enjoy these gatherings for stoking our unschooling fires and for the camaraderie of fellow unschoolers. Rick will be on his Annual Brothers Canoe Trip in northeast Iowa and Zach (22) will be attending his classes at University of Iowa in Iowa City. We'll be leaving our new puppy behind to be cared for by trusted family and professionals.
Our family has always homeschooled and we gradually moved from using an eclectic approach to full-on radical unschooling by the time Zach was 12 years old. Now, Zach is a senior in college majoring in History and German and he will be spending an extra year of undergraduate study in Freiburg, Germany beginning in August.
Zoe loves singing, playing video games, drawing, dancing and reading fantasy novels. She's busy most weeks with church choir, church youth group, dance lessons and skypeing with her friends across the continent. She's looking forward to getting a job this summer, traveling to Italy and Germany with her father and me in September and getting her driver's license in November!
I have many irons in the fire at any given time. I work part-time for Pearson VUE as a test administrator, I have provided freelance bookkeeping services to small corporations for the last 22 years and, as a licensed teacher, I help other homeschoolers in Iowa by serving as their supervising teacher. I enjoy reading and doing all things on the internet—keeping up with technology, current events, politics and social networking.
We are fortunate that Rick's commercial photography business can be operated out of our home so that between the two of us, there is almost always a parent home and available to hang out, talk, drive, prepare food and host social events. We're a stay-at-home team! Rick also enjoys bicycle touring (his goal is to ride border-to-border across each state—this summer he'll be riding across Oregon!) playing volleyball, watching football and spending time with his large family of origin.