Deposit Link Fixed
Apply now for 15 Minute Mini-Talks
Yong Zhao, Keynote Speaker for the 2016 AERO Conference. Conference info here. Portland AERO Registration is only $225, but will rise soon. Workshop proposals now accepted here

Conference Deposit Link Fixed! Hotel, Food, Workshops, Mini-talks and More!
Deposit Link Fixed!
Unfortunately there were problems with the link to the $50 deposit that will hold the current registration rate for those of you who need it. It is now fixed and there is time to get it before the end of the month when this option may no longer be available. You can register for the conference with a $50 deposit here You must send it in by January 31st.  The balance does not need to be paid until May 30th.
You can do full registration here at the $225 early bird rate. 

Hotel and Food
We have negotiated something with the Holiday Inn Portland Airport which saves you even more money. There is no food package. So you can eat at the hotel restaurant, go out, or bring your own food. 

This hotel has a little less capacity than the previous one, so it makes sense to reserve your room soon. You can cancel up to 48 hours before the conference. We already have at least two groups that are planning training programs that include the AERO conference, so we may start filling up fast. Let us know if you have a group you plan to bring so we can give you a group rate. You can call the hotel at 503 256 5000. Mention the AERO conference to get the $119 rate. Otherwise it is over $200!
First Day Mini-Talk Form
We're quite blown away by the quality of the workshops that have been submitted for the AERO conference that will be in Portland, OR, from August 3-7. We have now approved 16 of them. You can see them summarized here. You can apply to present a workshop here.

On the 3rd we plan to have school visits and trips. The main conference starts on the 4th. 
We will accept only another 20 workshops because the format for the first day will be an exciting array of TED-like mini-talks. 

We now have a form to submit a proposal for a 15 minute TED-like presentation on the first day of the AERO conference. These will be presented to all the conference participants. Some may be stand alone, but may also be introductions for people doing other workshops. Some will be eventually available on Youtube. To apply to do a mini-talk just click here. You can also still submit regular workshop presentations here. We're particularly interested in workshops that are experiential and interactive, and workshops for younger participants.
New Patron Registration
As you know, AERO has always had a policy of working hard to find a way for low income people to participate in the conference. Sometimes we arrange volunteer slots, give fundraising advice, etc. Now, in addition, we are featuring a new patron registration, which allows people to register at a higher rate, half of which is tax deductible. You can see more about it here

Fundraising Idea
In communicating with a school with very limited funds we suggested a technique that has worked for many such schools interested in bringing students to alternative education conferences. We thought it might be useful to others:
One technique that has been used used is to have the interested students go to family,  friends,  merchants,  and businesses with a sponsor sheet that says, in essence, "I have a chance to go to the AERO conference in Portland, OR to represent the ______ School and our city. We've never been to such an international conference before. I need to raise $X to be able to go. Will you be one of my sponsors? Any amount will help. We'll send you a card from Portland and have a big event when we get back to report our experiences." 
It would give you publicity and maybe some new students. 
Keynote Suggestions
We are working on additional keynoters and are open to your suggestions. We will announce additional keynotes in the near future. 
Do the Math: The Percentage of Expat Homeschoolers Is Growing

When Russian Alla Jilobokov and her Costa Rican/American husband Javier Casasnovas moved back to Costa Rica from the United States in 2004, they initially enrolled their two daughters in a top international school in San José. Though tuition was expensive-about $2,000 a month- it was the expected thing to do in their family and social circles.

But over time the daughters-Carolina and Irina -not only faced a two-hour commute back and forth to school but they also struggled: Carolina, then 15, found the teenage peer pressure difficult, while Irina, a talented violinist, had increasingly long days with school, homework and daily practice. Plus, Mr. Casasnovas had long workdays, meaning the family had little time together during the week. "When he would get home at night, the kids would already be asleep," said Ms. Jilobokov. "In the mornings, he would be getting up and they would already be leaving for the bus. It was ridiculous."

Read the rest here.
Another Birthday!
We celebrated my birthday on January 22nd with a small gathering at a local restaurant. This year it was nice to be celebrating another one. I don't usually pay much attention to them.  They just keep happening every year, whether I like it or not! : )

Actually my mother and grandmother never wanted anyone to know their age. My grandmother didn't even want it in her obituary! 
Hard to believe but this year it will be 10 years since my mother died. We had a great memorial concert to remember her a half year later. Ten concert pianists played at it! In case you never saw it, this is the video of that wonderful event. 
Blizzard Hits AERO Office
The blizzard from Winter Storm Jonas has hit us here! We're not going anywhere and nobody else is, either! It's the most snow I've seen here in decades. So far we still have power. Actually we did a Skype connection with the School of Living today to their quarterly meeting. It was nice reconnecting. Looks like over two feet of snow will fall before it's done. Here are a couple of pictures I took. Then my
camera froze up!

SelfDesign Graduate Institute Webinars
SelfDesign Graduate Institute FACULTY WEBINARS
All webinars are one hour; all are free

January 24, 4 PM PST -How an Understanding of the Evolution of Consciousness Helps Us Make Sense of Our "Crazy" World, with David Marshak   Please register for the webinar here.

January 31,   1 PM PST  - Integrated Learning and Leadership, with Peter Berg   Please register for the webinar here.

February 7,   1 PM PST -Dancing with Ambiguity, with Pille Bunnell   Please register here.
Links and Calendar
Thank you for your ongoing support. With  your help, we will make learner-centered alternatives available to everyone!

In Service,

Jerry Mintz
Executive Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization

Please consider making a donation to AERO to help support our work. Thanks!