I recently read Blake Boles' "College Without High School" and I have to say it's the best "unschooling" books I have read so far. I'm not much of a book critic, but I'll try my best.
Blake writes as he is speaking to the student directly. He also gears it toward kids already in high school and encourages them, if they are bored (as I think most are), to get out there and seek adventure. He stresses that he's not saying "quit school and lay around", but rather "quit school and live out your dreams." If one of those dreams is college, so be it, and live the next several years preparing for it in your own way. He encourages college to be a dream for a high schooler, but THEIR dream, and not the dream of others, such as parents or other adults.
Blake then lays out what he calls dream mapping. By doing this, the student has written down the things he/she wants to accomplish now and later, and exactly how they are going to go about fulfilling that dream. For example, I may dream to run a marathon. It is a long, hard road to train for a marathon, but if I break it up and accomplish mini-goals along the way, I can get there. I may start with a 5k, then a 10k, etc. and eventually work my way up to the full marathon. If my dream is to be an astronaut, I would lay out some mini-goals that I would have to accomplish to get to ultimately be an astronaut.
Blake also lays out how it is a high schooler would put together his dreams and mini-goals as well as other accomplishments together as a sort of "resume" to use when applying to college. He equates getting accepted into college with getting a job...a very good way to look at it!
I highly recommend this book to any high schooler but also to any 7th or 8th grader so they can start to look ahead and plan for how they will attain the goal of college acceptance.
I'm reading the book again and taking notes this time because I plan to teach a course around it in our homeschool co-op. I can't do this until the fall, but I can't wait!