Akilah Richards on Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work

gender nonconformity kids

I really enjoyed exploring unschooling and deschooling with Akilah Richards, host of the Fare the Free Child podcast and author of the wonderful, thought-provoking book Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work. I reached out to Akilah after seeing her TED talk, which led me to her book, and then her podcast, and I knew I wanted to invite her to join me in conversation. I love how Akilah talks about relating our own deep inner work to re-parenting, freedom, decolonization, and liberation.

In this episode, Akilah shares her personal story of going from traditional schooling to unschooling to deschooling, and how she and her husband came to consider the idea of raising free people, what that means, and how they’ve navigated the realities of making unconventional choices that can sometimes make other people uncomfortable. Akilah also shares how she thinks about success and what a fulfilled life looks like for her family, as well as how her work aimed at decolonizing parenting has resonated with people worldwide.


About Akilah Richards

Akilah S. Richards is passionate about mindful partnerships and decolonizing parenting. She uses audio and written mediums to amplify the ways that unschooling in particular, is serving as healing grounds and liberation work for Black, non-Black Indigenous, and People of Color communities earthwide. Her celebrated unschooling podcast, Fare of the Free Child, and the numerous workshops and gatherings she has been part of, have garnered the attention of Forbes Magazine, The New York Times, Good Morning America, and most importantly, BIPOC families interested or living in more healthy, consent-based, intergenerational relationships. Her recent experiences within the intersection of privilege, parenting,and power are detailed in her latest book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work (PM Press).


Things you’ll learn from this episode

  • What it means to be raising a “free child” and why it can be a threatening or uncomfortable concept for some people
  • What “mad question asking” is and how parents can use it to get unstuck
  • How unschooling is tied to decolonization
  • What “deschooling” is versus “homeschooling” and “unschooling”
  • What “confident autonomy” is and why Akilah considers is a hallmark of “success” in her children
  • How Akilah and her partner dealt with the barriers (social, cultural, and more) when they chose the unschooling path for their family
  • What a “savor complex” is and how it can transform the family experience


Resources mentioned for Akilah Richards


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Episode Transcript

Debbie Reber  00:00

This season of Tilt Parenting is being brought to you by the Differently Wired Club. If you’re looking to dive deeper with me and get live personal coaching support, be part of an incredible parent community and focus on creating significant change in your parenting world. Check out my Differently Wired Club program. Doors open for a few days at the end of every month, Learn more at tiltparenting.com/club

Akilah Richards  00:24

Freedom is individual liberation is collective. And I think that a lot of the things that we do at home, in our own bodies, in our own houses when I say individual, I mean not just a person but also like your home circle. There are a lot of things we do there that support and amplify and evolve collective liberation. And for me unschooling is one way that we do that, because if I continued on the path of operating as if freedom was something that my children earned, that is a dismissal of a civil rights that they have for sovereignty.

Debbie Reber  01:05

Welcome to Tilt Parenting, a podcast featuring interviews and conversations aimed at inspiring, informing and supporting parents raising differently wired kids. I’m your host, Debbie Reber, and am I allowed to say this is one of my favorite conversations of the season. I mean, I love them all. But I really enjoyed exploring unschooling, deschooling freedom and liberation with Akilah Richards, host of the Fair of the Free Child podcast and author of the book Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work. I reached out to Akilah after seeing her TED Talk, which led me to her book and then her podcast and I just knew I wanted to invite her to join me in conversation. A recurring theme in this podcast and in tilt is doing our own inner work as parents and I love how Akilah talks about relating our own re parenting to freedom, decolonization and liberation. So in this episode Akilah shares her personal story of going from traditional schooling to unschooling to deschooling, and how she and her husband came to consider the idea of raising free people will also just talk about what that means and how they’ve navigated the realities of making unconventional choices that can sometimes make other people uncomfortable. Akilah also shares how she thinks about success and what a fulfilled life looks like for her family, as well as how her work aimed at decolonizing parenting has resonated with people worldwide. A little more about Akilah before we begin, Akilah Richards uses audio and written mediums to amplify the ways that unschooling in particular is serving as healing grounds and liberation work for black non black Indigenous and People of Color communities earth wide, her celebrated unschooling podcast Fare of the Free Child and the numerous workshops and gatherings she’s been a part of have garnered the attention of Forbes magazine, The New York Times, Good Morning America, and most importantly, BIPOC families interested or living in more healthy consent based intergenerational relationships. I absolutely love chatting with people who are deep philosophical thinkers on a mission. And that’s definitely how I would describe Akilah. I hope you enjoy this thoughtful conversation. One quick thing before I get to that, if you want to dive deeper into this podcast episode, or any of the episodes of season, join my Tilt Parenting pod club on the Fable app. Together, we’re discussing it and reflecting on every single episode and sharing highlights, comments, questions, related resources and more. And it’s completely free to join my pod club and the discussion surrounding this conversation with Akilah Richards and raising free people. Just download the fable app on your phone or device and search for tilde parenting. Or you can go to tiltparenting.com/fable For a direct link. I hope to see you there. And now here is my conversation with Akilah.

Debbie Reber  04:11

Hi, Akilah, welcome to the podcast.

Akilah Richards  04:13

Thank you Debbie, glad to be here.

Debbie Reber  04:16

I’m looking forward to this conversation. I was really drawn to your work after seeing your TEDx talk and then reading your book which is called Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work, such a great title, and I really was excited to just share a bit of your work and your story with my audience. Your book is really your story, but just give us a little bit about your own journey as to how you went down this path of exploring unschooling and deschooling and just forging a different path for your own family.

Akilah Richards  04:51

Yeah, so my children, my daughters who are now 18 and 16, Marley and Sage. They are my guides, you know, I say it all the time, they really have been such amazing guidance counselors of my life and it started with them. When Miley started elementary school, she was really excited about it. You know, she went in with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. We didn’t have any of the things like separation anxiety things. She was like, Bye, guys, you know, when we dropped her off, and it was kind of great. But what we began to notice my partner Chris and I, we began to notice over time that Marley was changing, she was having a lot of frustration with her processes. And she would say, as I talk about in the book, after a while, she was like, I don’t have time to think my thoughts and, you know, just things that we found so weird. We’re like, oh, kids think about stuff like that, like time, that thing. You know, it just didn’t. We didn’t even think about or feel through some of the things that were really present for Marley. And then shortly after she was in school, she got labeled, gifted and talented. And so then there was this sort of rush of testing and all these other things. And at one point, they wanted to put her in the fourth grade when she was, I think, seven at that time. And that was crazy sounding to us. It was just like a variety of things that allowed us to start to pay attention to Marley and then to sage who entered school about a little over a year after they’re really close in age. And we realized over time that they were changing, they were becoming more the term I use is schoolish. They were becoming more schoolish in terms of comparing themselves to other kids, they both were really frustrated with how they spent their time and what they wanted to do with their time. And then eventually, Chris, and I realized that we could either continue to be advocates for the teacher and the school, or we could start to become advocates for Marley and sage. And we realized that we were agents of the school and not so much like partners with Marley and Sage. And eventually, we withdrew them from school because they were requesting that over and over again. And then that’s when things started Debbi because then we just started doing school at home. And after doing that, for some time started to recognize the difference between what we were doing, and how they were actually learning and evolving. And then we eventually began unschooling, and then I found out that that was a thing. And then I chronicle that path out loud, because that’s what I do. I struggle out loud, with whatever’s happening in my life.

Debbie Reber  07:35

Well to everyone else’s benefit, I mean, the way that you share your own journey, and I really appreciated that when you started homeschooling, you weren’t doing school at home. And then it was kind of this constant peeling off of these layers and these structures that we as parents feel that we have to fit into, and then like one by one, you started to peel those away. I really appreciated the way that you share that in the book.

Akilah Richards  08:00

Oh, thank you. Yeah, it was so important to me to be present in my life. And really, that’s what Marley and sage were advocating for. Back when they were in school, they did not feel present in their life, it was performative. They were doing what they were told when they were told, and they didn’t like it. And as humans, we don’t like that we normalize it, it becomes normal. And sometimes we have to, but we conflate it with education. And what I’ve learned over the years is that those two things are not the same. Because we never had to force Marley and sage to quote unquote, learn anything, there was information that we required them to take in for their safety. And because we have built trust over time, because we move from a schoolish way to a more partnership centered way, they tend to readily accept the things that we require, because we’re in partnership, and because they have an understanding, and they know they can question why we say something, which is very different than if you don’t force a kid to do XYZ, they won’t do it. Very different. And we’ve just been learning that Chris and me over time.

Debbie Reber  09:13

Right? You talk a lot about this idea of freedom in your book, and that children are given the message that freedom isn’t something they’re born with, it’s something that they have to earn. And I just love the way that you talked about what it means to give kids the freedom to learn what they want to learn. And also acknowledging that is a really threatening concept to so many people, especially, I think, here in the US, but I’m sure in many places around the world and so I’d love to if you could talk about that concept of freedom. How do you define a free person, a free child?

Akilah Richards  09:48

Yeah, it’s such a great question. That’d be for me the book. It was very important to talk about liberation, you know, and my friend who’s an amazing therapist, Shana Marie Brown, has a saying that freedom is individual, and liberation is collective. And I love that every time I say it, I just want to shut up for a second, which I will do now. And just let that wash me, you know, like every time I say it or hear it or read, it just washes over me. Freedom is individual liberation is collective. And I think that a lot of the things that we do at home, in our own bodies and our own houses, when I say individual, I mean not just the person but also like your home circle, there are a lot of things we do there that support and amplify and evolve collective liberation. And for me, unschooling is one way that we do that, because if I continued on the path of operating as if freedom was something that my children earned, that is a dismissal of a civil rights that they have for sovereignty. And as a woman in a black body, as a black woman, I have such an intimate relationship with terms like freedom and liberation. Chris, and I want to talk about being agents of the school agents of a system, it felt ridiculous that we were trusting that system that actually was not designed with liberation in mind, that was quite the contrary, trusting that system with our children who were black women becoming, and if we acclimated them to the idea that someone else got to determine how they live their lives, and that so much of their time was supposed to be performing whatever someone else said, then what would their relationship to their own sovereignty be? You know, and those are the type of questions that brought for me decolonization the coloniality as part of what unschooling is, because my children are sovereign ground, they are not just like many me’s or people, for me to mold their their own people, they came out sovereign, and if I’m not careful, then I will colonize them, I will look at them as land to mold and to give them roads and give them things that they quote unquote need, without the input and respect for who they actually already are and what they bring. So those two things feel really connected to me.

Debbie Reber  12:18

Yeah, I mean, that’s really profound when you talk about it that way. And I imagine that making the decision to not buy into the system, and you talk about the adult gaze to kind of reject the way that others are going to perceive the decisions you’re making. That must have been scary. It sounds like you have an amazing partner in Chris and that you were both on the same page. But how did you push through? What I would imagine would be a lot of social barriers and other barriers to really forge the path that you chose for your family?

Akilah Richards  12:51

Yeah, oh, man, it was just like a moment by moment thing, Debbie, the decision to raise free people, includes oneself, first of all, so we’re not just raising over there, at the people we made or adopted, or however, young people come into our lives, whatever beautiful ways. You’re also raising yourself, because adults need raising too. And also, the concept of childhood. Childhood is a concept and idea of what humans need at a certain stage in their life. And I encourage folks to dig into that research a little bit. Childhood, I’ve learned, does not go away, and then is somehow replaced by adulthood. That’s not what happens, you don’t become an adult. And now everything from your childhood experiences, the neurological connections, the experiences, they’re gone now, because you’re an adult, no, they’re stacked on top of it’s another layer. And so tending to the child version of ourselves, is such an important part of it. And so to your question of how I managed, essentially that adult gaze and the community gaze was a lot of my own repenting, my own recognition of how much value I place on what not just what people thought about me, but also what I thought people thought about me. It was like the mythology of my life and the mythology of other people’s stories about my life, were so much more present than my actual life. So slowing down from forced curricula gave me the space to really just notice that, for example, when we started traveling to Jamaica, and I wrote about this in the book, how I was like forcing Marley and Sage to learn their times tables, because already they weren’t in school. And already people were gonna say, Why are you picking them out in the classroom and that, but if she knew her times, tables, tada, it was like, What am I doing? Like I noticed myself doing that and their frustration, and me being like, Yeah, but if you don’t know your times tables, those are like the basics. Have mathematics. But it wasn’t about that. It was about making sure that some of my elders, for example, felt comfortable like, well, she’s really smart and articulate tension or at times tables. So, right like, so really being with that and being like, what is that actually about? Who is that for? And then mad question asking. And I just started and continued to ask myself different questions like, Who am I parenting for? Which thing is more important here like that my daughter feels like I hear her, and that she’s learning in a way that makes sense for her or she’s learning what I think she should learn. Because early on, I was still thinking like that? Or is it important that this elder feels like whatever I’m doing makes sense. Which thing is more important to me? And why? And those questions did not have neat little perfect answers. That’d be but what they did was offer me the direction to say in the moment when I’m going to sit her down to do the sevens, the times tables, can I replace this with something else that doesn’t feel like I’m performing for someone else? Can I do something that feels easier, even as simple as that? And if I can do that, how does that feel? What does that move me towards? What other questions do I have now. So it was just like little, tiny breadcrumb experiences like that over and over and over, since about 2014. That allowed me to eventually say, oh, I can have some compassion for little girl Akela, who just wants to make sure that her grandmother who raised her, loves her and understands her, Oh, I can have some compassion for the a student Akela, who was also labeled gifted, who wants to make sure that she’s presenting properly, so she can get the scholarship, she needs to get the hell out of this state. And after that, I started to be able to notice and make important connections that showed me why I was doing what I was doing, and then allowed me to make more informed decisions about what I was doing.

Debbie Reber  17:07

Wow, so much of what you shared is resonating, and I came up with about five questions based on that response. But I’ll just share that I homeschool which turned into unschooling my child who’s now 18, when we were living in the Netherlands for a number of years, and it was very hard for me to let go of those same things, even though there was a lot of self directed learning, I still was clinging to Yeah, but you still need to know this, this and this. And it is really hard, especially and I love that you talk about in the book, the fact that your daughter has been identified as gifted and talented. And then there’s that pressure, like, oh, my gosh, I can’t screw this up, my child has all this potential. So that feels like an extra layer, on top of already a lot of layers when you’re kind of going your own road.

Akilah Richards  17:56

Yes, I’m so glad you brought that up major, major major. And so much of that, for me, was tied to my own identity as someone who was moved to America by my parents for a better life, and the American dream and all of these things. And it’s like, wait a minute, what I’m not about to do is mess this up. Here’s my kid who she can probably get a scholarship at like 16, you know, like, all these different things came up in my mind all these valid reasons to continue to push. But again, it was about the sense of the gaze, the adult gaze, the community gaze, overlaying aspects of my story onto my children that they were articulating, especially after we’d been out of school for a few years, articulating why that was not okay. Because that’s the other thing about when someone gets access to their freedom, the language of liberation, you can then hear it, they’re able to say things that allowed Chris and me to be less figure outing you right to do less figure outing and more just listening, oh, I don’t have to figure out what to do. Instead, I can just observe what she’s doing. And support that or speak to that, and recognize the reasons why I’m doing these things that I’m doing. Especially because I had this idea, like you said, they’re gifted, you know, I don’t want to mess that up for them. And when we talk about neuro divergence, and even recognizing that in myself, which has been such a gift, how I’ve been known as a certain type of person, how much my student hood got wrapped into my identity, oh Akela learns things fast. She’s good at this. She’s really articulate, she can pop up. And it’s like, I was like performing for that way, when really, when I really dove into entrepreneurship, and because unschooling was a big part of me being able to surrender beautifully to that. I learned that I’m actually not a fast learner. When I’m into something. I’m like, super slow, and I need to read and watch to see Same thing, like four or five times, and I need to make notes about it. And I need to draw things and like I am learning how I learn, which is very different than what I had to do to perform in school.

Debbie Reber  20:14

Yes, one of the many, many gifts I think of having kids if we’re willing to question and we can learn so much about ourselves, if we’re open to that. I’ve seen it in this community. So many times, so many parents who’ve discovered their own neuro divergence as a result of raising their child. And what it opens up for them is really incredible to see.

Akilah Richards  20:33

Yes, of course, again, this is how their liberation is tied to ours. Because the more they can show up in their sovereignty, the more education that is for all of us in this world that we find ourselves in that so many of us want to make change in. A part of how we can do that is through the younger generation, allowing. I hear a lot of people talk about what we need to do for the next generation, and what we need to teach them and pass on. And I’m like, Uh huh. Also, what do we need to observe? What do we need to notice? What do we need to allow them to show up in their full power so that we can unlearn and let go of? There’s so much shedding and sorting that happens when you’re in relationship with a free young person.

Debbie Reber  21:29

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Debbie Reber  22:11

I’d love to talk about this idea of success. I’m just curious how you would define it in tilt. We talk a lot about how important it is that as families, we redefine success. So we’re not trying to compare with what other families are doing, or have our kids measure up to these expectations of what a successful fulfilled life looks like. So how do you define that?

Akilah Richards  22:33

Yeah, the term that I use for that Debbie is confident autonomy. That is what Chris and I got to about what we would want for our children — confident autonomy, which includes a deep knowledge of self, right. So it’s that they understand what their personal leadership looks like. So they understand when, when the brain does what the brain will sometimes do. And then you get caught up in a thought and you spin out and you’re comparing and you’re like bugging out completely. You have tools and resources in your inner world, and people you reach out to outside depending on the thing to navigate that you understand how you learn, you are in a position to express to other people, not necessarily beautifully articulated. However you communicated what your learning needs are, like right now I’m in my first year of seminary, and I’ve had to really speak up with my Deans around what learning looks like for me and why I won’t just do whatever they’ve assigned because I’m here for an experience. And while they created the curriculum, with this topic in mind, they didn’t know me. And so now that I’m here, the curriculum needs to be refined to include the actual human. So when I see my daughter is like Sage opted into school, she’s now in high school, and really enjoying it and her grades are great, but our idea of success has nothing to do with her grades. It’s about her confident autonomy, when she gathered all of her teachers together to talk about what she needed and asked me to be in the room. And Chris, that was beautiful when she met up with her counselor to say what she was not going to do and what she did not care about. And what she did care, why she wasn’t going to do all the homework because that wasn’t relevant to her process. Those are the things that we would say are successful. It’s your personal leadership skills. What does that suite of skills look like? And do you have a type of confidence around your autonomy?

Debbie Reber  24:41

I love that and that self knowledge piece is just so important. You know your strengths really well. You know how to advocate for yourself and get the support that you need around areas of relative weakness and really push for the life that you want.

Akilah Richards  24:57

Exactly, exactly. Debbie Yes, and to be in community around that, because that community piece is so important. So often in the unschooling spaces, there is this sort of individualism that I think is unhealthy, right? Like we start out, sometimes it is this about freedom, the individual, my child needs something that they are not getting, and I’m setting out to make sure they could get it, boom, but I got it completely. However, when your liberation, if your freedom gets in the way of someone else’s, then it isn’t freedom, that’s, again, a type of colonization, that’s like dominant culture, stepping in and saying, This is what we need. It’s a different thing when we talk about community. So confident autonomy also means that you’re able to listen and receive feedback from community when someone says that you’ve been harmful, you don’t just put on your school lens and be like, Look, I’m free, and you know, it’s up to you to blah, blah, blah, no, freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin. So to be able to savor the term that I’ve that has really dropped into my spirit around this is savoring, and I’m talking so much about that now, actually recently shared that I’m quitting unschooling, quote unquote, but not in the sense of that we are not unschoolers anymore, but more. So the evolution of the healing and liberation work that unschooling has brought me to is what I’m really talking about now. And a big part of that is being able to savor your experiences like that is a lesson plan, if you will, to pay attention to what has happened in community and in your body, to really sit with that to savor it. Like when you put something in your mouth and you don’t just like bite it and chew it up, you actually let it sit there, and you savor it and you pay attention. And you make observations and you speak to who you need to speak to like you’re really in a position to be present and mindful about your relationships and not just performative.

Debbie Reber  27:00

That’s so interesting. I know that you offer coaching. Is your savor related coaching for parents who are wanting to share this with their kids. How do you work with families around this?

Akilah Richards  27:13

Yeah, thanks for asking. And I call it a savor complex, like invoking a savior complex. Because I like how close it sounds to save your complex because let’s talk about it. The coaching is really for anyone who is, for example, I’d work a lot with recovering academics. And that’s a term that they use people who either they’re college professors now or they were, and they’re realizing a lot of the harm in their schoolish ways, or parents who are really looking to slow down and notice and make connections for wherever they are in their journey right now, even if their children are in school, or if their children are unschooling, or if they’re in an Agile Learning Center, like whatever is happening, if you’re in a place where you’re noticing that you’re almost like in this room full of information that you have gathered over the years. So you’re sorting through things or the pandemic happened, and you’ve realized some things you got a lot of a ahas, but not a lot of skills in what to do with those ahas and how to integrate them. Right, that process for slowing down to say, What am I noticing here? And what do I want to do with it? And I have this three part process that like T a, it’s like, what am I attending to? Like what’s already present in my life, that’s calling for me to really attend to it, maybe in new ways. What am I excavating? Like? What actually feels newer in my life that I’m I don’t even fully understand what needs to, and what am I working on allowing or accepting which truths are here? Now my child identifies as something different than I thought, What does allowing and accepting look like when I don’t understand it? How do I savor that experience? What are the Ha’s that I can now connect to the questions so that I have a direction to go in and that I’m not harmful to the people I’m closest to while I’m doing it? That is essentially what savoring is about, and who, who I work with around that process.

Debbie Reber  29:15

And so great tending to excavating and allowing, it just feels really good to think about. It’s such a respectful way to show up for our kids. And, it’s a nice framework for us to do our own examination, which can be really difficult work to do.

Akilah Richards  29:34

Really difficult. That’d be and I feel like we don’t talk about that enough. You know, like, we go right over to our young people when we talk about unschooling and deschooling, but really, so much of it is ours to do our work to do because if you even think about it, as I work a lot with folks in the Agile Learning Center world, oftentimes the people who opened the centers, the issues or not with young people and the design, they use basically a sociocratic model and evolve it to include who the actual children are in that space. The issue is the adults. Because there we are not doing the deschooling, we do not have a lot of language and practice around that. And so the savior complex work is really to build like a suite of skills, that we recognize our own rituals that we’ve intuited, but didn’t give them any respect, because we have, for example, religious trauma, that’s a big one in the work that I do a huge one. And so to be able to, it’s a part of also why I’m in seminary, because I really want to be able to serve from a space that has such a deep awareness of how religion and faith and spirituality which can be different for different ones of us how those things inform our parenting, how those things inform how we’re in community, and perhaps most importantly, how they inform our own personal leadership processes. Because we need that.

Debbie Reber  31:01

I can tell you are just such a deep diver, you’re always learning and then you generously share it with other people. And I want to make sure before we wrap up that we mentioned your podcast Fair of the Free Child, I know that it is very well regarded. You have wonderful guests on there. And it’s really become such a beacon for so many families who maybe haven’t thought of unschooling as an option for their family. Can you talk a little bit about the podcast and how it’s landed with families?

Akilah Richards  31:33

Yes, I mean, that’s another space that just makes me want to be quiet. Because it has been so amazing Debbie, to go from an angry podcaster, which I fully embrace. I was so angry in 2016, when I started that podcast, and it has really become a community, it has become its own, sort of like built in amplification of the different ways that we are unlearning those elements of colonization through our relationships with young people and with learning. And so the podcast is really focused on how black families are doing laboratory work through having a different relationship with education. For so many black folks. The idea of college is an escape route, you know, when we think about Brown versus the Board of Education, and all of the fighting, that black folks in America in particular have had to do to just be in a equal space, not even equitable, just equal with education, it can be very hard for us to think, yeah, but we fought so hard and did so much to get here. How are you gonna turn around and tell me now that we don’t get to go to school, and my kids are not even safe, they can’t be on the playground hanging out just like other people’s kids, because police because, you know, generally white people will call the police have the right all these realities that we deal with in this space. And then to say, Wait a minute. So if I was thinking about liberation, from a perspective of not just what I feared, but what I was working towards, how different would it be. So that’s where it started, then, and I thought I was just talking to other black people, then, so many other people of all backgrounds reached out to say, why this was important for them to and why I was talking to them, whether I thought I was or not, which opened up my heart and my mind in so many ways. And the book tells so many stories about people from the podcast. And so now, the book is really kind of the podcast in book form. And there are so many book clubs that are still happening. And I’m invited to them and so many universities who are studying the book, and now getting in touch with the podcast, and I get to be sitting in those classrooms virtually with young people. So Fare of the Free Child has been yet another portal. That unschooling led me to the next season. Season 10 is actually the final season of the podcast because I am moving into this savor work in such deep ways. And I don’t have the I don’t know how to do both. So I have to continue to, you know, struggle out loud about another thing. So that’s really what that podcast has been Debbie and we’re going to archive the podcasts, we’re gonna have a space where people can research, you know, the guests and the topics in detail. I’m working on that now. And so that’s kind of where that started and what that has evolved into and wow, I remained so humbled by the communities that I’ve been invited into and that have formed as a result of Fare of the Free Child on imaginably beautiful.

Debbie Reber  34:47

So wonderful. Your work really is incredibly powerful. I’m so grateful for you sharing with us today. I really encourage listeners to check out Akilah’s work. The book again is Raising Free People: On Schooling as Liberation and Healing Work. I have a link to that, to Akilah’s TEDx Talk to her podcast and I think Schoolishness is the website for your new coaching. But are there other places where people should connect with you?

Akilah Richards  35:16

Thanks for asking. Yes. So schoolishness.com is a site that I’m working on that really just mimics like my life in terms of the tools and toys and skills that have come into my space as a result of this eight year deep focus on unschooling that I’m now kind of transitioning out of. So that’s what schoolishness.com is, and savor coaching is there. The other thing is that I’ve started a newsletter called The Savor Complex, and it’s on substack. So it’s just savor complex, that’s substack.com. And that’s where I’m really unraveling where I am now. Like, really? What has this liberation and the healing work led me to how has it shaped me? How am I different now? And what do I want to do from this space? That’s what’s happening over at the savior complex and really curious and excited about it? Because like, the Mad question asking is now over here, what do you do with the house? What does integration look like? When you really make connections? And notice as a result of being present? What are the skills for that? So that’s where those conversations are happening and have a YouTube channel connected to it as well. I’ll send you that link, too. Because it’d be great to share that. So thank you for asking.

Debbie Reber  36:29

Yeah, of course. Thank you. And thank you again, I know you have a lot going on. And I really appreciate you making the time for this conversation today. I’m really, again, just grateful to be able to share this with tilt. So thank you.

Akilah Richards  36:41

You’re so welcome. And thank you for following up with me because you messaged a while back and I’m so glad you followed up. I’m like a yes, I want to have this conversation. So I appreciate it. It was a wonderful chat, Debbie.

Debbie Reber  36:55

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