Where you choose to spend your time and build your homeschool community has a very powerful impact on your experience. Often when families begin to homeschool, they just jump in and tag along with any and everything that comes their way. But as the years go by they learn to streamline and tailor their children’s needs. One of the struggles that I hear from many families of color that there are limited spaces where our children see themselves reflected in leadership positions that also support a self-directed line of learning. So I would like to share the top two resources that helped my family create the homeschooling lifestyle we love so much. I hope that by accessing the work available from these wonderful and different sources of teaching you too will be able to create an optimal learning space for your child.
When I first heard of unschooling I was attending a park day near my home that did not reflect our needs aside from being geographically close and free to attend. The resources I was provided from that group reflected that their interests and concerns and didn’t easily line up with concepts that lead to my need for homeschooling. Unschooling, at times, can have an atmosphere of seemingly toxic positivity where needs are ignored in regard to culture, ancestry and political impacts for families of color. However, Akilah addressed these issues immediately within the first few minutes of her podcast. Her stance on self-directed education was based on all the things I needed to hear about homeschooling. She addressed my fears and it felt like she truly understood what it took for me to lead my family down this path. Her guidance helped me find and create new spaces for my family to exist with others on the same journey. I listened to all of her podcasts and followed all of her work. When she announced she would be in Los Angeles for her 100th episode, I had found a new homeschooling group that shared my concerns. Our community was thrilled to host an event to hear her speak in person! Akilah has been a guiding force in my homeschool journey and I highly recommend her work to anyone who is struggling to find their own unique footing in their learning. Already a fan of Ms. Richards? Join us at the HSC conference in San Jose this August where you can meet Ms. Richards and attend her session on liberated learning. For more, resources and information on the web go to https://akilahsrichards.com.
The Akilah Event we held in our community brought many women together. This is where I first met Ndindi Katong PhD. who runs Angeles Workshop with her husband Scott Stubbe. Angeles Workshop is a progressive middle and high school for students seeking a small school environment, no mandatory homework, weekly field trips and more. I was thrilled when Ndindi and Scott gave me the opportunity to teach a ten-week art workshop based on Indigenous Art of the Southwest with their middle school students. Their amazing set up allowed my son to also shadow my workshop which helped expand his ideas of what homeschooling could be. In addition to learning about art from our homeland, he was also able to make friends and expand his social circle with the other students. Where Akilah helped me idealize a type of school for my children, Ndindi and Scott made it a reality. Ndindi and Scott have an amazing site full of resources to learn about any topic. They do a wonderful job of promoting social justice work and connecting their students to the surrounding neighborhoods. They have designed the student day in a way that allows them to connect to the communities around them which makes their learning relevant and up-to-date. They also work with community experts who bring years of knowledge to share with the whole school weekly. Angeles Workshop is truly a one of a kind learning space. If you are in the Los Angeles area, Angeles Workshop has year-round open enrollment and homeschool hybrid scheduling available. More about them can be found on the web at www.AngelesWorkshop.com.
Have an amazing homeschool resource in your area? Send me a write up of your experience! We love to share what is going on in all of our homeschool communities. Laurie Gracia-Alikhan - Editor The Homeschooler Post