Radical Learning Talks
By Radical Learning
Sari and Becka are unschooling mamas, parent coaches and leaders in the self-directed education movement. They provide support at the intersection of unschooling, parenting, relationships and community building through various kinds of unschooling tools and resources for self-directed learning families and communities.
Radical Learning TalksJan 06, 2023
53. Deschooling Pregnancy, Birth, Miscarriage & Abortion
This is a deep episode where we share personal stories around how we’re deschooling shame and guilt as it relates to pregnancy, birth, miscarriage & abortion. For us, it means looking at how we have responded to and internalized societal expectations on experiences that are both profound and personal. We also talk about what that’s done to our confidence and self-worth, and how we are working to heal from so much of the harm that we’ve been exposed to.
52. When Your Co-Parent Isn’t in Deschooling Flow
What happens when our partner or co-parent doesn't seem on board with unschooling? Or, they say they're on board, but they don't seem to undertand and/or engage in the deschooling process.
And what does being “on board” even mean?
In this episode we share our experience and perspective about the traps we can find ourselves in when we feel we aren’t in flow with our partners in our unschooling journey and how we can repeat the very systems of power that we are trying to step away from.
51. When Our Kids Are Deschooling
"Is my kid really gonna just sit there and do nothing?"
This is a question we hear a lot and have even thought about ourselves during our own deschooling process. It comes from moments of fear and lack of understanding of what is really going on for our kids.
In this episode, we dive into what can actually happen for kids that are deschooling, what happens for adults and how we can support our kids in their deschooling process without slipping into control or fear.
50. What Happens When Your Unschooler Wants to Try/Go Back to School?
You’ve discovered unschooling and LOVE it! You take your kids out of school, they start deschooling/unschooling and... suddenly they tell you they want to go back to school?!
Or, maybe your kid has never been to school and keeps asking you to start.
Regardless of whatever situation you identify with, it might totally freak you out! And we get it. It's scary and annoying when our kids reject the lifestyle that we have put all our efforts into co-creating.
In this episode we talk about the many opportunities and positive things we do see about this situation, and also touch upon the topic whether or not you can unschool if your kids go to school.
49. A Peek Into the Agile Learning World w/ Tomis Parker
In this episode, we hang out with Tomis Parker, one of the co-founders of the ALC model and of the ASDE, and dive deep into the diversity, struggles and evolution of the agile learning world.
Tomis is an unschooling dad and is passionate about sharing the ALC model and contributing to systemic & social change through building bridges to and through the work of SDE.
We also talk about our shared experience of having unschooling kids who prefer learning outside a learning center, and the challenges that are present when you are the one running it!
This episode is definitely for anyone who wants to know more about ALCs, who might be running one and having challenges and or/who is considering starting one! But also for parents who are navigating how to live as a self-directed family or feel like going bold and brave and start unschooling.
48. Ophelia Standing, an Unschooling Teen Critical to Unschooling
Meet Ophelia, an 18 year old Unschooler that shares their perspectives around unschooling and the ways parents can get so invested in unschooling that they forget the most important part: consent and needs of their kids.
Who does unschooling really support, the parent or the kid and how can we move towards more connection and collaboration with our kids?
47. Deschooling Fears of Reading
There is a really clear idea in society of what skills have more value than others for our growing young people, and usually on top you will find reading, writing and math.
But what happens when your kid (or even you) aren’t big readers and what are the feelings and fears around that?!
In this episode we scratch the surface of this multilayered theme around hierarchy of skills and what lurks beneath. We kinda slip slide all over in this episode, so bear with us as we explore our own programmings and the work we are doing to free ourselves and our kids.
46. Meeting our Edges & Setting Boundaries
What's the difference? What are they about?
In this episode, we dive into the deep waters of needs, emotions and what boundaries are really about: self-discovery and understanding ourselves, and how to learn how to honor our needs and develop empathy with ourselves and with others.
45. When Kids Want to Quit
Ahhhh our kids want to quit something!
What do we do? If they dont push through they will never learn..
These are thoughts old versions of ourselves can relate to and we see so common in parenting. We often fall into wanting to "support" by pushing our kids - or let's be honest - manipulate them.
We think there are so many benefits to sticking to whatever it is they're doing, and often we might feel some urgency - like as if it's now or never. But there are so many more things to consider that have nothing to do what WE want - and everything to do what our kids want and need.
In this episode of Radical Learning Talks we talk about this and how to navigate when our kids want to quit or "give up".
44. Connecting with Kids through Humor w/ Alex Khost
Does unschooling really work?
Well, in this episode of Radical Learning Talks we chat with Alex Khost a long time unschooling father, facilitator & youth right’s advocate who shares how it’s not only possible, it’s in fact a reality for many.
He shares stories from his 20+ years of advocating for & supporting youth on how to be present & build trusting relationships with kids and how he has witnessed youth thrive outside of conventional systems.
Whether you are an unschooling parent, facilitator or human wishing to connect with and support kids… this one's for you!
Find out more about his work here:
43. Can You Deschool without Having Kids?
“But Sari & Becka, how do you deschool without kids?”
We were recently asked this question and it’s also one that we have been trying to find the words to speak to as we offer deschooling intensive training for both parents & adults supporting youth!
The answer... deschooling actually has nothing to do with kids or school, it has to do with the many layers of conditioning that we peel back in order to heal and reconnect to ourselves.
Sounds fluffy? It's a hard thing to explain in a podcast description, so listen in to hear our perspective of what deschooling means to us and how it applies to all people, parents or non-parents alike.
42. Unschooling & Deschooling: From Theory to Practice
Unschooling can sound really wonderful, and in theory so many of us are totally on board with the concept. But then we start practicing it with our kids, and suddenly it no longer feels that amazing. Doubts and fears pop up and we wobble and wonder if this is really for us. Maybe it doesn't work? Should we just throw in the towel, or are there other options?
In this episode we talk about all of this and what we can do instead of giving up on what can turn into the most amazing lifestyle for all the members of your family.
41. Busting Myths Around Unschooling Tween & Teens
There is so much talk in unschooling/ deschooling circles around supporting younger kids, but we seldom hear about what unschooling with tweens/ teens does or can look like. What we tend to hear most is lots of fear or assumptions around supporting these youth… they are gonna be lazy, rebellious, lost, unsuccessful, etc. etc.
In this episode we bust these and more myths and talk about what has been helpful for us in supporting tweens/ teens in their free living & learning process.
40. Notes From the Field (On Supporting Kids in SDE Spaces) w/ Anthony Galloway Jr.
Do you ever wonder what it's like to build trust with kids, or intentional culture, or what the role of the facilitator is in breaking habits to fully support ourselves and young people to thrive?
In this episode we are joined by Anthony Galloway, a professional facilitator and self-directed education practitioner with over 10 years of experience in building intentional culture, community and collaboratively supporting young people in various learning spaces.
It's definitely an episode you don't want to miss!
39. Deschooling Beauty and Aging
Deschooling is all about challenging oxidized beliefs and it extends past what we think about learning & education, encompassing how we view and treat ourselves and others.
In this episode, we specifically chat about the judgements society holds around body image & aging and as a result, the limiting beliefs that we are personally struggling with in our own deschooling process.
We chat about beauty standards, patriarchy, how all of these things influence our thoughts around self worth & value and how we are learning to move from judgment towards radical love and self-acceptance.
38. Supporting Neurodivergent Unschoolers
There is no one size-fits all approach to unschooling. What works for one young person/ family may not for another and we definitely do our young people a disservice if we have unrealistic expectations of them or try to force them to adapt to circumstances that they may not be ready for. This is especially true in supporting neurodivergent kids and in this episode we share some of our discoveries and learnings in supporting our own neurodivergent unschoolers in their process.
37. Sitting with Discomfort
Let’s talk about a hard side of unschooling… sitting with discomfort! As we dig into our deschooling work of looking at and shedding limiting beliefs around relationship, learning & community there are many times when it seems like our world gets flipped upside down and we want to try to remedy and fix things, falling back to old patterns.
In this episode, we share our perspective about how these moments are in fact opportunities to pause, reflect and evolve in our care of and for ourselves and the young people in our lives.
36. Unschooling Flavors w/ Bria Bloom
In our last episode of the year, we chat with Bria Bloom, a born and raised unschooler, youth rights advocate and Executive Director of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education. Bria shares her perspective on the different flavors of unschooling, the intersectionality of deschooling and about her experience in the SDE world.
35. Reconnecting To Ourselves Through Unschooling
The biggest wound school inflicts on us is that it disconnects us from our unique configuration of interests and passions - and our ability to read our inner compass. As unschooling parents it’s never too late to heal!
In this episode we talk about this, and how instead of "just" being an unschooling parent, we can become unschoolers ourselves.
34. The Evolution from Unschooling to Deschooling
Whether you come to unschooling focused only on liberated learning, social justice, conscious parenting or from an intersectional lens, the pathway is layered and complex and usually leads us to deep questioning and transformation.
In this episode we share about our entryways into unschooling and our evolution through the never ending process of deschooling.
33. Conscious Parenting and Divesting in Sandcastles w/ Domari Dickinson
Can we tell you how much we love this episode with the amazing and courageous Domari Dickinson - a recovering educator, unschooling mother of 4, badass parent coach and leading voice in the SDE movement.
Domari openly shares about her deschooling journey of going from an approval chasing, controlling, punishing mom to a conscious, peaceful and revolutionary parent. We talk about what trips us up in the conscious parenting & deschooling journey, divesting in oppressive systems and what unschooling can truly look like.
32. When You Discover Your Kid Is Neurodivergent
What do you do when you realize your kid isn't like other kids? Are you trying to force them to behave in a more socially acceptable way? Or do you blame yourself for not being a good enough parent?
In this episode we share what it has been like for us to discover that our kids are neurodivergent, how we're navigating it and how unschooling is an amazing way of embracing your kids' unique self!
31. The Pitfalls of Treating Kids Like Adults
We often hear parents say that they treat their kids like adults - and believe us, we’ve done it ourselves! But why do we do that? And should we, really?
In this episode we talk about the pitfalls of treating kids like adults.
30. Lifelong Learning with Alex Bretas
In this episode we are chatting with Alex Bretas, a Brazilian visionary, author, community organizer and a leading voice in the SDE movement.
We talk about why it's so hard for adults to learn how to self-direct, what stands in the way that we need to unlearn, the importance of community and the difference between formal and informal studies.
For Alex, there's no doubt: self-direction is the way humans learn!
29. The Role of The Unschooling Parent
In this episode we share our perception of what our role as unschooling parents is.
For us, the most critical thing in unschooling is understanding that more than anything, what our kids need is for us to do some serious inner work on ourselves. That means it's not so much about “doing things right”, but rather focusing on the relationship we’re building with our kids. Why? Because relationships are the context in which all learning happens!
28. Walking the Walk: Deschooling our ALC
What do you do when you realize that your dream project no longer matches how you want to feel or how you want to do things? Well, in our case, when it comes to our ALC Explora, we decided to deschool the whole project! What will it look like? Listen in and learn more about it!
27. Decolonizing Education w/ Chemay Morales-James
In this episode, we dive deep with Chemay Morals-James, founder of My Reflection Matters Village and a social liberation & equity coach.
We talk about her virtual deschooling community and deschooling as decolonization work, what's wrong with the school system and the importance of learning - and unlearning - in community.
26. Signs That It's Time to Deschool
There are times in our lives when we just know something is off and needs to shift, but we don't exactly what or how. In this episode we talk about some signs that tell us that our lense needs to shift around learning, parenting, relationships and community.
We talk about how this is the initial spark of all deschooling work and why this is our focus in our upcoming training - The Shift!
25. Are We Experimenting on Our Kids?
One of the biggest fears of us parents is fucking up our kids. Therefore most of us are doing all we can to find a parenting style and an education that will guarantee that our kids turn into good, successful humans.
But is there really any foolproof method? Isn't it all a huge experiment? Unschooling for sure is, and instead of hiding it, in this episode we embrace the fact that yes, we are experimenting with our kids!
24. Living Joyfully Without School w/ Lucy AitkenRead
In this episode we have a blast with Lucy AitkenRead, a bad-ass unschooler and unschooling mom that works to support parents on their deschooling/unschooling journey.
We cover soooo many topics in this chat: how the unschooling movement is evolving, how we've all been wounded by school, how deschooling is deep healing work - and so much more!
23. Are You Having a Teaching Moment?
Have you ever been in a situation with your kid where you suddenly feel the urge to teach them something you think is valuable and find yourself shoveling knowledge down their throats?
We call those teaching moments, and they're as yucky as they sound! In this episode we'll dissect what this very common phenomenon is about, why we dislike it so much and what to do instead.
22. Being Free in an Unfree World?
We were a little drained recording this one after a big week of some unpleasant but necessary learning experiences in navigating being free in an unfree world.
So many questions...how do we navigate different values and beliefs between our unschooling/deschooling world and the dominant culture? How do we meet others that may be bound by old beliefs? What is the responsibility we adults/parents hold in supporting our kids to navigate these worlds as we are all working hard to bridge the gaps and create more togetherness and connection in this world? How do we navigate our multicultural (unschooling and schoolish) experiences?
It may not be the most upbeat episode but we start to dive into it all here.
21: Embracing Neurodiversity & Diversity in Unschooling w/ Crystal Byrd Farmer
In this episode we chat with Crystal Byrd Farmer an autistic person of color that runs an ALC focused on supporting neurodivergent kids and the author of the book “The Token: Common Sense Ideas for Increasing Diversity in Your Organization” .
This interview is packed with so much… we talk about supporting neurodivergent & disabled kids in SDE spaces, deschooling as a tool for deprogramming beliefs and expectations imposed by dominant culture, how SDE is anti-oppression work by advocating for children's rights, how we can move towards building spaces focused on equity, inclusivity and diversity, how to avoid burnout by holding firm boundaries, and SO much more.
20. We aren’t ferpect parents (...on perfection)
Today Sari & Becka share about their deschooling around the idea of perfectionism. They chat about how perfectionism is actually quite an oppressive practice for ourselves and our kids and of the importance to look at and shift away from these practices to embrace our life outside of shadow’s of other’s ideas of what we should be or do.
19. Are you Empowering or Shielding Your Kids?
"It’s ok... nothing happened, you are all good! Don't worry, we will get another pet! Don’t be upset, you will feel better soon! Don’t be so angry!"
The list goes on for how we have been shielded or now shield our kids around big emotions. In this episode we chat about the dangers of shielding kids from big emotions, how emotions are a compass for meeting unmet needs and how we empower kids to advocate for themselves by understanding their emotions and the world around them.
18. Unschooling as Liberation & Social Justice Work w/ Iris Chen
In this episode we have the pleasure of chatting with Iris Chen, a deconstructing tiger mom, unschooling partner, youth advocate, liberation activist and writer of the book Untigering: Peaceful Parenting for the Deconstructing Tiger Parent.
Iris shares about how unschooling is deep social justice work, her family’s journey in transitioning to unschooling and how she has shifted from authoritarian to more peaceful parenting. By the end of this episode we hope you will feel as pumped up as we do about your own role in this larger liberation movement!
17. How to Talk About Taboos
Your kid asks to talk about sex, racism, religion, death, addiction, _______ (fill in the blank)… Do you clam up and freak out, or do see it as an opportunity to create a safe space and build relationship with them?
As a follow up on our episode on how to raise conscious boys, we share more on what our experience has been in talking about taboos with our kids and how we see these moments as gateways for deepening connection and trust.
16. Machismo & Raising Conscious Boys
In this episode we pick up from the last episode and get really vulnerable. We share personal stories around the themes of power, patriarchy, machismo and our critical role in raising boys into conscious men and how that is tied to deschooling and liberation work.
In this episode we talk about sexual harassment and violence.
We acknowledge that we are two privileged women who are speaking from our perspective and experience and the content around sexual harassment and violence may bring discomfort. Our intention is to bring awareness and open up dialogue around these themes never to shame, blame, expose or exclude anyone. If we can do better, please let us know, we are always learning.
You can find the podcast referenced in the episode here: https://raisingfreepeople.com/232/
15. Patriarchy, Power Dynamics and Parenting with Dr Sundiata
This is a big one friends and just might rock your world!
In this episode we are talking to Dr. Sundiata Soon-Jahta, father of 2 self-directed learners, anti oppression educator and creator of the Theory of Indivisibility. We talk about tools of oppression, power dynamics, patriarchy and how to build sustainable relationships and communities in the world!
You can find all of Dr. Sundiata’s life work including his Theory of Indivisibility here:
You can support Dr. Sundiata’s work here:
14. The Importance of Supporting Kids to Take Risks
Your kid wants to jump off of that cliff, cut with a sharp knife, walk to the store by themselves… How do you respond?
In this episode we talk about the role of risk taking in our kid’s evolution, what trips us up in the process and how supporting our kids to take risks not only helps them grow, but also helps us foster more connection and trust in our relationships with them.
13. Is Play Your Friend or Foe?
In this episode we talk about the importance of play in our deschooling process and in supporting ourselves and our youth to live authentic and free lives.
We discuss how play is an expression of freedom and the role play holds in our lives to break free from societal expectations.
12. Why You Shouldn’t Send Your Kids to School with Blake Boles
Ever wonder what a group of unschoolers does with their autonomy in a foreign country? How unschooling truly prepares youth for the future? What the role of an adult is in an unschoolers’ journey? Or even why some of us may still be sending our kids to school?
In this episode, we dive into these questions and more with our friend Blake Boles, writer, speaker, podcaster and SDE (self-directed education) advocate. Blake shares insights from years of research and direct support of unschooling youth on international adventures with his program Unschooling Adventures.
You can find more info on Blake and his work at https://www.blakeboles.com
11. What’s Up with Challenging Our Kids?
Why do we think we need to challenge kids all the time? What does that say about our mindset, our fears and our trust in our kids?
In this episode we explore ideas about how we learn and how we can support our kids’ natural learning process without falling back into the pressure cooker of challenge.
10. Slow Living as an Act of Rebellion
Consumerist practices are wiping out ways of living more slowly. Our lives are dictated by schedules and deadlines and expectations defined by others.
In this episode we discuss how slow living and unschooling are acts of rebellion against oppressive systems and how important it is to reclaim our lives and center relationships, community and freedom.
9. Meet Teo Koritz, An Unschooling Teen
Want to peek into the mind of an unschooler?
In this episode, Teo, a 16 year old neurodiverse unschooler talks about his perspectives on unschooling including learning, freedom, trust, boundaries, relationships and how unschooling is supporting him to live an authentic, empowering and liberating life.
8. Why Does Screen Time Freak Us Out?
Many unschooling parents and adults supporting youth are fine to advocate for kid’s freedom until the dreaded “screen time” comes up.
We find that many times we are able to trust in our kids and their choices in certain areas, but when it comes to screen use we clam up, forget about what they are navigating and learning and slip into fear and control.
In this episode of Radical Learning Talks, we explore why screen time freaks us out and invite us to explore some different perspectives. As you listen, we would love to ask some big questions:
- In what ways do you limit your kids?
- How can you challenge your own thinking around their freedom?
- What if you’re wrong and they’re right?
Please let us know what comes up for you and what is challenging/hard!
7. Consent-based Learning and Parenting
In this episode we will be speaking about a big topic which we feel we don't talk about enough in the context of parenting and learning… it’s the topic of consent.
Today we chat about how consent is part of the foundational work of moving away from systems of control towards those of mutual understanding and freedom.
6. Breaking Cycles with Liz Neuenschwander
In this episode we speak with Liz, an unschooling mother and facilitator at an agile learning center.
Liz shares about her transition to unschooling, how unschooling is liberation and anti-oppression work and about her deep journey in shifting towards building relationships based on trust and collaboration.
5. Facing our Fears
We are living in a time of extreme fear and uncertainty, which for many of us causes us to make restrictive choices.
In this episode we dive into how our fears disempower us and limit us from living truly fulfilling lives and how our fears affect our relationships.
We also give tips on how to unpack our fears, heal generational trauma and develop the courage to live more freely as we embark on our unschooling journey.
4. What is Deschooling?
In this episode we demystify the meaning of deschooling and how it is a tool for liberation...moving away from systems based on control and fear, towards authenticity and transformation. We talk about how deschooling is a process for both children and adults and how it’s ultimately about breaking cycles, detoxing from oppressive structures and nurturing the relationship between adults and children.
We also share tips for adults to help support and advocate for their kid’s freedom.