2023 Speakers 

Jennel Benson

Jennel is a former TAB member,  long time 4H member and the current TAB Coordinator.  

The Inside Scoop on Social Media

Health Talk with Jennel



Sadie Bugni

I’m an 20+year unschooling mom of 15 awesome people, loving life in Georgia. We’ve been coming to UWG since it’s first year, thenUWWG, with the exception of 1 year when I was due with our 12th child. We enjoy far too many things to list them all, but traveling, music and exploring are at the top of our list collectively. I love people, kids especially, and look forward to seeing many faces this year, new and old.

Finding Happiness in your Unschooling Journey

Life in general can be hard, so let’s come together to explore ways to add more JOY to our unschooling journeys. We’ll brainstorm and share ways that help us to spread love and connection within our families, extending to the greater world around us.

Amy Curry

Years ago, I realized that I had spent much of my life suppressing the truth of who I was and was basing my life decisions on whether or not I would be accepted or approved of by others. The people-pleasing life I had built wasn’t actually pleasing ME though. I was living in ways that were crushing my spirit.

I remember holding my infant son and looking into his tiny face, thinking, “If I’m going to teach this child how to be a happy, healthy, functional human – I need to be a shining example of that!” In that moment, I committed to becoming the kind of role model my son needed to see.

This sent me on a journey of self discovery beyond what I ever could have anticipated. I have devoted much of the last decade and beyond to the pursuit of uncovering and inhabiting the real me. It’s been difficult, but it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. I know myself. I love myself. And I am learning and growing and deepening all the time!

I strive to be the best ME that I’m capable of being – to honor my self and others to the best of my ability. I’m not flawless. There are times when I’m far from my best. But I believe that one of the most important parts of being in integrity is apologizing and having the conversations that are necessary to right those wrongs and choose better in the future.

Tiffany DeVries

Sacred Mother Healer…Creator, believer, mother, wife , woman, rebel. Has been intentionally studying natural health and healing arts for 15+ years.  Ready to share the tools I have gathered along the way that have had the most profound effects. Reconnecting to source is my jam. Empowerment is the tune. Excited to see the tribe collect.


In an ancient Hawaiian practice based off of forgiveness… to make right. Do you struggle with pain, resentment, unhealed trauma, self love? Join me to learn this simple profound technique, the art of letting go & forgiveness. Let go of what no longer serves you.

I Am 

Join me to learn about the power of “I am” the 2 strongest words in existence. Join me to learn about subconscious programing, & conscious mind. Learn how to reprogram your beliefs. Learn the power of the words “I am”.


Cindy Gaddis

Cindy Gaddis was an unusual child, self-driven to pursue life on her own terms. When her first child was born with the same spirit of learning, it was just a matter of stumbling on the term that described what came naturally: unschooling. Six more children later, all grown now, and 30 years later (where does the time go?!), Cindy became a passionate advocate for understanding and honoring the natural learning path for creative, right-brained children. She wrote her book, The Right Side of Normal, based on what she learned as a (left-brained) unschooling parent observing her seven (all right-brained) children. Cindy continued her passion for creative learning when she fulfilled her dream goal of opening a creative learning center in 2017 in a 1920s farmhouse on 18 acres and primarily mentors middle-high school attendees in collaborative education. You can find her at https://www.therightsideofnormal.com/or at https://www.clclexington.com/ .

Unschooling the High School Transcript
Can unschooled children make it to college? Does it look different from the traditional path to college? How do you make a transcript from life learning? What do I need to know to support my young man or woman through high school and in finding their place in the world? Cindy watched as each of her first three adult children made these decisions. Each went to college in some shape or form and at some time in their life for various reasons. What did that look like? What were the reasons? Were they successful? Cindy will share her role in this process with her children, including samples of unschooled transcripts.
How to Start A Learning Center

Jen Kendall

Jen Kendall has been attending UWG since 2010 – and has the totebags to prove it! She has two children, ages 17 & 15, who are thrilled to be attending their 10th Unschoolers Waterpark Gathering. Although her kids have always been home educated, it took Jen several years to call herself an unschooler. Now she runs and/or moderates several unschooling-focused groups, including two Facebook groups and an Unschooling Gamers discord server. She and her husband and kids live on a little hobby farm in Northeast Ohio.

An Unschooling Retrospective

Looking back on 18 years of home educating, would I go back and do anything different if I could? Here’s our family’s story, including the small but important events that made two parents steeped in schooly thought transition completely to unschooling.

Jason King



Liz Ryan

Liz Ryan is a whole lot of things, once she stopped focusing on her “whole lotta not’s”. Imagine that? She has unschooled her kids accidentally since her first was born in 2011. She has been on a constant journey since then, unlearning all that she grew up believing to be true. She has an affinity for all forms of the word “f*#k, sprinkling it like MSG. She has been a financial advisor since 2006 and working independently since 2011. She published a children’s book in 2017 after self-learning the process from start to finish. She spends most of her days figuring out what substance she stepped in, trying to drink enough water & coffee, and living the dream attempting to be present. One of her biggest accomplishments though has been accepting herself for who she is, so she can do the same for her kids, and anyone she meets.
Welcome Home to Ourselves
How to Create Your Avatar for Life

Steve Ryan

I’ve been an unschooler at heart my whole life. I just happened to be sent to school because that was the only path my parents knew in rural Pennsylvania. In school, being fixed to a chair and told to pay attention was not my strong suit, still isn’t. As a self-promoter of loving to chase shiny things, I’ve come to understand my process and why. The why is because, why NOT! Chase what feels good until it doesn’t. 

After having our first child, my wonderful wife/partner Liz Ryan mentioned unschooling. I must confess though; I wasn’t fully on board with unschooling but after attending UWG that first time, it made sense! From our first UWG in 2015, we immediately wanted to be a part of letting others know, not just who we are but what our experience has been thus far. Life is so dynamic; no two people’s lives are the same, so I suggest getting to know everyone. Take what you want and leave the rest!

My family and I look forward to seeing all the familiar faces and hope to connect with any new UWG attendees. Stop us and say hello! 

Welcome to UWG; a Q&A with the Ryan’s (Steve, Liz, Sully 12, Maggie 10, Veda 7 and “Redd”ington 5)

New to UWG, come say hello and connect with other. As a family, we’re holding an open discussion regarding the week’s events, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions. For any past UWG’ers, come say hello. This is all about making everyone feel welcome, informed and a part of! 

Manifest your future self!

Whether your into vision boards, personal development, or just wonder WTH I’m talking about. I’ve got stories for days on how my path has lead me to today. I like sharing success stories of how a vision turned into reality. Each started with a vision of who I wanted to grow into and what that life looked like. Come hear about a recent vision, 24 hours later I was in the Florida Keys chasing down connections to maybe one day make a vision a reality. More will always be revealed…

Heather Schleidt

Heather, Markus and their four children have been unschooling since the
beginning. After hearing John Taylor Gatto speak at the 2nd Waterpark
Gathering, Heather knew that she would allow her children to direct their
learning in a supportive environment. The principles of unschooling rang true to Heather’s values and way of life. She convinced Markus to trust the process, even though he comes from Germany where homeschooling is
illegal. They haven’t regretted a minute of their decision.
In 2012, the Schleidt family moved to a farmhouse on 65-acres with the closest grocery store being a 20 minute drive. Not only were they choosing to unschool their children, but they would now be unschooling
themselves. Chickens….tractors….home renovations and more! It has been an interesting 10+ years of balancing the ever-changing expectations of life in the country with the hustle and bustle of running a business in the city.
Heather and Markus have four children, one daughter-in-law and one baby grandson! Each of their children are forging their own paths as they enter adulthood. Mitchell (21) has started his own business while his wife,
Taylor, works and they enjoy time with their newest addition – Baby Grayson. Lukas (19) recently was promoted in his job to Director and loves developing leaders, playing video games, spending time with his girlfriend, and working out. Parker (17) is traveling to South America for a month in February with Unschool Adventures and loves golf. If he isn’t working or spending time with friends he is golfing, golfing, or golfing! Heidi (15) is creative, dances competitively and is taking acting and singing lessons. The family loves to travel and host exchange students. They have hosted three students from abroad and plan to host their fourth student this coming fall.
Heather is passionate about life, loves to travel, never meets a stranger, plays loud music while dancing in the kitchen and believes that unschooling is the answer to most of the world’s educational problems. She can talk about unschooling for hours. Markus runs the business, plays golf and helps keep the farm under constant construction with his newest ideas to build something fun and exciting!

Unschooling: Getting a Real-World Education

Come hear Heather discuss several unschooling concepts from Clark Aldrich’s book “Unschooling Rules: Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education”. Heather will use personal examples
combined with the principles of this book to challenge each of us to embrace a real-world approach to living and learning. Parents can offer creative, holistic, and authentic educational opportunities without having
to manipulate our children or their learning.

Several topics to be analyzed include:
• Feed passions and embrace excellence
• Internships, apprenticeships, and interesting jobs beat term papers, textbooks, and tests
• Outdoors beats indoors
• Embrace all technologies
• Use microcosms for authentic learning

“Children are not raw materials to be made into productive citizens by ‘the system.’ Children are beautiful living souls, each deserving of a hero’s journey through life, where they can strive and fail and grow up to change the world.”

Enneagram Overview

Ever wondered what the “Enneagram” is that so many people are talking about? Is it a secret society? Is it a diet fad? Is it a test to help you get a new job? No…. It is a study of individual’s core fears and motivations and
a deeper understanding of our emotions, behaviors and thoughts. Heather will give a basic overview of the nine personality types (numbers) and give examples of how to identify your type and what may be core reasons for how you view life, your dreams, and others. This will be an overview. Come to the corresponding workshop for a more in-depth understanding of the Enneagram and the personalities behind the numbers.

Enneagram Workshop

This will be a discussion-based group workshop that will focus on helping you identify your Enneagram number and the WHYS of who you are. Through questions and discussion, Heather will show you some of the key thoughts, behaviors and emotions behind each number. We will dig a little deeper into each number and look at ways each number shows its strengths and where it has challenges.


Ask an Unschooled Teen

This is a great opportunity to get answers to your most pressing unschooling questions from the perspective of a teen or young adult unschooler. This years teen panel includes Livi Kendall, Avery Hodgson, Kyle Kennedy, Heidi Schleidt, Parker Schleidt and Sam Miller.

Grown Unschoolers 

Join unschooled young adults Ely Vuksanovich, Max Miller and friends for a fun and informative Q and A session.

Unschooling Q & A 

Are you new to unschooling? Thinking about trying it out, but you have nagging questions in the back of your mind? Are you worried about Math and science? Chores and personal hygiene? Video games? Bring your questions and let’s discuss everything you ever wanted to know about unschooling but were afraid to ask!

Our Unschooling Q and A panel will include veteran unschoolers Jen Kendall, Raina Hodgson, Steve Hodgson, Heather Schleidt, Barb Splett and John Splett.