Category Archives: Unschooling Conference

Texas Bubblers at TexUns2020

We’re excited to announced that Texas Bubblers will be a featured performer at the 2020 Texas Unschoolers Conference.

The Texas Bubblers love to make the world smile with something so simple as a bubble.  Bubbles do something good to the heart of every person who sees them. For the very young, they are in awe and it is pure enjoyment and excitement. For the young at heart, it is a moment of a sweet childhood memory, and many adults become child-like again and start playing with bubbles.

Join Texas Bubblers for Giant Magical Bubble Play.  Giant Bubbles created by Shelly & Bubba McBubbles using their wands that are between 4-10 feet long to create jellyfish bubbles, giant bubbles, monster bubbles, the crowd favorite the bubble cloud, and Texas “snow”.

Texas Bubblers on Facebook
Videos of Texas Bubblers 


Class Dismissed & Self-Taught are coming to TexUns2020

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be screening TWO documentaries about life outside of classrooms at the 2020 Texas Unschoolers Conference.

Class Dismissed: Frustrated with the traditional school system, a family in L.A. pulls their two kids out of school and takes their education into their own hands. Class Dismissed takes a fresh look at what it means to be educated in the 21st century and explores the rapidly growing movement of parents providing an education outside a classroom setting.
View Trailer for Class Dismissed
Class Dismissed Website

Self-Taught: Through the stories of six extraordinary individuals, Self-Taught explores what self-directed education means to them and the impact it has had on their lives, ambitions, work, and beliefs.
Whether Artist, Scientist, or Entrepreneur, they all have one thing in common: their belief that true education is the capacity to author your own life instead of merely accepting the one you’ve been handed.
View Trailer for Self-Taught
Self-Taught Website

Click here for more information or to register for the 2020 Texans Unschooling Conference.


Top Fan Contest

Want to win a $50 credit toward the 2020 Texas Unschoolers Conference?  Join our Facebook Top Fan contest.

Become a Texas Unschoolers Top Fan by liking our page, liking posts, commenting on posts, and sharing our content.

At the end of the month, we’ll randomly select a top fan to win a gift certificate worth $50/off registration fees.


  • Must be 18 years or older to win.
  • Gift certificate is only good toward conference registration fees for the 2020 Texas Unschoolers Conference.
  • Gift certificate can not be exchanged for cash.
  • Gift certificate can not be applied to future conferences
  • Gift certificate can not be used as payment to Jellystone in any way including, but not limited to: lodging, day pass, food, or activity fees.
  • By entering you acknowledge this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.
  • By entering you consent to a complete release of Facebook for any responsibility in this promotion.
  • Winner will be announced no later than Tuesday, February 4th, 2020 at noon.

Please note:
While we want you to share content with your friends you know will enjoy it, tagging them in posts/comments/shares doesn’t increase your status as a top fan.  So only do it if you think they’ll truly be interested.


Video Recap of the 2015 TexUns Conference, by Sue Patterson

Sue Patterson took the time to recap our days at the Texas Unschoolers Conference held in April 2015. Here is what Sue had to say about the conference each day.

For information about the 2016 TexUns Conference, please visit this link.


  • See Sue’s article about how Unschoolers meet the Texas Homeschool Laws here.
  • Read more about Peter Gray at his Column entitled, Freedom to Learn, at Psychology Today.



  • Find out more about Sue’s book, Homeschooled Teens, here.



  • Find out more about the movie, Class Dismissed, here..
  • Find more from Christina Wester, with Radiant Living and Learning, here.

A Review of the 2015 TexUns Conference, by Sue Patterson

daisies on a red backgroundLast April, something fabulous happened for the second time. Unschooling families – as well as homeschooling families curious about another way to home educate – gathered in the beautiful Texas Hill Country for yet another wildly successful annual Texas unschooling conference.

Michelle Conaway and her team of dedicated conference planners found the perfect location at the Hill Country Cabin and RV Resort. The cabins were adorable!! Clean, stocked, and comfy. And while I love camping, it was April in Texas. Well, you know what that means! Storms pop up out of nowhere and can wash a campsite away – but not when you’re tucked away in a cute little cabin! The resort has a variety of cabin sizes; some families shared, others turned the weekend into a family vacation.

In addition to the pools, hot tub, jumping pillow, and lodge, Michelle knew just what an unschooling family would want in an action-packed 4 day adventure: an all-day computer room, a nerf gun war, a scavenger hunt, a teen/tween pizza party at the pool, giant bubbles, an arts and crafts room, a massage chair, and a pancake breakfast and wonderfully stocked child care room.

Each morning started with meditation, yoga, and a coffee chat led by different unschooling moms. The evenings held family-fun activities: a group cook-out, potlucks, a fashion show, a sock hop, a talent show, a marketplace for unschoolers to sell their wares and even a private screening of the extraordinary recently released movie, Class Dismissed.

Meet-ups and Fun Shops were planned all weekend long so everyone could find their own new best friends. If you wanted to find people who shared your interests, you had a few options:

Outdoor Games
Little TexUns
My Little Pony/Barbie
Face painting
Learning about (and testing) delicious chocolate
Tween/teen cosplay
CPR training
The Hunger Games
Hula Hooping
Sand Volleyball
Tween/Teen Service Project
Teen Nights
Fashion Show
Talent Show
Sock Hop and More!

In addition to all this family fun, a variety of speakers helped parents get more comfortable with the ideas of unschooling, children learning naturally, and community possibilities. All of these talks were recorded and are available for you to hear. And for some wacky reason, I decided to give a little Keepin’ You In the Loop report each evening on video. If you’re interested in seeing those, click here. It’s my first attempts at videoing myself, I clearly have a long way to go before I reach Diane Sawyer level! Ha!

Here’s a brief overview how the speaker line up went:
Thursday night

  • Sue Patterson hosted a casual discussion in The Lodge about overcoming the fears that might hold you back form unschooling.


  • Sue Patterson opened with a discussion about the legalities of unschooling in Texas.
  • Michelle Conaway gave a talk about unschooling in the present moment and meeting our children where they are.
  • Michelle Holt hosted a round table about how radical unschooling really works in people’s homes. Questions came up about cussing, chores, food choices, and resistance.
  • Peter Gray spoke about his research on how children learn best, the importance of play and the problems that children today face. His talk, The Biology of Education, is available by video here.


  • Rachel Miller spoke about introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts, and how to be sensitive to your child and their needs when you find that they react differently to the world than you do.
  • Christina Wester hosted a talk unschooling and special needs children.
  • Sue Patterson shared information from her book, Homeschooled Teens, reassuring parents that unschooling through the teen years is a great idea!
  • Christina Wester led a group interested in exploring the connection with The Desire Map.
  • Unschooling Dads met to discuss their own obstacles and how they resolve various issues.


  • Amy Smith  hosted a round table discussion about sexuality and how we discuss body issues with our children.
  • Christina Wester, of Radiant Living, shared information about starting a Co-op similar to the Sudbury Valley school as she is embarking on this project in the Dallas area.
  • Jackson Pritchett, grown unschooler and UT graduate, discussed what his life was like as an unschooler growing up in Austin and shared about his college experience.

As you can see, a lot of love was poured into this weekend. It was fabulous seeing people return from the first year at Jellystone and I’m sure even more will want to join us next year. I will be there again and hope to see you too!


Texas Unschoolers Campference Recap – Day Two


Hanging out Ranger Station

Sunday, April 13, 2014

After some much needed rest, lots of us met up again for a “Coffee Chat” led by myself and Amy Smith at 8 a.m. We started by sharing our experiences with unschooling and then the conversation got interesting as it dipped and whirled around subjects such as media usage, being honest with our children in all areas of life, sleep and food freedom and trusting our children. I was so surprised that these Coffee gatherings were so well attended. We could have continued to talk for hours. We may need to schedule LOTS of time for these discussions next year!

At 9:30 a.m. we gathered at the Pavillion for Texas Market Days and boy did we have some amazing things and services for sale! Offerings were as follows:


Original Framed Artwork

Water Keifer and original artwork

3-D Puzzles

Sandra Dodd’s Books – “The Big Book of Unschooling” and “Moving a Puddle”

Duct Tape purses

Build your Own Lego mini Figure

Hot Wheels and other mini vehicles

Market Days Building Lego peeps Market Days Cameron Drawing Market Days Cameron Market Days Kaylee Market Days Lego Market Days Sandra Market Puzzles


What a success Market Day was! I believe everyone just about sold out of all of their goods.


At 1 p.m. Sue Patterson led a workshop entitled “Homeschooling Teens”.  She presented ideas that helped us to understand our teenagers more and to let go of the social “stigma” placed upon teenaged in our society. It was an empowering talk about staying “in tune” with our teens.


3 p.m. brought us a mother/son dialogue  between Sandra and Kirby Dodd. It was fascinating to hear them converse about Kirby’s childhood and reminisce  from the distinct perspectives of mother and child.


Late afternoon we did more Face Painting and made Prom decorations while Stacy Conaway and Eric Smith led The Dad’s Unschooling Discussion.

Facepaint 1 Facepaint 2 Facepaint 3 Facepaint 4 Facepaint 5

During the frenzy of all of this activity, the much anticipated Laser Tag sessions began. Each group of 11 started at 4:30 p.m. and ended at 7 p.m. This was one of the favorite activities. We had a total of 55 kids and adults participate!

Laser Tag 1 Laser tag 2 Laser Tag 3 Laser tag 4


At 7 p.m. we started winding down for our last speakers of the day. Our grown unschoolers panel was a mix of delightful, articulate young adults who shared their varied experiences with both homeschooling and unschooling. Trying public school, navigating college and building interesting careers were all part of their discussions. Listening to them was a true testament to the power of living a joyful life filled with interesting opportunities. They were an absolute inspiration to us! Thanks to all of the panelist for giving their time and energy to our conference!

Grown Unschooler Panel


After the Grown Unschoolers Panel, many of us headed out for our last group campfire of the conference. Then it was off to bed to rest up for another action packed Day 3!


Campfire 2

Campfire 4


Texas Unschoolers Campference Recap – Check In and Day 1

2014 TexUns Group Small

Photo taken by Stacy Conaway

 Wow! I’m still on a conference high a week after our First Annual Texas Unschoolers Conference.  What fun we had and what a success everything was! Thanks to everyone who came out to share a weekend of learning, connecting, playing and enjoying! Thanks to all of our wonderful speakers who inspired us and helped us to see that Unschooling DOES provide our kids with wonderful opportunities to grow into happy, productive adults that know where they want to go and how they want to get there.

Thanks to Sue Patterson, who coined Texas Unschoolers as the TexUns! Everyone loved the shortened name and it really caught on. She even made cute flags for us to display on our cars or cabins to identify us as a group.

Texuns flags

Designed and Photographed by Sue Patterson

Friday, April 11, 2014

We kicked off the conference on Friday evening with check in at the Hideout. There all of the registrants got their goodie bags, signed up for the talent show, signed up for laser tag and met some of the speakers. Everyone got to customize their own name tags using crayons, markers, colored pencils and stickers.

Sue and Sandra check in - Amy Texuns sign pic

Stacy and I registration

 Above Photos by Amy Smith

Nametags Kate Stoltz

Above Photo and Artwork by Kate Stolz

Nametags Smiths

Above Photo by Amy Smith

After check in, everyone met down at the Group Campfire area for hotdogs, S’mores and visiting. What a great start to our first annual Texas Unschoolers Conference!

campfire kids


Saturday, April 12, 2014

We started off the day with Coffee Chats with Sue Patterson. Lots of interesting conversation. We were surprised so many people showed up for these 8 a.m. informal talks!

Sue Coffee Chat 1

Sue Coffee Chat

Then we kicked off the official start to the conference with Texas Sized Welcomes. Everyone introduced themselves. We even had a family from Pennsylvania and two families from Colorado.

Introductions Audiance Introductions me 1

Introductions Sandra Introductions Sue

Sandra and Amy

Sue Patterson started our conference talks with “If I Knew then What I Know Now.” She gave us lots to think about.

Sues first talk 1


All the gamers met up at Jellystone Hall for gaming and socializing. Some broke off by twos or threes and played in small groups at their cabins.

Cam and Cam gaming


gamers 2

The Nerf Wars Extravaganza was well attended. We had a lot of space to run and play capture the flag.

Nerf at conf 3

Nerf at conf 2

Nerf little kid

Nerf at conference

Sandra Dodd’s talk entitled “Being Your Childs Partner, Not his Adversary” was a popular talk. Everyone learned a lot and had lots to ponder after listening to our speakers.

Sandra and Kirby

Everyone contributed to the Potluck Dinner and boy did we have a feast! Some sat indoors while other ate outside under the trees at picnic tables or at the outdoor pool.


Pot Luck conversation Pot Luck Dinner

After dinner lots of the kids (and adults) had their faces painted just in time to participate in the Talent Show.

Facepaint Boy Facepaint Kate Facepaint

Adult Facepaint

We ended the day with all kinds of awesome talent. From puppet shows to light saber to learning a bit of Russian, we were all entertained by these awesome kids. Of course, the Frozen soundtrack was one of the most popular for our amazing singers. We had a couple of original songs and even a parkour show. No one wanted the evening to end! The perfect ending to our first day…

Talent Show audience 1 Talent Show Audience Talent Show Me announcing Talent Show Parkour Talent Show Puppets Talent Show Singers

Talent Show Caleb and Friends Talent Show Finn Talent Show Kaylee Talent Show Lucy

After the talent show we all headed back to our cabins or campsites for some much needed rest! With the first day a big success we all anticipated more fun filled days to come…

A BIG thank you to Amy Smith for the majority of the photos above!