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Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  404 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews

Let your daughter read her library books instead of finishing her homework . Ask your eleven-year-old's beloved third grade teacher to comment on his poetry. Invite a massage therapist to dinner because your daughter wants to go to massage school instead of college. Give your ch
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Wiley (first published January 1st 2001)
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The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise BauerDumbing Us Down by John Taylor GattoA Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMilleHow to Read a Book by Mortimer J. AdlerHow Children Learn by John Holt
Best Homeschooling Books
57th out of 185 books — 255 voters
The Montessori Method by Maria MontessoriMaria Montessori by E.M. StandingMontessori by Angeline Stoll LillardMontessori Madness! by Trevor EisslerMontessori from the Start by Paula Polk Lillard
10th out of 26 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,265)
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Melissa E
Aug 09, 2012 Melissa E rated it it was amazing
This book is rocking my world right now and totally shifting my homeschooling philosophies. I have experimented with child led learning for the past month and my we have never EVER felt so much joy learning together. This is what LIVING feels like.

Have I mentioned that fact that we haven't even taken one step into our school room or pulled out any workbooks?

Favorite quote so far:
"It is... nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy
Sep 05, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
After reading John Taylor Gatto's book, "Dumbing Us Down," I went through a crisis of cognitive dissonance--believing that I was doing my kids a disservice by keeping them in the public school system, but being unable and unwilling to try homeschooling (summer vacation only increased my unwillingness!). If I had a million dollars, I would love to form my own school: one for children of parents like me--parents who disagree with the format, structure, and material taught in public schools; but do ...more
Apr 21, 2008 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschool
As I go through the internal debate of whether or not to home-school my children, I've begun the process of researching learning, education, the current school systems, and anything else I can reasonably get my hands on. This book is for parents in all "schooling" situations who want to give their children the chance to really learn--with Home being the central place in which to do that. I have found some good reminders and some new ideas about how to create a learning environment in our home an ...more
Apr 30, 2011 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read for any parent with school age children. It's recommended for both traditional school and homeschooling parents, but there is a definite bent towards homeschooling. There is quite a bit in the beginning about the breakdown and problems in schools and an appendix on "teaching to the test", so if you are supporter of public schools or a teacher, you might be offended.

I love helpful books and this one is full of great ideas, further resources and one of the best sections I've s
The target audience for this book is parents who have not contemplated homeschooling, but who would like to make a difference in their kids' education. There are plenty of suggestions for ways to support your kids while they are in school and then every once in a while they will make a passing comment about how this would be even easier to accomplish if the kids were homeschooled. I actually found it to be quite useful, despite not being part of the target audience. They focus on supporting real ...more
Aug 10, 2012 Andrea rated it it was amazing
This book contains everything I believe about relating to others, parenting my children, and helping them learn. It was wonderful to have everything I believe in as a mother and a teacher and as a person said so well throughout this book. I love the organic ways it suggests for knowing and understanding and teaching your children, all with a hands-off yet disciplined approach. Delightful. I look forward to going over all my marked up pages again.
Apr 03, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it
Mostly common sense, but some good stuff in here. It's strange how school systems follow curriculum rather than readiness cues, how acquiring skills outside the regular age range is considered a gauge of brilliance (beginning with babies), how none of these things really matter if you respect your child and do your best to support their interests. It's more important that my daughter comes out of school with her love for learning intact rather than a good report card.
May 04, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
This book really encapsulates the way children learn and ways parents can help them find joy in learning. I love their working definition of an educated person: " who loves learning and is capable of continuing to partake of the shared human creative endeavor without being forced." The book is a bit dated, but it doesn't affect the content at all except where the internet is concerned, and it would be easy to extend their recommendations to include internet resources. There are a number of ...more
Jul 24, 2009 Laurie rated it really liked it
a good book on education. i really liked the idea of not worring so much about grades but letting your kid learn what they really want.
Adriane Devries
Jul 25, 2011 Adriane Devries rated it liked it
Shelves: teaching
“Education is about the only thing lying around loose in the world, and it’s about the only thing a fellow can have as much of as he’s willing to haul away.” George Lorimer, Letters of a Self-Made Merchant to His Son
John Holt quote: “Teaching does not make learning...organized education operates on the assumption that children learn only when and only what and only because we teach them. This is not true. It is very close to one hundred percent false. Learners make learning. Learners create lear
Sep 27, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: education, 2009
Straightforward with plenty of resources for additional reading. This book was pretty much perfectly written for my family. My son is currently 4 in a public montessori program and we have the long term goal of sending him to the same residential high school my husband and I attended. I think this book summed up how we should (and do) treat school, education and learning in our family in order to raise a educated adult who can learn for a life time. This book will not appeal to all families, esp ...more
Molly Cecile
Jul 30, 2011 Molly Cecile rated it did not like it
My family was looking for some info on different ways to give my brother an education. This book could have been more creative for families with single parents or any other situations. Not everyone can spend 4 hours a day homeschooling children, but that also shouldn't mean that the only other option is public school. Unfortunately, this didn't give the answers we were looking for. The authors also seemed to go on for too long about how bad that public education system is in America. We already ...more
May 28, 2013 Afton rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschooling
I enjoyed much of this book because it was the first homeschooling book I ever read and it opened my eyes to many things I had never considered before. However, it had an obviously biased tone to it, and the author clearly put down public schools and used exaggerated and uncommon success stories of homeschoolers. I do not doubt that those stories were true, however I don't believe they were the norm.

I would recommend it as a beginner's introduction to homeschooling as long as readers understand
Jul 03, 2008 Marie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting, education
Written by two homeschool advocates who recognize that most of us will NOT homeschool because of finances, time, or temperament, this book was eye-opening for me. Good anecdotes from real life, plus research and suggestions for further reading. It's written in an engaging style and serves as a real wake-up call about what is REALLY important in life (it ain't A's, maybe it's not even academics--a hard pill for me to swallow as someone who has done extremely well in the traditional academic world ...more
Sep 14, 2012 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tara by: Melissa E
I really liked this book. Part of my mind tells me homeschooling is crazy, run away from it, etc. But the other part really agrees with becoming a life long learner and along with my children, taking over (or at least being super involved) in their education. I felt like I got a lot of little reminders (because really the information wasn't totally revolutionary to me) of how I can enrich my children's lives. Here are the 5 keys to Guerrilla Learning: 1) Opportunity 2) Timing 3) Interest 4) Free ...more
Oct 10, 2014 Jane rated it liked it
I agree with a lot of the ideas raised in this book about the downfalls of modern education and the simple things that can be done at home to enrich children’s learning. More than that, I found it interesting to use these thoughts to evaluate my own life and how I’ve formed my own choices about what to study at university and what career path to take. Furthermore, it has shifted some of my own thoughts about different ways of learning and gaining experience. It is written for an American audienc ...more
Mar 27, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
A fantastic book I have read over and over and over again!
Apr 19, 2015 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschool
This book was okay, but really didn't offer anything I haven't already read... I just skimmed through the second half.

Too many references to author Amy's daughter - it got tedious! However, the book references throughout were helpful.
Oct 22, 2014 Amy rated it liked it
I stopped reading on page 132 because the book was due back to the library, but they gave me a couple new ideas other than what I had already been doing with my kids. For the most part, I've already been doing exactly what these two women are recommending, and that is to find ways to educate your kids outside of the regular public school classroom, whether it be supplementary (like what I'm doing) or as solely a homeschooling parent: it is to give your kids real life, hands-on learning experienc ...more
Mar 15, 2012 Tina rated it liked it
Recommends it for: schooling families
Have to say this really isn't a book for most of the home schooling families I know. The idea of child-led activities is what our homeschooling experience is all about. For school families, it offers lots of wonderful tips, suggestions and strategies for making sure school is working for you and not the other way around. It is well written and entertaining and reinforces so much of what I believe is right for my children. Definitely has something to offer everyone wanting to keep that spark of c ...more
Naomi Fuller
Aug 23, 2012 Naomi Fuller rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me when my daughter was considering returning to school after one year of unschooling (she decided not to). It was slow at the start for me but as the book progressed it became really great for me. It's packed with a lot of good ideas, quotes, and resources for any parent who is interested in giving their children the best educational experience they can. I will be returning to this book quite a bit for the resource info. I definitely recommend it.
Mar 18, 2009 Sonicage rated it really liked it
This is a great introduction to ideas about learning that pretty much everyone in my generation didn't get until too late.

It's an empowering read for parents and kids considering homeschooling or for those beginning to realize that school isn't where most actual learning occurs.

Education outside of (and often in spite of) the classroom is a vast, open and sometimes scary place, this book gives some starting points and some confidence to people starting on that journey.
Rose Zivkovich
Jun 18, 2015 Rose Zivkovich rated it liked it
Great concept - more relevant for kids in school
Jan 24, 2010 Ami rated it liked it
I would really like to give this book 2 1/2 stars. The authors made several arguments against public schooling (and even though I agree with many of their points, they were without alot of substantial support). After making all of these points they then procede to offer "advice" on how to survive, supplement, and support public schooling. Slightly weak on content (most of the best lines are quotes from promient school reformers).
Aadel Bussinger

This book was basically a condensed, how-to version of The Teenage Liberation Handbook, written for parents.

I enjoyed the book, but found myself skipping pages as I had already read the above mentioned title. This book shows how, no matter what educational choice you have made for you children, you can create an excitement for learning in the real world using whatever you can find.
Michele Karmartsang
Jan 04, 2016 Michele Karmartsang rated it liked it
Thinking of, pretty much planning on some form of homeschooling/unschooling combination for my oldest kid in the fall. Getting some reading in on the subject.

**Update- had to get it back to the library and browsed the last 3/4 of the book- kind of preaching to the choir so more than anything I was jotting down titles of other books to jump off onto.
Jul 14, 2011 Stacy rated it liked it
Was annoyed because this was much more of a self-help book than a concrete "real educational" plan. But I suppose that it much harder to objectively write about. Although I have no children, I wrote down quite a few suggestions for my future attempts to "unschool" myself and get back in touch with the things that interested me back when I was a child.
Dec 19, 2009 Kristenboyle rated it liked it
Interesting ideas. Basically this book is about if you are not a home-schooler, how to continue learning in the world, outside of school. I felt thought that this book should have somewhere said "if you are reading this book, you are already doing what this book will tell you to do..." Anyhow, good reminder of things I want to be doing!
Samantha Penrose
Jun 15, 2012 Samantha Penrose rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
"Preaching to the choir" is the best way to describe this book. I didn't read anything that I didn't already know.
If you are interested in this book based on it's title and synopsis, it's more likely than not that you are already doing all of the things suggested for creating a hands-on, meaningful-learning enviornment.
I think it is a good reminder that education not only happens at school, and that it is not dispensed by teachers. Education, real education, is not measured in tests or can be assesed by scores. Education is intense living, curiosity, joy of discovery, a mind that never ceases working.
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Grace Llewellyn taught school for three years before unschooling herself and writing The Teenage Liberation Handbook at the age of twenty-six. She has since edited Real Lives: eleven teenagers who don’t go to school and Freedom Challenge: African American Homeschoolers, and written Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School (with co-author Amy Silver).

With th
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