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Enki vs. Oak Meadow?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Having not seen either of these curriculum (curricula?) in person, I am sort of at a loss.  Especially going by their websites, which are, of course, designed to sell their product. So, they both seem like they are a great product.

 

I would love to hear from folks who have used either of these about what they liked and didn't like.  We are just heading into K this fall, but I am really interested in both of these options.

 

post #2 of 22

Well, they are quite different in that I would have to say that Enki requires much more prep work by the teacher and is also more holistic. There is a lot of focus on household routine, rhythm, teacher self-care including meditation and exercise. You do not get a curriculum of unit studies, you get a huge amount of movement activities, music, stories, and crafts but it is up to you to put it together. The amount of info is absolutely overwhelming and I have had to read and reread and reread, and every time I do I pick up something new. I haven't even started using the curriculum yet, just letting it sink in and developing a rhythm to our days. It is incredibly dynamic and nourishing and takes into account every.single.thing I have wanted to research so in that aspect I love it.

Oak Meadow is much more straight forward but I don't feel that it has the same depth as Enki. Enki doesn't introduce the alphabet or math activities at the K level. I feel strongly about delaying academics, so I prefer that. But if you need an off the shelf curriculum than Oak Meadow may be more suited.

They are really two totally different beasts despite the fact that they are both Waldorf-inspired. I think if have interest in Enki then the Foundation Guides are worth their price and will hold useful information even if you don't use Enki curriculum.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

This is what I needed to know - because by looking at their websites, and not having and friends who have used either of these - you really can't much tell.  LOL

 

When does Enki introduce academics?

 

Your daughter is just a bit younger than mine.  Have you been using it for a preschool type of thing or just trying to get the feel of it in prep for the fall?

 

post #4 of 22

Enki is a treasure trove of information! But it doesn't tell you what to do when... there is no given schedule or guideline. For me inspiration and ideas are GREAT but i need someone to give me a day by day outline. From there I can add or remove things or tweak things where needed but if i don't have a outline in my hand I'm lost. 

 

If i could only buy one I would buy oak meadows (using OM K now)

post #5 of 22

oh and as per more traditional waldorf methods they don't introduce 'formal' topics like letters / numbers until first grade

post #6 of 22

I absolutely agree with the previous posters.  I have owned both Enki kindy/first and OM kindy and first.  Enki is truly beautiful, and truly a TON of work for the parent.  OM is less beautiful (for lack of a better term in the very short time i have), but FAR less teacher intensive.  We are just starting to use OM Kindy, and I really like it so far.  It is far from a true Waldorf curriculum, especially in that it does introduce letters and numbers in Kindy, but it is going to work for us.

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 22

hi, forgive me for asking an OT question but what is enki? we are using OM and love it so far. I even googled enki and can't find a thing. thanks, elizabeth

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

http://www.enkieducation.org/

 

 

This is all great information.  I wish there was a way to get my hands on both and look at them before starting.  Work I don't mind, but I would like to see what would be needed.  Sadly, no one I know has them.

 

This is hard stuff.

post #9 of 22

Did you join the EnkiExperience yahoo group? They have a database of people who will Show & Tell their curriculum.

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

I did not, but will go do that right now!  That would be great!

 

post #11 of 22

As others have said, Enki is a boatload of information.  Lots of great great material--but it can be overwhelming for some.  It easily gives you enough for two years.  I was a member of the Enki Yahoo group and one of the members emailed me a list of basically resources I could use to put together my own Enki curriculum.  I can check and see if I still have that.

 

Oak Meadow is more structured.  They introduce letters, but honestly, all of my kids have known their letters by Kindy age anyways. Just be existing rather than any sort of academic push by me.

 

One important thing is that you may not resell Enki material.  Oak Meadow does have a very high resell value.  So, if you're looking to sell back curriculum to fund future years, that is important to know.   Also, Enki only goes to second grade I believe.  They've been saying that they'll be adding more grades, but to be honest, they've said that for at least 3 years now.  Oak Meadow goes to 8th grade at least.  So if you want to continue with the same curriculum, that's important to know.  I'd ask on the Enki Group where parents tend to go post-Enki.

 

At one time, you could preview the Enki materials on .pdf.  Not sure if they still do that or not, but it's something to consider.  You could also buy the foundation guides and then put that cost towards the "full" curriculum.  I do think that reading the guides...and learning the philosophy behind Enki.. might tell you if it's a good fit.

 

I'd also look at Live Education as well as Christopherus.  There is no schedule with the Christopherus Kindy book, but she does give you a lot of ideas.  Oh, and Little Acorn is nice as well.  She does very nice monthly guides (so not a big investment).  My only criticism was that when I lived in Florida, a lot of the Fall/Winter ideas really didn't work for us. :)

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post

As others have said, Enki is a boatload of information.  Lots of great great material--but it can be overwhelming for some.  It easily gives you enough for two years.  I was a member of the Enki Yahoo group and one of the members emailed me a list of basically resources I could use to put together my own Enki curriculum.  I can check and see if I still have that.

 

 

 

That would be great! 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Oak Meadow is more structured.  They introduce letters, but honestly, all of my kids have known their letters by Kindy age anyways. Just be existing rather than any sort of academic push by me.

 

Yeah, she knows all her letters, and it isn't like I have done anything other than answer her questions and be around her.

 

 

 

Quote:
One important thing is that you may not resell Enki material.  Oak Meadow does have a very high resell value.  So, if you're looking to sell back curriculum to fund future years, that is important to know.   Also, Enki only goes to second grade I believe.  They've been saying that they'll be adding more grades, but to be honest, they've said that for at least 3 years now.  Oak Meadow goes to 8th grade at least.  So if you want to continue with the same curriculum, that's important to know.  I'd ask on the Enki Group where parents tend to go post-Enki.

 

I did see that you couldn't resell.  Enki only goes to second huh? I thought they went further.  I am looking for some continuity if it is something that works.  For the folks here who have used Enki - what did you do post second grade?

 

 

 

Quote:

At one time, you could preview the Enki materials on .pdf.  Not sure if they still do that or not, but it's something to consider.  You could also buy the foundation guides and then put that cost towards the "full" curriculum.  I do think that reading the guides...and learning the philosophy behind Enki.. might tell you if it's a good fit.

 

 

I poked around, but I didn't see it. I will double check....

 

 

 

Quote:
I'd also look at Live Education as well as Christopherus.  There is no schedule with the Christopherus Kindy book, but she does give you a lot of ideas.  Oh, and Little Acorn is nice as well.  She does very nice monthly guides (so not a big investment).  My only criticism was that when I lived in Florida, a lot of the Fall/Winter ideas really didn't work for us. :)
 

I will check them out again.  I can't remember why I initially said no to those....

 

And nice to "see" you by the way! :D  

post #13 of 22

Hi, I've been gearing up to start homeschooling my son in the next few months or so, and I chose Enki.  I never got to see the actual curriculum for OM or Enki.  After reading the Foundation Guides, the Enki philosophy just connected really well.  I took the plunge and purchased the K curriculum and haven't been disappointed.  Yup, its a lot of materials.  But that is also why I purchased it many months before needing to use it.  This way, I can take the Enki materials and apply them to my own family and its needs.  I'm planning to carve out about two hours a week and take that time to prepare each week for homeschooling - basically getting myself ready to lead DS along.  I also tend to really like to understand what I'm doing - all the way down to the fundamentals - and Enki fills that need, so the material volume is actually a plus for me.

 

Honestly, even if another curriculum is chosen, I'd highly recommend purchasing the Foundation Guides.  I found them very useful in just informing my everyday relations with the kids.

 

There is a group of Enki users who have children past the second grade.  They have their own grade-appropriate yahoo group to support one another and I believe that they are using a rough curriculum where parts of the curriculum have been developed, but not all the way.  So, I expect that continuing on with Enki should be fine for the third and fourth grades, as the parent is able to more easily put together their own curriculum and there is a group of other similarly situated parents... after that... hmmm.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

I have spent all morning reading and poking around the websites.  So much information.  I did find the Enki sample pages.  I really like what I was seeing. And I really like the feel overall.  

 

I think my biggest concern right now is my ability to put together lesson plans, and that is one of the reasons I was drawn to OM at first, because they had weekly lesson plans.  With Enky it feels like a big grab bag and I would have to figure out what went where, and I am not sure I am good at that. LOL

 

I do like OM, but I am concerned about how strict the Waldorf inspiration is.  Well, I am concerned about both of them in that regard, but Enki seems to be a lot more child led in that regard. I love a lot of the Waldorf ideas, but the dogmatic nature of some of it leaves me cold. For example, in one of the sample pages on OM, they discussed going on a nature walk and seeing how the leaves are different on different trees.  Cool.  But then they say is it not desirable to tell the children the names of the trees at this point because they won't get it? DD would ask, and she would remember.  I know I can dump anything that doesn't fit from anything, but I want something I won't have to dump most of if I don't agree with it/it doesn't fit.

 

I really like the multicultural approach of Enki.  That pleases me.

 

So, I guess I have a lot of questions about Enki and how to plan lessons and what people do after grade 2.  

 

post #15 of 22

Hi Adina:

 

I'm sorry, I can't find that email--but who knows, the person who sent it to me may be lurking around on the Enki Yahoo Group still. :)

 

You might want to join and ask if anybody has any lesson plans that they've put together that they're willing to share.  I seem to remember reading somewhere that now the Enki folks give you a bit more guidance then they did a few years back.  I know that a lot of Moms have come up with their own lesson plans for Sonlight, so perhaps there are some enterprising Enki Moms too. :)

post #16 of 22

Hi Adina

 

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

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much!  That is great to know.  Sample schedules, even just one would make it all much easier - some idea of what is intended to happen each week would be perfect. LOL  

 

How do you feel the introduction of reading and writing went with Enki?  My kiddo loves books, and knows her letters and numbers and can read quite a few words.  She still sounds everything out, but this has been unprompted by me.  I have mixed feelings about leaving reading behind for a year if she is interested in it, but I also don't feel the need to push it, as I would rather have her love reading, than have it be a constant push.   I guess I am asking if there is room for including any work on that in K if she wants to?  

 

I like that it doesn't hold to anthroposophy, I am afraid I am not on that particular boat. lol.gif  

 

Thank you very much for your input. :)

 

 

post #18 of 22

Hi Adina

 

In Enki, there's an important distinction between child-driven learning and parent-directed learning. Child-driven learning happens when it happens; they discover connections and learn about the world. Enki talks about this as similar to John Holt's "messing about." We don't try to stop this from happening in kindergarten, but we also do not need to codify it for them (firm it up). Especially in kindergarten we want a long period of discovery and exploration by the child because we want to keep a focus on what Enki calls open intake. I imagine that this helps improve flexibility in their thinking, but also they can own the process. Often with my oldest this happens automatically, just prior to this grade he has been messing about with fractions, which magically is the primary new math topic for fourth grade. When I bring this new math to him from a parent-directed position, he owns so much of it already. There are some folks that include some of that first grade letter recognition in kindergarten b/c their child seems to need that extra contraction.

 

Some kids learn to read by themselves before they are "taught." Some play around a lot with computation. Some just play. With Enki, kindergarten is not about the mastery of any materials, but rather the child's integration, so it's kind of a different way to think about things. But once you start to put your awareness there you can really notice a lot.

 

For kindergarten, there is a sample daily and weekly rhythm into which you would put the story that you select for the week and whatever projects that your child needs for integration. Do you think that would meet your needs? This is my second time around, so kindy for me seems like no big deal, but I remember that it was a big deal when I started up. For me, it was about creating a rhythm, decoding discipline challenges, and changing our family relationships so that they were healthier. No small potatoes there. I still work on these three things.

 

Take care

Angie

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 

It does sound like what I am looking for, yes.  I like that it is someplace in between actual school work (which would burn her out after a few days) and just play time all the time. (Which would similarly burn her out - she likes some focus)  

 

Lots to think about.  I have to decide if it fits me as a person as well.  I am not the singing/fingerplay kind of gal, so I would have to see how that worked with just me, and my only child.  

post #20 of 22

My kids hated Enki. They hated the fingerplays, they hated the songs, they hated the crafts that made no sense, and they hated the watered-down, non-intellectual stories. I can't compare Enki with OM because I never used OM, but I have to say that my kids really wanted way more than Enki offered in terms of intellectual challenge. My dd told me she didn't like "baby school."

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