I’ve available to travel to your homeschool group, alternative school, or other organization to lead workshops and presentations for both teens and adults! Here’s an overview of my offerings.
Please e-mail me for pricing and specifics: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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)
Presentations for Adults & Families
The Art of Self-Directed Learning
What do homeschoolers and unschoolers have in common with the best summer camps, colleges, coaches, and teachers? They share the goal of raising self-motivated and self-directed learners. But what exactly does it mean to be a self-directed learner, what does it look like, and how can we support and challenge them as parents? Blake addresses these questions with illustrative stories gathered over a decade of working with young adults. (This presentation is based on his book of the same name.) (A/V needs: Digital projector)
The Psychology of Self-Motivation
Intrinsic motivation, learned optimism, mindset, deliberate practice, and flow: the world of psychology is rich with theories that explain how and why we do challenging things for their own sake. Join this session for an overview of the psychology most relevant to home educators (both as parents and self-motivated adult role models) and strategies for applying this wisdom at home. (A/V needs: Digital projector)
Better Than College
Do you need college in order to be taken seriously and earn a real living? Conventional wisdom says yes. But true success relies upon self-knowledge and entrepreneurship: two qualities that you can obtain effectively and inexpensively without traditional college. This session outlines the steps necessary to design your own higher education, including how to find community, stay on track, and get hired or start your own venture. Whether college is on the horizon or far down the road, this session will help you think clearly about your options for supporting young people as they leave the nest. (A/V needs: Digital projector)
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)
Workshops for Teens
My teen workshops are fast-paced, interactive, and fun, designed specifically for self-directed teenagers (ages 14-18) in groups of 15-30. Each workshop is an hour and a half and involves a lot of doing, not just passive listening, so get ready to participate! Sorry parents, these sessions are for teens only—no sneaking in allowed. :)
How to Talk to Anyone
The world is packed with interesting people who would love to have a conversation with you, but initiating that conversation (and knowing where to take it) can be terribly overwhelming. Join Blake for his #1 most popular teen workshop: a hands-on, high-energy introduction to the principles of body language and communication that will make it possible for you to talk to anyone. The alternate title of this workshop is “Indescribable Sexiness.” (A/V needs: Whiteboard)
“What do you want to do with your life?” This might be an annoying question, but it’s a worthwhile one. Because if you don’t figure out what you want then you’ll end up living someone else’s dream. In this workshop I’ll introduce you to some basic ways to think about life goals and then challenge you to write not 10, not 20, but… 100 goals! This will be an exercise in figuring out who you are, what you really believe, and how that translates into life plans. I’ll also tell you the story of why I post my own goals online and write about my failures as well as successes. (A/V needs: Digital projector & whiteboard)
Dream Mapping is a continuation of the 100 Goals workshop in which participants learn to take a big/exciting/hazy goal (e.g. Learn Spanish), develop many possible versions of “how that looks”, and then choose one, break it into manageable chunks, and then boldly move forward. (The whole process is explained in my book College Without High School.) Participants will actually take the first step towards a big goal before the end of the workshop. We’ll also discuss the idea of “accountability buddies” as a tool for keeping oneself on track. (A/V needs: Whiteboard)
Thinking Hard About College
A guided discussion focused on post-secondary options and possibilities, encouraging participants to start thinking now about college, how to prepare for it, and what the alternatives might be. I promote a balanced pro and con discussion about college—my message is not “college is bad and a waste of money”, rather, “think deeply about all your options”. I make concrete suggestions for teens to do fun, real-world investigation about college such as sitting in on lecture classes, chatting up professors and current students, and talking to homeschoolers who went to college. (A/V needs: Whiteboard, giant post-it notes, regular post-it notes, sharpies)
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)
Presentations for Teens
These are more traditional, lecture-style presentations. A nice break from my more high-energy workshops. Each has a ton of visuals and offers extensive Q&A opportunities.
Create Your Own Unschool Adventures
Do you dream of traveling the world, but you have little idea where to go, what to do, how to plan it, or how to afford it? As a solo world traveler and an organizer of teen trips through my company Unschool Adventures, I’ve picked up a few tips, tricks, and advice over the years. In this workshop I’ll share everything you need to know to start scheming (or actually planning) your first big trip—whether you’re going to another continent, country, or just the state next door. (A/V needs: Digital projector)
Better Than College
Do you need college in order to be taken seriously and earn a real living? Conventional wisdom says yes. But true success relies upon self-knowledge and entrepreneurship: two qualities that you can obtain effectively and inexpensively without traditional college. This session outlines the steps necessary to design your own higher education, including how to find community, stay on track, and get hired or start your own venture. Whether college is on the horizon or far down the road, this session will help you think clearly about your options. (A/V needs: Digital projector)
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)
– Various contributors, Virginia (2015)