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Off-Trail Learning

93 EpisodesProduced by Blake BolesWebsite

Interviews with innovative educators, self-directed young people, and others who think differently about learning, teaching, and schooling. Hosted by Blake Boles (, author of "Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?" and founder of Unschool Adventures.


Naomi Fisher on Whether Parents Matter

Dr. Naomi Fisher is a clinical psychologist, mother of two self-directed learners, and the author of the forthcoming book, "Changing Our Minds: How children can take control of their own learning."

In this deep-dive interview, Naomi and I dissect the modern culture of “intensive parenting” and the research behind Judith Rich Harris’ controversial book, "The Nurture Assumption."

We address some thorny topics including: How much do genes, peers, and parents respectively matter for a child’s long-term development? What kinds of influence do parents actually possess? How much of the nature/nurture research is universally relevant? How does self-directed learning fit into the picture? And what’s the overlap between attachment parenting and intensive parenting?

Don't miss Naomi's article in The Psychologist ( Her book, Changing Our Minds (, is now available for pre-order.

To dive deeper into this fascinating and complicated subject, I recommend reading The Nurture Assumption (by Judith Rich Harris), Blueprint (by Robert Plomin), and Chapter 4 of my book, Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?

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