Updated 2020-02-01

Learning is Natural, School is Optional: The North Star Approach To Offering Teens a Head Start On Life

In telling the story of North Star’s beginnings, Ken Danford offers inspiration and guidance for how to support young people to leave school and improve their lives through self-directed learning.
Kenneth Danford author
Non-Fiction Books
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For as long as there has been compulsory schooling, students have asked, “Do I really have to go to school through 12th grade? Isn’t there some other way?”
The conventional answer, “No, there is no other way. You just have to make the best of it,” didn’t satisfy Kenneth Danford and Joshua Hornick. In 1996, they left their public school teaching jobs to help students live, learn, and grow in a different environment. The method is simple, powerful, and relatively easily accessible, but most teens and families need some support to choose this path.
Here is the story of North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens, which has provided this support to hundreds of students over the past two decades. In this combination memoir/how-to, you will learn that this “other way” is actually an opportunity for young people to get a tremendous head start on adulthood. Not only do these young people generally start college early, gain meaningful work experience, and travel or pursue interesting passions, they also have the time and space for self-exploration. They develop intrinsic motivation, self-awareness, and maturity beyond their years.

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