My guest this week is Blake Boles, the self-directed learning advocate behind Unschool Adventures and the author of several books on unschooling, including The Art of Self-Directed Learning, Better Than College, and College Without High School, as well as the host of the Off-Trail Learning podcast.
Now… you may be reading this and thinking, I’m not homeschooling my child or “unschooling” isn’t my thing. But I’m going to encourage you to listen to what Blake has to say. Because regardless of your child’s educational circumstances, there is wisdom to be gleaned from Blake’s philosophy on self-directed learning and helping our kids grow up into intrinsically motivated humans who understand themselves and are driven to seek out the information and resources they need to achieve their goals. I also love that Blake’s approach beautifully challenges those traditional timelines that our differently wired kids often don’t meet anyway. So… have a listen and let me know what you think. I’m curious to hear how this lands with you.
About Blake: Blake Boles is the founder and director of Unschool Adventures and the author of The Art of Self-Directed Learning, Better Than College, and College Without High School. He hosts the Off-Trail Learning podcast, speaks for alternative schools, writes for The Alliance for Self-Directed Education, and has keynoted multiple homeschooling conferences.
Blake lives without a permanent home base. He enjoys working from coffee shops in foreign lands, following summers in the southern hemisphere, and going on long adventures in the mountains.
He 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 study education full-time. After graduating he joined the Not Back to School Camp community and began writing and speaking widely on the subject of self-directed learning. His biggest passion is sharing his enthusiasm and experience with young adults who are blazing their own trails through life.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- What unschooling actually is (in comparison with traditional or eclectic homeschooling)
- The most common myths and assumptions surrounding unschooled kids
- How intrinsic motivation is the key to helping a student learn what they want to learn when they’re ready to learn it
- The ways in which unschooling and self-directed learning respects a child’s unique timeline
- What the transition from a traditional educational model to unschooling might look like might look like
- What a transition to university looks like in the U.S. for children who’ve been homeschooled, and how to do it
- How parents who are homeschooling their child can play the role as “consultant” rather than teacher, and giving child the room to become truly self-directed
- Tips for parents looking to dip their toe into unschooling
- Off-Trail Learning (Blake’s podcast)
- The Art of Self-Directed Learning: 23 Tips for Giving Yourself an Unconventional Education by Blake Boles
- College Without High School: A Teenager’s Guide to Skipping High School and Going to College by Blake Boles
- Subdury Valley Democratic Free School (Massachusetts)
- Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to Meaningful Life by William Deresiewicz
- Teach Your Own: John Holt Book of Homeschooling by John Holt
THANKS SO MUCH FOR LISTENING!
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