I just got back from a very busy weekend at the Homeschool Association of California’s (HSC) annual conference where in addition to spending time with many old friends and meeting many new ones, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing two of the foremost advocates in the world of Self Directed Education, Blake Boles and Dr. Peter Gray.
Blake for many years has run life-changing trips, retreats, and virtual workshops for unschoolers, homeschoolers, and other self-directed learners ages 14-19. These big adventures for self-directed teens bring together groups of teenagers who are hungry for new experiences, real-world challenges, and deep personal connections and judging from the praises I’ve personally heard from individuals who have participated in these programs, they are well-worth the investment. Blake has 3 upcoming trips planned in Southeast Asia and Spain, so be sure to take a look at his Unschool Adventures website if you have a teen or young adult who might be interested.
In addition to his adventuring, Blake has also authored 3 books including his latest one: The Art of Self-Directed Learning. I’ve interviewed Blake before for my previous film Class Dismissed, and it was great to re-connect with him again and enjoy an in-depth conversation about unschooling and self-directed learning.
I also had the distinct privilege of spending a couple of hours with Dr. Peter Gray. Peter is a research professor at Boston College and author of the book Free To Learn. He also has a popular blog, published on Psychology Today. Peter’s knowledge and interest in Self-Directed Education is vast and we spent time discussing both the research he conducted with Gina Riley about grown unschoolers and how they “turn out” as well as his vision for the newly formed Alliance for Self-Directed Education. The organization is dedicated to informing people about the benefits of, and methods for, allowing children and adolescents to direct their own education. The Alliance’s ultimate goal, its vision, is a world in which Self-Directed Education is embraced as a cultural norm and is available to all children, everywhere, regardless of
their family’s status, race, or income.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to check out the Alliance website, please do so and consider becoming a member to help support their vision. There are all kinds of great resources available on the website for new and veteran self-directed learners and the team of experts they have assembled is really something!
So with these interviews out of the way and with all the other shooting I’ve been doing with adult unschoolers, I’ve already amassed quite a lot of footage for the film. I’m thrilled with the results and am happy to have have made so much progress in such a short time (I only started filming in February of this year.) Obviously there is much more to do, but with the way things are going, I hope to be able to share some sneak peeks with you all soon. More on that in a later blog.
Thanks for your support and for following along and thank you to the board and organizers at HSC for giving me permission to film at the conference.
Until next time!