Sunday, April 24, 2011

Beth and Emma in Baud

Beth and Emma Fuller, unschoolers from Albuquerque, recently visited the McNeills in Baud, where I'll be visiting (and others, too!) in June. Beth and Emma have been in France for a month, and is keeping this blog:

Beth wrote:

Our latest adventure was out to visit friends in the Bretagne region of France. This part of France is truly gorgeous. Bucolic and verdant describe it well. We reveled in the streams, rivers, ponds and springs that are so abundant there. We desert people really appreciate water. The kids loved scampering through the five acres of lush green with dogs, cats and chickens often joining in. We did take time to see and appreciate the small towns around the area. We met so many lovely people at the stores, open-air markets and restaurants. They were infinitely patient with us as we continued learning more of the language.

There is such a different feel there than the hustle and bustle of Paris. There is an ease and slower pace that make it ideal for long walks along the river, reading books while nestled happily on the banks of the stream or enjoying multiple hour lunches eating both savory and sweet crepes while enjoying the outstanding local cider (le cidre Breton).

We also explored some local churches and ramparts. We visited the open-air market in Hennebont that seemed to go on for kilometers. We marveled at the menhirs. Mostly, though, we soaked in the springtime. Paris has been so wonderful, but it has also been very cold and cloudy. Baud, the small town where we were staying, was in the full glory of spring. There were tulips, wisteria, lilacs, daisies and dozens of other flowers I did not know blooming everywhere. There were lambs frolicking in the fields and horses grazing in the sunshine. It was warm enough to play in the stream and swim in our friend's pool. We even enjoyed sleeping with our window wide open to the wondrous full moon and the sweet smell of wisteria floating in all night.

We were sad to leave, but alas, our friends are leaving for a trip of their own...ironically, they are heading to Albuquerque. Too funny.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shipping discount from

Until recently, Europeans (and Canadians, NZ, Australia—anybody outside the U.S.) needed to give me a lot of money for international shipping, but now Lulu has production centers on other continents. GOOD! And they have a shipping sale until the end of April.

Please check this out.

I also intend to have books with me in some places, at £9 for Moving a Puddle, and £15 for The Big Book, but for anyone interested in buying one directly now, with $4.95 off the shipping costs, I've collected details and links here:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Amassing Documents

My rail pass and Oyster card were delivered yesterday. My card's fancier than the generic image.

It's still five weeks away, but I'm already trying to figure out the logistics of carrying computer, clothes, books and papers, and getting around some by myself. Julie Daniel is letting me use her house as a base, so I can leave some things there, and I'll never be away more than a week. I'll usually have friends driving, but there are a few days I'll need to get in and around trains. If anyone has advice suggestions, I'd be glad to have them. The "greatest hits" of the checklist of things you've wished you had done differently when you travelled would be helpful. (I have my own checklist of "doh!" and "oops" and "Oh right..." and I'm sure I'll add to that this trip, too.)

The Edinburgh talks are being announced very efficiently by the group organizing all that, and I'm excited about that. I'm planning some things I haven't done or said elsewhere, to make it extra special, because they've put so much work into organizing the venue and schedule and the beautiful web page.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Travel bookings!

This is here partly for my own benefit, so I can find it again, but partly it's all more real now! I have paid-for airfare, BritRail pass, and Oyster card ( (latter two are on the way). I've ordered a vest with lots of pockets so I can have my glasses, passport and camera all with me and on me in the plane (not under the seat) and I have a little ballpoint pen that writes black (or blue) to fill in the customs form because when I got to India, mine was in green (the only pen I carry around) and I had to re-do it. So I bought a pen in a mall in Bangalore and haven't used it yet. Very intricate plan building here! :-)

Part of what I sent to Julie, my London host:
I wouldn't mind one bit sitting around the airport BEING in England. I love that, being in England, y'know.

Saturday May 14, Heathrow
10:15 am (add possible delay, add luggage and customs and a pause for initial BEING)
Delta 272 from Atlanta

Wednesday July 13
10:30 am
Delta 271 to Boston

I went with the least expensive and shall meander home through Boston and Salt Lake City. Tour of the U.S. :-)

David Waynforth already booked us on Eurostar to France and back. (I'm going in the chunnel!)

Eurostar Booking London to Rennes
Departure: Sun 12th Jun 2011 - 08:57
Arrival: Sun 12th Jun 2011 - 11:30
Duration: 01h33m
Train no: 9116
           CHANGE TRAINS: 00h40m stopover Lille Europe
Sun 12th Jun 2011 - 12:10
Arrival: Sun 12th Jun 2011 - 16:07
Duration: 03h57m
Train no: 5224

Departure: Sun 19th Jun 2011 - 14:35
Arrival: Sun 19th Jun 2011 - 18:49
Duration: 04h14m
Train no: 5280
            CHANGE TRAINS: 02h16m stopover Lille Flandres , leaving from Lille Europe
Departure: Sun 19th Jun 2011 - 21:05
Arrival: Sun 19th Jun 2011 - 21:33
Duration: 01h28m
Train no: 9163

Other than this train trip, the visitor-rate special rail card will get me in and out of Scotland, between towns a few other times, and I might still have enough days left for a little north-Wales explore, maybe.

I'm getting giddy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

London, June 11

First announcement, with names of speakers!

The LTTL Conference in London
(Learning Trust, Trusting Learning)

On June 11th this year there will be a conference for autonomous home educators
/ unschoolers near Covent Garden, in London. I am running this event to bring
together some of the people who have provided wisdom and inspiration for our
family as we began our autonomous home education journey.

Speakers will include Mike Fortune-Wood, Sandra Dodd, Imran Shah, David and
Schuyler Waynforth and Harriet Pattison. The theme of the conference is
"trusting and supporting our children to learn naturally and in their own way".
All of the speakers have personal experience of autonomous HE / unschooling and
all have interesting perspectives to share.

I am currently setting up a website which will have full details but I wanted to
put this up here now so that anyone who might be interested can save the date.

Julie Daniel

Tickets on sale for Saturday, May 21, Edinburgh

Much more information is here:

Sandra Dodd‭ ‬– Unschooling talks in Edinburgh‭!


  • Saturday‭ ‬21st May 2011


  • The Sanctuary,‭ ‬Augustine United Church,‭ ‬41‭ ‬George IV
    Bridge,‭ ‬Edinburgh EH1‭ ‬1EL

What‭’‬s happening‭?

10.30 - 12.30

Unschooling information and inspiration
  • Many ways to create an environment in which natural learning can

2.30 - 4.30

Unforeseen benefits of Unschooling
  • Some surprising outcomes of‭ ‬20‭ ‬years of unschooling

Each talk will leave plenty of time for questions and discussion.‭

the photo they used is several years old, and I objected politely, but they decided to keep it.
(just sayin')