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Sponsored Post: The Homeschool+ Conference Is Coming Up!

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Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post, but we think this conference is such a great idea, we're giving away a free copy of home/school/life to all the attendees. Join the second annual Homeschool+ Conference, August 4-8, 2014, three nights of evening keynote sessions and two full days of keynotes plus crowd-sourced presentations. This online and free event provides an opportunity to share strategies, practices, and resources for those involved with homeschooling, unschooling, free schools, democratic schools, and other forms of alternative, independent, and non-traditional education. Keynote and distinguished speakers include Ocean Robbins, Oliver DeMille, Jerry Mintz, Carlo Ricci, Jamie McMillin, Matt Hern, Pat Farenga, Blake Boles, Leslie Barson, Monica Cochran, Paula Rothermel, Clark Aldrich, Elliot Washor, Yale Wishnick, Jackie Gerstein, Luba Vangelova, Bernard Bull, Scott Nine, Amos Blanton, and Brycen RR & Laurie A. Couture.

Public discussions on education have been increasingly more accepting of the variety of learning opportunities for students, and also of the potential for valuable dialogue on practices that arise from non-traditional learning environments. While the Homeschool+ Conference is geared toward those participating in or wanting to learn more about homeschooling, unschooling, free schools, democratic schools, and other forms of alternative education, our hope is that this conference will also be valuable for traditional educators looking to expand their scope and understanding of teaching and learning practices.

The conference is based on a peer-learning model developed over the last several years which invites high levels of interaction and participation. We hope to offer a variety of perspectives on alternative learning, and encourage you to present and share your experiences, practices, and resources with each other. First-time presenters: you are not only welcome to submit proposals—you are encouraged to do so! Visit www.homeschoolconference.com for more information and to see how you can get involved.

We are also excited to announce the first Alternative Education (Virtual) Film Festival, running online during the month of August. The Alt Ed Film Fest will showcase seven films, with live broadcast director interviews: La Educación Prohibida by director German Doin, The War on Kids by director Cevin Soling, Free to Learn by directors Bhawin Suchak and Jeff Root, Grown Without Schooling by director Peter Kowalke, Schooling the World by director Carol Black, Building the Machine by director Ian Reid, and The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto directed and produced by Tragedy and Hope Communications. Many of us take our education for granted. But what did we really learn in school, and who decided what was important for us to know? Was there a gap between what we learned in the classroom from our teachers, from our peers, and what we needed to know throughout the rest of our lives? What does the type of education we receive say about the world it prepares us to enter?

These and many other questions are addressed in the seven documentaries chosen for this year's Alternative Education Film Festival. From homeschooling to unschooling, from Buenos Aires the Himalayas, and from America's common core to the self-directed 'curricula' of many home learners, we hope these films stimulate and inspire you to think about education's role in creating your life and the world. Check out altedfilmfest.com for more information about the films, viewing options, and a schedule of live interviews with the directors.