Projects

All my schemes in one handy spot.

Last updated: March 2024.

πŸš€ Current projects

The Adventures of Blake: my current writing project

Unschool Adventures Club: an online community for self-directed teens who want to take interesting risks, together.

Unschool Adventures: my travel programs for teens and young adults

Dance Connection: a workshop series for partner dancers

πŸͺ„ Recent projects

Off-Trail Learning: my podcast about alternative education and self-directed learning, running since 2015 (on hiatus since Oct 2022)

Mentoring: pro bono mentorship for young adult self-directed learners in 2023 (watch Ben’s summary)

Free Range Exchange: Facilitating international homestays and exchanges for home/un/alt-schoolers.

Self-Directed Learning 101: A 12-week online microschool that I ran with 25 teenagers in Fall 2020, transformed into an IRL workshop.

How to Stay Motivated as a Self-Directed Learner: a free audio workshop for teenagers and their parents.

Teenage Liberation Handbook: I served as editor for the third (and final) edition of Grace Llewellyn’s The Teenage Liberation Handbook.

Online teen meetups: In spring/summer 2020 (early pandemic) I hosted free meetups for self-directed teens from all over the world.

πŸ‘΄ Older but still kicking

GrownUnschoolers.comΒ is a website sharing long-form profiles ofβ€”yup, you guessed it!β€”grown unschoolers, in their own words. I devised the idea; the site is now managed by Maya Landers.

Original videos: My friend Addison and I put together four original videos about self-directed learning in 2018. Fun + incredibly challenging work!

Worldschooler college portfolio: In 2018 I helped Kate Alonso, a worldschooler and former UA participant, to create a digital portfolio for submitting to colleges. She agreed to make the portfolio public. (Spoiler alert: she got into her top choice college!)

The Way of Adventure: In a 2016 I built a self-paced online course that explains my ideas about adventure. (I incentivized myself to complete this with a $500 Stickk commitment.)

Launchpad: a 3-week, email-based productivity course for self-directed learners ages 14-21. Created in 2017, it cost money for many years… now it’s 100% free!

How to Live Nowhere: A free, short, online book offering advice for 20- and 30-somethings with wanderlust. Written in 2016.

What to Do Instead of School is a free PDF with practical activity suggestions for self-directed teenagers. Created as a result of a daily blogging challenge that I gave myself.

The Unschool Adventures Guide to Travel Fundraising: a free PDF book for teenagers who want to raise money for international travel through crowdfunding. Written in 2012. (Funded by a $1,634 IndieGoGo campaign.)

Grown Unschooler Opportunity Network: a Facebook group sharing opportunities… for… grown unschoolers.

🎊 Gatherings I’ve organized

Montana SDE Founders Rodeo: a long weekend at a ranch in Montana for a small group of SDE program founders. Organized in 2022.

Young Professionals in Self-Directed Education: a 3-day gathering for people in their 20s and 30s who are trying to make a career out of self-directed education. Organized in 2019.

Superstitious Guacamole Placebo Program: a 4-day semi-secret gathering for grown unschoolers in 2017.

Trailblazer: a 5-day gathering in 2013 for college-aged self-directed learners, held in Asheville, North Carolina. Our proudest achievement: a flash mob.

☠️ Dead projects

Winter summer camp: Creating a summer camp in the southern hemisphereβ€”morphed into the Patagonia Retreat.

Zero Tuition College: The companion website for my book Better Than College, Zero Tuition College served as a online hub for young adults who were self-directing their learning through the college years instead of attending a conventional institution. Due to the challenges of maintaining a social network website (which are many), I took the site down in 2017. (Funded by a $2,370 IndieGoGo campaign.)

OffTrailLearning.com: A resource website I published in 2016. I eventually took the site down because I wasn’t committed to updating it. (Creation incentivized with a $1000 Stickk goal.)

Hogwarts for Unschoolers: In 2013, a California unschooling family approached me with the idea of collaborating on the creation of a boarding school for unschoolers. I got very excited about this and put in some serious effort, but alas, the family got cold feet and the collaboration never materialized.

Hogwarts for Unschoolers: the unrealized dream. (more)

🌎 Unschool Adventures trips

Since 2008 I’ve designed and run one-of-a-kind international adventure trips and leadership programs, each a unique project in itself. Full details here.

  • Berlin 2023 (4 weeks)
  • Patagonia Retreat 2023 (4 weeks)
  • Humans of MΓ©xico 2022 (6 weeks)
  • New Zealand 2019 (6 weeks)*
  • Spain 2018 (6 weeks)
  • Southeast Asia 2017 (7 weeks)
  • Dance Recess 2017 (1 week)
  • Argentina 2017 (12 weeks)
  • Real World Retreat 2016 (4 weeks)*
  • New Zealand 2016 (6 weeks)
  • Adventure Semester 2015 (10 weeks)
  • Nepal 2014 (6 weeks)
  • Writing Retreat 2014 (4 weeks)*
  • Buenos Aires Tango 2014 (4 weeks)
  • Writing Retreat 2013 (4 weeks)*
  • Trailblazer 2013 (5 days)
  • New Zealand 2013 (6 weeks)
  • Writing Retreat 2012 (4 weeks)
  • Asheville Intensive 2012 (1 week)
  • Argentina 2012 (4 weeks)
  • Writing Retreat 2011 (4 weeks)
  • Zero Tuition College Camp 2011 (1 week)
  • South America 2011 (7 weeks)
  • Fall Leadership Retreat 2010 (7 weeks)
  • Spring Leadership Retreat 2010 (3 weeks)
  • Australia 2010 (7 weeks)
  • Writing Retreat 2009 (4 weeks)
  • Argentina 2008 (6 weeks)

* = helped organize, but did not run myself

😁 Fun stuff

Stickers I created, for sale.

Settlers of Catan: Theory and Practice: a 5-day project I ran at Not Back to School Camp in 2012, in which Matt Sanderson and I taught campers how to become completely ruthless players of Catan

Unschool Adventures April Fool’s trips:

Go on, do it! β€” Challenge Me