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

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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/ unschool 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 to grab your coffee or your cocktail. And join us as we expand our perspectives.

Today's episode we're going to 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 solvin,g cancel culture, how to make your homeschool group safer. You can find Genesis on Facebook and Instagram and her website at

Nobody wants to have the ugly conversations or the uncomfortableness when kids either self select out of the group or, or people self select them out of the group or dating happens. I even see and Logan's eight year old group. So we started a book-club for BIPOC kids only. The first book I chose was Ghost Boys because I think it's so relevant. It's the beginning of the talk with Logan for me. It's a talk that Dylan begged me not to have with Logan. And because I had it with Dylan and I really believed it saved his life, when he had his interaction with cops, but even even after his his experience, he doesn't want me to take away Logan's innocence So I've been trying to navigate both of my kids knowing what I need to do and knowing where Dylan is coming from. The book, it starts with the main character's death and we were listening to it on our way to a camping trip. So we I knew we had a couple of hours it was we finished the book almost during the trip and we've listened to it twice since because I realized as Logan was listening to the book, he when things would get hard, he would check out. Because then we would stop it and then have a discussion. And then he's like, Oh, I didn't hear I didn't get that, or I didn't see that or whatever. And I realized that like, we do that a lot as adults, not just and kids do it, too. It's almost like they reached this where I can handle and then I can't, and I shut off. I think it's an amazing book. I think every person should read that book or listen to it, especially listen to it. Because it's told from the perspective of a 12 year old boy. And so I think that there's a lot out there from an adult's perspective, but to hear it from a child's perspective is important. And those books books like that are kind of what what the book clubs about it's not, I mean, some of them will be easier, but like those real things that kids need a way. I think adults need a way listening to that book three times gave me more tools than I think I've amassed in 40 years, right. And it talks about bias and racism and things that we I've been working on to think kids have a way of saying things. So simply these books, these conversations these hard, honest truth, like it's so much easier not to have them and but it doesn't mean that these topics aren't coming out in other ways to mean like a face even with friends, if you're going to be homeschooling with people, unschooling with a group of people, I was in a park day for eight years, and what got me on the outs was saying, how are we going to handle like, I'm seeing a bias and I'm seeing I'm like, I didn't even say racist, I said, bias. I'm seeing a bias with children. There's this white girl doing this and these two brown boys doing this and you guys are and what the boys are doing is not even a quarter of what this girl just did. And yet they're being asked out and this you know, this one Being coddled and and I got it from the brown the two brown kids mother mom, because she's white, I got it from the rest of the group. And and I was just saying bias. Like it wasn't even, you know having that was the beginning and how are we going to have our and how are we going to handle conflict resolution? Those are the two things that got me out of space. I had raised my kids and you know, and so I know I get it, find your group. Like I was fitting in a group I didn't belong. But having these conversations in the homeschool and school community, just like I feel like your voice is what Akilah was what? When I first heard her and what the way it started opening up and when I would see people at conferences, like lights just turn on left and right. Whether they had been doing this unschooling homeschooling thing for a long time or had just started it was because it wasn't just about education. It just didn't it was like a whole encompassing life philosophy. And I think when you talk about Shadow Work, it isn't in direction of just education or raise it's like it's yourself and raising children and being in relationship with other people that are also oppressed.

Genesis 6:14

Yeah, um, that was really juicy. And again, there's there's so many places you can go and there's so much wisdom and everything you shared. A couple of things stood out for me when you were talking about when you would try to create safe spaces for everyone to just, you know, be in the spaces. There is a period of time that I had to have a morning. It started with the morning of I can't just raise my children in a bubble and protect them from you know, the uglies in this in this life and over time, I started to recognize that it's and this is a, this is contextual. But it is not for me to protect them from everything. It is, of course for me to protect them from certain things, but their journey is theirs to have. And I think that's also true in the spaces of when we all come together and try to be with each other. Because I had to recognize and release any attachment to the way decolonizing looks right, deconstructing these ideas, unschooling, it's all Shadow Work. I mean, it's all the same, which is why that that idea, embodies all of it to me, it Simply is being accountable for yourself. I mean, it's just, you know, it's that I am accountable for the way I show up in space period. I'm accountable even with the unconscious aspects of the way I show up in space. And I think that in those circumstances I enter them. And I'm learning to how to inspire safety in those spaces, so that we can talk about things honestly.

And, I think unschooling what I learned is that sometimes we believe because of how colonized we all are, that there's only a few solutions to any given idea problem. When there is a whole infinite divine space you can pull from It's just that we don't, we're not expansive enough to perceive that because we are limited in our perception due to colonization, and due to a culture that doesn't inspire us to expand and so when we interspaces with each other, we're all working from those traumas. Right? And we're not we're not at a place yet where commonly, right we're not in a common place where we can all just kind of go into space and you know, it's smooth sailing the work sometimes is going to be uncomfortable the work sometimes it's going to feel cringy right? It's going to make people want to leave and you know, maybe pull your worst parts of you make you maybe want to gossip or, you know, other things. But really what it's asking of you is Oh, okay, I need to seek. I need to look at myself.

I need to look at what oh, What my emotionality is informing me. I need to look at the circumstance and see if there's a soul defense in the space. And I need to move from that space of consciousness not from a reactionary disposition. And that that's a that's a journey. You know. That's a journey that we're all on the journeys of dealing with homeschooling groups. I've had my own curious circumstances in different homeschooling groups, and I remember feeling obligated to provide these outlets for my children. And it was really difficult because I felt so invisible in the space is and I felt like my children were not Safe at all. And to have to spend hours like that. And, you know, be social is, is it's a lot. And it was something that was really a challenge for me and my children for a good long while I've had, you know, and if, in the moments when I've brought things to the space, really for the healing of all the space really, you know, it's always, you know, the, the denial of it, or that I'm bringing negativity into space when really I'm just bringing my experience and I'm getting gaslighted and so that that has been tricky. And I've learned that in the now that I no longer put placement myself in those spaces, it's just not an option for me anymore. And that my kids at this age now we can sort of have dialogues around healthy environments and and taking care of each other mommy's important too. And the places aren't healthy for mommy because of X, Y, or Z. And I don't speak to age appropriateness I speak to the human being that I'm speaking to. My son is at a certain place and and, you know, we evolve how to glow. My daughter is at a certain place and we evolve our flow, it's all unique and unschooling, there is no cookie cutter, space here, it's all relationship based. So I think the, the journey of this and always really is to bring our attention to self. So that in all these spaces whether we're in homeschooling groups, unschooling groups, and our families and our communities and our work spaces, we can learn to embody accountability. And, and that it's obligated, it doesn't matter that you didn't know. People, you know, they use willful ignorance as an excuse to skirt their obligations and accountability. And I don't, though, the world is clear that that does not work. Because if you look at what our lack of accountability is doing, we all recognize that we're in a pandemic. And before that, and simultaneously that concern is the state of the planet and our capacity to continue to endure on it. And so I think the idea that we are We can just move unconsciously in space, hopefully, is in its death throes now. And that we are reevaluating how we want to bring ourselves into space, what kind of world we want to have. We're forming new questions, write new explorations. There aren't any answers. You know, I almost always think there's just more questions. But the questions offer a pathway. They, their gifts. And I think it's a, I think that's why it's important that we engage in these kinds of dialogues that are hard, because without it, you stay in those limited constructs of thinking. And when we press the edges of those constructs, we can get to a wider vision which allows us a deeper exploration of But what's possible?

Tiffany 15:05

Yeah, I wish that people understood or the people I went to understood that I wasn't that I was giving them an opportunity to create something better. When I said when I look at this with my kids and this is the car this is the part that kind of makes me sad when I think about these other people's kids. If someone comes at you and says, You're hurting me, and your response is No, I'm not. Right? I just need to look at it another way. And that is so violent because one that is more violent than I think anything other than putting your hands on somebody, because it took vulnerability to be able to say stop, you're hurting me or stop you're hurting somebody else because then you know that you're if the response to your vulnerability is denial or dismissive. sickness then you are you tell people right away that you're not safe. So for anybody that's wanting to, just in my experience, be nice and have a nice way. So everybody gets along, let's just not talk about it because you know, just makes everybody uncomfortable. That is so violent. And I wish that people would understand the violence that that is because I think people when people hear the term violence, they're thinking that it needs to be physical or it needs to be, you know, you need to be cussed out and you need to be humiliated. And that is what happening when someone comes to you and says, You're hurting me. And you dismiss it, or you act like that's not happening and when you and when I see adults do that, that means that the children that they are raising are watching the adults do that over and over again. So what's gonna happen when they're in that situation? What You know, and so we talk a lot one of the other things I got really Oh, I got ousted. I think we finally did me in when I saw it happening to my son and I labeled it as toxic and all the crunchy cannoli yoga mamas were like, how dare you call my kid toxic? How dare you? And I was like, No, the relationships that are being created are toxic. Our kids are learning to talk about each other and to set up to each other our kids are learning to label instead of trying to understand where and why this is coming from. Because I don't think anybody acts out. for the fun of it, you act out because you're taught that you can't, at least for me, I acted out because I wasn't allowed to have feelings. I wasn't allowed to express how I felt. So it came out of me in another way. Or I acted out when I tried to use my words and Nobody wanted to listen. So I made them listen. And I think we and the homeschool I talked about this in a I think the podcast with Laurie. I don't know, maybe it was Priscilla strong willed kids. Um, even when Logan was a baby, I would leave Park day when he was nobody really got to see Logan in his full logon. Because they didn't let it happen because I didn't want him labeled because I saw how other kids were labeled at a very young age and it followed them all the way through. And it's hard when you're in a tight knit space or community and your kid is the kid that just can't get it together like everybody else's kid or doesn't want to get it together like everybody else's kid wants to be home because they're allowed to be holds other spaces. And so, again, this podcast isn't there's a lot of podcasts out there for like Had homeschool perfectly and how to have the perfect product and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. This isn't that this is like, Yes, I wanted to create a space that I wish I heard people say, Yeah, my kid is the kid that can get it together. And I don't care, I don't want them to have to get it together or I'm the parent that isn't going to do all the things that the other parents are doing. And I'm okay with that. I just need to not feel so isolated. And being myself. Um, so it's not a how to podcast to create this, or how to space of creating. It's more of you're not alone. There's lots of people like us doing the work to create spaces that we needed, that weren't there or we tried to create and we were violently nicely excluded from the, from the places those are good.

So and to say like these are the ways in which we lessons learned because I think If we can share what didn't work, or what we tried and how it didn't work for us, it doesn't mean it won't work for somebody else. But maybe it saves that parent and that kid, the hurt that we know.

Genesis 20:13

Yeah. I like what you're talking about. Because I think, you know, I think I'm going to try to say this succinctly, but actually, what a piece on it is pretty long. So, I'm going to try to sort of condense it, but we live in a culture that thinks relatively right, it thinks in binary, you know, like, black and white, good and evil. You know, big and small. I mean, you know, it's a relative culture that we live in, and we and we don't recognize that relativity has Place, but really, we live in a quantum universe, which means that there's parity with each other, with that lack of knowing, right. So, when I listen to you talking about the ways in which we would, you know, you were trying to create space with other people and how there was no room this is this is colonized, thinking again, because we can absolutely you know, evolve new questions that allow space. And I always like to say new questions as opposed to, there is problem solving that happens right but sometimes, problem solve themselves. Sometimes they need a little assistance and it's all contextual. But I think in the, in the big context of groups, that it's really important that we try to bring an unschooling a decolonial energy to the space for for those places that we don't understand. Because simultaneously I, you know, I have a very fiery child and, and the other was more chill, right? But my fiery one because she's firing it creates curiosities and space right with other kids. And I don't, I don't actually experience her as wrong. I don't experience any children as wrong quite honestly. Ay, ay, ay, consider all of those moments are opportunities for us all to learn. And I think some of that old way of unschooling was so hands off. And I don't agree with that on any level. I think especially in a culture which it looks like the one we live in, and especially with our traumas, as human beings that we absolutely need to sort of be together as we learned to form community. Children need support with their emotions children need with support with how they interact with each other. schooling is not just sitting on your blanket for eight hours while your kids hash it out by themselves.

That's not my concept of it. But you know, these, this is again where for me and I'll straight up, it always comes back to shadow work, because if you do the work too, to deconstruct these, these aspects of self that don't allow you to perceive wider and and and, and maybe causing a view to show up in space with an unconscious presence that is violent. You know, if we do the work we would have a much more expansive experience with each other. And as opposed to having to consistently battle with people who are who are married to their unconsciousness because they're thrown a few extra carrots and are willing to act in depraved ways that they don't even recognize. But they are utterly accountable for and that they choose. And all those things are true. You can act in ways that you don't recognize, that you are accountable for and that you are choosing, because we have the opportunity to look at something or not. It might be a split second. But we are obligated to evolve our capacities to recognize those opportunities, especially if we are from the dominant culture, the oppressive culture. Because if you're from the oppressive culture, and you're going around, and you're saying I'm not racist, I'm not racist, and all the I'm a good person talk. And yet, people of color are consistently experiencing your racism and then you go, No, it's not true. And then the entirety of the of this space rallies behind that because that's the culture we can evolve. and grow. And I'm going to go ahead and take a shot at the dark and say that all people most people want something better than what we have. And so if you do, you got to show up for that shift do the work.

Tiffany 26:19

And you gotta take it that feedback as a gift. Like I really think that if people could change their way of thinking when you're given feedback, any kind of feedback I know I do when someone tells me I hurt them as much as me like especially like if us online like me, I want to fight right? So like that comes out. But then being able to recognize why I'm so upset like shit, and ask myself like, Who the fuck did I just hurt calms me down and stuff like maybe sometimes at the end of the day, I don't agree with it, but it doesn't mean it's not valid. Someone said I hurt them. Then I heard them. I don't have to understand or see why or how I can try and if I can't Get there yet. I've learned more likely than not that it's just like I still have work to do. But the last thing I need to tell that person is like no, that's your shit, not mine. You know?

Genesis 27:14

But you know, that's the disembodied men of whiteness in this culture. And I always speak to whiteness. And white people absolutely embody whiteness, and other people do to call them white or Jason's. But, you know, whiteness is a it's an ugly ass thing. It's, it's, it's a really ugly thing. And I think that it's so ugly, that this is why there's so much gaslighting because people don't want to face just how they are. People don't want to look in the mirror and stand in the burn of what they're looking at. They'd rather be playing By then face it. And that's, that's, you know, that's what this culture creates. So May we all, you know, in our, in our time have a have a, I kind of see this whole circumstances collective Shadow Work right now. But you know in these in these very curious times, maybe I'll be self reflective right about how we each and all show up in space. Let's draw our attention to those moments where we are given these opportunities, gifted these opportunities, through our ancestry through other people do the universe, whatever your mythology is, it doesn't matter as long as the work is rolling. So, you know, just bringing our attention to our presence, so that, you know, quite honestly, accountability is liberation. Right. If I'm If I'm accountable for how I flow in space, what I believe the patterns of my thoughts and powers, it's empowering. And I have there's less space for my manipulation, quite honestly, because I'm not just gonna be unconscious, right? If I'm accountable, which is a sacred thing, then when I show up in space, that's, that's something that lives in me as a core value. And so I'm not going to be lazy with just allow lack of integrity and a lack of presence with what I throw into space, I'm actually going to be present, cultivate my presence all the time, so that when I'm in spaces, I can be as integris as I can in those, and it's not a perfect science. I make mistakes all the time. But the difference is, I'm accountable for my mistakes. And I own them. And I do whatever I need to reconcile the places where I need to reconcile and then I do the learning that I need to do to grow. And instead of avoiding these spaces, we live in a culture. You know, this is what I was talking about earlier, is canceled culture. You know, I both understand it, and I disagree with it. I think it doesn't allow for a healing culture when you just cancel a person because they've made a mistake. And of course, there's going to be context to this right. Nothing is always true all the time. But are rare things are, but I think it's really important that it's particularly with oppressed people, right, who may embody whiteness oppressed people that We offer grace. Oftentimes there is a sincerity and there is a healing that, you know, that needs to happen or that that's asking to happen. And so I'm not I'm not really quick to shut a person down because they make a mistake, right or, or, and, and I hope that people would respond to me that way because my sincerity is present in space. It's never my intention to hurt another person. But sometimes that's going to happen because we're all traumatized, right? We're all sort of trying to evolve out of this, this space, and we're all imperfect. And that's the perfection of humanity that is that we're on this journey together. And in but in the case of whiteness, and in the case of like kancil culture around whiteness, that's a different conversation. And then context in that, but when you have an entire culture that is accustomed to anti blackness, an entire culture that unconsciously just oppresses, there's a certain level of cancelling that shit out in all ways that that needs to go down. And so white people need to really show up and not show up for their work, so that they can make less and less of these errors in space. You make too many of those is starting to look like you're not doing anything. And, and this is, you know, a song I heard in a diversity dialogue around people wondering how to make homeschooling groups more inclusive. The dialogue was happening and I and I saw some of the answers is dealing with the ashes of a cigarette instead of the cigarette itself. Which is you want to make your spaces more inclusive, do the work so that when you're with people People that are of diverse nature, you're not consistently violent. Do the work of healing yourself so that you can be present whole and honoring of other people in your space. There is no fake way, disembodied way to bring that into a homeschooling group, people of color, any oppressed group is going to feel that instantly that it's not real, that you're just doing all the things that you're being super, super nice, but that really it's because you're uncomfortable. I think, you know, white people need to recognize their obligations outside of the immediate circumstance. They've been conditioned to be what they are for hundreds and hundreds of years and the conditioning. The conditions for that conditioning was happening before that before And I speak from the American situation. But before why people even arrived to this land, the conditions were happening for whiteness, right? So they need to recognize that this is actually spiritual work. This is journeyed work, this is not something you can fix, you know what your intellectual ism or with your happy, happy Joy Joy, it doesn't work like that this is work that is going to be for forever work. It does get to a place where there is a recognition of your evolution in space sometimes like I can see when people are doing the work and doing the work and doing the work. There's an ease that I evolve in those spaces and, and, and there's a you know, Sisterhood of sisterhood. These constructs of whiteness, for me are not relevant, except that they're constructs that we all exist. Then, once I get to sisterhood with a person, their colors are relevant to me their experiences, what's relevant their identity is what's relevant their ancestry is what's relevant. The whole of them is what's relevant. whiteness is isn't really a real thing out of a psychic construct. So, you know, if people do their work to actually be embodied in space, to actually recognize and be accountable to what whiteness and colonialism has done to black people, to indigenous people, and now to immigrants. You know, if they could bring their accountability to that space, then we can.

Tiffany 35:52

Yeah, I totally think and I think when people ask me, because I think some times when people are doing their work, they want it. No If it's good enough, they're asking for it to be tested. They wanted. They want approval they want. I don't know, you fill in the blank, is it? Am I doing it right? And my always my question is, how many people have you pissed off? Are you doing it right then yes, you've pissed off your group of people that thought they knew you. And then now they're figuring out they don't. Because they think there is an intellectual ized way I've seen people do the work that sticks into this little contained box. And they they are that way in certain groups of people, but when they're in their larger group of people they revert back to before they did the work, because they want to keep the peace and they want to keep the relationships. Right. I'm at conference, somebody asked that question. I don't think it was I was in the same group as talk as you were in. But they said how can how do you know if a group is safe? And my response was, how do they take feedback? That's how I know if a group is working towards actually doing the work is the way they handle the feedback. If, if they can or they don't know if they can't tell you how they handle feedback, then no, it's it's probably not as bad. I mean, do it at your own risk, like going with your eyes open, right? Because I think right now the push is for this fake inclusivity this this fake. I'm a good person. I'm not a racist, so don't put me in that category. And we welcome everybody. Okay, well, that's a nice sentiment but like, do you understand when you make those statements you have the ability to create so much harm if that's not true. Um, so many of us are lacking community. And so many of us who are burnt out trying to find community.

Genesis 38:05

I heard that

Tiffany 38:08

that's like I touched that Stove by touching it again and getting burnt like that. I'm not letting my kids get burnt like that again. But then you are like, okay, these people look like me. They're saying the same things as me, but they're so white adjacent. That it's like it happens all over again. Right? And that cancer culture that you're talking about, I need to hear more about that because I in my own life, my personal life, like if you hurt me, if you show me who you are, I will believe for the first time and I check you off my list. I do that to my family, to friends to relationships. It is how I protect myself. And I think it has a lot to do with my childhood abuse but it is what I've learned to work through or navigate my world. I've also learned the negative like how the impact of how that works, because is

like me and my sister me and my sister 13 months apart. And our kids are our older our her only and my oldest are two years apart. And because me and her could not get along our children who were very tight growing up, like last connection, right? And so like, I've seen the impact of choosing to cancel somebody out your life, because maybe it's healthier for you as a person, but I saw the impact in our kids. And so, um, and now we can talk. I mean, we don't talk a lot, but you know, it's civil. And so I have a hard time not doing that to people, not canceling them out when they show me who they are.

Genesis 39:53

Well, I want to be really clear that when I'm speaking about kancil culture it is In the way that I'm meaning it's contextual familial relationships. Those those have ancestral aspects and certain complications. It's a, you know, it's generally not like a person made one mistake so I'm never talking to you again type of thing like I'm more speaking about the way a person can make one mistake and then they get ousted. And, and what that does to a human being, if we're trying to inspire a healing culture, it doesn't. It sort of cuts them off, possibly affects their income and their social lives. The kids socialize in it doesn't you know that all they can do is deal with the with the hurt of that, the resentment of that. And often that can pour into what they what they said and space and their mythology might make that right. Right or make that truth in their head because they have all this negativity that came from it. My thing about it is, you know, I understand what you mean about people tell you who they say that that's real, but also true in space is I understand sincerity. And I make room for that. If I experienced sincerity. You know, I have presence with it. It doesn't mean that I'm willing to offer loads of emotional labor for free. That shitting going down. But it does mean that I respect a sincere effort. And I will show up in the ways that feel right? whatever that might be contextually. So, yeah, I just think that as we evolve this culture and move forward that we need to start to think about how some of our choices affect, you know, some of the patterns that we're moving from affect space. And I think that idea of cancelling