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Enki Homeschooling - Page 4

post #61 of 133
Just joining in. I have been considering Oak Meadows, as I am very intrigued by the Waldorf approach. Like a few of you have mentioned, I am apprehensive of the Christian content as we are also Buddhist. I have browsed through the Enki site and think it sounds great. I just want to hear a few more experiences to figure out what we are going to do next
post #62 of 133
Originally Posted by mamaMAMAma
I'm still trying to put my finger on how enki is different from waldorf on a day to day, practical level. I read the page on enkieducation's website describing their differences. But aside from the multi-cultural aspects, how is it different? I mean do they do wet on wet painting? do they do baking days? Drawing days?? We've been involved with waldorf since dd#1 was 1 (went to a mom and tot class, then waldorf-inspired preschool and waldorf kinder). I love most things about waldorf and I was going to augment with stories from other cultures when we homeschool (making enki very attractive).

sorry for not being too coherent. I have a really sore back and neck. I need to see my chiro first thing tomorrow morning)
There are probably other moms than me that could answer this better, since I haven't even read all the guides yet, but here is my understanding of it:

Enki incorporates three different methods of instruction. Group led by teacher (like Waldorf), individual led (like Montessori), and group projects where the work is more peer based (forget what this third one is called). All grade levels of Enki use these three forms of instruction throughout their days, but in the younger grades I think there is a lot more of the Waldorf type instruction. So in the early grades there probably isn't that much difference on a practical, here is what they do every day, level compared to a Waldorf school. I'm guessing many of the elements Enki does are the same, but at times, especially in the upper grades, the methods used to teach those elements (and the philosophy behind those methods) are different from Waldorf. I guess what I'm trying to say is WHAT Enki is teaching isn't always different than Waldorf, but HOW they teach it is sometimes different.

I think a lot of the main differences are in the philosophy and the focus of the curriculum. Enki doesn't follow the traditional Waldorf curriculum, but is a more inspired approach. The crux of Waldorf curriculum seems to work from a base of Christianity (in my opinion). Waldorf curriculum IS multi-cultural but within a structure of Christian content in the early years. Not saying that non-Christians can't use Waldorf, just that some tailoring is needed if one wishes to give the child a firm base in a spirituality other than Christian. Enki is multi-cultural at its base, weaving in elements from all cultures, but not focusing on just one so heavily in the early years like Waldorf (again, just my opinion). So for me, I see Enki as a Waldorf inspired education that has already been tailored to embrace a wider scope of spiritual beliefs.

I also believe that Enki is more than just waldorf inspired; it goes beyond that. I see Enki as drawing on the wisdom and truth of several different movements in education (Waldorf, Montessori, etc) and bringing those elements together in a truly holistic, well balanced manner.

Okay, I know none of that really answers your core question about how they differ on a day to day basis. Hopefully some of the moms that have been using the material already can comment.

And of course, all of the above are just my humble opinions and interpretation of things. Perhaps it would be helpful to email Beth, the owner of Enki, or do a pre-order consultation with her to truly clarify the differences and similarities?

EDIT: oh and silly me, forgot to say that, yes, Enki does do watercolor painting, drawing, baking, etc

Also they have a nice video, 30 minutes in length, that is a nice intro into what Enki is all about and shows tons of footage from inside an Enki school. It comes free with the grade level packages, but can also be purchased by itself, or along with articles on Enki. I think the cost for the video alone is $25.
post #63 of 133
Here is an interesting article about what Enki is that I found on the Waldorf Homeschoolers website:

What is the Enki perspective or ethic that we are working with? There are two major aspects which manifest slightly differently in different types of materials. First of all, underlying all else is the belief that all human beings, by birthright, have within them an unconditional vitality, wisdom and compassion. We could call this a fundamental innocence. While it may be more or less challenged and obscured in the course of each life, it is our birthright, neither earned nor lost and always there for the uncovering. Along with the content and language of the stories, we bring this experience forth by offering stories from all over the world.

Second, connecting with this birthright or natural innocence requires the integration of body, heart, and mind which, in turn, depends on meeting the child where he is and mirroring back to him the value of his inner longings and issues. These inner issues and longings result from a developmental sequence that has not only been seen by professional child observers and teachers, but is readily visible to all. From the Enki perspective, ONLY THOSE STORIES AND ACTIVITIES WHICH MIRROR THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE OF THE CHILD CAN BRING ABOUT AN INTEGRATION OF BODY, HEART, AND MIND, and in turn, connect him with his natural gifts. Therefore, however "true" or wonderful a story may be, for us it is only a "true tale" if it is in harmony with the child's development and thus brings integration. No story is a "true tale" in and of itself.

We have found stories for the kindergartner which address both these issues are not easy to find. We have researched hundreds of books covering thousands of stories, and have long pondered the reason for this. It will take the perspective of time and an in depth anthropological study to really understand, but it is our hypothesis that the difficulty in finding appropriate material for the kindergartner stems from the changing world we live in. 4 and 5 year olds today face very different challenges than they did generations ago. They are being pushed much too fast and are not fully developing the ground they need to grow with confidence. Today¹s kindergartner lives, either personally or by way of peers, in a world of broken homes and fractured communities. He is bombarded with information and mature imagery on a daily basis. TV presents a series of role models who are praised for their ability to outsmart or put down others. We wind up with an explosion of ADD, cynicism, and withdrawn, anti-social behaviors. For this reason, we feel many of the traditional tales that once gave the child an excellent balance of independence and security, are no longer appropriate. Today he needs challenge within security in a way he has not in the past.

Kindergartners need to know that home is dependable. This knowledge must be in place for them to safely and successfully journey out from home and grow and change. Therefore, all the kindergarten stories involve facing a challenge and returning home, unchanged and safe. In some of our stories this process is straightforward; in others it comes forth as delight in the natural cycles that make up our ecosystem.

Part of the kindergartners' safety is in knowing that life is dependable and has an order that they can take hold of and work with. This is met in our materials through simplicity and repetition. Repetition happens first in the unfolding of the story. Each story has within it a basic three-fold cycle so the child knows what to expect and can anticipate outcomes. As well, each story has a repeating verse that captures some central aspect of the story. Together these allow the child to feel he is master of the story world. Our experience has shown that, while children have always needed repetition, in today¹s busy and chaotic world, the element of simple repetition has proven even more important. For this reason some of our stories have been made even more simple and repetitive than the original versions.

Third, the kindergartner, like the younger child, finds his health in the wholeness of the world, and not in his individuality. Individuality requires a standing back and separating, a self-consciousness. While the kindergartner has begun to exercise this muscle, at this juncture he needs reassurance that he can just melt into the world and find its natural harmony and nourishment. Therefore, all the stories create a world which the child is free to enter and take from, but none of them have an interactive or reflective aspect. In telling the stories, we create a world and each child is free to take it in as fits his needs.

All our stories, verses, and projects are chosen and adapted, or written, to address all of these issues and thus nourish the kindergartner of today.
post #64 of 133
Hey Guys!
Wow, I went out of town for a few days, and this thread exploded! How exciting!!! On a few notes...

This past year I was using Enki philosophy in my home with my second and kindy boys. Since not many materials were yet available directly from Enki I did use other resources, however they were stemming from the websites outline of subject sequences. I still do this as we are heading into third and first grade. I am THRILLED to have the first grade instruction manual coming soon so that I can learn even more about day to day nuts and bolts and compare it to what I have been doing on my own for the past year. KimberMama has the old grade one instruction manual and is rocking through some great stuff out in Southern CA. Her blog is great for reading more about how the day unfolds using Enki. www.holistichomeschooling.blogspot.com

As for the differences between Enki and Waldorf, I will write more on my blog because I get that question from time to time, but one large difference is the integration of some western education practices such as independent work time or skill practice time in the later grades. Also the whole movement program is completely different, moving away from a spiritual feel into a scientific sensory integration, Edu-K concept where particular portions of the brain are stimulated to assist in processing. It is as though (for me) Beth took all the wonder and beauty of Waldorf, and brought it into modern day life, she also incorporated so much of the incredible concepts which have developed post-Steiner, and broadened the cultural/religious portions to further nurture understanding, rather than just peeking through a window into a culture or a religion, you actually learn from experience. I love that!!!
I obviously love Enki and I think it is one of the most well done programs out there. I am amazed by the thought and richness of each area.

A good example is of the new Grade one Math program, I havent gotten mine yet, I believe they ship later in the month, but if you look at the website, you see that you get two binders of lessons and stories, plus a cd of worksheets (not very waldorfy). All for $70.00 this is less than a Saxon program and I can bet you (in my opinion) far more enriching.

Anyhow, Im not trying to convince anyone to buy it if it isnt their thing. I can only say that for me, even with kids beyond the age of available resources, it is an incredible program that has touched every part of our lives. This isnt something we enter into for two hours a day, it is a world we now live in and it has become a full part of our homelife. For me that is what a homeschool program should be, something that inspires the entire home, because we dont have (nor want) bells that tell us it is now time for learning, we want our entire world to nurture this in our lives and in our children's lives. Instead of trying to adapt a school based program into the home, it is based from the home and bringing learning into all of our lives in a way that feels like an extention of our home, rather than the other way around. For me, this is what Enki has done. I am still striving to get where I want to be with it, but I am so happy to have the work in front of me because when I read the pages I am inspired to grow in that direction.
post #65 of 133
post #66 of 133
thanks, i appreciate the feedback. I am leaning towards enki, but love the feedback from the mamas! I will look into the thread you posted, thanks
post #67 of 133
I posted my plan for third grade using the Enki Curriculum Overview on my blog and would love some ideas or feedback from those who are familiar with Enki.

Thanks!!! www.blissfulbee.blogspot.com
post #68 of 133
Thread Starter 
Wow, I wish I was at the 3rd grade already, it sounds like a lot of fun. Can you tell us more about the Roots & Shoots group you're part of? Is that generally for older children?
post #69 of 133
http://www.rootsandshoots.org/ It is a group started by Dr Goodall to help promote a sense of ability and empowerment in children and adults. It is for all ages. We have kids in our group who are 3 and younger and as old as 9. Although I have seen them in College level ages too.

We like it because it is not a badge motivated organization. It is educational and it serves the community in a way that is easy and doable for the kids.
post #70 of 133
Wanting to know more : Very interested........Thanks for all the links and blogs!
post #71 of 133
Enki looks great. I too am attracted to Waldorf but prefer not to be too involved in the Anthroposophy end of it. I also like some aspects of Montessori, so maybe Enki is the answer. Also, we are not particularly Christian which would (as it sounds) make the Waldorf curriculum not quite a right fit for my family.

I think it would be awesome to have a yahoo group for Enki support, but it seems like this thread might evolve into a support group once we all get our materials!
post #72 of 133
Thread Starter 
Welcome earthhugmama, and what beautiful photos in your sig link!

We just got part one of our kindergarten package and I am blown away. The introductory DVD is beautiful and very inspiring. Makes me wish we had an enki school right here. And the teachers guides are incredible. I have a lot to chew on all summer, but all in all I'm very excited about this journey and am glad to have found some fellow travellers
post #73 of 133
post #74 of 133
We got our Kinder package in November and plan on starting in earnest the week after this (once dh goes back to work). I'm very excited! We have done a couple stories so far to get our feet wet and ds#1 (5 1/2) has responded so well - in other words, he loves them! They (well, my 5 1/2 and my 3yo ds's) love wet-on-wet painting too. (I have 3 boys so the curriculum will be well used. )
post #75 of 133
I finally finished reading through the whole thread! It's a good one BTW. I'm a little confused though. I see different takes on Enki and Waldorf depending what thread I'm on. We are Christian (LDS). I was thinking Waldorf wouldn't go well w/our family b/c although there may be some Christian beliefs there, I don't think I'd agree w/all of it (from what I've read). Does Enki "teach" any religious style? I saw one mom post there were songs for Christians, which personally those songs would be great for us. I guess I'm just trying to get a feel of how these programs would work in our home w/our beliefs. Can any of you shed some light on that for me?
post #76 of 133
I also ended up purchasing the kinder package and I am so pleased and glad I finally jumped in despite the cost. I thought for tewo years before buying. I wished I'd bought it earlier. The Guides would have been so helpful earlier.

While Enki is NOT Waldorf, that is the direction I came to Enki from and having read through the Enki Guides I so much more get why Waldorf and Enki do so many of the things they both do now.

In September someone set up with Enki to coordinate a yahoo group for folks thinking about purchasing. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EnkiExperience/
post #77 of 133
Hi all! I have read through this whole thread (very interesting!) because I am considering homeschooling and feel Enki would be the right fit for us. I am wondering if any of you know to what age/grade the Enki materials go up to? thanks!
post #78 of 133
post #79 of 133
I got the foundation guides in the fall and am just getting around to reading them - I'm taking my time because dd1 is only just turning 3. Anyway, I'm loving them, and I can definitely see this would be a great fit for our family. I want to get the early childhood guide in the next couple months.
I love how she acknowledges that in a traditional type of society many things would just be a given as far as experiences and stuff but because we're so isolated we have to make a bit of an effort. I also appreciate the focus on teacher health and sanity . . . I started the mindfulness meditation a couple nights ago and I think it's already helping.
I like the focus on rhythms (that's what made me decide to get the guides in the first place), because I'm in a very scattered place right now and *I* need to structure things better for my own sanity, let alone to provide an environment conducive to learning with my kids.
I still hold a mostly unschooling view with respect to learning, but Enki seems to mesh with that pretty well, actually. And I'm also "waldorfy" as far as rising consciousness, avoidance of synthetics, etc, so this goes well with that too.
Overall, I'm really happy with it so far, and very excited to implement the rhythms as soon as I figure them out and the curriculum when dd's a bit older.
post #80 of 133
Originally Posted by cgmom View Post
Hi all! I have read through this whole thread (very interesting!) because I am considering homeschooling and feel Enki would be the right fit for us. I am wondering if any of you know to what age/grade the Enki materials go up to? thanks!
As of right now, you can purchase up through 2nd grade. I believe 3rd grade is in process of getting ready to publish (I read something that said "this summer" and it seemed like that meant '07). I also thought it (what I read) implied that future grades are also being developed, but someone with a bit more in the know might know more than I.
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