I read Blake Boles new book College without High School over the last couple of evenings. I think this is a book every homeschooler approaching high school age should read. Really, every teenager should read it. Not every one will be able to bail on school, but I think they could apply a lot from this book to their lives, even if they are stuck in school. And BTW, this book is written for the kids, not for the parents.
Consider the paragraph headings from pages 2 and 3. This alone should be enough to sell you on the book :)
- School and Education are Not the Same Thing
- You Can Learn More by Going to School Less.
- Getting into a Top College Does Not Require Full Time High School
- Leaving School Does not Lock You into a Fast Food Career
- Life Doesn't Have to Wait Until Age 18
- Adventuring While Your Friends Sit in the Classroom is Neither Unfair nor Irresponsible.
In College Without High School, Blake lays out a action plan for how a high school age kid can have an amazingly good time unschooling through the high school years while building a dynamite college resume at the same time.
It all starts with knowing what you want. Blake leads the reader through the the process of dream mapping. Starting with the big picture things you want to do (become an astronaut, bike across the US, etc) and narrowing it down to short term (as in this week!) and longer goals that will get where you want to be. It ends with picking one action item for each dream that can be accomplished in the next 5 minutes. It's an exercise a lot of us older folk could benefit from!
For me, the real gem in this book is how he breaks down the college admissions process. Basically, colleges are looking for a few things, intellectual passion, leadership, logical reasoning skills, ability to handle a structured learning environment, and background knowledge. I'm sure most of my readers can very quickly see how exhibiting a lot of these attributes is actually easier outside of the traditional high school schedule. Blake takes the reader through each one, showing examples of how unschooler can show all this on a college application. While the wanna be environmentalist at school is sitting in a biology class, the wanna be unschooler environmentalist could be in Peru working on an environmental project. Which one will be more impressive to Stanford, Harvard, or even State U?
It all comes down to this.
The point is life is not school. It is adventure.