(After I was done taking notes, Hypatia had to see if she could make her handwriting as small as mine)
Both of my children have a great deal of institutional and democratic experience - they see it all the time at church and then the Sudbury school excels at democratic process. So, I shouldn't be surprised that they brought a lot of this savvy to the process of planning our first unit study. It started a bit like this:
Me, at breakfast time: "I think we should do Ancient Egypt as our first unit study, because we know we want to go see the King Tut exhibit when it comes to town." (Idle conversation, really.)
Carbon: "I like that idea too!" Hypatia: "Yeah!" Carbon: "It's unanimous then - we'll do Ancient Egypt."
Hypatia: "Can we do the Ancient Romans after that?"
Me: "Maybe, we'll have to see. Ooooh - you know what I saw - hieroglyph rubber stamps! Wouldn't that be fun to work with for this unit study?"
Which then led to a session of me googling educational kits and toys with an egypt theme, and finding out that a lot of them are pretty expensive.
Me: "I don't think we can buy all these."
Carbon: "We need a budget. What's our budget?"
We don't currently have an annual budget for our homeschool, so we ended up just adding up how much it would cost to buy Everything. Too Much. They each went down the list then and said what their top priority was, and we added just those things up and found that the number was more reasonable. We got the Daddy in to the meeting at that point and proposed that budget, then all voted.
So we will be studying ancient Egypt this summer - and we have a great precedent in place already for how we will proceed going forward with planning and choosing topics in our homeschool.