It's not just that we have a common educational philosophy, though there is that wee bit; it's because there's an openness, an optimism, and deep love of life and children that is present when in the company of unschoolers. It's an energy you can't understand until you've been in its glow. Find yourself some unschoolers and get yourself some of that good stuff; you won't be sorry.
I also love blogging because of the amazing connections and friendships I've made with people all across the country. It's completely amazing to meet other unschooling bloggers at conferences and gatherings after only knowing each other online. It's so much fun knowing people around the country, knowing we have the potential to gather no matter where we travel.
But what tops all that? Finding unschoolers in my neck of the woods.
Thanks to my blog, Jodi of Sunflower Hill Farm recognized me at the InHome Conference and introduced herself. She also invited me to visit their local homeschooling group that gathers in a town not 30 minutes from my house. And yesterday, that group gathered at Inn Serendipity, an eco-B&B owned by my friend Lisa, someone I adore but rarely see.
How fun to meet up with a great group of home- and unschoolers, meet bloggers I'd connected with online, and reconnect with old friends. It was like a coming home.
Lisa led a Renewable Energy scavenger hunt on their homestead, guiding the kids to discover the myriad ways they harness the earth's power and live gently on their plot.
Lisa's husband, John (award-winning photographer, writer, author, national speaker, ecopreneur and globetrotter), stepped in when it was time to explain kilowatts and photovoltaic energy and...
the Savonius Rotor (say what?)
and their 1974 electric car. Seriously!
They also have several kinds of solar panelsAnd even a solar cooker. Here's their wind turbine, and I didn't remember to take a picture of their straw-bale constructed greenhouse where they grow papayas, of all things!
I did manage, however, to take a picture of the tree with a mini-trampoline in it.
As always, the potluck was delicious and inspired. Homemade goodies like sweet breads and applesauce and jams, pesto pasta, macaroni-and-cheese from scratch (it wasn't neon!), bean salads and green salads. There was even a delightful Indian dessert that I must learn about. I can't even remember what it was called. I'll call it oh-my-goddess-please-may-I-have-another. And-another.