Erin is the most private and self-directed of my children. Not to mention that she's hardly a child anymore. She's also no longer part of the SelfDesign program which sparked our whole foray into Learning Plans. So our brainstorming session had a somewhat different flavour. I try to be careful not to get in the way of the learning she does by asking too many questions, observing her too closely, or giving voice to my own preferences and biases. A certain amount of our discussion explored ways to cope with the isolation and lack of opportunities in a town of 600 when you're 13 and can't work or travel independently. Erin is feeling the limitations of her small-town life keenly, especially in the wake of three weeks of intensive music stuff where our town gets much bigger both in number of people and opportunities. Things sure feel small and limited after all that stimluation. But reaching out for more opportunities involves big steps that she's maybe not ready for ... It's a tough place to be.
Math: She would like to finish up the Teaching Textbooks Algebra I program she worked through the first half of last June. She'd like me to be available if she needs help sorting through the word problem at the end of each lesson, but will mostly do it independently from the text. Doesn't want to aim for any particular schedule or pace.
Sciences: Will take a look at the CyberEd courses we've subscribed to (Physics, Earth & Space, Life Sciences) but since these are likely mostly below her level she'd like to investigate the high school courses that are offered in Chem and Biology. As always, most of Erin's science learning will proceed through self-directed interest-led reading from books and the internet. Will watch Zip.ca documentaries according to her interests.
Humanities: Willing to participate in our homeschool World Tour Co-op program this fall, especially because much of it will centre around food preparation. As always, most of Erin's learning in the humanities will proceed through self-directed interest-led reading from books and the internet. Will watch Zip.ca documentaries according to her interests.
Languaging: Reads and writes voraciously at a high level. Self-challenges easily. Does not want any structured learning in this area.
Second Language: Wishes to review and expand her understanding of Japanese kana and kanji. Will use the SlimeForest software that she enjoyed and found so addicting this past winter. Will continue with self-structured learning of Latin using Cambridge Latin, Rosetta Stone and Latin translations of popular books. Not interested in guided language learning in either case.
Arts: Would happily participate in art classes if offered locally again by M.. Otherwise not particularly interested in doing anything to pursue visual arts in any systematic way. Would like to explore possible ways of studying music harmony without a teacher. The MIT OpenCourseware Harmony & Counterpoint I Course is something she'd be interested in looking into. Alternatively, a workbook-like program in harmony might be welcome. Will continue piano lessons on a weekly basis with her current teacher. Will continue formal study of violin, mostly self-directed but with monthly or bimonthly input from Theresa, her Calgary-based mentor. Might be willing to consider occasionally submitting a video for e-mail feedback from T., though at this point she is quite reluctant on this count. Would like to perform the Schubert String Quintet in C Major this year. Happy to continue with community orchestra and violin group classes, though she pines for more opportunity to work on challenging group / ensemble music.
Physical Education: Wants to get to know some of the challenging single-track mountain-bike trails in the area. Would love to do more rock-climbing. Gymnastics, figure skating and swimming are all pursuits in which she would love some instruction, but which would involve copious extra travel which is currently impractical.
Technology: Enjoys a high degree of comfort with information technology in general. Will enjoy working with Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere image- and video-editing software. Would like to do more work with stop-motion animation.
Life Skills: More interested in baking desserts than meal prep. Would like more experience with wilderness survival / camping, and kayaking and canoeing skills. Comfortable managing her own living arrangements in the little cabin, her own spending money finances via our ledger system and her own daily learning / music practicing schedule as she sees fit. Would like a job. Discussed opportunities for volunteering prior to next summer so that she might (once she's reached the employable age of 14) have references. We will investigate this further together and via networking with friends and acquaintances. Will continue with community service activities as they arise -- providing musical entertainment, helping out with Valhalla Fine Arts organizational and set-up volunteerism, volunteering with the GRUBS FruitSmart brigade to pick and process surplus fruit, participating in landscaping / gardening workbees and the Kohan Garden and elsewhere. We discussed the possibility of her taking the bus to Nelson on her own some of the time for piano lessons. This would require some rescheduling of piano lessons, a significant walk, and a test run or two with me along for the ride, and would mean she'd have to dedicate a full day to the trip rather than the half day we can fit it into if I drive her. The bus route is considered "local transit" (though the trip is 2 hours long one-way) and therefore children are allowed to ride prior to age 14.