We've been using Enki since kindergarten and just now my oldest is in 4th grade. I can't imagine doing anything else at this point, even though I'm creating many of the materials along with other parents that we are using in 4th grade. Having seen the depth of connection that our work has engendered in both my boys, how could I give that up even if it takes me some work.
I'm currently using Enki kindergarten with my younger son and I'm continually surprised to hear that folks find it difficult to use. Each week, I choose a story (either a folktale, early fairytale or nature story) to use that week. I also choose a craft or two for that week (normally something repetitive such as beeswax modeling from the story and finger crochet). Each month, I put together a short circle that meets my child's interests and needs. That said, in the summer prior to starting kindergarten, I pre-read all of the stories so that I can sift through them quickly and find one that strikes me as a possible fit. That's really all there is to it for me.
When you get to first grade, it requires more organizing in that you don't use a story for a whole week, but there are sample schedules available in packages now that you can follow if that's what works best for you. Third grade is currently being used by a group of families to provide feedback on the final version, so that should easily be ready for when you need it. And a team of parents and Beth Sutton are working on developing the complete materials for the older grades, but they take an incredible amount of work. The recent draft of the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois cultural unit is 136 pages and includes an overarching story (into which you add some traditional stories), discussions on the culture (for teacher background) as well as crafts.
So, why is Enki so amazing? I will trying to articulate the crucial elements of Enki that make it stand out in my experience. One is the emphasis on the parent's journey--the acceptance of failure as part of our learning process, the development of our capacity to listen to our own intuition. Two is that at its heart it is guided by an awareness of the child's deep integration. While it is based on a strong philosophy of child development, it's not imprisoned by that. The child is always there. Three is that it does not hold anthroposophy at its root like Waldorf approaches, which puts forth a hierarchical view of cultures (working up toward the birth of Jesus Christ) but a belief that every person and culture has access to wisdom (I think that Beth states it as wisdom is the human birthright). Thus, when we explore a culture, we connect deeply with that culture in its own right, rather than as a stepping stone to Jesus's birth. And that deep connection in the grades 3 and up comes from a 11-13 week immersion in the culture (from which I pull out our math and science topic, largely within that cultural context (unless that's not meeting the child)). We are just starting an 11 week cultural unit on Ancient Egypt and it's going to be a marvelous ride.
I could go on and on about Enki, but I think I've said enough. Good luck with your decision. I'm sure that there are folks in OR that would let you take a gander at their materials
Angie in Maine
Finn, 9 and Theo 5