This episode was first shared in November of 2017, and I want to share it again now as the Black Lives Matter movement gains important momentum to bring Erika’s valuable experience and insights about diversity and racism through the lens of unschooling back into our conversations.
Erika and her husband, Michael have four adult children—they unschooled for many years and loved it. She has spoken at many unschooling conferences over the years and in our conversation we talk about the value of digging into our fears around race and privilege, ways to bring more diversity into our unschooling lives, having challenging conversations with extended family members, and so much more. Erika also shares her favourite anti-racist story: a supermarket encounter she had with a curious 3 year-old boy and his mom.
As Erika mentions, these are uncomfortable conversations. Yet, as we’ve discovered on our unschooling journey, we learn so many incredibly valuable things—especially about ourselves—when we take the time to sit with our discomfort, rather than pushing it away. I encourage you to sit with your discomfort and explore what bubbles up for you.
And when I asked Erika’s permission to re-broadcast this episode, not only did she say yes, she offered to come on the podcast again to continue the conversation. If, after listening to this episode, you have questions for Erika, please share them in the comments and we’ll do our best to address them in our upcoming conversation.
Questions for Erika
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family?
What did your family’s move to unschooling look like?
I heard you speak at an unschooling conference earlier this year about unschooling and diversity and really enjoyed it. You shared some very enlightening stories about the subtle impact of privilege in our society. Can you share one with us?
As we move to unschooling, we learn the value of digging into our own fears and questioning conventional wisdom in many areas of our lives. For example, our fears around learning—that our children won’t learn if we don’t tell them what they need to know, or if we don’t insist that they follow a certain timetable. We eventually discover that we truly can trust them to learn—that they are born to learn—and our world opens up. Can we can apply this same process to our fears surrounding race and diversity?
Can you share some ways in which we can be more welcoming to families from the wide variety of backgrounds that exist in the unschooling community?
Do you have some tips on approaching these kinds of challenging conversations around diversity with extended family members?
Links to things mentioned in the show