Monday, April 25, 2011

The Summer Montreal Unschoolers Gathering (SMUG) is coming up!

When: Friday June 24 to Thursday June 30, 2011

Where: Camp Tamaracouta, in Mille Isles, Quebec (a bit over an hour from Montreal)

What: This is a gathering of unschoolers (kids, teens, young adults, adults: aka, this is an event for all ages!), where we can laugh and play and have long discussions and take hikes and hang out in the beautiful city of Montreal! This is not a conference. There will not be speakers. There will, however, be as many planned activities as the attendees want to organize, which can be anything from round table discussions, to crafts, games, and potluck dinners.

This is the second annual Summer Montreal Unschoolers Gathering (SMUG). Last year was a huge success, with around 70 people, all of whom seemed to have a great time! I know that my family is really looking forward to having as wonderful a gathering this year, and I hope you can join us in helping to make that happen!

To find out more about this summer's gathering, get updates, and connect with other potential attendees, join the SMUG Yahoo! Group, check out the SMUG website (to be updated shortly), and RSVP to the Facebook event.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Debbie Smart and Idzie Desmarais

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Interviewing Kelly Hogaboom, Unschooling Parent and Writer

For my second ever podcast, I interviewed Kelly Hogaboom, a "lady, writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, stitcher, and subscription-service black market restauranteur living in wet and green Hoquiam, Washington State, the United States."  She's also a blogger, unschooling/life learning parent, and all-round very cool person, as well as being someone with LOTS of interesting and eye-opening things to say (about unschooling, adultism, feminism, parenting, consensual living, and a variety of other subjects).  It was really great talking to her!  And you can listen to the conversation we had right here:

Listen to internet radio with idzie on Blog Talk Radio

Or by going here. (Notice that there's the option to "play in your default player."  I know that on my rather difficult computer, that's the only option that works properly!  Just wanted to let you know, in case your computer is difficult as well...)

Links to Kelly's sites and Twitter:,, @kellyhogaboom, and @underbellie.

The interview with me and my mother that Kelly mentions: La Rééducation: An Unschooling Interview with a Mother and Daughter

Naomi Aldort on How Children Learn Manners

And I do believe that's all the links I can remember being mentioned!  However, it's quite likely I forgot some.  If you notice any ones mentioned in the podcast but missing here in this post, please let me know and I'll add them! 

This is a new project, and one I want to improve, so comments, questions, suggestions, are much appreciated!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

La Rééducation: An Unschooling Interview with a Mother and Daughter

An episode of La Rééducation, a Quebec web-series on education, featuring an interview my mother and I did last April, is now out!

The first few minutes are of my friend Marike (unschooling mother and one of two people behind the freeschool starting up in Montreal), in French, and our interview starts, in English, at 3:44.

I find it interesting seeing this now, a year after it was recorded, as my answers to Mathieu's (the guy who put together this series) questions, the things I emphasized, would definitely be different were a similar interview to be conducted now.  Some of my opinions on unschooling have definitely changed (though nothing specifically mentioned in this video), I no longer really differentiate between unschooling and radical unschooling when I'm talking about it, and similar things...  Regardless, I'm pretty happy with what my mum and I had to say (mostly me...  Sorry for hogging the interview, mom!).

La Rééducation and La Déséducation (part 2 and 1 of this series, respectively) are currently only available in French, but a translation is in the works, and soon they'll be available in English as well!  It's a very interesting look at education in Quebec, it's problems, peoples opinions on it, and some marvelous solutions...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Podcast: A Conversation Between Grown Unschooled Siblings

I've been wanting to try making podcasts for a while now.  And guess what?  I finally did!  In this first episode of a podcast series that may, possibly, be called Unschoolers Are Us (I really haven't decided on a definite name yet), Emi joins me, and we talk about our unschooling experience.  So I am very happy to present you with the first episode:

Listen to internet radio with idzie on Blog Talk Radio

You can also listen to it at the following link: A Conversation Between Grown Unschooled Siblings

My vision for this podcast is for it to be a series of interesting interviews/discussions with unschoolers of all ages, as well as other people with interesting things to say about freedom-based and alternative education.  I'll keep everyone up to date on any developments/future episodes! 

If you like this idea, you may also want to check out Radio Free School and The Unschooler Experiment, both of which post very interesting podcasts. 
Comments, questions, suggestions, on this very exciting (at least to me) project are very welcome!!  (Also, apparently the site I'm using at the moment [I'm thinking I'll probably try to find something better at some point] inserts adds into archived episodes, so know if you encounter any, I haven't added them deliberately, and as long as I use BlogTalkRadio there's nothing I can do about it.)