Welcome to Homeschooling Homegirls episode five part 1- This episode was broken into 2 episodes.

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 So Join us for this episode and see the transcript below!  

Enjoy raising empowered people ! Your Host Tiffany Sandoval



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Tiffany 0:00

Welcome to the homeschooling homegirls podcast. Join us as we take up space by sharing our BIPOC experiences in the homeschool unschool world. I'm your host, Tiffany Sandoval. I spent most of the last 19 years in the homeschool unschooled world listening to the advice from narratives that did not include me or anyone that was not from the white or white adjacent lived experience. This podcast is about elevating the voices that for far too long, have been silenced in the name of white fragility. My hope is that by sharing our stories, others can see that homeschooling and unschooling is one of many paths to raise empowered, educated people. stories will be shared from lived experiences, not theories, and different perspectives are encouraged so grab your coffee or your cocktail. And join us as we expand our perspectives.

Welcome to today's episode, we're gonna be kicking it with our homegirl Genesis, today's episode split into two. The first half we're gonna be talking about,the spark, doubt, boundaries, Shadow Work, BIPOC spaces and goodness. The second half is going to be about homeschooling groups, podcast purpose, problem solving, Cancel culture, how to make your homeschool group safer. And what homeschooling home girls means to Genesis. In the show notes, I'm going to be posting articles to places that we're speaking about, you can find Genesis on Facebook, and Instagram and her website at I really encourage you guys to book her for workshops, their life changers, they really just in the spaces, I've seen it work, they really provoke thought and create conversations that I know that I've tried to have and failed a million times. But when she runs these spaces, it's a whole different conversation. So I'm really grateful she was in the space. I hope you enjoyed this episode.

Hi, this is Tiffany with homeschooling home girls, and we are kicking it with Genesis.

Genesis 2:19

Yeah. First was that Genesis, how are you? Thanks for coming out and stopping by. Um, you know, me and Tiffany do this it, you know, we can go hours and hours and hours. So you're just kind of joining you know, a slice in our, you know, in the space that we spend. We love having these long ass dialogues about every single thing. It's good fun. and it is good for our heads and hearts

Tiffany 2:49

Right now I thought we just hit record, because it was such an amazing topic we're talking about, you just said it so much better than I'm gonna say it so you can totally fix it for me. But we're saying how what sometimes we just need to hear that one thing that SPARKS , I was talking to Genesis and I said, I'm not a people person. And she's like, No, it's just because you equate all people with white people, you are a people person. That was what I needed to hear for the avalanche of all of the things that put in a box that didn't want touch to like, fall on top of me and I had to wade through there's so much healing and work that was in just that statement. So she was telling me right before a record how that happened for her. So you wanna

Genesis 3:30

We were just talking about basically how sometimes it can just be that one thing that tugs at the threads of your knowings. Right? And allows you to reflect on a lot of things that have kind of been poking at you, but you can't quite figure it out. So she had that experience. And it was actually right before I was, before we were I was going to do a talk. And it was like, she's she was my What do you call it? What What were you doing? I was like your tech, you're my tech person. It was like the three minute space that we had before it started . And we just started having that conversation. It was really, you know, what I felt in that when she said it was that it embodied the way that whiteness is so violent. And that it is exhausting to deal with. And so when I heard Tiffany say, I'm not a people person. I think to myself, that's funny because I look at all the things that you do for people all the time I look at the ways we can communicate for hours and hours, don't get tired. I looked at all the different ways that you have beautiful relationship to a wide a wide diversity of human beings. I think when you say that and I think sometimes it's people color. Because we're evolved to do this, we sent her whiteness, right? Like so we perceive everything from the context of whiteness, right? Like when she said I don't like people, what she's really saying is, I don't like whiteness. I don't like that shit in my space and none of us do. I don't even really think white people like whiteness, I think they just don't recognize how it affects them. But back to what I was saying about what happened to me. I had a friend who was in Staten Island, and she was at a conference, I can't remember which one and I'm not going to butcher it and try. But it was a it was a reimagining unschooling conference, reimagining education conference in Staten Island, and my friend bumped into Zakiyya Ismail . And I hope I don't just butcher her name. But I've never met her before. I hadn't heard of her before. And she's like, I met this woman named Zakiyya . And she's from South Africa, she's Indian. And she has this really she has this website called unschooling as a tool for decolonization. When she said those words, it was like lightning hit me, because I've been unschooling my kids from the very beginning, they had never been into school. And I, I understood essentially why I did it. I understood it. But I didn't really have the words for it yet. I just move how I move and I trust that. But when I heard those words, it was like Click, click, click, click, click, click, click all the things found alignment. And it actually took quite a bit of time for me to recognize just how many threads that tugged on in my mythology. And when I speak to my mythology, I'm talking about the way that I see the world, right. And the way that we are seeking to purge those colonized patterns, thoughts and beliefs, so that we can be human with each other. So that was, we were just discussing how those moments can hit in that way. You know, you hear a thing. And it's transformative. And you don't know when those moments are coming. The universe, the ancestors, the divine, just kind of gift you. And sometimes it's not fun to feel, but it's a gift nonetheless.

Tiffany 7:37

Hear that one not always fun to feel. Yeah, I think a lot of us like, just from a lot of the conversations I've had with people about how they find themselves, how they find the words for what they're doing, or why they started. Um, I think for me when I started homeschooling Jade I couldn't tell people why it was a good gut feeling like I knew that the light all I would tell people the lights going out of our eyes. I don't know what to tell you. It was that creative kid who barely ever had clothes on and never had a hair comb and was like, look like a complete Wild Child always drenched in paint, creating something was now compliant and quiet and looking for approval where she never she never did before. And but it didn't even have the words for that it was just like the lights going out. I don't know what to tell you the lights going out. And people still look at me like I was so like I was on something. We know we're going from like a gut instinct. We know we need to be doing it without having those words like it. It makes it hard for other people to understand your journey or even for you to understand when the days get hard. So I appreciate I appreciate like having you in my life because I know there's few people that can call me on my shit that I that I respond to right like there's plenty of people I know that that call me on my ship. But there's a few that are. And I think it's because it's honest dialogue. Oh, you get to come whole , I get to come whole . And I think that's also like kind of lacking in the homeschool and school world where for me and I speak for everybody. But as a person of color walking into white spaces, which has been the unschool homeschool world for me. I'm already come I'm already getting ready to be in that space. I don't get to come whole . Because I need to be aware of what my kids are going to interact with what I'm going to interact with how much of myself I'm allowing into the space. I think when you're always being ready and prepared. Sometimes the opportunity to create like really connection with other people kind of goes out the window because you're not fully present. You're already making choices outside the norm like your kids. I don't know about you, but I'm My family, nobody understood why my kids weren't going to school. Nobody understood what we were doing. So he didn't really have a lot of support at home, or it might my, you know, my family. And so I would come into these spaces time and time again looking for that connection. But not being able to create it because I wasn't being present. I wasn't, and it maybe it was, for a lot of other reasons. But I think my part in it was that I was always trying to protect myself or my kids. Um, you know, so I think when we find those people like, what you are for me, I think, in the community we've created we, it's not always pretty or , not always nice, but it's honest, it's real. And I'll take that over niceties any day.

Genesis 10:53

Hmm. I heard that. You know, there's so much wisdom in, in your expression to be absorbed, there's so many places we can go with the entirety of what you said. A lot of it is linked in terms of, you know, we live in a disembodied culture. I mean, that's just the reality of everyone's circumstance, whether they recognize that or not. And within that, patriarchy always has women. And, and I'm, I'm always inclusive of trans, just so that's clear. But patriarchy always has women doubting their divine femininity. And that in that, what we call intuitive knowing that wild aspect, that part of ourselves that really understands our children. And instead, what it has us doing is deferring to a system, or just deferring to an expert, or something like that. And so then we're showered with all this doubt, because there is a structure that exists that has us all believing that it knows better than the divine intuition of a mother, over our children. And that has that that's it's it's, it's, it's violent, because it comes between families, right? When you said you didn't get any support, right? You're not getting support because people don't trust their own intuition. Right. They don't trust themselves. So how they're going to trust you. And we're all accustomed to outsourcing to the expert, right, which is a, there was something in you that understood that not only do you disagree with the system, but you disagree with expert ism, it doesn't mean that there aren't people who have a master skill, it's something that you want to learn from, that's not the same thing, as you know, deferring your sacred knowing, to a disembodied, white hegemonic, homogenous, violent culture, and their perspective about how you should live. And you know, when you look at a culture that you don't agree with, but simultaneously get told you have to do everything something a certain way, there's a disassociation that happens with that, right? If I can't stand anything that I'm in, if I disagree with everything that I'm in, then I'm not going to do it that way. That's it. It's common sense to me, like I'm not going to follow the same pathway. If everything that I'm looking at, I'm not in alignment with so I do understand what you mean about, about the learning to the evolution of trusting the path and trusting ourselves. I think that's huge. And I think when our children are raised with liberatory practices the way our children have been, we get to observe it in them, right. And they teach us how to be more trustful of ourselves and so therefore more trustful of them. It's like a win win situation for all of humanity, quite honestly, for those that are in spaces where they're privileged to be able to do this. You know, I think there is really a certain healing that happens when the masculine starts to understand and learn and trust. The feminine because we live in a patriarchy and everything that we come from, with these social constructs, is an oppression of feminine power. So when we are able, when masculine is able to embrace femininity, and it and I'm talking about within themselves, and within partners, and within the world, and within spirituality, I think that that is a revolutionary healing. So I think there's a lot of possibility in the world right now, for people who, you know, are unable to send their kids to school. Clearly, there's gonna always be circumstances, and I'm aware of the privilege of this. But for many people, there's a lot of possibility of decolonizing the the ideas that they have around outsourcing that divine knowing that you have around your family, to a structure that doesn't give any fucks about you. Yeah.

So gratitude for all that story. And I like the way that you share, because you always share in stories, and that's how I like to receive my learning is through people's experiences. And I get a lot in what you said, thing,

Tiffany 16:18

I think, like sharing, because I think if you go into the, at least my experience going into the homeschooling school, it's like everybody shares the good things, right? Nobody shares the hard things, the were the things that like a lot of us need, because when we're going through it, we think we're the only ones that we did something wrong, or we're just not, in my case, not very video my case, I'm not feeling like like, all this stuff i'm doing i'm making it up as I go along. I don't have a healthy normal of the way I was raised. And so a lot of times, I joke with my husband that like we're creating all the stuff I saw on fucking TV, or, you know, I saw other families like maybe it's this, or maybe it's that or maybe and so that's another thing that fed into might not, I think I've always trusted my gut, because I do a lot of things for my gut without I jump before I look, you know, I'll jump headfirst before I see if there's any water in there. But that's me working for my gut, most of the time I my inner like, I don't know why I need to do I just need to do it, and then figure out the why later. But being in a relationship with someone who's complete opposite to that, and raising children, who are constantly, they're more like Him, most of the most of my kids are more like my husband. And so a lot of the times they just look at me with this look like, doesn't seem logical. Doesn't seem like it's okay, we'll be fine. We'll figure it out. And I've learned to backtrack kind of to listen to other people. But I think I, in learning to listen to myself, I've had to learn how to tune other people out. And that's fine if I lived in a world in a family about myself, but then having to tune back in to find the middle. Because I don't I'm an all or nothing. So that middle ground is usually kind of where I need to like figure out how to get to. And so I think the last five years, especially with Logan because he's so intense. I've had to learn how to listen to myself and my and my intuition. And also include other the other people in my family. Which says a lot because Logan's nine, so five years, he was four that meant Logan Dillon is 17. Now he was like 13. And then when my oldest was basically an adult, so I raised a whole child, a whole person always reacting for me and not necessarily including everybody. Does that make sense? Like I? I don't know. I think and I don't regret it because I'd rather my kids know me as a whole person instead of a mom, a mom person. But it is I see the difference in our relationships because of that.

Genesis 19:09

Yeah, I hear you. Um, you know, there's integration is a journey, right? learning and embodying how to be hold in space, how to have clear and firm boundaries and simultaneously be able to share space with other whole beings that are powerful, and have their own set of boundaries and, you know, again, this antique culture that we live in. It doesn't. It doesn't afford that at all. It doesn't inspire that on any level. It actually inspires competition. Regarding of our of our, of our own experience, you know, like, we don't even matter, right? You know, like, what is it do to a person to an always and at all times take away their agency like, where you got to ask to go to the bathroom and get a hot password, they tell you where to eat, what time to eat, what to learn who to learn it from, even the books that are created or created by like, a certain sect of people. It's not even, it's rarely your history or your your history or your Austrian, right. It's not, it's not about you. And it's extracted from the natural world. So it's like, the learning is abstract and not even integrated in the whole of you. It's an application as opposed to an integration. So I hear you and I think that evolution, like, that's one of the beautiful things to me about unschooling, too, is that it? Honestly, I think one of the most beautiful things, in my experience is that we learn how to be with each other. And it's, and connecting to what you said earlier, it's not a perfect circumstance, we have these ideas in this culture that, you know, because everybody puts forth their, you know, their best image, that for something to be worth something, it needs to have perfection, it needs to have all the answers. And unschooling does not have all the answers on any level, but it offers unique and new questions and inquiry. And so, and it's an opportunity to widen and see beyond like, the places where we've been limited in sight because of intentional manipulations, right? So like it, you know, when we're dealing with each other, and family, and even in community, one of the things that I've loved observing from you, in the world, is all the difficult and challenging things that you have done. You move mountains, right. And what I noticed is that as you move it, and it's the trust of that wild and you that brings, you know, you bring it, you just bring it, and people may or may not have different opinions about your flow and how you move, but it gets shit done. And it's never going to be perfect, right there. There's no, there's no such thing as that. I don't think that exists in space. And I think it's actually really harmful to believe that that's true. I watched in your circumstance, how everything just sort of fell into place. And I know it's not perfect, but what I see is magic happening. I see transformation happening, I see more room for for the sacred diversity that exists on this in this state on this planet. I see it as um, a revolution that you sort of, I know, you didn't know it was going to go down like that, but you kind of started the revolution by being Tiffany right? And this is how I sort of experienced unschooling and that it is not perfect. On no me by no means am I a perfect mother, I make mistakes. I learned from them, though, my children show me we have a whole lot of grace between each other. No one's claiming that unschooling is going to solve the world's problems. But what it does do is it actually allows us to see, to see beyond it's a it's it inspires a decolonial lens. It's just it's one way right exists for me as Shadow Work because it invites reflection, it invites.

You know, when you're not following the norm, you have to be with that in a special way. When everyone and everything around you is telling you you're going to ruin your children. You have to step into your accountability, of accountability for self, trusting yourself that I am responsible for my children in this way, but I don't own their experience. They are they have the liberty and the agency to have their experience. But I'm not going to outsource responsibility to a system that I don't agree with. I'm going to assume the responsibility as mother because that is my responsibility as a guide. Yeah, I

Tiffany 24:56

think that brings us to like the topic You just gave and the title was evolving secret healing presence between people in the global majority. And it was a bi p OC event only during conference. And the conference I'm referring to is the HSC conference that just passed. You said it was in a fixed space, you. And I really think that a lot of times we go to workshops, and talks looking for the fix the quick fix, like, all right, tell me how to do X, Y, and Z. How am I gonna end this isn't that the space was nice. It was it was an invitation to sink. And I'm going to use that word because like I told you, I've been reading this book untamed, and she talks about meditating. But she doesn't use the word because for me meditating, I have like that monkey mind, that doesn't shut up. Like if I try meditating, I'm like, making list of what I need to get done. And I'm like, who I need, you know, whatever, what blog posts something. And next thing I want to do, and it has a hard time, but when she used the word sync, and that helped me. And so I felt like your talk was like, You gave me the opportunity to sink to sink into layers of myself, that I haven't been in a very long time. And so what was that like for you? What was it like to be is that one of the first couple of times you've been in, like an online space like that, where people are looking to you for the answers in a bigger setting?

Genesis 26:42

Online? For sure. Absolutely. First time doing that. It was curious, too, because I couldn't see people that we were as have my own tech issues, but you know, there's my personal experience. And my evolving work is that I'm obligated ancestrally to, to be holding space to do what I do. And so, in that context, any fear that comes up, or it's not relevant? I mean, I'm aware of it. And I might. And to me, it's not relevant in the sense that it would, it doesn't. It doesn't tell me how to move it just, it's like a compass that lets me know that I'm respecting space. So, in that, in that conversation, there's a lot of different directions, we could go with that. But a couple of things that come up for me is that I feel like and I experienced that colonization flows through everyone. whiteness, flows through everyone anti blackness, flows through everyone. And that conversation is sort of a prayer for me. It's an invitation for us to explore these difficult places that we often don't want to touch for the reasons that you've already presented. But but also true. I think we have much more capacity than we are aware of. And I speak that ancestrally in the knowing of what my ancestors have endured, and, and, and evolved in terms of civil rights technologies, and building relationship with ancestry despite the illusion of severance, and I say illusion, because you can't sever ancestry, right. It's beyond anyone's hand, anyone's material and and, you know, I think that the conversations are necessary, because as I speak to shadow work all the time, you cannot push it away. It will show up, though, and it does, and I'm seeing it in spaces and I'm, I'm doing what I can to speak to it so that we can bring it out of the shadows. And we can have dialogues about the different ways that these things show up. And are black and brown and other oppressed peoples healing spaces and how we can learn to evolve new patterns and discard colonial patterns that have us hierarchically judging each other. Like, you know, for instance, my groups pain is is no greater than your groups pain or have a sort of competing for resources existing in this scarcity mentality. Anti blackness is a big thing. The world over, you can see it everywhere on every continent, multiple places. And I find, you can see anti blackness and black people. I find that us dialoguing about these things away from the white gaze, for sure, is an important thing for us to do. So that we can bring our truth and honesty into space. And we can heal these places. Because the way that what I think about healing, I hear a lot of explorations around what people need to be doing to heal. And I find that utterly disrespectful, because the truth is, the healing is always happening. The issues are that we are consistently oppressed as a people. And so when that's happening, and I'm going to speak specifically from the black experience, when that's happening, and when the narratives of who we are, are being manipulated in space and in the media. You know, anti blackness can flourish in all sorts of spaces, including within ourselves. And I think it's, it's, it's not even as literal as both things are true. Anti blackness is an evil that needs to be eradicated. also true, eradicating anti blackness heals the soul of every human being. Right. And that I will definitely include white people in it heals the soul of every human being. So I feel I feel as if these are, these are conversations that we need to have, where we can all have our unique healing spaces, and that we need to learn how to be with each other, not in these broken, colonized violent ways, but in ways that we draw both from ancestry and also from divine creative space to create what works in in the now Right. And I think those are conversations that I want to be a part of inspiring more of, so that we can face what's real. And I think, absolutely, we all have the capacity to do that, even in the context of what we're going through.

Tiffany 32:58

And I used to call it and maybe I'll get some backlash for this. But I am trying to create spaces I used to be like, I used to feel like I was in the oppression Olympics. I am more oppressed for this, or I'm more this groups more oppressed for that. And like we couldn't even bridge the gap of the conversation of what needed to happen. Because the prioritizing of whose needs were at who was the most oppressed or whose needs were more important or what either cultural, religious, or whatever things meant people couldn't bridge they're going past what they could open their mind to. It almost like defeated spaces time and time again, I think that was part of that part. It was my lack of wanting roles or wanting guidelines. I wanted the utopia of everybody gets to come and hold space and say what you need without feeling that you couldn't but that really makes what my experience was is that it's really easy for me because I've learned to advocate for myself. Nobody could. I grew up nobody advocated for me. So I learned really young that I had to do it for myself. Now you take somebody who has never done that. And now they feel like they can't do that or they don't know how and they're in the space and they don't want to lose connection or they finally found a space their kid fits and they don't want to lose connection that's what I kept running into like yes, we can all be from different walks of life and community and say what we need and that was my ideal but that wasn't what was happening. What was happening time and time again is somebody was feeling not listened to not heard not seeing because somebody else's oppression was they felt valued over their own and I felt like we're all adults here. Like if you I can't make you advocate for yourself, I can make crazy space to create dialogue but if you don't want to speak up and then want to walk away angry or upset or gossipy or whatever. And so that's it's made my circle really small because which I think in the homeschool and school world, self directed education, I think what we need in general, and homeschooling is more unity because we're a small subset. And right now with everybody COVID learning, pandemic, learning, whatever you want to call it, eventually, they're going to come for us. We're disrupting, like Akilah says, a lot like we're being disruptors, right, we're taking a system and turning it on its head, and people are realizing that home educating, however way you're gonna do it is easier. It gives it lets you build your kids strengths. I think the division and then not having these hard conversations that you're opening up space for, is going to be our downfall. Because we don't need infighting, we don't need all that we need more commute, we need to be able to connect, even if we don't understand each other, or where each others come from. Because I think what I've learned, and I spent 15 years in the homeschool and school community before I found community, real community. And when I found it, it was like I could breathe, you know, I could have honest conversation and, and, and realize that like some of us aren't there yet, some of us are trying to get someplace and we have our own way we were raised the way our our relationships are constructed, we're get we're moving towards it, but we're not there yet. And to have space for the people that are not there yet, is important. On the other end of that, I will say, like in the homeschooling unschooling diversity group we have on Facebook, I offer that place as a place to learning but not at the expense of who was created for the space was created for. And so for me, that's a balance. There's a lot of people that get deleted, and I don't even have a conversation because like you saw the norms and you saw the guidelines, and you chose not to follow it or not having a dialogue what you can't be in the space anymore. Like it just is you were you know. So there's both ends being creating a space where there's community and people get to come in hole. But at the same time, your whiteness if that's part of your wholeness, isn't included, isn't invited into the space to me to like trample all over everybody else, because you're so entitled to be there. Like you wrote a blog post. What was the title? And it was incredible.

Genesis 37:54

Oh, His goodness, even a thing?

Tiffany 37:56

Yeah. Yeah, I'll post that in the show notes. is goodness, everything. Man like,

Genesis 38:03

yeah, it didn't look like anybody want to touch that, though. I always chuckle about that