Join Our 1st In-Person Healing & Liberation Gathering in Boriké/Puerto Rico!
About the Village
My Reflection Matters Village is a virtual community that provides the conversations, supports, resources, & healing necessary for caregivers & educators choosing liberation centered self-directed learning and living. While all are welcome, we are a space that centers the lived experiences of BIPOC unschoolers.
Our virtual Village Center is broken into sections so you can easily find what you came to look for. Our private memberships (Decolonizing Education & Co-learning for Liberation) have been slashed and all of the goodies shared there have spilled into our Village Center for all to benefit from at no cost! Here's what you´ll find when you enter the Village (See diagram above.)...
❤️ Gathering Space- this space is free and open to all to connect and share culturally relevant resources to support our liberated learning journey. In here, founder, Chemay, shares all of her written reflections chronicling her family's unschooling journey including lessons learned being part of a self-directed cooperative (this content used to be private, but it's all free to everyone! Yay!). In addition to this, you can join live chats Chemay hosts with leaders in the intuitive, self-directed learning world. What was once hosted privately and is now open to everyone are our monthly meet ups for caregivers and SDE organizers navigating intuitive, self-directed learning. Villagers also have opportunities to host their own events as we'll be opening up our calendar more frequently so you all could share your gifts and talents!
🧡 Recorded Events- All of our live, recorded chats are accessible in this one space for you to watch or listen to at your convenience when you can't make it in real time! To get access to recordings, you must join our Patreon, but you are welcome to pay whatever you can.
💛 Welcome- All of our "how to" videos and other tips to help you navigate our virtual community are accessible here.
💛 Virtual & In-Person Memberships-Organizations or self-directed educational communities that exist physically or virtually have the option (via Pareon) to house their group inside our Village community and gift access to all of our benefits to their members. In our space, you can find the following communities:
❤️ Courses & Workshops- All of our courses and workshops to support you in decolonizing your thinking and relationships with kids are accessible when you join our Patreon family. This is pay-what-you can, which makes access to learning super affordable!
JOIN PATREON TO GET ACCESS TO ADDED BENEFITS, sustain our work, and support the growth of our offerings!
(or simply join our free community by clicking ¨Request to Join¨ above.) We are able to offer most of our benefits at completely no cost thanks to our Patreon familia!
¨It Takes A Village to Raise Free People!¨
At MRMV, we value...
Intuition-Led Learning or Self-Directed Education- Because liberation is our goal, this means we choose not to follow the rules of white supremacy. Unlike the standardization approach white supremacy has a history of using as a tool to oppress and divide the "haves from the have nots", we believe in trusting the human body's intuition to lead the learning it needs for the life a person chooses to live. We imagine our virtual space as a place where families are able to access the resources they need to help them remember what their bodies were designed to do so that they may live their free-ist life ever. Intuition-led learning (Chemay's word) is not new as this is how our ancestors learned. This practice is most often referred to today as Self-Directed Education (SDE); however, while we believe, like in SDE, that learning is guided by the individual learner, we also believe that our ancestors and the energy of this earth guide what we need to learn through intuition. We do not separate these two. According to the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, SDE "is education that derives from the self-chosen activities and life experiences of the person becoming educated, whether or not those activities were chosen deliberately for the purpose of education...[SDE] can include organized classes or lessons, if freely chosen by the learner; but most self-directed education does not occur that way. Most self-directed education comes from everyday life, as people pursue their own interests and learn along the way. The motivating forces include curiosity, playfulness, and sociability—which promote all sorts of endeavors from which people learn. Self-directed education necessarily leads different individuals along different paths, though the paths may often overlap, as each person’s interests and goals in life are in some ways unique and in some ways shared by others."
Liberation- We are in the practice of liberation. We believe in the power of the people on the ground who are most directly impacted by oppression to be able to build new systems and institutions that will center our humanity, value our gifts, identify our needs, and, ultimately, liberate us. We are not in the practice of reducing the harm that is caused by institutions and systems that are rooted in oppressive, white supremacist beliefs and practices designed to produce inequities and injustice in the very communities our society has witnessed harm against. Harm reduction--which is very necessary--is equity work; however, equity work, alone, will not transform systems. Liberation requires us to heal from colonial, oppressive wounds in order to return to our true selves so that we can build new ways of living and learning.
Co-learning- We define co-learning as the idea that learning is a life-long journey and that it happens in a community anywhere at any time. We recognize our children's learning experiences are not separate from our own nor do they always happen in isolation from us. We believe parenting and education evolve when we take a collective, inter-generational approach to learning.
Community- We don't believe in transactional relationships as it takes a village to raise free people. It is through collective living and learning that we believe our parenting evolves and our children's learning expands. Relationships drive our work. We aim to create a space where we take on a democratic approach and center families as the key decision-makers of their educational learning paths. We firmly believe that through community, critical consciousness can be developed, supported, and passed on to our families. Critical consciousness is the "ability to fight back against the norm--both in direct action and psychologically" (Juarez, E., p. 36, Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines.). It is a privilege we aim to cultivate and nurture in our Village in community with each other.
Peaceful Parenting- We center parenting practices that support healthy child development by intentionally disrupting generational trauma passed on by oppressive child-rearing tactics (ex, spanking, shaming, yelling, intimidation, coercion, etc.) used to control child behaviors. Peaceful parenting is a returning to the partnership-based parenting practices our ancestors engaged in prior to colonization where children are humanized and seen as equal, cohabitating partners. We recognize many of us enter this space not necessarily knowing how to engage in peaceful parenting, however, eager to learn with and from each other how to transition into this lifestyle as it is a required practice in raising free people.
Life & Love- Our most central core value is love--and naming whose lives we love is critical in our work. While white co-conspirators are welcome into our Village, we are intentional in centering the lives and lived experiences of BIPOC families. We believe in creating a space that nurtures, protects, and supports all of us to express and explore the multiple, intersecting identities we bring to this village, such as ability, gender, sexual orientation, age, language, and socio-economic status to name a few. We believe a space like ours is necessary for normalizing and affirming the lives our society has historically not shown love for.
Who We Serve
Find Out if We're a Fit For You
Our Village Network is for:
BIPOC families who have opted out of the schooling system (or realized during COVID they don't want to go back) in search of a more liberated family and educational lifestyle.
Educators & school-going families searching for ways to integrate liberation centered, intuitive led learning practices in their learning communities.
Revolutionary partners who want to co-create with families and other partners innovative, engaging, inter-generational learning experiences that aim to decolonize and liberate BIPOC without the constraints of grading, standardized testing, teaching certifications, and one-size-fits-all deficit models.
- While the perspective and needs of BIPOC families are our primary focus, white co-conspirators are welcome to join the group and become active members. However, please know there will be discussions that speak directly to communities of color. As a co-conspirator, we expect that the things we discuss are not criticized and that for the things you may not understand or agree with, you listen and learn.