Interviews with those who pursued self-directed learning through high school and/or college, and now they are adults.
Tam Pham on Reaching Out to People
Tam Pham (tampham.co) is the 21-year-old author of How to Network and How to Land Your Dream Internship, a marketer in Silicon Valley, and a college dropout. We discuss why reaching out to strangers is important for self-directed learners, how to do it, and Tam’s own story of leaving the conventional path.
Nathen Lester on the Challenges of Total Freedom
Nathen Lester, a long-time advisor at Not Back to School Camp and soon-to-be-licensed Couples and Family Therapist, discusses the challenges that people face when given large amounts of freedom at a young age. How do unschoolers and other liberated young people deal with perceived gaps in their knowledge? How do they motivate themselves? How do they tackle the unspoken obligation to “be amazing”? And what mental health concerns are unique to this group? Join us for a fascinating conversation about the ups and downs of human freedom.
Xander Macswan on Video Games
Xander Macswan, a 19-year-old grown unschooler, talks about growing up with unrestricted video game access. When do games hurt us, and when do they serve us? Are parents right to restrict gaming time? How does someone who looks like a gaming “addict” on the outside transform, without coercion, into someone with a wide variety of interests and skills beyond gaming? Do violent games make us more violent? We dive into all these subjects with someone with deep first-hand experience.
Seraphina Mallon-Breiman on Figuring Out Life After College
Grown unschooler and recent college graduate Seraphina talks with Blake about deciding what to focus on after college, balancing money and meaning, getting out of your comfort zone, and not losing sight of what’s important—a conversation applicable to self-directed learners of all ages.
Sean Ritchey on Learning Through Work Instead of College
29-year-old grown unschooler Sean Ritchey talks about his discussion to skip college in favor of starting his own design/build company. We discuss the challenges of building community and exposing yourself to new areas of knowledge, working to learn, and what a young person needs to successfully skip college.
23-year-old Kevin talks about being raised unschooled in Alaska, making the decision to go to high school, and his subsequent world travels.
23-year-old grown unschooler Nikiah talks about being raised unschooled, going back to public school, and then unschooling again for her senior year.
In this interview with Liam Nilsen, a grown life-long unschooler and someone who also works with self-directed teens, we discuss which teens should unschool and which shouldn’t.
23-year-old Emma McCann talks about her decision to leave a life of unschooling to enter a progressive, college-preparatory boarding school for 10th-12th grade.
Carsie Blanton, a singer-songwriter, blogger, and lifelong unschooler (carsieblanton.com), talks with Blake about making a living as a musician, the virtues and drawbacks of college, and lessons that unschooling taught her about building a career.
Lucas Isakowitz, a 24-year-old grown unschooler, college graduate, and part-time Alaskan fisherman, talks with Blake about his young life as an unschooler, not learning to read until age 11, his decision to join a large public high school at age 14, the virtues of social adversity, going to college at Penn, and his recent experiences working on a salmon fishing boat in Alaska.
Ben Paul, founder of the German social movement Anti-Uni (anti-uni.com), talks with Blake about his decision to leave a prestigious law school at age 20 to travel in Latin America, his blog that encourages young people to build self-knowledge before starting college, the pluses and minuses of the free German higher education system, and building a social life without college.
Astra Taylor eloquently explains life as an unschooler in the early years of the movement. Her short Kindle book, Unschooling, covers much the same material.