Hey UWG’ers! I’m thrilled to be UWG Co-Director alongside my best friend Michele! My two teens (Bella and Spencer) and I live in a little town called Sandwich (IL), along with our sweet black cat Sir Peter. We’ve always unschooled and have been attending UWG since 2012. Unschooling came naturally and was just an organic progression of my parenting style. I absolutely love to see my kids thrive while creating their own path. Us three are thick as theives, even though they find me quite ‘cringe’ most of the time. Since that very first conference, UWG has always been the highlight of our year. We have so many rich and fun memories, and I’m looking forward to creating even more! My favorite part of UWG is the connection with other like minded families, especially that first moment of turning the corner towards the conference center and seeing my people! I rock my job as a lactation consultant and in my free time I enjoy hanging with my kids, playing board games, cooking up a new vegan recipe, acrylic painting, driving my electric car...and of course planning for the next years conference. Looking forward to UWG 2024!!!
Natalie & Michele
First of all - it is an honor to be composing this bio for the UWG team. If it weren't for my husband Vlaiko (52) and our sweet bebé Hacho (15) - this wouldn't be happening. Becoming a momma and all that has gone along with it has been the single most miraculous adventure of my 56-year (and counting) lifetime thus far!!! Our entire journey has unfolded in its own unique and organic way. We knew nothing of unsChOOLing...yet everything pointed towards it. We hunkered down amidst the stink-eyed folk who freely shared their advice and notions about what was "best" for us. We weathered the discomfort of placing our relationships with one another as our number 1 priority - rather than commencing to spend our days apart wondering who the others were and how we fit together. Alongside one another we have learned many things...about love, mutual respect, autonomy and right timing...about the world, the people in it and how exciting it is to explore cultural and societal landscapes celebrating customs and rituals near and far. Although we are each poised at different chronological stages, we've learned much about maturity, forgiveness and generosity - all with good humor and the flexibility of great humility. Vlaiko and I marvel at witnessing Hacho open into his imagination, visions and potential...in his own way…on his own terms - with curiosity, thoughtfulness and courage. Life on life's terms isn't always easy - but it's a heck of a lot easier when you're not subject to school-year scheduling...yip-yip-yippiieeee!!!
Heather aka Lil' Heat
Heather Schleidt has been attending UWG since year two. She and her husband, Markus, decided to homeschool the kids from the beginning but didn't know what that would look like. They discovered unschooling while the kids were young, implemented the overall principles in their lives and have never regretted the decision. They have four well-adjusted young adults that are beginning to follow their passions and discover their purposes in life. Heather's passions are music, traveling and spending time with others. She has recently started a new venture and is learning how to DJ and mix music. Her ultimate dream is to play onstage at Breakaway Ohio, a music festival near her hometown. She is committed to the unschooling community and helping others see how unschooling allows every individual to become the best versions of themselves and is an amazing option for living, learning and thriving.
Registration & Volunteer Coordinator
Hello! My name is Emily Landmann, and I'm excited to be part of the 2024 UWG team! I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. I currently live about an hour west of Madison with my husband, Tom, son Henry (18), and 3 cats. Tom has an IT job that he works at from a home office, and I've been the main unschooling parent since we began our parenting journey many years ago. We've lived rurally since Henry was born, and are currently embarking on a move back to city life in Madison. We're all looking forward to this new chapter in our lives. Some of my current interests include playing music with others, birding, and playing board games. I also like to spend time volunteering in ways that connect people -- helping local community centers with their social media and putting out a monthly newsletter for my rural community. We've attended UWG for four years, woo hoo! We look forward to it every year. We've made many great connections with folks at UWG. Some of my favorite activities have been Family Fun night, Henna night, organizing a ukulele play-along, playing board games with old/new friends, shopping at the kids marketplace, and participating in the music jams. I'm looking forward to more fun and connection in 2024!
Amanda Nerone is a long time homeschooling mom who finally discovered unschooling from central IL. She loves hiking, exploring, photography, and seeing a good live show. She has 20 years under her belt as an eye banker in the field of corneal transplantation. She’s married to an avid golfer, and has three children- 20, 17, and 15. Her first UWG so many years ago played an integral role in her radical unschooling journey- seeing so many flourishing children and connected parent-child relationships gave her the confidence to be all-in with their decision to unschool.
Teen Action Board Liasion
Hi, I'm Volt! I'm from Tennessee, and am currently dual enrolled at community college. I have spent 12 years in theater, musical theater and founded a non-profit theater company in my hometown which I directed, managed and produced. I am excited to work on Teen Action again and be back at UWG. Some of my favorite activities are the speed friending and I am super excited for this years ESCAPE ROOM. I am looking forward to participating and helping arrange all Teen Action run events and seeing you at UWG. Feel free to talk to me during the conference or message me privately on my socials about Dual Enrollment/Theater/Lifelong Unschooling/Teen Action Board