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Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?

Welcome to the homepage for my forthcoming book, Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?

Jump to: About the Book / Chapter Outline / Links & Resources

The News

March 2020

  • Front cover and interior design, complete.
  • Soliciting of blurbs has begun.
  • Spanish and German e-book translations have begun.
  • Foreign e-book covers, complete.
  • Unabridged audiobook recording, complete.

February 2020

  • Cover design has begun.
  • The Kickstarter was successfully funded at $14k! (We raised enough to cover all the regular publishing costs and create the abridged audiobook for younger listeners and the Spanish e-book translation.)
  • Copyediting complete.

If you would like a pre-publication copy for review purposes, please get in touch.

The book is due out in late May 2020.

Join my monthly email newsletter to get notified when it’s released.

About the Book

Every day, millions of kids go to school.

For some, it’s a positive and engaging experience. For others, school is boring, stressful, and frustrating: a holding chamber where nothing meaningful happens.

Many parents see that conventional education isn’t working for their kids. They see that it’s mostly a waste of time. Yet they keep sending their kids to school.

Why?

Why do we battle kids over homework? Why do we allow school-related anxiety to blossom? Why do we believe that kids need rigid curricula, endless testing, and highly controlled environments in order to become happy, engaged, and productive adults?

Many of us believe that school is the only route to college and jobs—but legions of homeschoolers, unschoolers, and alternative school students have shown otherwise for decades.

Many of us believe that school is the only way to get kids to do hard work—but young people consistently demonstrate incredible work ethics when allowed to pursue self-chosen activities (if we only have the eyes to see it).

The truth is that most of us don’t think twice about sending kids to school, because it’s just “what you do.” This is the assumption that my book aims to change.

Conventional school is a positive force in some kids’ lives. That doesn’t mean it works for everyone. If your kid has no sense of purpose or control over their life, then it’s time to start looking for alternatives. Education and schooling are not the same thing, and you owe no loyalty to schools that do little educating.

Fortunately, many viable alternatives to conventional school are already here: alternative schools, self-directed learning centers, homeschooling, and unschooling. No matter who you are or where you live, there is some way to give your child a better path. My new book explains these paths: what they look like, how they work, and how the kids who take them turn out. (Spoiler alert: they turn out fine.)

Beware! When you begin to consider alternatives to mainstream education, you begin to question other assumptions about learning, work, and education. These assumptions include:

  • forcing kids to do irrelevant schoolwork is good for them, because that’s “how the world works”
  • raising your kids with specific goals for how they’ll turn out—what sociologists call “intensive parenting”—is both effective and necessary today
  • attending a “good college” is the only way to guarantee financial security, therefore any departure from the conventional path is excessively risky
  • adolescents’ needs for socializing, connection, and meaningful work are unimportant compared to academic performance

Conventional school is just one part of a powerful network of beliefs and institutions, which is why any book that asks you to consider alternatives to K-12 school must also discuss these issues. I dedicate a full chapter to each of the above bullet points.

Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?  will appeal to anyone interested in education, learning, and authoring their own life. It’s written for parents who are just beginning to consider alternatives to conventional school, as well as those who are already taking an alternative path but seeking reassurance.

The book combines practical guidance and theoretical analysis, free of jargon and partisanship. It combines my 15 years of experience with the voices of educators, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and economists who question conventional wisdom. If you’ve enjoyed any of my previous books and articles, then I think you’ll love this book. It’s the best one I’ve ever written.

FAQ

Q: How long is the book?

A: The manuscript is approximately 60,000 words, which will turn into a book between 200-250 pages (approximately 3 1/2 hours of reading time).

Q: When and where will the book be available for purchase?

A: I anticipate a May 2020 release for the paperback and e-book, and August 2020 for the audiobook(s). The book will available on all the major online marketplaces, including Amazon and Audible. You’ll also be able to order it through your local bookstore. Anticipated retail prices: E-book $8, Audiobook $12, Paperback $18.

Q: Will readers outside North America benefit from this book?

A: Yes. I wrote this book with an eye for both North American and international audiences. Those in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and some European countries will be able to directly apply the book’s advice; those in countries with more restrictive laws will still find value in its broader arguments.

Q: What inspired you to write this?

A: Read the story behind the book.

More kind words about the book

Here’s what some people who read the pre-publication version of Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School? had to say:

“I’ve read most of the ever-growing bookshelf on self-directed education, and I’m hard-pressed to name a more up-to-date, practical, and gimlet-eyed guide for parents than Blake’s forthcoming book.”
– Jon Lackman, journalist

“School not working for your kid? Not sure what to do about it? Blake’s new book is THE place to start for parents looking into alternatives for their kids.”
– Joel Hammon, Princeton Learning Cooperative

“This is an important book, and anyone who cares about young people and education should read it!”
– Matthew Gioia, Hudson Valley Sudbury School

“You should be honored, Blake—this is the first and only (and possibly the last?) book on radical alternative education I have ever read cover to cover!”
– Ben Draper, Macomber Center

“Why are you still sending you kids to school? Probably because you haven’t read this book yet.”
– Brian Huskie, High School English Teacher and Author of A White Rose: A Soldier’s Story of Love, War, and School

Chapter Outline

Links & Resources

(Under development)

Chapter 1: High-quality Alternatives Exist

Chapter 2: They Still Go to College and Get Good Jobs

Chapter 3: They Still Learn to Work Hard

Chapter 4: You Have Less Control Than You Think

Chapter 5: You Can Afford to Relax About College

Chapter 6: All They Want is Connection

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