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November 10th, 2010

Green Books Campaign Book Review: College Without High School: A Teenager’s Guide by Blake Boles

collegewithouthighschoolThis review is part of the Green Books campaign.  Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise  the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into  consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on “green”books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full  list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on the Eco-Libris website.

The book I’m reviewing for the Green Books Campaign is College Without High School, it is printed on FSC certified paper made from 100% post-consumer waste, is chlorine free and printed with vegetable-based, low-VOC inks – you can’t do much better than that!  The publisher – New Society – also purchases carbon offsets so that they can operate with a carbon-neutral footprint, pretty neat!  Now, onto the review!

College Without High School is written directly to teenagers who long to escape from traditional educational establishments (like high school).  I’m sure that many of us can relate, I certainly can.  Author Blake Boles advocates a highly-motivated form of unschooling (self-directed learning) in which students can craft a plan that both fills their hearts with adventure and helps them to meet the admission requirements of major colleges.

This is a concise volume (less than 200 pages) that provides only a smattering of theory, a handful of examples, but many practical plans to help teens set goals, make plans, and chart a course towards college admission.  By getting right to it, Boles will have teens up and running with their own self-designed educational plan in no time while still providing plenty of recommendations for further reading in his “Reading and Resources” section.

Boles writes from a secular/adventure based worldview, but his easy-to-read writing style will help to inspire teens and reassure parents that it is possible to ‘do college’ without traditional high-school.  The portraits he draws of young people pursuing their dreams while learning to present their achievements in a way that admissions counselors understand is vivid and full of life.

Homeschoolers who don’t necessarily identify with the ‘unschooling’ label that Boles advocates will still find many similarities here between approaches they take with older students who should be pursuing personal interests and passions alongside some academics (like Boles advocates) at these ages.  This isn’t a ‘throw everything to the wind, I’m going on an adventure’ guide, rather it’s well thought out and carefully planned to see students achieve their goals of college.



Jennifer. Follower of Yeshua. Wife of one man. Homeschooling mother of 5.