About

(photo by Lauren Lindley / full-res)

🕴️ Official bio

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 LearningBetter 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. He was born in 1982.

Also see:

🎩 A few hats that I wear

Writer

Ever since college I’ve written extensively about alternative education and self-directed learning, leading me to publish four books and a bunch of articles.

Speaker

My little speaking career has taken me across the U.S. and the world, and since 2015 I’ve also hosted a mildly popular podcast.

Adventurer

I’ve oriented my life around the pursuit of adventure—outdoor adventures, travel adventures, work adventures, and more—many of of which are reflected on my life goal list .

Experiential Educator

Real-life experiences are the best teachers, which is why I’ve always loved working at summer camps, outdoor education programs, and running my Unschool Adventures programs. 

Advocate for Self-Directed Learning

To me, self-directed learning isn’t anti-structure or anti-teacher: it’s about fully consenting to whichever educational environment you find yourself. In Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?, I encourage parents to think like an unschooler but pledge allegiance to no specific educational methodology.

Lifelong Traveler

After college I began traveling extensively, leading me to embrace a nomadic existence and create temporary homebases across the United States and abroad. I’ve never had a 12-month lease, and all of my possessions fit easily into a 5’x10′ storage unit.

Romantic Idealist

I tend to “crush out” (forgive the 90s lingo) on people, places, and ideas, seeing the world with the optimism of somebody who is in love. My close friends once wrote some sweet dating endorsements for me.

Entrepreneur

I’ve long dreamed of working for myself, and since 2010 I’ve been fully self-employed. I’ve never held a year-round, full-time, 9-to-5 type job.

Partner Dancer

After growing up a non-dancer, I discovered Argentine tango, got deep into it, and later found a home in the fusion dance scene.

👓 Lifestyle

Here are a few blog posts that explain my lifestyle:

And don’t miss How to Live Nowhere, of course.

🤓 Personality types

I geek out on personality typing systems. Here are my types:

  • MBTI: INFP
  • Big Five
    • Agreeableness: Moderately Low
    • Conscientiousness: High
    • Extraversion: Very High
    • Neuroticism: Exceptionally Low
    • Openness to Experience: Moderately High
  • Enneagram: 7 with 8 wing

🙏 A few people to whom I’m indebted

  • My smart and eternally supportive parents.
  • Jim Wiltens and Grace Llewellyn for guiding my young adult career path, and for building the Deer Crossing Camp and Not Back to School Camp communities, which have given me so much .
  • The Berkeley Student Cooperatives for my social transformation in college.
  • Every parent who ever sent their child on an Unschool Adventures program.
  • My readers, all of whom are highly intelligent and good-looking.
  • Everyone on the internet who consumes, supports, and shares my work—and who I’ll never meet.

📆 Year-in-review posts

The narrative story of my year—and an excellent way to get to know me.