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I do long-form interviews with innovative educators and self-directed young people through my podcast, Off-Trail Learning (2016-current). It was previously called The Real Education Podcast (2015-2016).

Available on iTunesSoundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify, and most other podcasting apps.


Self-Taught documentary (watch full movie)

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

Excerpt from the documentary Class Dismissed

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

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

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

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 workshop at Urban Homeschoolers, 2018
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

I was surprised with your keynote presentation. I knew you would be good, but not THAT good! You got the only standing ovation.

Jerry Mintz

Founder, Alternative Education Resource Organization


It was a privilege to welcome Blake Boles to our self-directed learning community for two weeks. In this short time, Blake touched the lives of our students, parents, and staff in meaningful and memorable ways. Blake brought his unique experience, discerning perspective, and energetic attitude on a daily basis. Our students loved spending time with Blake during workshops and outings around NYC and on a hike in Upstate NY. Our parents gave rave reviews of the customized presentation he put together to address their particular questions and concerns about Self-Directed Education. Blake came to Dida as a celebrity and left as a friend – we hope to have him back again soon!

– Danielle Levine, Dida Academy (2019)

Blake’s talk offered more than just great arguments for giving kids more control over their own education—he gave creative, inspiring, and practical advice for children and adults to exploit their strengths and pursue their passions. His talk is still reverberating through the Macomber community.

– Ben Draper, Macomber Center (2018)

Blake came to our Agile Learning Community and gave an inspiring and grounding talk about three young people who have been successful without school. He balanced facts, theory, and real world stories in an excellent way. Our community was extremely grateful for the presentation and many parents left feeling even more confident in their decision to embrace Self-Directed Education.

– Tomis Parker, ALC Mosaic (2018)

Blake’s presentation struck the perfect balance between supporting teens who want to drop out of school to pursue their own interests and respecting those who are happy staying in a traditional setting. This helped the teachers and parents in the audience who weren’t quite ready to accept the message of self-directed education see it as a viable option for their students and children.

– Catina Sweedy, Embark Center for Self-Directed Education (2018)

Blake Boles, a guru of self-directed learning, inspired my community and challenged our thinking as it pertains to parenting and education. I find myself contemplating his questions and wisdom in hopes to discover new ways to effectuate change in our educational system. Simply put, Blake is a terrific speaker with a tenacious mind and spirit.

– Gabriel Cooper, Founder of The Unschool @ San Juan Unified School District (2018)

I witnessed Blake Boles captivate two very distinct audiences in the Bay Area this week – one at our QuantumCamp Berkeley micro-school site and the other at our Palo Alto site. Diametrically opposite poles of the Bay Area! For the bewilderingly infinite array of concerns and anxieties parents have on raising kids and what it means to be successful parents, Blake comes with good news. There are many ways to go, including the inside-the-box approach. But Blake’s real focus is on how easy and accessible the outside-the-box approaches, which may be precisely what your kid is yearning for, are. He leaves you with a you-can-do-it mindset!

– Michael P. Finnegan, Ph.D., Executive Director, QuantumCamp Inc. (2018)

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)

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 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)

All Previous Appearances

Podcast, Radio, Video

Growth Mindset University (Aug 17, 2020)

Raising Lifelong Learners (Aug 5, 2020)

Leading Learning (July 21, 2020)

Homeschool Coffee Break (July 9, 2020)

KSQD Santa Cruz (July 6, 2020)

Homeschool Global Summit keynote (July 3, 2020)

StartEdUp (July 1, 2020)

Sage Family (June 2, 2020)

WRUU “Women on Top” radio (May 27, 2020)

Honey, I’m Homeschooling the Kids (May 27, 2020)

Zero to Travel (May 26, 2020)

Tuf Love (May 21, 2020)

Tilt Parenting (May 19, 2020)

The Luminous Mind (May 19, 2020)

We Turned Out Okay (May 19, 2020)

Worldschooling Education Live (May 14, 2020)

A Neighbor’s Choice (May 13, 2020)

Interview with Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang (May 8, 2020)

Disrupt Education (April 28, 2020)

Super Power U (Nov 14, 2019)

College Essay Guy podcast (Oct 4, 2019)

Lars og Pål podcast (Sep 19, 2019)

Honey, I’m Homeschooling the Kids podcast (Mar 22, 2019)

Tilt Parenting podcast (Feb 26, 2019)

AEROx Virtual Gathering (Feb 23, 2019)

We Turned Out Okay podcast (Feb 6, 2019)

School Sucks podcast (March 20, 2018) / part two

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)


Central Valley Homeschool Convention keynote (July 11-13, 2019 in Fresno, CA)

AERO Conference keynote (June 26-30, 2019 in Portland, OR)

CHN Family Expo keynote (May 4, 2019 in Garden Grove, CA)

Self-Directed Voices (June 9, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain)

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

AltPath keynote 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

Homeschool Alliance (May 12, 2020, online)

Demokratische Schule X (September 28, 2019 in Berlin)

Inspire Charter Schools (September 7, 2019 in Rocklin, CA)

The Power and Peril of Self-Education (September 1, 2019 in Portland, OR)

Dida Academy & Cottonwood NYC (May 2019 in Brooklyn, NY)

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)

Spring 2018 Speaking Tour

Urban Homeschoolers (April 9 & 10, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA)

OC Gifted Groupevent page (April 8, 2018 in Newport Beach, CA)

QuantumCamp – event page (March 22, 2018 in Palo Alto, CA)

Sunnyside Micro-Schoolevent page (March 21, 2018 in Berkeley, CA)

QuantumCampevent page (March 20, 2018 in Berkeley, CA)

Unschool – event page (March 19, 2018 in Sacramento, CA)

NOMAD – event page (Mar 15, 2018 in San Francisco, CA)

Wayfinding Academyevent page (Feb 24, 2018 in Portland, OR)

Marrow PDX – event page (Feb 23, 2018 in Portland, OR)

Fall 2018 Speaking Tour

Tahoe Mountain Lab (Aug 10 in South Lake Tahoe, CA)

The Hive (Sept 5 in Eugene, OR)

Gaia Democratic School (Sept 14 in Minneapolis, MN)

Greenfields Academy (Sept 17 in Chicago, IL)

Clonlara School (Sept 20 in Ann Arbor, MI)

Beacon (Sept 25 in New Haven, CT)

Big Fish Learning Community (Sept 27 in Dover, NH)

Bay State Learning Center (Oct 1 in Watertown, MA)

Macomber Center (Oct 3 in Framingham, MA)

North Star (Oct 29 in Sunderland, MA)

Kate Friedman’s Turn & Talk (Nov 6 in Brooklyn, NY)

Princeton Learning Cooperative (Nov 8 in Princeton, NJ)

Raw Learning (Nov 9 in Staunton, VA)

ALC Mosaic (Nov 14 in Charlotte, NC)

Embark Center (Nov 17 in Leesburg, VA)

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