I recently attended the 2018 AERO Conference in New York. AERO is the Alternative Education Resource Organization, headed by Jerry Mintz, “a leading voice in the alternative school movement for over 30 years.”
This was my second time attending AERO as a homeschooling mom. Alternative school founders, leaders and teachers as well as homeschoolers and unschoolers from around the world gathered together on Long Island for a 4 day conference. One of my homeschool mom friends and I attended for 2 of the 4 days. It is always exciting and inspiring to be around so many like-minded people!
There were lots of wonderful workshops to choose from. I attended:
Holistic Pedagogy as a Foundation of Democracy hosted by Peter Berg
Two Alternative Movements, A History and Memories Aplenty hosted by Pat Montgomery, founder of The Clonlara School
Developing Passions and Self-Direction for Learning hosted by Carol Nash
How to Talk about Alt Ed (So that Your Family and Friends Will Listen) hosted by Jill Keltner, Monica Cochran, Sarah Conklin, Teresa Draguiucevich and Sarah Brooks from The Home Learning Community at Innovations Academy in San Diego
Sir Ken Robinson keynoted and spoke to us via Skype to close the conference. It was very exciting!
We sadly missed the other keynote by Henry Redhead, grandson of A.S. Neill, founder of Summerhill School. Summerhill is considered to be “the pioneer in democratic, learner-centered education” which launched the free school and alternative school movement.
I would definitely recommend attending an AERO conference if you are interested and able. I have learned so much and will be sure to attend in the future. Many people who attend the conference have either started or are hoping to start a micro school in their area. It is always exciting to hear about people’s visions for these different, special schools. Homeschooling is just one alternative education option. It makes me so happy to hear about others.