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Fare of the Free Child

Author: Akilah S. Richards

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Fare of the Free Child podcast focuses on Black people, Indigenouse people, and People of Color (BIPOC) families who practice unschooling and other forms of Self-Directed, decolonized living and learning. Each weekly episode examines a particular way that we’ve accepted coercive, emotionally and physically damaging habits as a normal part of adult-child relationships. With a focus on deschooling one’s self, decolonizing education, and exploring radical self-expression, this podcast both challenges and informs us to push past coercion and fear, and walk toward a model for living with children that centers community, addresses social justice issues, and believes in trusting and respecting children and ourselves. #BIPOCinSDE #raisingfreepeople
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We are so hyped about today's episode because the day of publishing, July 10th, marks our zeroversary, the 4-year anniversary of Episode 0! It's been quite a journey since Akilah started Fare of the Free Child podcast back in the summer of 2016. Even though it started from a painful place, we feel so very thankful to the community that has come from this podcast—our listeners and members of our Make it Happen Family—for the support and love through all these years. Here you can listen to Episode 0, Welcome and Why This Show, where it all began. Today, in the middle of some painful realities, we hold on to ways to move outside these injustices. We stay resilient through happiness, not afraid to speak up, from a space of awareness and love. We invite you to celebrate that with us today, doing whatever feels good for you.WHAT WE DISCUSSAkilah recently launched From Schoolish to Self-directed, an audio course in support of the transition that many are experiencing as this pandemic ushers in a swift shift from conventional learning ideas over to innovative ones that center people and learning in various ways, using technology and creativity more than memorization and predefined curriculum.To celebrate four years of Fare Of The Free Child, Akilah announces Raising Free People Network's first Presence Counselor, Leslie Bray, who you already have heard from and will be joining us on today’s episode. Leslie is  a community organizer and will be doing one-on-one support for the people transitioning from schoolish to self-directed ways of living and learning. Here you can listen to previous episodes with Leslie giving us some insights: Self-Care + Sacred Space and Leslie Talks Conscious Community Collectives.Akilah and Leslie chat about boundaries and self-care as we are constantly deschooling, not necessarily transitioning.Part of the conditioning that we carry based on a schoolish mindset is the comparison. We’ve all been indoctrinated at different levels, and much of this conditioning comes from a colonized space. Comparing yourself and your children with others and their processes will duplicate a schoolish setting at home. Leslie invites us to put self-care (ours and our children’s) above all of these insecurities.Observe, ask, and listen, that is how you get to support, facilitate and advocate for your children. It is not true that being self-directed means that children have to figure out everything by themselves. The key is to figure out when is enough for you as a parent to help and advocate for them, by establishing boundaries in order to nurture self-care skills. Leslie also points out that we need different things at different times, as we are dynamic also our behaviors and practices at home will depend on each person and circumstances. Everyone is different but we all need communal support. You have to want to be free, you have to want to learn, and be willing to question everything you thought as part of your liberation work.LIBERATION WALKBook a free consult for Presence Counseling with Leslie Bray.Shoutout to Shawna Murray-Browne, community healer and founder of Kindred Community Healing. Here you can find Decolonizing Therapy for Black Folk.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
Episode 177 features podcaster Howard Cosmonaut Palmer. His podcast explores inner universes through mindful guided meditation. Today Cosmo gives us some tools to center both harmony and joy, important aspects of our liberation work. Find his podcast: Only Black CosmonautWHAT WE DISCUSSOur lives are under a constant saturation of feelings and thoughts as a result of a subconscious conditioning from a schollish framework and due to the exhaustion in our daily context. Cosmo talks about learning how to be in control has been the biggest part of our conditioning, it’s in the acceptance and letting go that we can find peace within ourselves.The hardest part of this conditioning are the expectations that we put on people and situations in life. Cosmo uses the juggler as an analogy in life, we are the jugglers that happen to be managing multiple realities and pains at the same time. In order to handle this, we can learn to trust our inner selves, relying on intuition and letting go the fear of not being able to handle all at once.LIBERATION WALKShoutout to Shawna Murray-Browne, community healer and founder of Kindred Community Healing. Here you can find her webinar replay, 6 Crucial Steps to Decolonize Your Therapy Practice.Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.In our Black and in broader BIPOC communities, self-care, community care, mental health care—the need and means to prioritizing these—are encouragingly increasing in conversation. In Akilah’s search for that, she has found that s Betterhelp.com has been a great resource for her mental health. She was able to center her preferences and only choose from mental health professionals who, at base, wouldn’t seem to be in conflict or out of context for my particular beliefs and preferences. Explore for yourself, and use this link Betterhelp.com because Fare of the Free Child Podcast subscribers have 10% off in their first month.  #sponsored #verifiedJoin our Facebook group.Support the show at patreon.com/akilah Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
Last episode Akilah talked about the importance of our capacity of resistance and the relevance of trusting our dynamic selves in order to find balance to center our joy. Today’s episode is about Black Joy, and how happiness can be understood as a way of liberation and activism. Can joy be a radical way of resistance?WHAT WE DISCUSSMarley, Akilah’s daughter, shares some thoughts on Black Joy and how she perceives happiness as a way of resistance. The way Black people live their lives doesn’t have to be a constant struggle, people are capable of having multiple feelings. Joy and happiness can be a conduit through liberation.We then listen to the first episode from Plant It Up, a podcast hosted by Val Sinclair, Akilah’s mom, where she celebrates the power and pleasure of plants. Beyond the health benefits and plant-care advice, these stories are related to self-care and liberation work practices that lead us towards a better understanding of human relationships and our connection with nature. In this episode, Akilah and Val chat about their experiences with ginger as a nutritional and medicinal source.In our Black and in broader BIPOC communities, self-care, community care, mental health care—the need and means to prioritizing these—are encouragingly increasing in conversation. Maybe you, yourself, have been thinking about what’s interfering with your happiness or preventing you from achieving your goals. In Akilah’s search for that, she has found that s Betterhelp.com has been a great resource for her mental health. She was able to center her preferences and only choose from mental health professionals who, at base, wouldn’t seem to be in conflict or out of context for my particular beliefs and preferences. Explore for yourself, and use this link Betterhelp.com because Fare of the Free Child Podcast subscribers have 10% off in their first month.  #sponsored #verifiedLIBERATION WALKBe sure to follow Shawna Murray-Browne, community healer and founder of Kindred Community Healing. Here you can find her webinar replay, 6 Crucial Steps to Decolonize Your Therapy Practice.Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.Join our Facebook group.Support the show at patreon.com/akilah  Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
Ways we’re sharing our feelings and experiencesLast week we took a pause in our Deschooling Release Party to address everything that was happening with the protests and related feelings. That same week another life, that of Rayshard Brooks, was taken by violent police officers. It feels necessary to take some space and talk about it, and we’re gonna take however long we feel is needed. As we talked about in the last episode, these disruptive times make us more reflective, but also can fill us with emotions that can turn/become overwhelming. In order to provide more communal spaces and healing resources, Akilah is offering more invitations and tools that can help with breaking the patterns of oppression, in resistance, from a space of love, education and self-care. The main message in this episode is this: discussing and sharing is important, but action is vital to our capacity to thrive.Find the complete show notes page with useful resources at https://www.raisingfreepeople.com/175/LIBERATION WALKOrganizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.Join our Facebook group.Akilah’s book Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work signed hardcover edition is now available. Publishers said since we’re out here selling pre-orders, let’s offer something special. Enter the coupon code unschooling for a 40% discount. When you go to the webpage to pre-order, you'll see the "format" dropdown menu where the default item is the paperback. Click that dropdown menu and then select the "Signed hardcover" format.In our Black and in broader BIPOC communities, self-care, community care, mental health care—the need and means to prioritizing these—are encouragingly increasing in conversation. Maybe you, yourself, have been thinking about what’s interfering with your happiness or preventing you from achieving your goals. In Akilah’s search for that, she has found that s Betterhelp.com has been a great resource for her mental health. She was able to center her preferences and only choose from mental health professionals who, at base, wouldn’t seem to be in conflict or out of context for my particular beliefs and preferences. Explore for yourself, and use this link Betterhelp.com because Fare of the Free Child Podcast subscribers have 10% off in their first month. #sponsored #verifiedSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
In today's episode we are making a pause from our Deschooling Release Party Vol. 2. Akilah addresses anti-blackness and its consequences. These disruptive times are making us more aware and reflective, and we have so many reminders and invitations to be more present.WHAT WE DISCUSSIn the summer of 2016 Akilah was starting Fare Of The Free Child, a podcast with the purpose of amplifying the underrepresented voices and unique concerns of Black people and other people of color, looking for viable alternatives to oppressive systems, ways to practice more self-directed ways. This was also a result of the communications that were happening when Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were lynched by the police.Akilah shares her story about the first direct physical encounter with a violent police officer in her early teen years. This shows as a continuous pattern, Philando and Alton back in 2016, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in 2020, history repeats itself. Akilah talks about how this gets her tired.It’s in the collective, in the stories of the unheard, of the ancestral knowledge, that we can hold on and speak out, inspire change and demand that shit, too. Live into it despite attempts to dehumanize and colonize.Mad Question-Askin’What are some ways that you are being supported right now?Where are some spaces or relationships that you are being supportive right now?Akilah shares some episodes that she believes can be supportive right now.LIBERATION WALKOrganizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.Here's Maleka, Melissa and Bria’s Deschooling Group.Deschooling: It’s A Thing!, an Eclectic Learning Network project, a global, monthly, virtual meetup for caregivers who are committed to explore ways to shift their parenting practices.Check out Akilah’s article, Fear of the Free Black Child – Alternatives to Fear-Based Parenting Amid Police Violence.Join our Facebook group.Pre-order Akilah’s book.In our Black and in broader BIPOC communities, self-care, community care, mental health care—the need and means to prioritizing these—are encouragingly increasing in conversation. Maybe you, yourself, have been thinking about what’s interfering with your happiness or preventing you from achieving your goals. BIPOC people are so interested in healing, that we are discerning the ways that therapy and mental health support needs decolonization so that it isn’t harmful and IS in fact effective for us. In Akilah’s search for that, she has found that Betterhelp has been a great resource for her mental health. She was able to center her preferences and only choose from mental health professionals who, at base, wouldn’t seem to be in conflict or out of context for my particular beliefs and preferences. There is a broad range of expertise in the Betterhelp Counselor Network. Explore for yourself, and use this link Betterhelp.com because Fare of the Free Child Podcast subscribers have 10% off in their first month.  #sponsored #verifiedSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
Message from Akilah“I felt compelled to bring the sounds of my current city into this episode. I literally missed my deadline to submit the raw audio, because Spirit said Don’t record that intro in the corner of your closet, Sis. Instead, open your window, let the city sound off while you try to speak to some of what you’re feeling. I obeyed. And later that evening, the voices and emotions of the people of Atlanta sounded off too, in the form of peaceful protest. I was able to see some of it from our apartment, and I watched with Kris, Marley, and Sage, swaying in between a stream of emotions ranging from anger to exhaustion. I didn’t know that the audio I was called to document, to hold, would be the calm before yet another storm here in the American South. Peaceful protests were interrupted by police; humans raged; the government retaliated; helicopters and curfews circled the city; more rage, more fear, more resistance.Anti-Black racism and the myth of white supremacy are present and prevalent now, as has always been the case in this country. And while some shit stays the same--violent, horrific, hateful--some things are changing, too. Where are you finding positive change around you? Seek it out, amplify it, fixate if you need to. Do what you can to remind yourself that storms come and go, but we have, and will always, find ways to weather them, and eventually to thrive despite them. I believe that. I believe in Black people. I believe that we can organize and plan and divest and dismantle and learn and lead and listen and love our way to liberation.” #blacklivesmatterIn this fifth deschooling release party session we talk with Danii Oliver, mother of two children, unschooler and owner of the Natural Beverage Brands: Island to Island Brewery, House of Juice and Brooklyn Jun Brew. Until now we had been focusing on the pivot and what is deschooling causing to pivot away from. This time Danii tells us about how she gave it a different approach, she realized that for her, pivoting wasn’t liberation, she decided to do something else instead.Akilah talks about the importance of communal spaces and shares Deschooling: It’s A Thing!, an Eclectic Learning Network project, a global, monthly, virtual meetup for caregivers who are committed to explore ways to shift their parenting practices. This was made in joint effort with the Alliance for Self-Directed Education.Community bonds us and makes us aware of the importance to pause and nurture ourselves. Akilah shares her experience joining in one of the community sessions with Nikolai and Takiema from Raising Readers, they give us great resources on Self-Directed Education and self care.Akilah shares Betterhelp.com/fareofthefreechild as a resource for mental health. FOFC subscribers have 10% off in their first month.Here's Danii on episode 149, Self-Reclamation and Self-Directed Education.Here's Danii’s Instagram.Pre-order Akilah’s book.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
Welcome to the fourth Deschooling Release Party (DRP) session, a celebration of our commitment to unlearning oppression in our relationships with children and Self. Volume I was about self-care and this one (Volume II) is about pivoting from fear and panic over into what we're being guided to do. Melinda Alexander will be joining us to talk about the role in ritual in her mothering. More recently, she and her son Raider, started transitioning from schoolishness to unschooling.“If you travel down a long ass road and find the intersection— of art, feminism, fashion, Buddhism, social justice and motherhood— you’ll find me standing there in a MuMu, having a yard sale, raising money for Black Lives Matter.” - Melinda AlexanderMelinda is an LA-based mother, activist, and entrepreneur. Influenced by her parents work as longtime anti-racist, civil rights organizers, both art and social justice kept at her center. After having her baby in a tumultuous transition/divorce, her life changed. The work she does now, which she calls Women’s Work, helps other women find their voice as part of a liberation and unlearning process, “Getting Free”.Melinda is raising Raider, her Black son in an anti-Black power structure, with a feminist, social justice-oriented focus. WHAT WE DISCUSS Akilah and Melinda talk about the questions that are driving us in the direction of commiting to raising free people and how deschooling and unlearning show up in that experience. Raider was depressed and did not get used to the school structure. Melinda saw this and advocated for her son by emailing the teachers, it ultimately ended up in them transitioning to unschooling.In her own experience as a former school teacher, Melinda shares some insights on how a scoolish structure can limit the children in certain contexts. Intrinsic value is not possible in a school setting, unless you are completely self-directed. Based on the pursuit of validation (did I do well?), the children have never been given a choice and always have been told what to do, and how to do it. By the time they finish school, they don’t know anything about themselves. They conclude that partnership and listening are what facilitate an emergent structure. The child is the curriculum and the parents are the facilitators, both are students and teachers.  Thank you for your feedback on episode 170, we are always happy to hear from all of you! We were honoring mothering in its various forms and also launching our family of podcasts.LIBERATION WALKIn order to continue through this journey of healing and self awareness process we invite you to subscribe to all five podcasts on Raising Free People Network, our liberation work platform.Join our Facebook group.  Head over to Melinda’s website and instagram for more musings on love and liberation.Pre-order Akilah’s book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work!Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19Support the show at patreon.com/akilahSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
If you enjoy this podcast, this is your kind of reading! Pre-order Akilah’s book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work!We are back with our Deschooling Release Party sessions, Volume II. In today’s episode Akilah talks with Natalie Pipkin, founder of Black World Schoolers and Pulse Project Indy, a drumming community that promotes social, cultural and emotional development in vulnerable spaces. Her project seeks to disrupt dominant oppressive narratives, providing an environment of psychological empowerment through cultural awareness.WHAT WE DISCUSS:Natalie, like Kelly did in episode 169, tells us very early on what she’s noticing is actually stuff she has always felt, but feels uniquely compelled during this time, to pivot away from just noticing, over to acting upon. Natalie talks about problematic elements of the focus on Black Excellence and the dynamics that are involved when that excellence is rooted in white supremacy. Akilah and Natalie then go further and chat about the realities of unschooling as a privileged space, in some regards. They talk about how unschooling is not an option for all families, not every home is a safe environment, and if oppression at home exists, schools can become an escape from a tougher reality, there’s a certain privilege in choosing to homeschool. LIBERATION WALKCheck out Black Worldschoolers and their Storytime Hotline: 1-844-950-1811. Here you can find Natalie’s drumming community Pulse Project Indy and their blog.Make sure you head over to Maleka’s Patreon to see some webinar series that she’s been working on as a support for parents during these unusual times.Chill out and jam along with the rhythm of Buju Banton “Mr Nine”.Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.Support the show at patreon.com/akilahJoin our Facebook group. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
We’re interrupting our Deschooling Release Party flow to focus on the energy of Mother’s Day. In this episode, Akilah and Aja will talk about the four mothers whose new are coming to join Fare of the Free Child on Raising Free People Network: Val Sinclair, Katrina Monique, Lou Hollis, and Aja herself.Aja chats with us about her relationship with motherhood and how it can impact our leadership and relationships. Her podcast, She Said, We Shed is a journey of discovery throughout the dynamics of what mothering can mean, and how types of mothering vary drastically, including the reality of Black Mama Trauma. We also introduce Plant It Up, a podcast where Val, Akilah’s mom, shares how the practices and dynamics of taking care of plants can be related to our own ways of interacting and connecting with the people around us. These stories are related to self-care and liberation work, a set of topics that lead us toward better understandings of human relationships. One of the other mamas is Katrina, whose podcast, How She Got Free, is inspired by a book that she and Akilah wrote together. Her podcast is designed to show us the benefits of sometimes speaking out from wounded spaces, it can be part of how we generate healing for ourselves and invite others to acknowledge and name their own healing needs too.How to be empowered when you don’t feel like yourself, to make a pause in your life and manage it after an altering shift? With “Grief, Growth, and Goals” the fifth podcast on the Raising Free People Network, Lou shares her experience after making massive changes in her life, the process of healing through self talk and embracing her vulnerability. Liberation and deschooling are inextricably linked, as the result of a joint work, based on experiences that had shaped ourselves and others in order to contribute on a healing and self awareness process and to continue on this journey we invite you to subscribe to all five podcasts on Raising Free People Network.LIBERATION WALKListen to Aja’s Podcast She Said, We Shed and subscribe to her email list at shesaidweshed.Join Katrina’s community, How She Got Free.Here you can preorder my new book Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work.Some insights from Aja on previous episodes, Healing Black Mama Trauma, The Practice of Reparenting Ourselves, Deschooling Intergenerational Trauma as Daughter & as Mother.Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.Support the show at patreon.com/akilahJoin our Facebook group Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
At the top of this episode, I share the pre-order status for my book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work! If you enjoy this podcast, this is your kinda reading party right here. Pre-order your copy today.In this second deschooling release party session, we will be sharing thoughts with college professor and unschooler mother of five, Kelly Limes Taylor about the effects of our current times on all institutions, schooling and leadership issues being among the plights that we are urgently being called, as a society to face.Kelly invites us to consider the ways that our own patterns in life are often conduits for deeply valuable lessons. She shares her experience as a single mom, moving from a metropolitan area to a small town, moving on from divorce, and holding space, as an educator, for students who are feeling overwhelmed by the sudden shift in how education, outside of conventional school context, is being handled today. Kelly also speaks to the relevance of naming our failed structures, and how these structures, built on a settler-colonial framework, were not sustainable to begin with, and yet are reinforced through conventional schooling. Indeed, what learning actually is, and how it happens is not seen as a human approach, does not work in a reciprocal way, and we can’t limit that to academics, we are talking about connection of the whole self, not just the information-gathering self. Here’s an opportunity to relearn and reinventate; to observe all the ways the structures we’ve held on to are crumbling; here’s an invitation to notice a space to pivot and to heal. Image Credit:Photos of Kelly by I. and C. Tiller (her daughters)LIBERATION WALKListen to Kelly on Episode 105 (Love, Trust & Identity). Call Kelly by phone 706.314.9225; here’s her blog.Check on Kelly’s 2020 Voyage ATL Interview.Latinx Parenting supports parents in raising children with compassion & connection, while honoring ancestral roots, values, and strengths. Leslie Priscilla (Leslie Arreola Hillenbrand), wrote this epic piece with mad resources and zero sugar coating. Give Leslie her flowers.Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.Support the show at patreon.com/akilahJoin our Facebook group Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
This is the first episode of the Deschooling Release Party, Volume II for 2020. Today we will focus on the pivot, what is deschooling causing to pivot away from, especially during these particularly disruptive times. We’ll hear from Moji Yai, my sisterfriend from Benin, West Africa, who was raised in north Florida, and is now raising herself and her 10 year old daughter, Sena, in between the US and her home land, Benin.Moji opens our dialogue with a bit of her story on how she was led to turpentine, tapped from sap trees, and used to be part of the labor of enslaved Africans. Turpentine gum or gum spirits of turpentine, has been among the healing arsenal of brilliant black folks who have nurtured their relationships with plants and soil. They knew what plants to use and combine for many of the effects of their constant overexposure to the elements. The relationship that carries upon going back, returning to the origins to understand what might be forgotten or buried makes us pivot away from established systems, rooting through an intuitive-self that works in a collective way. Deschooling is about creating, creating new relationships and rethinking everything. Moji’s experience of returning to Africa with her daughter gave her another perspective, by interacting with the people, creating communication channels, observing, asking and having conversations without assumptions about the behavior or character that africans are said to have, a look without judgment, from a more human approach.As Moji describes, learning to live with your child is a beautiful thing, the way you talk to them and behave with them, among other things is going to be carried into adulthood, so, the way that you’re gonna gain the tools for communicating without control, violence, manipulation and so on are the key to sustain a healthy partnership.Be sure to check out Moji’s Upcoming Webinar (May 13) about the history and use of Pure Gum Turpentine. LIBERATION WALKHere’s Moji’s Wellness Spiral Podcast Series produced by RFP Network back in the summer of 2018, June to August, beginning with a brilliant episode entitled Disrupting our Disturbing Eating HabitsMoji is working on reclaiming Indigenous healing practices that benefit communities in Benin and the diaspora; here her blog, and her Instagram.If you wanna remember our first Deschooling Party, here is Moji giving us some insights Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donateSupport the show at patreon.com/akilahJoin our Facebook group Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
This episode was supposed to be the first of the Deschooling Release Party, Volume II.  However, today’s episode features Marley and Sage, in response to an article from Good Morning America, and how their unschooling coverage got it all wrong.Earlier this month, the ABC Television produced a show and published a blog post  about unschooling titled “I tried unschooling and here’s what happened.” I am cited in that article, and talked with the person that wrote this; I just didn’t know that it was for her to try out unschooling. In short, the article was problematic, so I wanted to address it in some kind of way, especially during this time at home with so many options for parents to put unschooling among their activities and as an opportunity for connection and growth.The problem with that article wasn’t about showing her first experience or describe what she learned, it was about framing it, and put it in as the concept of what unschooling is, ignoring the nuances and processes that lead someone to unschool and the level of compromise and dedication that Self Directed Education has. It wasn't taking into account several variables, the fact that it’s a self directed way of educational process guided upon the children’s natural interest, trust and some levels of access that are in their environment, the relationship that is forged with the people and life itself.Unschooling can be described as a partnership that will offer ideas that the child can accept or refuse, it’s about a dialectical process. The questions that might pop up are placed from an empowered space where the unschooler will offer ways in support of that, as we cannot frame people neither their learning process, it’s a constant resignification.Expertise is developed over time, observe, listen and ask.The second part of the episode is the audio from a video response I did to the GMA article, you can watch it here.Join our Facebook group for people committed to raising free people. LIBERATION WALKShare the response video about unschooling on your social media pages.Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 - Please donate. Support the show at patreon.com/akilahSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
This episode is a combination of resources and links to invitations that will help you as we are raising free people:My dear friend Trelani Michelle, writer, storyteller, and founder author of Krak Teet, shares her experience with her 10-year-old daughter, Kobe, in response to my question about some of the wonderful, deschoolish things we might be noticing nowadays.If you pay attention, you’ll notice how Self Directed Education helps to build healthy self-governance skills for our children, like Trelani mentioned. It can also, as you’ll hear from Racquel in this episode, usher in changes in the experiences around the learning and relationship-building process among siblings, when connection is left to be more organic, less imposed, and more of a partnership.These and other stories are the reflection of the opportunities that we can take advantage of, to see what is forming and being discovered among the families. Such insights make us aware and move us towards a more reflective attitude, because sometimes we do need a disruption in our harmony as a reminder for how to better our self care habits.Another way of connecting during this time of social distancing is through some digital tools that can help you with self direction during these hard times. Here’s one such resource from Chemay Morales James and the My Reflection Matters fam; they are having upcoming zoom events that can guide you through.Unfortunately the pandemic is affecting the most vulnerable people, don’t forget that organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help. Please donate.Also, Tipping Points is an online magazine from the Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE), and are constantly sharing resources on their Facebook and Twitter pages, newsletter, and forums, so be sure to tap into those.ASDE is also developing a page specifically devoted to resources to support parents at this time, and to specifically support parents who are struggling with conventional schooling-at-home and want to find connection and support in shifting how they view education. If that is something they are looking for, or if you have any ideas for resources to share on this page, please send them to ASDE through bria@self-directed.orgLIBERATION WALKGo and listen up my audio course, where I talk about unschooling and self directedness for your family.Check out this list of 16 online culturally responsive educational tools.Look for our sisterfriend Maleka Diggs webinar series: Supporting Parents During Uncertain Times.Don’t forget to leave me a voice memo right here on the site.Email me: she@akilahsrichards.comMessage me in our Facebook group or on Instagram (@fareofthefreechild).Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
We’ve got three important invitations for you:Deschooling Release Party :: This year's theme is The PivotTwo Locations:Right here on FOFC Podcast and inside FOFC FB Group for post-episode conversations.I'll drop the dates on social media and share them with you here when I confirm them, but we're definitely starting this month, April, 2020, so stay tuned.      2.  A Request for Your “Noticing “Stories Join me in amplifying stories of the wonderful or insightful things you may be noticing now that your child is at home more often. I am curating a collection of stories about how, during these days of unexpected, and for some, undesired, school at home situations, some parents or caregivers are noticing little WONDERFUL WAYS that learning is happening, joy is happening, fear is subsiding, in relation to their child. I want to hear your moments:- leave me a voice memo on raisingfreepeople.com- email me: she@akilahsrichards.com- message me in our Facebook group or on Instagram (@fareofthefreechild)      3.  Y’all Alright? A Complimentary Check-In hosted by Maleka Diggs of ELN for ASDEOne of the communities I appreciate, and continually learn and grow with is The Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE). We recently decided to hold space for folks to share some of their feelings and experiences right now with this unexpected, and in some cases, undesired “being at home together all the time” situation. We’re checking in on how this is affecting young people and adults right now, and trying to get more clear about ways to be helpful. FOFC Family member, Maleka Diggs of ELN, will facilitate that discussion coming up this month, April, and I will be there listening and deepening, and would LOVE to have you sitting in that Zoom room right beside me! Be sure to follow Maleka online and keep listening to FOFC for the exact date and time, once that’s confirmed.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
Dr. Sundiata is an Independent Educator, Anti-Oppression Activist, & Social Sustainability Facilitator. He is the co-creator of GROW, a network of people and initiatives designed to promote and create social, economic, and political systems centered on Liberation, Sustainability, and Unconditional Love. He is passionate about helping people discover the power of Authentic Dialogue, a communication framework that leverages complex issues in personal relationships and organizations to help them generate solutions that foster deeper understanding, cohesiveness, freedom, and trust. Dr. Sundiata is also the host of the Theory of Indivisibility Podcast which analyzes the evolutionary origins, current complexities, and future of our social, economic, and political systems, and serves on the board of Heartwood Agile Learning Center, a K-12 independent school that facilitates Self-Directed Education in the metro Atlanta region.A few Mad Question Askin’ Moments:What is the systems theory and how did it originate?What is the symbiotic give-and-take relationship and what are some examples of it?What is nature’s economy and how does it work?Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
This is is an opportunity to raise up out of what we are used to doing and that the practice of unschooling can help with that. A chance to put a few self-directed practices in place because this is where we can get super schoolish and just react to things around us, tossing healthy personal leadership aside.  Times like these remind us of the importance of collectivism and community, to be able to check in with each other. That we can look at the ways we can ensure we’re not being a source of emotional weight on our children, family, selves. In the middle of the potential chaos is an opportunity for community; an opportunity to contextualize what it means to be ourselves together.For many parents their children will now be home for longer periods than expected. Start practicing your observation skills and pay attention to the feelings that are showing up for you and in your children, gauge how you respond to the anxiety children trigger, see what they do to occupy themselves when you back away. These opportunities can enable parents to become better partners to their children and to become better leaders of themselves. Be in the space to look at the opportunities presented due to what’s happening. There are ways here that we can start to pay attention to what is happening around us instead of controlling it -- because we cannot.Boundaries will be tested and assessed, defined and redefined as we reimagine and reconfigure what it means to be around each other as ourselves. Let that arrange you! Don’t run away from it. Be with what that might mean for you.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
A few weeks ago, on Episode 160 we talked with Aja about the pain of being raised with trauma through the vessel of Black mothers, and her new podcast She Said We Shed. In that episode, we talked about “why” she’s doing this podcast and “what” the problem was...in detail. Those of you who listened to that episode (if you didn’t, please go back and do so) because in this episode, we’re going to continue that conversation and touch on “how”. She Said We Shed will not only look at and discuss the impacts of toxic mothering but also how to move into and within practice mode. Aja will speak on learning how, what and why we need to begin shifting our awareness in order to heal ourselves and treat our selves and children with respect and love.Aja has been focused on this work and we believe it would be useful for us to hear about the direction--the pivot. Also In this episode, we share a clip of She Said We Shed’s first episode! In this clip, Aja takes us into her personal story and the impact her mother has had on her life. She shares where she is today in regards to her relationship with her mother and highlight’s steps she’s taken throughout the years to heal and improve their relationship. This shedding helps us to understand why she feels she needs to begin this podcast. We welcome Aja back in this episode as she talks about the pivot and how it's possible to move through the pain and into healing. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
SOME OF THE TOPICS DISCUSSED:-  What do we mean by “raising free people”?-  What does it mean when disabilities intersect with Self-Directed Education? -  How do students with disabilities thrive in this educational philosophy? -  In what ways are needs unmet?  -  How do we define disability in a society where ability is the default? And, who gets to define this term? - How might we be unconsciously perpetuating ableism in our SDE communities? How do we best respond? - How can we be the best facilitators, parents, supporters and practitioners of Self-Directed Education for young people with all kinds of bodies and minds? Calling it “raising free people work, or rfp work” is our way of acknowledging that this IS work, and that there ARE tools and people and books and events and public groups and private groups to support this type of conscious parenting, respectful parenting, liberation-mindedness that is inclusive of the ones who tend to bear the weight of our unhealed wounds, our not-yet-adults. #BIPOCinSDESupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
We’re excited about Aja, whom you’ve heard on previous podcasts and one of the things she’s now doing is her own out-loud deschooling.  This is work that is near and dear to us and is healing work, like all deschooling is.  It’s moving outside of all of the different ways that we have been steeped in and informed by trauma. Much of the work we talk about here on Fare of The Free Child is to try not to perpetuate it, to try to recognize the ways that it has us so that we don’t weaponize it.  Aja’s healing work is specifically related to her relationship with her mother and that’s what’s being discussed today.  She’s going to go from just having a conversation about it to really having this massive movement around legacy shifting related to Black mama trauma.  Can adults and children deschool together?  Aja and her son are in transition mode from homeschooling to deschooling because in addition to deschooling herself, she has decided that her son is going to as well. It felt contradictory not to do so, she felt like she couldn't do both.  She needed her son to think differently, to think for himself and shared examples of this here in this podcast. Aja has a podcast called “She Said We Shed” coming up that will be detailed regarding the effects of putting Black mothers on pedestals and the way we are so afraid to talk about the things that hurt us, how we continue to be hurt insomuch that we are not healing.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
Akilah Richards: hosts this widely celebrated podcast, Fare of the Free Child, that features more than 150 episodes on Self-Directed Education among Black, Non-Black Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. She is the author of the forthcoming book Raising Free People, and she and her partner are raising two self-directed daughters.What Was Discussed:Last week’s episode is also inclusive of Black history when we discussed how Maleka and her daughter, Maddy, recognised how they were being treated and how they were able to connect to the unfortunate familiarity of all the “isms” (racism, ageism…) associated with that treatment, and take a stance towards their human right to exist without bias-driven, false accusations about their actions. This week’s episode will bring attention to how we tend to think of history in terms of things we survived, aka the big hurdles. While we have indeed survived many things,also have a history of knowing, and of leaning into what we “know good,” am I right?  And on this podcast, we aren’t afraid to examine, to critique with love, to decide that some shit needs to change; that’s part of our healing workright?  But we not going to overdevelop one wing and atrophy the other, so while the next several episodes will be about things we are working to change, let’s use this one to talk a little bit about our history of enoughness, of abundance, of applying old knowings to our lives in ways that work beautifully for us some Black folks. We are not only what we survive, we are that and so much more.  We are comprised of the things we’ve always known that we can’t always explain to people in words but can feel it live it in our actions. This is a medley of episodes where past guests spoke from their own history of knowing something about themselves, knowing what was right for them, knowing that they needed to speak up even with the risk of what comes with doing so.I hope it helps you to tap into your own history of knowing what you know about yourself, this world, and your soul.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)
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Comments (9)

Tayler Clemm

yes! thank you I felt your energy on this one

Oct 25th
Reply

Tayler Clemm

I love your energy and simplicity with everything you say. thank you for having a podcast because we needed this. I enjoy learning with you.

Oct 25th
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Angela Jordan Perry

Thanks Monique for sharing your journey. -Angela, Girlfriends' Guide to Homeschooling

May 20th
Reply

Angela Jordan Perry

Appreciating the conversation. -Angela, Girlfriends' Guide to Homeschooling

May 20th
Reply

Angela Jordan Perry

My mind totally blown! Thanks for this podcast topic, the transparency and the terminology. -Angela, Girlfriends' Guide to Homeschooling

May 20th
Reply

Angela Jordan Perry

Thanks for the insights. -Angela, Girlfriends' Guide to Homeschooling

May 20th
Reply

Angela Jordan Perry

Loving your platform. #Paradigm #Shift -Angela, Girlfriends' Guide to Homeschooling

May 20th
Reply

Angela Jordan Perry

"Fear of our child's freedom." You are speaking truth. I'm facing myself here as I listen. I'm ready to kill the fear and take up the fare for my children. they deserve it. Thanks. -Angela, Girlfriends' Guide to Homeschooling

May 20th
Reply

Angela Jordan Perry

Excellent explanation of unschooling. I appreciate your platform. -Angela, Girlfriends' Guide to Homeschooling

May 20th
Reply
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