Unschoolers Platform 2017

Checking out the waterpark right after we arrived

We spent last week at the fabulous Unschoolers Platform 2017 conference at the Key Lime Cove waterpark in Gurnee, Illinois! It was the second year for the event. (See last year’s post.)

There are several aspects that come together to make a successful conference, and this one had it all – friendly people, knowledgeable speakers, lots of opportunities for fun, and a good location.

Friendly people

We love to go to unschooling conferences because it’s always nice to hang out with like minded families practicing a similar lifestyle.  At this one we were able to meet up with old friends, meet online friends in person for the first time, and make some new ones. The people are what make a conference great, and this one was filled with awesome folks. 

Knowledgeable speakers

Moms gathering
Moms gathering

Another good part about going to unschooling conferences is the chance to hear knowledgeable presenters to learn more about unschooling concepts and reinforce  what is already known.  At this particular conference, we had a bunch of great speakers, all unschooling moms that have parented their kids to adults and beyond. Pam Laricchia, Sue Patterson,  and Erika Davis-Pitre were the major guests and each gave several good presentations.

Worldschooling discussion
This year I was asked to lead a discussion on the topic of worldschooling. The session was well attended and got lots of participation. We talked about how worldschooling is something that can be done whether you travel a little, a lot, or not at all. It’s more a mindset shift that takes unschooling one step further and encourages you to help your kids explore the world and their roles as world citizens.  (More on that another day.)

A lot of people wanted to chat about the family travel aspect, and so we spent quite awhile on basics such as how to choose a destination, where to look up flights, alternative options for accommodation, etc.  So much was covered that I put together a list of wolrdschool resources based on what we talked about. It’s not meant to be a definitive guide or all inclusive, but represents what came up during the discussion.

I’m very thankful to the organizers for having been asked, and a big thanks also goes out to everyone that contributed to the conversation.

Fun!

Of course the conference had plenty of time for fun too! There were official scheduled activities, such as funshops on topics like artist trading cards, perler bead creations,  balloon twisting, etc. plus a family dance party for Valentine’s Day, a board game night, movie night, etc.

There was also plenty of time for impromptu gatherings. games of Werewolf,  joint Pokemon Go runs, etc.,  and of course lots of fun in the waterpark!

The venue

Key Lime Cove is a waterpark resort on the northern outskirts of Chicagoland. The resort’s decorating is superb and really lends to the atmosphere.  The overall theme is one of a relaxed, yet festive beach environment. Think boardwalks and colorful changing huts rather than nautical, with lots and lots of bright colors. The walls throughout are busy and full of vibrant art — even the bathrooms have gallery walls!.  The guest rooms are more muted, likely to allow for a more restful atmosphere, but are still color filled, with each wall a different shade.  The waterpark itself is a nice size – with plenty to do, but not so big that you lose each other. The water is ozone cleaned rather than chlorinated, which means no burning eyes or irritated skin.

Part way through the conference we were saddened to learn that the resort will likely be closing for good soon, as the Great Wolf Lodge chain is buying it out and will spend a year or more remodeling. We don’t know yet what that means for this conference, but we hope to see it continue!

 

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