Hi, everyone. I'm Tod. I've been an advocate of unschooling since I read Summerhill in high school. School was very difficult for me, not intellectually, but emotionally and spiritually. They eventually kicked me out (for insubordination, of course). I'm extremely proud of that.
That was ten years ago. Since leaving prison -- er, I mean school -- I started to do all the things I could have started far earlier. Since then I've educated myself intellectually, become an instrument rated pilot, learned to scuba dive, learned to play and coach hockey, learned to program in Objective-C (I have some apps on the iTunes apps store that generate an actual income), run several businesses, and so much more. And I want to add that I did this all on a shoestring budget, being self-employed the whole time. Passion and motivation works wonders, far more than a classroom and a report card looming in the future!
So now the important part of this post. I don't know about you, but it pains me to see capable children of all ages trapped in this system that wants to turn them into the soul-dead conformists of the future. I remember how terrible it was for me, and how much better my life was when I got out.
The hardest part is that people just don't understand unschooling values. You can tell them all kinds of theory and wonderful ideas. You can tell them that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and the Wright Brothers dropped out, followed their own path, and still did wonderful things, and they'll just nod and say "that's nice, but it doesn't apply to everyone." This is very painful to me.
Last year, I decided to connect with others who had experiences like mine. I also wanted to talk about these ideas and hopefully explain to people why freedom in education is so important. I chose to do so in the medium of fiction, and over the course of the last year I wrote a novel called Solo Flight.
The story is about Nolan Cooper, a fifteen year old boy who has to fight the educational authorities, and his father, in his quest to build and fly an airplane. It's about education, and also overcoming fear, becoming independent, thinking for yourself, and so much more. You might call it a self-help novel. Solo Flight is fast paced and tightly plotted. Everyone who read it so far couldn't put it down.
I'd like very much for anyone involved in unschooling to be able to read the book. So I put it on a site that will allow you to download it for free.
If you go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/84002
and use the coupon code PY86N you can download a free copy of Solo Flight. There are many choices of format, such as ePub (which works with iBooks), a Kindle version, a PDF, or even plain text.
I apologize if this seems like self-promotion. If I could have a million people read this book tomorrow and not make a dime from it, I would. I hope it affects people. If it changes one mind, I did my job. You might want to share it with people in your life who don't understand unschooling (provided that you like the story, of course).
Feel free to share or repost the book offer. The coupon code above does expire on September 3 (it has to have an expiration date), but if there is sufficient interest, I can extend it as long as needed.
I hope that this book is only the beginning of my contribution to the unschooling movement.