Implementing Gatto’s Guerrilla Curriculum: Part three

Ribbet collage

Here’s my final post on Gatto’s Guerrilla Curriculum and ideas I have for implementing it.

Just as a reminder, Gatto believes every child’s learning experience should include (I have crossed out the items previously discussed in last weeks’ post):

  • Substantial community service
  • Apprenticeships
  • Parent Partnerships on school time
  • Team projects (gardens, cross-age tutoring, talent shows, food co-ops)
  • Independent Study
  • Work/study (including starting a business)
  • Mentorship
  • Solitude (fishing, hiking, contemplation, silence)
  • Adventures/discoveries (mapping, exploration, meandering,challenge)
  • Field curriculum (furnishing an apartment, shadowing an employee at the job site, analysing the characteristics of good and bad swimming pools)
  • Improvisational play in groups without guidance
  • Flexi-time, flexi-space, flexi-sequencing, flexi-text selection

The items left over required more thought and effort as there weren’t any easy answers to most of them.  But it amazing when one starts to pray the answers come quick and thick….

  • Flexi-time, flexi-space, flexi-sequencing, flexi-text selection


I think this is going to characterise our home school next year.  It will be an experiment but one I think we are ready for.  For us, flexi-text selection will be offering a choice of books to the children, rather than having set texts I wish them to get through; flexi-sequencing will allow the child the freedom to do which-ever subject they wish first.  We will pre-agree work each week, but the children can choose what order to do it in; flexi-space – they can choose where-ever they want to do their work (that pretty much happens now) and flexi-time basically means they will have complete freedom to choose their own time-table within certain parameters (bed-time and get-up time will remain the same).

  • Mentorship


This was something I felt would be quite hard and yet has been fairly easy.  Lillie went up to the jewellery shop of her own volition and the lady did a bit of on-the-spot mentoring, helping her to price her jewellery for her jewellery party and offering her phone number for Lillie to contact her in the future.

Gary has contacted his friend, who owns a sound studio, for he, Thomas and Charlotte to visit and find out a bit more about sound engineering.  He was more than happy to give up his time to help.

An engineer from church has offered his time to Thomas.  He is CEO of a renewable energy company and again was very generous with his offer to help the next generation of engineers.

One of Charlotte’s loves is young children, and one of our friends has offered to take her to work so she could help out and learn a bit about children en mass!

All this over a period of two weeks!  Mentorship happens so naturally at our church already, and it makes one feel very blessed to be part of it 🙂

  • Apprenticeship


This is harder for a home schooler with the oldest child just fourteen.  There are apprenticeships out there but are offered to older children.  We are still praying about this one.

  • Adventures/Discoveries


Have you ever read ‘Dare to Raise Exceptional Children’ by Clint Kelly and ‘If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat’ by John Ortberg?  They encourage the reader to see the potential beyond their individual comfort zones.  At the core of both books is the idea that a life filled with faith should be one huge adventure, and this is what I would like to develop in my children.  All have personal boundaries which could do with widening, with the exception of possibly Charlotte who, for all intents and purposes, would live life on a tight rope if we gave her the freedom to.  I suspect this part of our new ‘curriculum’ will suit her down to the ground 🙂



Y’know, as I have been working through Gatto’s ideas, I have been forming a picture of just the kind of home schooler I am.  I actually have a word for it!  I know, maybe it is not required and for some it may not be helpful, but for me?  I now have a title for what I do.  I can now share with others exactly what my visions are for our home school, because for me, a name matters.  I am not Charlotte Mason, I am not Classical, We not an unschooling, project-based or eclectic home schoolers.  What drives our little home school, and has almost from the very start (only I didn’t ever see it) is the children.  It has always been their enthusiasm, their passions and their momentum which drives me to always try to go the extra mile.  More and more over the past few years I have handed the reins of their learning to the children.  More and more I can see that our home school is built primarily around ‘Self-Directed Learning‘  And yay!  I now have a name for what we do!  I am a happy girly!


  1. I have enjoyed reading your Gatto’s curriculum posts and love your conclusion! Self-directed learning is the best kind, I think.

  2. This was really interesting, Claire, and has given me some ideas about possibilities for our son. I have heard lots about Gatto, but never read his books so far. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I think it’s wonderful when you know where your style of learning is based. May you be blessed in your years ahead as the children shine with their passions.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.