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Raising Free People with Akilah S. Richards on Living Joyfully

By Anna Brown
Living Joyfully
September 2, 2021

Akilah S. Richards joins me again to talk about her most recent book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work. We talk about her definitions of unschooling and deschooling and dive deep into the far-reaching impacts of choosing an unschooling lifestyle. We also dive into some of the profound realizations she’s had about schoolishness, adultism, and the way our culture treats children, as well as how questioning all of that has allowed her to create deeper relationships with her own children.

Akilah also shares how the pandemic has given many families the opportunity to pause and see their children in a new way, and the changes that ripple out from there are transformative.

Our conversation was powerful and inspiring!

Questions for Akilah

Can you share with us a bit about you and your family and what everybody’s interested in right now?

You wrote, “Unschooling is a way of life that is based on freedom, respect, and autonomy. Listening and witnessing help parents to facilitate learning by offering resources for their child to pursue their interests and to follow their curiosity, without the restrictions of time limitations or judgment by way of testing.” You mentioned the key elements there in your description, following their curiosity, pursuing their interests, no time limitations. Let’s start there. How have you seen that playing out in your family?

You wrote about viewing your relationships with your children through the lens of post-colonial parenting and how that helped you move beyond that adult-centric perspective on those relationships and what it means to be a parent. That is just a bigger lens on adultism. I was hoping you could share a little bit more about how that’s looked for you.

Let’s dive into the importance of developing “mad question-asking” skills! For years, my mantra has been “open and curious.” Not assuming our way is the “best” way and instead asking questions really opens us up to learning so much about our kids, doesn’t it?

What is your favorite thing about your unschooling days right now?

Things mentioned in the episode

Akilah’s website, Raising Free People

Akilah’s book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work

Akilah’s podcast, Fare of the Free Child

Our earlier conversation, Ten Questions with Akilah S. Richards (episode 57)

Check out the Living Joyfully Network


Read the transcript

Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work