Unschooling is not what I expected it to be. Right now I’m just tired. TIRED. I mean, are my kids really learning anything?? I ask myself this every day and I’m mostly never sure. I did however discover that my youngest (who will be 10 in a few weeks) is learning how to read by reading food labels and instructions. That’s real progress. It’s been so difficult for him for the past few years. Lemme just keep him in the kitchen then lol. (I also caught him reading a book! He hates reading books.)
The boys do keep busy every day mostly with making art. Youngest makes collages and the oldest (12) makes comics. They both make zines and are working on Black Indigenous Boy issue 4 which they would like to complete before I go to Montreal so I can sell it at the Anarchist Bookfair. They’d also like to send some zines off to Indigenous Honeys who are tabling at the LA Zine Fest which I believe is around the same date as the Bookfair. Today the oldest kid led via video call an unschooling workshop on making comics with a member of the Honeys. About two weeks ago, he and a Honey had a workshop on digital storytelling. They called my kids artivists!
Okay, what’d I say again about not being sure if they’re learning or not? LOL.
I know I talk a lot about zines on here and on social media. Zines are so much part of our every day lives, it’s impossible not to mention it. We make zines for everything. My boys have zines and comics on chronic illness, Black childhood, being O’Otham, spelling lists, disability, Pokémon, their queer mama. Their art reflects what’s around them.
I’m just going to say, first of all, that zines are easier for me to read especially if it includes art. Being ADHD, autistic and having brain fog from fibromyalgia makes for a wavy brain lol. Most times, I’d rather read through my zines and search for more zines online, than talk to my family or anybody else for more than a few hours a week LMAO. But it’s draining though to be verbal so I need tons of alone time after just a bit of interaction with people. There’s so many things zines do for my self-care, ritual, routine, mental health.
Anyways, back to talking about unschooling.
I talked to my mom about having her significant other help with unschooling by taking the boys out on the land and introducing them as well as building stuff. My mom also thinks cooking together as a family, as pairs, will help with their unschooling and connecting as a family. I should add that while I'm Akimel Otham and my kids are Black Akimel O'Otham, my mom is Navajo and Hopi, and her significant other is Pee Posh. We live in the Pee Posh community of Gila River Indian Community which is majority Akimel O'Otham.
I would say unschooling in this home is filtered through a Black/Akimel O'Otham, Navajo, Hopi, Pee Posh lense.
So much is going on and I'm burnt out just from communicating with people via video call for unschooling workshops a few hours this week.
My perspective has changed about some things.
First of all, there will be no more than two video calls per week. I know it's for my kids but I'm included and even sitting back letting them do their thing, I'm getting second hand tired, second hand energy drain. Those two days and the learning that took place went outside of the hour to two hour workshops and kept my kids engaged throughout the day.
The reading & writing and digital storytelling unschooling workshops were amazing (that'll be its own post). We missed the macaw behavior and computer programming workshops due to times not meeting up and you know what, I'm just drained. Like I said, two video calls per week only.
Ok so secondly. My perspective on life all around has changed. I been burning my candles, lighting she:goi, smoking CBD (which has CHANGED MY LIFE), even when I don't feel like I have a prayer in me. The prayers are already there in the candles, in the cleansing, in the air. There's a stillness within me that wasn't always present. Ritual has literally got me out of bed. I am out of bed a lot more lately. I'm outside. My body pain is in control. I'm seriously down to one pill, cymbalta. One pill! I'm trying to get sleep. I'm actually positive. LOL!
Which leads me to some new shit that I didn't expect. My friend Maria and I make a zine Decolonizing Parenting and this next issue is on autistic Black, Indigenous parents of color with autistic children. We applied to the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair and got accepted and will hopefully get funded! So we will be debuting the zine at the fair May 25 and 26. Let's all hold collective space and prayer that everything will be taken care of as it should.
Another thing that's going well is The People's Zine Library. We've opened up the library to members who can check out up to three zines for two weeks at a time. We've checked out to three members so far. Currently the TPZL Librarika page is private with member sign in only. Right now we want to keep membership small so we can get a feel for how things work. TPZL also has two volunteers, Brenda and Sage. Brenda manages our social media. Check TPZL on Instagram!
As for projects, it's going to be Decolonizing Parenting zine and fundraising to get to Montreal with all the materials we need. My kids' project is working on the fourth issue of Black Indigenous Boy and creating art to sell at zine fests and other events.
Wish us the best things for Montreal, I'm so excited!