My Review of Blake Boles’ New Book: “Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids To School?”

“We may not be binding their feet, but we are binding their minds. Conventional schools fritter away large parts of children’s lives, largely for the benefit of adults, and largely because we simply don’t know what else to do.” – Blake Boles

I reached out to Blake for a copy of his latest book, Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids To School? I’ve been following him for several years since I came across him in our unschooling journey. When I saw his Facebook post announcing this book, I jumped at the chance to read it before it became available in print.

*Edit September 2020*

Do I still recommend this book? Sure, for those who don’t mind the secularism in the book. It was at times, boring to me. Although I did get some useful insights and quotes. I also don’t feel like homeschoolers are “privileged”. You can homeschool and literally not spend much money, so I don’t feel like money or lack thereof is something that should hold people back from education at home or on the road, or wherever they find themselves learning.

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This book’s subtitle is as follows: the case for helping them leave, chart their own paths, and prepare for adulthood at their own pace, and gives you an idea of what this book is all about. I think this is a great read for parents who are researching homeschooling, are thinking of homeschooling, or are planning to homeschool. He gives extraordinary examples of children who have homeschooled successfully and have gone on to adulthood, including himself.

As many of my readers know, I’m a Christian, and it seems to me we are the minority in unschooling, and as I came to find out reading this book, in homeschooling in general: “‘Reason for homeschooling: The top three stated motivations for homeschooling include “concern about the school environment” (34%), “dissatisfaction with academic instruction at school” (17%), and a “desire to provide religious instruction” (16%). Just nine years earlier, the religious motivation held the top position at 37%.'”

So basically, homeschoolers in general, are becoming less religious. I kind of had that feeling for the past few years, being in certain online groups, and reading commentary. I think this is very telling of the society we live in.

Blake talks about how we forget what it’s like to be powerless in school. I myself, went to public school from kindergarten all the way to 10th grade. It was pure torture to me. I often compared public school to prison, although at the time, I had no idea how right I was! (Yes, I am a rebel!)  I had nightmares about public school way after the fact I graduated from a small, one-room country schoolhouse run by our church, that was very much akin to homeschooling. We had one teacher for the older grades, and another teacher for the primary grades. It was comprised mostly of me and my three younger sisters, along with four other children. It was also the much needed escape I needed from public school. I felt like I had been rescued.

He goes on to say that control is the main factor for children who are struggling. And I believe this to be 100% the case. I know Blake may not be against public schooling completely, but I am. And I do believe they instituted compulsory schooling for that reason: control.

Blake also states, “Modern homeschooling is diverse, flexible, and simply not fringe anymore. It’s an incredible privilege that we in North America and a handful of other countries enjoy. May it spread further across the world.” My feelings exactly, Blake!

He brings up a great point by saying that {children} of the world don’t need more encouragement to try harder in school. They don’t need a different classroom. They need to escape conventional school, maybe just for a little while, or maybe forever.

I loved when Blake talked about his professor at UC Berkeley, who “burned the habit of skepticism” into his brain. This is also another excellent point. We need to teach our children to question everything, not just in our academic life, but our personal lives as well.

I would have to recommend this book to anyone who is playing with the idea of homeschooling. Homeschooling is so liberating. I enjoy it, because I get to spend all of my time working on my relationships with my children. We have some of the most amazing, stimulating conversations about anything and everything.

People think I am the most patient person ever, because I “put up with five children” 24/7. Truthfully, I had to learn how to. I wasn’t acclimated to being home all day everyday with the kids. It was the best decision I had made in a loooong time! I worked after I had my first baby. Afterword, we moved to New York, and I was a stay at home mom for almost two years. Later, we moved back to Missouri, and I started working again. And I worked for almost five years. I hate to admit it, but I was VERY much out of touch with my  children. I finally quit working for other people, and decided to stay at home full time, and help out my husband and take care of the kids and our home. It’s a very hard job, but the rewards are amazing. There are days when I could use a break, and I rarely get one. But I’m human and can only do so much.

I’ll leave you with the following quote:

“It doesn’t matter, in the end, where the spark comes from. It only matters that your child’s fire burns brightly.” -Blake Boles

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