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2018 Speaking Tour

This spring and fall I’m partnering with small alternative schools and learning centers to give a brand-new talk for parents who are considering non-traditional education (such as alternative school, homeschooling, or unschooling) but haven’t made the leap yet. In the hour-long presentation I discuss the state of modern American parenting, how our relationship to school-based success can become destructive to parent-child relationships, and three concrete pieces of advice for helping kids get a real education. Most events are free and open to the public.


Pacific Northwest

Feb 23 – Portland, OR – Marrow PDX – event page
Feb 24 – Portland, OR – Wayfinding Academyevent page


Northern California

March 15 – San Francisco – NOMAD – event page
March 19 (noon) – South Lake Tahoe – Tahoe Mountain Lab – event page (free lunch!)
March 19 (5:30pm) – Sacramento – Unschool @ San Juan Unified School District – event page
March 20 – Berkeley – QuantumCampevent page
March 21 – Albany – Sunnyside Micro-Schoolevent page
March 22 – Palo Alto – QuantumCamp – event page


Southern California

April 8 – Orange County – OC Gifted Groupevent page
April 9 – Los Angeles – Urban Homeschoolers





New England






I’ve recorded two podcast seasons: Off-Trail Learning (2016-2017) and The Real Education Podcast (2015-2016). I’m on hiatus at the moment, but you might hear more from me 2018.

I like to interview self-directed learning advocates, innovative educators, and young people blazing their own paths through life. All episodes are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud.

Off-Trail Learning

19 episodes in 2016/2017

Real Education Podcast

19 episodes in 2015/2016


“What Could You Do With $20,000?” – Ignite Asheville 2012 (I took first place!)

“The Art of Self-Directed Learning” – Princeton Learning Cooperative 2015 (view all 4 videos)

“Really Good Reasons to Skip College” – Reason TV 2012

Interview with 16-year-old Emma Bogush on getting into a Yale class as a homeschooler

Excerpt from the documentary Class Dismissed

Presentations & Workshops

Since 2009, I’ve given presentations and workshops for alternative schools, teen groups, parent groups, and conferences. (Here are a few examples.) If you’re interested in arranging a date, email me for pricing and specifics.

Teen workshops at Urban Homeschoolers, 2015
Keynote speak, VaHomeschoolers Conference 2015


Blake Boles’ energy is infectious. What a role model! Enthusiastic, empowering, and filled with entrepreneurial spirit.

– Krystal McDonald, Chairman, VaHomeschoolers Conference and Resource Fair (2015)

We have organized many public events over the past 5 years, but Blake’s talk on The Art of Self-Directed Learning was easily my favorite. He was funny, insightful and engaging. All of the feedback we received from attendees was overwhelmingly positive.

– Joel Hammon, Co-Founder, Princeton Learning Cooperative (2015)

Blake gave a wonderful talk – recounting his compelling stories to inspire and guide anyone who is traveling life’s learning adventure. He reminds us that, self-directed learning does not mean learning entirely alone, and he encourages learners to engage boldly with the world around them to fire up their minds.

– Elisabeth Kennedy, Co-Director, Beacon Self-Directed Learning (2014)

Blake is an extraordinary figure and his presentation at Community Night was not only hilarious but exceptionally motivating for our students. . . Several of them have been reading Blake’s book. I’ve also talked to kids in advising meetings who were really impacted by Blake’s message and have taken steps to build some of his ideas into their own self-directed learning path.

– George Popham, Executive Director, Bay State Learning Center (2016)

Blake Boles came to Los Angeles to do a series of three teen workshops for us.  It was a wonderful success.  Teenagers from all over LA came out of the woodwork to be a part of that week, and left happy, inspired, and energized.  Parents immediately started asking for him to come back to do workshops for them.  We started plotting his return before he left.

– Anna & Brenna, Urban Homeschoolers (2015)

Blake Boles came to our wide-ranging homeschool group and generated a record turnout! He was an excellent resource on a wide range of topics. Blake’s wisdom is beyond his years and it shows in the way he holds an audience’s attention and is quick to honestly answer all questions. Our organization completely endorses Blake for speaker engagements as well as his fantastic camps and adventures.

– Julie Valvano, President, Teaching Parents Association of Eastside Seattle (2010)

My wife Kelly and I coordinated the Chicago Teen workshop with Blake. The idea can from the fact that our local annual InHome conference was cancelled this year, and our teens were really disappointed. We began researching other conferences and came to the conclusion that what was really needed was a conference / series of workshops focused solely on homeschooled teens to think about their “high school days” and beyond. We engaged Blake with the idea, and he immediately began to help pull an itinerary together. From the end of the first day, we knew this was a great idea. Our 16 and 14 year olds were so excited at the end of that day – talking and researching so many new things that evening. All the apprehension about “what are we going to do for 3 days” was completely gone. They woke up excited to get going each of the following mornings. In the end, they learned a lot about themselves, more about the world and renewed and made some new friends along the way – they have also expressed interest in a follow up workshop series too! Thank you Blake for turning this idea last into an amazing growth experience for our teens!

– Craig Shultz, Chicago (2015)

Blake is a refreshing combination of down-to-earth and charismatic. The honesty with which he engages the world around him really resonates with the teenagers he so obviously enjoys working with.

– anonymous in L.A. (2015)

Blake Boles is one of the most significant voices in the self-directed learning movement today. He’s also one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.

– anonymous in L.A. (2015)

[A whole bunch of nice things people said about me]

– Various contributors, Virginia (2015)

Previous Speaking Appearances

Podcast, Radio, Video

NatChat podcast (Oct 26, 2017)

Successful Dropout podcast (May 29, 2017)

The World Wanderers podcast (Dec 1, 2016)

Driven 2 Educate podcast (Nov 24, 2016)

Raising Rebellion podcast (Nov 13, 2016)

Zero to Travel podcast (Oct 13, 2016)

The Luminous Mind podcast (Mar 23, 2016)

We Turned Out Okay podcast (Dec 14, 2015)

Isaac Morehouse podcast (July 20, 2015) – a favorite of mine

Unschooling webinar with The Optimist (June 24, 2015)

Meet Education Project podcast (February 20, 2015)

The Unschooling Life podcast (December 9, 2014)

Interview with Carlos Miceli –  Is Traditional Education for You? (Feb 25, 2014)

Wall Street Journal “Digits” – How to Get Strangers to Pay for Your Travel (Dec 18, 2013)

Ask Howie podcast interview: Does School Kill Entrepreneurship? (May 16, 2013)

Minnesota Public Radio (Dec 28th, 2012)

Future of Education podcast (Oct 11, 2012)

Reason TV (Oct 7, 2012)

Imus in the Morning (Sep 17, 2012)

Moneywise Guys Radio Show – Bakersfield, CA (Sep 13, 2012)

KPCC 89.3 (Southern California NPR) (July 5, 2012)

WFAE “Charlotte Talks” radio program (audio) (May 10, 2012)

Whatever Whatever Amen podcast (March 7, 2012)

Ignite Asheville (1st place!) (February 21, 2012) podcast interview (and follow-up)  (April 18, 2011)

TEDx (Nov 20, 2010 in Palo Alto, CA)

Roy Green Show radio interview (October 25, 2009)

Dave Rutherford Show radio interview — 750,000 listeners in Canada (October 22, 2009)


HSC Conference featured speaker (July 27-30, 2017 in San Francisco, CA)

AltPath in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (April 29, 2017)

Bay Area Homeschool Fair keynote (May 19, 2016)

VaHomeschoolers Conference & Resource Fair keynote (March 20-21, 2015 in Richmond, VA)

Hogwarts for Unschoolers” at Homeschool+ Conference (August 7, 2014, online)

HSC Conference (August 2-3, 2014 in Santa Clara, CA)

CHN Family Expo commencement speaker (June 19-22, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA)

InHome Conference (Mar 14-16, 2014 in Chicago, IL)

HSC Conference (August 1-3, 2013 in Sacramento, CA)

AERO Conference (May 23-26, 2013 in Long Island, NY)

True Colors Conference (March 21-22, 2013 in Hartford, CT)

Wide Sky Days Conference (Sept 5-9, 2012 in San Diego, CA)

CHN Family Expo Graduation Host (July 19-22, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA)

InHome Conference (March 15-17, 2012 in Chicago, IL)

Good Vibrations Conference  (Sept 8-12, 2011 in San Diego, CA)

HSC Conference (August 6, 2011 in Sacramento, CA)

InHome Conference Keynote (March 24-26, 2011 in Chicago, IL)

HSC Conference (Aug 19-22, 2010 in Sacramento, CA)

UHEA Convention Teen Keynote (June 12, 2010 in Salt Lake City, UT)

Life is Good Conference (May 27-30, 2010 in Vancouver, WA)

InHome Conference (March 18-20, 2010 in Chicago, IL)

The Autodidact Symposium (March 12-14, 2010 in Columbia, SC)

SHEA Conference (Sep 14-16, 2009 in Anaheim, CA)

HSC Conference (Aug 6-9, 2009 in Sacramento, CA)

Group Presentations

Education Outside School (May 5, 2017 in Peterborough, U.K.)

The Future of Education (March 25, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Lucchesi Community Center (Dec 13, 2016 in Petaluma, CA)

Philly Free School (Nov 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA)

Bay State Learning Center (Nov 17, 2016 in Dedham, MA)

Macomber Center (November 30, 2015 in Framingham, MA)

Princeton Learning Cooperative (December 10, 2015 in Princeton, NJ)

Open Road teen workshops (Aug 12-13, 2015 in Portland, OR)

Urban Homeschoolers teen workshops (March 23-24, 2015 in Los Angeles)

Private teen workshop series (March 16-18, 2015 in Chicago)

Greenfields Academy (March 15, 2015 in Chicago)

Beacon Self-Directed Learning (Dec 20, 2014 in New Haven, CT)

Knowmads (Feb 14, 2014 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Good Reasons to Quit School—And What to Do Instead (July 3, 2013 in Asheville, NC)

Firestorm Cafe & Books (Dec 14, 2010 in Asheville, NC)

Unschool Your Teen Seminar (Oct 2, 2010 in Palo Alto, CA)

Teaching Parents Association (Sep 9, 2010 in Woodinville, WA)

Jordan Lake Sudbury School (March 16, 2010 in Raleigh, NC)

Trestle Homeschool Group (Oct 27, 2009 in Everett, WA)

Nanaimo Public Library (Oct 26, 2009 in Nanaimo, BC, Canada)

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens (Oct 8, 2009 in Hadley, MA)

Village Home Education Resource Center. (Feb 25, 2009 in Beaverton, OR)