So I've been writing posts like this one, this one, and this one, all agonizing over what exactly to do for seventh and ninth grades. I worried endlessly, made notes and plans, came up with new ideas and threw away older ones... or as Jessica put it:
I wasted an entire summer collecting resources to which someone else had assigned educational value.
Then, I read her post (linked above), and I stopped.
I watched my children. I talked to them, not about "do you want to do this curriculum, or this one?" but more along the lines of "what really interests you right now?" and "how did you like x in the past?" Then, I watched them some more, just living, and exploring the world around them. I listened when they told me what they're working on and why it was/is exciting.
So, to make a long story short, I am not planning science, history, art, geography...though I am still considering a semi-organized-interest-led approach, as I detailed here. Math and writing? Yes, we'll continue with those. Afternoon basket? Yes, the kids have asked for that to be reinstated. Other than that, they have many, many interests to explore...
The Girl creates in Minecraft, makes clay sculptures and dresses for her dolls, helps me cook. She loves old fairy tales and is passionate about studying animals. She writes little stories, and draws complimentary illustrations for them. She's fascinated by Queen Elizabeth I, and American pioneers. She reads Gary Larson, and shares the ones she finds the most funny.
Why on earth do I keep wanting to interfere with all that learning?
In the meantime, here's what we've been up to...
Lazy park days with friends
Bodyboarding at a local beach
Watching movies that range from classics to action/adventure sorts
Playing board and card games
Planning a better and beautiful backyard
Watching birds and insects
Spent a gorgeous day at a park with my mom for her birthday, in which we ate delicious food, explored a creek and some fallen trees, climbed redwood tree stumps, spotted birds and flowers, and enjoyed being occasionally silly