Episode 250 - Blake Boles, Why Are You STILL Sending Your Kids to School?
Blake Boles is the founder and director of Unschool Adventures and the author of Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?, The Art of Self-Directed Learning, Better Than College, and College Without High School. He hosts the Off-Trail Learning podcast and has delivered over 75 presentations for education conferences, alternative schools, and parent groups. Blake and his work have appeared on The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, BBC Travel, Psychology Today, Fox Business, TEDx, The Huffington Post, USA Today, NPR affiliate radio, and the blogs of Wired and The Wall Street Journal.
In 2003 Blake was studying astrophysics at UC Berkeley when he stumbled upon the works of John Taylor Gatto, Grace Llewellyn, and other alternative education pioneers. Deeply inspired by the philosophy of unschooling, Blake custom-designed his final two years of college to focus exclusively on education theory. After graduating he joined the Not Back to School Camp community and began writing and speaking widely on the subject of self-directed learning.
In his previous lives, Blake worked as a high-volume cook, delivery truck driver, summer camp director, Aurora Borealis research assistant, math tutor, outdoor science teacher, camp medic, ski resort market researcher, web designer, and windsurfing instructor. His biggest passion is sharing his enthusiasm and experience with young adults who are blazing their own trails through life.
About the Book:
For some kids, school offers a positive and engaging experience. For others, it’s a boring, stressful, and frustrating waste of time. If your child is in the second category, why keep tormenting them? Instead, why not help them find an educational environment where they feel genuinely motivated, excited, and empowered?
In this eye-opening book, Blake Boles makes the case for leaving conventional school and taking one of the many alternative paths through K-12 that exist today. He addresses parents’ major concerns about unconventional education—Can my kids still go to college? Will they still be employable? How will they learn to work hard?—while highlighting the hidden benefits of self-directed learning, such as improved parent-child relationships, a more balanced decision-making process regarding college, and a heightened sense of autonomy and connection.
Drawing upon 15 years of work as a mentor and guide for adolescents in alternative and experiential learning environments—as well as his own unconventional life path—Boles weaves together narrative, theory, and research to build a powerful argument for granting children unusual levels of freedom and responsibility.