Summer 2019 update: This website will soon be closed and/or turned into a subdirectory of Want to protest? Email me!



As children, we come to believe that success is a well-beaten path. If you follow the path and do what’s expected of you, then you’ll have a happy life.


Sometimes this is true. Other times we discover that the path is overcrowded or doesn’t actually take us where we want to go.


Luckily there’s another option: going off-trail.


Blazing your own trail is hard. You need to be aware of your surroundings, keep your destination in mind, employ the right tools, and motivate yourself to keep going.

But blazing your own trail means: you can go exactly where you want, at your own pace, with companions you enjoy.


At the end of the day, you feel the pride of arriving somewhere that you chose and having defined your own version of success.

Off-Trail Learning is for young people who aren’t satisfied with traditional education and want to blaze their own trails through life.

If you’re a highly independent, creative, or adventurous young person, then traditional education may not be a good fit for you. Instead of following the well-beaten path, you want to blaze your own trail.

Off-Trail Learning shows you every option for taking more control of your education, whether that means:

On the podcast you’ll find discussions with young people who practice self-directed learning and adults who promote it.

Off-Trail Learning is a free website created by me, Blake Boles. I created it in 2016 and don’t actively maintain it. Here’s the “why” behind the site.

Who are you?

High School Student College Student Unschooler Recent Graduate Parent


Having a website with all the information you need to start the self-directed learning path is SO beneficial. I remember looking for something like this everywhere when I started and everything was half-done or required me to go to so many different places to find any semblance of the information I was looking for. Putting it all in one, easily obtainable place is great, and I loved how you address people from all walks of life that may be looking for different things but know that self-directed is the direction they want to go. Really phenomenal.”

—a teenage reader