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Enki Homeschooling

post #1 of 133
Thread Starter 
Hi there. I've asked about Enki here before but didn't hear much back. I'm trying a year of homeschooling with DS who's 4.5 and has been in waldorf the last two years. I'd like to continue with a waldorf-inspired approach (we meet with a waldorf gorup 1 day a week for eurythmy and circle time/crafts), but not so rigidly. I love what I've seen about Enki but it is so expensive.

Is anyone using the materials, and/or combining them with other curriculum. DS is ready for somethign a bit more structured and I'd like to invest in some good, inspiring materials, but don't have a ton of $.

Another idea a friend and I have is to set up a waldorf/enki charter school or co-op, so I'd love to hear if anyone has tried incorporporating the materials in something similar.
post #2 of 133
I'd be interested in hearing about this, too! (Sorry I couldn't offer any info., though, Muse. : )
post #3 of 133
Hi. I am looking into using Enki as well. We will start homeschooling my oldest (5 1/2) this fall for Kindergarten. I was originally looking at more purely Waldorf stuff, but it didn't seem to be a total fit for me. Enki seems more balanced and up to date, so to speak. I love how it seems to blend so many educational concepts (waldorf, montessori, and others) and doesn't hang onto stagnant dogma (which doesn't allow for growth and evolution of ideas) like some waldorf curriculums seem to. I also am attracted to its more multi-cultural approach instead of relaying solely on Christian Saints and Grimm's fairy tales.

One thing I've heard about the cost is that it is actually a bargain for the amount of material you get and the time it saves you. You don't have to spend hours looking up folk tales from the library, buying other books, or finding craft activities, it is all included in the package. There is actually more content than you could ever use in their resource libraries because they want you to be able to pick the stories/songs/activities that speak to you and your child.

I don't have a lot of money to spend either. I've already spent so much on waldorf stuff. I think I'm going to purchase the teaching guides and then go from there. I've emailed with the owners and they told me that the first grade package should be done soon and second grade not too long after that (for anyone wondering about when the grade packages will be completed).

I'd love to hear experience from those that have actually worked/are working with the enki materials!
post #4 of 133
Thread Starter 
Hi there wisdomkeeper, yes I like a lot of the same stuff about enki as you.

I'm trying to find my way in this homeschooling thing right now and at this point am wanting something that can incorporate basic buddhist principles/practices (yoga, mindfulness, compassion, etc), and enki seems to have the space for that. And yes yes on the multiculturalism. Well, I'll wait till closer to sept but may end up splashing on the teaching guides, but I'd really like to hear more firsthand experience...

What did you end up buying in terms of waldorf stuff?
post #5 of 133
What I've bought so far:

Golden Beetle Books/Spiritual Syllabus by Alan Whitehead: "Touch the Earth Gently" and "A Steiner Homeschool?" I really like these, although they are more inspirational than here's exactly what to do type books. They are kind of ecclectic and cosmic, but I do really like them. He believes (as I do) that Steiner's ideals should be alive and creatively growing/evolving rather than just copying the original curriculum used in that first school in Germany (like so many Waldorf schools and curriculums do). Alan is Christian, I believe, but his writing comes across just very spiritual and esoteric.

Golden Beetle Books for under-7s: There are 4 of these, one for each season. Each contains a simple story and suggestions for activities along with a few songs. These were written by Alan's wife, Susan. I haven't worked much with these yet, but they look very good.

Christopherus Homeschool Resources: "Kindergarten with Your 3-6 Year Old", "Waldorf Curriculum Overview", and "Drawing with your 4-11 year old". These are very practical and insightful guides that tell you exactly how to go about doing Waldorf in the home. The K guide and the curriculum overview are overflowing with lists of books and other resources to use. There is an ever so slight current of Christianity through it though. I also found that the traditional waldorf curriculum which uses the Christian saints, stories from the Old Testament, and Grimm's fairy tales not exactly what I was wanting to focus on. I was a little disappointed with the drawing guide as most of it seemed to focus on first graders and on up, and most of what was said about 4-6 year olds was already covered in the Kindergarten guide. But I'm sure I'll get more use out of that guide as my kids get older.

EDIT: Update on Christopherus stuff. I've been working with the Kindergarten guide more and while it does have a slightly Christian tone throughout it, I've been able to adapt *most* of the content for useage by our pagan family. Just wanted to add that for any non-Christians considering using Christopherus. Even though it isn't a perfect fit for my family, her stuff is so full of ways to make it your own and so full of wisdom and practicality, that I would recommend Christopherus to non-Christians.

I've also purchased lots of supplementary books like Circle Round (a seasonal activity book with songs which I HIGHLY recommend), Toymaking with Children (also highly recommend), Storytelling with Children (haven't read this one yet), and many used fairy tale, folk story, and fingerplay books.

So at this point I'm not sure I NEED the enki resources, but most of the stories that I've purchased were from the Christopherus recommendations, and I'm wondering what other wonderful stories might be found in the Enki stuff that I'd be missing out on. (For example more Native American stuff which my children really seem to show an interest in). I know that I want to do Enki come first grade, just not sure how much I want to spend on Enki stuff for this year. Of course knowing that I want to do Enki for first makes me think, I should just start with it from the beginning now that I know it is what I want. LOL Just thinking out loud here. :-)
post #6 of 133
Should we move this thread to the "learning at home" section?
post #7 of 133
Rather than spend more money on curriculum when you already have so much great stuff, why not make a list of the additional cultures/streams you'd like to add to your "program." Then head for your local library. Most of the folktales are in one section, so they are easy to browse, plus you can use the catalog to search under the country or culture. If the library resources fall short, talk to the librarian. Usually, if a library doesn't have what you want, they'll do inter-library loan. I do a lot of inter-library loans, many for home-schooling families. Librarians are also knowledgeable, to some extent, about the age-appropriateness of certain stories.

You could order the Enki next year

Deborah
post #8 of 133
Deborah, hi. Yes that is the way I'm leaning, but the Enki packages are kind of complicated and if you don't start with Kindergarten, you still need to buy some of it for use with first, so I kind of go back and forth between splurging for it all now. But I think I will probably just get the Enki teaching guides, and leave it at that until first grade.
post #9 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisdomkeeper
Should we move this thread to the "learning at home" section?
oh yeah, that makes sense..how do we do that, mods?
post #10 of 133
Thread Starter 
Chris, too bad you're not in northern CA and we could trade resources! Sounds like we are heading in similar directions
post #11 of 133
Is Enki only done at home? I think I have heard of some center based Enki. Is it connected in some way to Waldorf, or is it "it's own thing"? I'm happy to move this thread out of Waldorf and into either our "Other" category (Sudbury, REggio Emilio, etc.) or Learning at Home, if someone can clarify where it should best land!
post #12 of 133
Lauren,
I think they tried to start a few Enki schools, but I'm not sure any of them are still running due to funding? Not sure about that. I think they are planning on (or already do) providing teaching training/education as well.

From my understanding, Enki is different from Waldorf, but similar. Enki contains "the multicultural focus of the United Nations International School, the integrated arts approach of Waldorf Inspired Programs, the skill building techniques of traditional Western education, and the independent project learning of theme studies programs".(quoted from their website)

Here is a link that describes Enki's relationship to Waldorf and to Montessori:

http://www.enkieducation.org/html/waldorf-education.htm


I think this particular thread would be more appropriate under the Learning at Home category since most of the conversation has been about the homeschooling curriculum.
post #13 of 133
Moving to Learning at Home....
post #14 of 133
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post #15 of 133
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post #16 of 133
Ooooooh, looks interesting . . . more thoughts from those who've tried it?
post #17 of 133
I have some Enki materials. -The Teaching Guides, Folk & Fairytales, Nature Stories, and I think that's it.

I was planning to use it beginning in kindy-this past year-but they had some internal as well as personal issues with getting all the curriculum out on time, so September came and I had nothing from them (and was a bit freaked out). Now I have most of the kindy materials, but I'm sort of into my backup plan (Waldorf inspired). I used Christopherus' Kindergarten with your 3-6 year old, and various other Waldorf type resources (Earthways, All Year Round, The Children's Year, 7 Times the Sun, many as others) as well as Circle Round.

That said, I love everything about Enki. I love the multicultural aspects, I love the mindfulness/meditation aspects--(as a Buddhist who wants to raise my kids with that spiritual grounding). I love how Beth addresses teacher-- prep-burnout-and sustaining yourself. There are many more things that are great about it.

It is very pricy, but I think you do use the same materials again and again--so if you stay with Enki I think it's not so expensive in the long run. Also she has organized all the materials and stories--there are more than enough resources (stories/crafts) for each year so you don't have to spend that time going to the library or looking things up. And everything that is included is "just right" if you know what I mean--it's coming from the right place (holistic and head-heart-hands).

Currently I use my materials as a reference for me (Teaching Guides), and as a place to find supplemental material (stories/crafts that are not specifically Saint/Christian related <<like we don't do Michalmas or Advent or so many other Christian holidays celebrated within a W.curriculum>>)

Since I was unable to receive the entire K.package when I planned to I'm not exactly sure how much concrete direction is provided. The Teaching guides delve deeply into rhythm--and it is so wonderful, but I think one really is encouraged to tailor the curriculum to one's specific familial rhythm. So I think you do need to do a bit of work/preparation in planning out your day/week/month/year.

I'm honestly not sure what I'll do in the coming year. I don't know anyone irl who uses it. My experience that it's odd enough being a homeschooler. Let alone someone who believes much of the developmental structure of Waldorf and the other crunchy things generally associated with Waldorf (no tv, natural materials, etc). I may end up being more Waldorfy just because then my kids have (a few) peers doing similar stuff, and because I would know a few moms irl also using Waldorf inspired curriculums.
Enki does do a monthly conference call, but for me (and my young ones) that just doesn't work. I get so much from the several Waldorf homeschooling lists that I'm on, that I'm feeling pulled toward the Christopherus First Grade curriculum because of the structure and the support.
I wish that Enki had some sort of online presence--like a lovely vBulletin message board or even a yahoo group--I would feel more confident taking the plunge and switching totally over. But it's not in the cards in the near future.
post #18 of 133
Hi Melamama, thanks for sharing all that! I'm seriously looking into using Enki; will probably order the teaching guides this week and then go for the rest of the K stuff in the following months if the guides speak to me.

It will be nice to have the resources all put together in one place and to know that what ever I choose to use, it isn't going to have an inappropriate reference to "the Lord God" or "Christmas" or something like that. (I mean inappropriate only in terms of my family, btw).

Why isn't there a yahoo group or something for people using it? Is it just too new, because of all the material printing issues, and no one has been working with complete packages yet for a school year?

Enki just seems to be the best fit for us, and I really want to find more people that use or plan to start using it to begin an online support group with.
post #19 of 133
I am currently researching Enki, and I just love it. It seems like a perfect match for me and my family. I don't have anything to add, other than that I wanted to be in on this discussion.
post #20 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisdomkeeper
Why isn't there a yahoo group or something for people using it? Is it just too new, because of all the material printing issues, and no one has been working with complete packages yet for a school year?
There was an Enki yahoo group, but from what I understand it became too difficult for them to moderate. I suspect because they are careful of how things within Enki are interpreted--and there were misunderstandings.

It's difficult for me to grasp how many people are using/have used Enki for homeschooling. They did exist before these recent printing issues---the materials were in ginormous binders. Like I wonder, are there a hundred people using it? Hundreds?

I wanted to add that in the last few days I'm feeling "won over" by Enki. I've been looking at the table(s) of contents for the materials, and I think that there is the concrete structure that I'm looking for, and that all the books will be available.
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