Honestly, I encountered self-directed learning after realizing I was feeling like I spent too much time forcing my kids to learn.  Everyday during homeschool it was a struggle to get my kids to read, write, do math, you know, the basic stuff.  Despite being super bright kids who keep read and do math above grade average they were not excited, eager or even interested in learning.

I met Akilah S. Richards because the Universe heard my call.  I’d been telling my husband, “This is not working and I have no idea what we should do as an alternative.” I started looking up unschooling, having previously heard about it as an alternative to forced learning, and there was Akilah.  A YouTube video on self-directed learning starring Ms. Richards and her similar story.


Just about a week later I was scrolling Facebook and her face popped up again.  This time she was coming to Pittsburgh.  I felt like the blue people on Avatar.  I was all like, “Eywa heard me!” (lol…you’ll only understand if you know about the secret language of the ‘Navi and are a nerd whose watched Avatar way more than you’ll ever admit in public, unless you’re like me and don’t give two damns).

A month later, I was listening to Akilah talk about her journey toward self-directed learning in a school auditorium, and with the twinkling of an eye, my perspective on education was changed.

So, for the very FIRST episode of the Brown Mama Blueprint Podcast I knew this sistah would give us life.  Check out our convo, and be blessed sis, be blessed.

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Cynthia Mendoza

Hello. Welcome to BrownMamas.com a blog for Black moms looking to thrive while raising kids in this hectic world and the headquarters for Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a Pittsburgh support group for Black moms. Here I write about raising my three boys, living in and loving Pittsburgh, dating my husband, gardening and all kinds of other stuff. Thanks for visiting. Stay long & come often!

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