SEPTEMBER 2018.  As I write this, I’m sitting on the back porch of a sweet li’l short-term rental jawn sitting at the southernmost part of Phoenix, Arizona. It’s at the foothills of the city, and we’re surrounded by mountain masses, beautiful cacti, and a night sky that has literally brought me to tears more than once already.

This quiet town is a welcomed slow-down from the two-week turn-up I enjoyed in California. Deschooling and other disruptive healing work was happening, and I was welcomed into homes and community gatherings in Inglewood, L.A., Long Beach, Lake Elsinore, and Upland.

Right before those events, I spent four days in San Jose facilitating and co-facilitating workshops, readings, and a keynote talk at an annual homeschooling conference (that had so many unschoolers all up in that mix—yes!).

And a few weeks before that was where I got to host a parenting patois workshop during an ALF Training. ALF stands for Agile Learning Facilitators, and folks from all over (Puerto Rico, Spain, Belgium, Turkey, plus various US states, and a few Charlotte, North Carolina locals) gathered to practice more partner-centered parenting and relationship techniques.

In each of those spaces together—Charlotte and all over Cali—what I witnessed was conscious, liberation-centered community organizing around children, learning, and paradigm shifts. Black folks, Indigenous peoples, and other POCs gathered to resolve limitations placed on them and their children! I remembered that we are not at all alone in this work toward raising free people. Each of us got to be part of connecting and expanding our support community, if even just through being heard and feeling understood. If you weren’t there in person, you can still get the benefits of the work—that’s one of the dopest things about liberation work! It echoes and billows and spreads roots. This webinar I’m about to describe is one way I can harness the energies of those gatherings so you can experience some of the benefits. The webinar is called Parenting Patios; the details are below.

Using “Parenting Patois” to develop our language & practice for raising free people.

This is a webinar where our agenda is to unpack and begin to re-route privilege and power in our relationships with our children. Apply for full, permanent access to the webinar, a web-based, pre-recorded workshop you watch and listen to. This is for parents, facilitators, and supportive family members who want to expand their understanding of how to disrupt and ultimately stop toxic parenting ideas and habits.

During the webinar (which will not require you to audio or video chat with anyone) you’ll get access to a set of videos and audios of me talking you through a set of discoveries and resulting tools I call my parenting patois practice. We will cover how many of us arrived at a parenting approach that centers parental controls (performance arts and power-over), and then how we can get to collaborative, emergent, culture co-creation with our children.

5 Foundational Beliefs for Parenting Patois

  • Parenting was/is political; othermothering and motherwork taught us that
  • Parenting is a social issue because children are raised by environments, not individuals in a vacuum
  • Before forced schooling, many understood/celebrated the intersection of consent culture and community in parenting
  • We are transitioning out of dogmatic, disrespectful parenting and want to co-develop a patois (with children) to honor each other’s needs and desires, based on child-trusting, liberation-minded relationships
  • Our communication/language toward young people either oppress or allow/empower them; we are learning to discern and choose better, safer language and practices

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Hosted by Akilah S. Richards.

Akilah is an unschooling podcaster, writer, and founding board member of The Alliance for Self-Directed Education. Her work both challenges and encourages social justice minded people to explore privilege and power in their relationships with children. In her own family, Akilah, her partner, and their two daughters, use unschooling as a tool for decolonizing education and liberating themselves from oppressive, exclusive systems. Find her conversations and commentary at Fare of the Free Child Podcast where Akilah supports, connects, and highlights people of color designing their own liberation through Self-Directed Education and love-centered community building.