The more recent of the two was "We Don't Need No Education" by Ben Hewitt for Outside Magazine and it's a fascinating piece that the author writes about his 9 and 12 year old boys and their "unschooled" education. The family lives on a farm in Vermont and are a subset of homeschoolers, with "unschooled" kids learning subjects only when they say they're ready and not having a formal cirriculum. It's an interesting read from Hewitt on an education concept that seems a bit like Montessori learning, but to a different level.
The piece from The Atlantic was by Hanna Rosin back in March and titled "The Overprotected Kid" about The Land in Wales, an adventure playground for kids that's somewhat reminiscent of a junk yard and lets kids play with and use things they never would in a traditional swing and monkey bars type playground. It's a tremendously interesting idea and one that's also being done at some U.S. locations, like the adventure playground in Berkeley, CA.