Wow - Shocked by Enki Changes - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-17-2014, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just had a consultation with someone regarding Enki as I was considering it for my son. I decided to wait on a decision as the person I spoke with informed me that new changes were coming on May 15th that would make the program more "accessible" to others. .

 

I don't mean to insult anyone who uses Enki. I've read some wonderful things about it and think it can be a beautiful program for some families. However, Enki has added on a $400 leasing cost to their materials that is returned if the materials are returned within 15 months. So, for example, if the program is $625, a parent pays an ADDITIONAL $400 on top of that initially and must return the materials within 15 months to get their $400 back. So the parent is paying $625 for materials that they don't get to keep!!

 

I was nervous about some of the business policies prior to this, but this takes the cake. Wow! I will NOT be going with Enki and am kind of bummed that I can't get my $35 back for the consultation!


Crystal (34) married to LPN DH (38) , mama to (7/07), (1/09), and (7/11) and (12/28)
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:22 PM
 
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Hi swimming-duck,
I am a currently using Enki curriculum, finishing up K with my son and daughter, and will use Grade 1 in the Fall.

The concept of leasing homeschool curriculum is certainly innovative, and I'm feeling excited about Enki's new offering. While not keeping the curriculum initially felt odd, I'm now realizing that I'm okay with not holding onto everything "forever" as I previously thought I would. I really respect Enki's no-resale policy, so I was not expecting money back in my pocket. I own some Christopherous materials, Live Ed K and various other Waldorf resources. I respect the work that has gone into each resource that I own, however, Enki has really taken me to a whole new level in understanding and enjoyment of bringing everything to my children as we complete our third year of homeschooling K, and about 15 months owning Enki. So, back to why I'm excited about the new program:
1) the class offerings are new and I expect will be invaluable, as every interaction I have with Enki leadership, whether a monthly call or personal consultation, has deepened my understanding of whatever I'm seeking to know way beyond my expectations. Recorded classes enable me to view them later if I cannot make the live class.
2) each lease will be a "complete" package, which includes resources from prior grades that the parent/teacher will often desire to reference. So no worries about not having my prior curriculums to reference.
3) there is the option to extend past 15 months by paying a small extension fee, I believe it is $75 for each additional semester. This is important to me because I plan to combine schooling for my son and his younger sister, 28 months apart, so I already know I'll be extending.

These are the top reasons I'm excited. The lease rates are actually lower than purchasing, and the sibling fee for later still keeps it a fantastic value as you will have access to the classes again, and the online community has been very beneficial to me, learning along side and from other's Enki, so again, worth every bit of the lease price of @$40 a month.

It's worth sitting with and revisiting, in my opinion, swimming-duck. Good luck in your decision making!
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:09 PM
 
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I just checked this out, as I've been sort of considering Enki, too.  Let me make sure I have it straight:  You pay the $415 as a "leasing fee" (looking at the kindergarten prices), then a $300 deposit that is returned when you return the materials?  I'm really struggling with that idea, although I do rent a home, so it should make sense :)  It just seems to me to be an awful lot of money for something you don't get to keep.  I suppose, though, that if you're prohibited from resale or handing down materials, that it really comes to the same thing?  I think this is the part of things that I don't fully agree with in the first place, and why I'm struggling with the lease concept.  (It's like them saying, "No, really, you CAN NOT pass this stuff on to other people!") 

 

Well, the price was keeping me away from Enki in the first place, and it's even more so now, so I think we're out of the Enki market, too.  It's a shame, though, because I really felt it would benefit my daughter, even though we weren't really planning to "homeschool" per se. 

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Old 05-18-2014, 06:16 PM
 
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Thinking about this more :)

 

I think they operated on a monthly payment system AND if you could return the materials whenever you chose, it may not rub me the wrong way so much.  So maybe it's more a matter of wording than concept. 

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Old 05-29-2014, 07:32 PM
 
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That seems really ridiculous. They're probably just trying to prevent resale of their materials, but either way, they are really working harder and harder to lose customers.

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Old 05-31-2014, 09:01 PM
 
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I was also considering Enki for the coming year and waited until the new information was released. As soon as I saw the price, I bought the Oak Meadow curriculum and will probably buy a bit of the Christopherus.

It seems like a great idea but it is way too expensive.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried to reply to this a few weeks ago and the stupid computer froze and erased my reply. So I'll try again here.

Kittywitty- I could not agree with you more. This new approach seems to completely disregard the financial needs of many homeschooling families. How many of us have chosen to give up one income in order to stay home and school our children? Enki was expensive to begin with, but those of us who have multiple children to school could've possibly justified the cost if the materials were reused for younger siblings. Enki has now taken that option away. It's ridiculous!

I have been wondering about Enki's financial stability ever since this change. It's known that Enki had a couple of actual schools that went under for financial reasons and this change made me think that Enki is trying to recoup prior losses. It's the only explanation that I could think of as to why they would do this. Well, lo and behold, I was right. I saw on the Enki facebook page yesterday that they're closing as of July 10th unless they receive a ton of financial support from people. Um...hello...pretty sure people who buy your curriculum are not going to want to give even more money to help you stay afloat!! It's crazy!

Numerous people on their facebook page said they were considering Enki prior to the change and will now not be able to go with Enki because they've made it too unaffordable. And now they're going under. Perhaps instead of begging for money from people they should change their business practice to be more consistent with the homeschool curriculum market. I think that a lot more people would consider Enki. There just seems to be no business sense with what they're doing.

It's sad because I do think the curriculum itself sounds beautiful. Perhaps now that Enki is closing people who want to use Enki materials will be able to get their hands on reasonably priced used copies.

Crystal (34) married to LPN DH (38) , mama to (7/07), (1/09), and (7/11) and (12/28)
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:41 AM
 
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I have also browsed Enki for years and thought it looked like a beautiful curriculum but the price and not being able to find it to buy used because of the no resale clause made it out of reach for us at the time. Now we can splurge a little more on homeschool resources plus with more than one at school age it makes it more reasonable but this is ridiculous and I definitely won't be using it because of it. I have 3 children to homeschool and part of the value for me in purchasing curriculum is that I know I'm getting to use it 3 times! If I had to return it within 15 months that wouldn't even be enough time for just my oldest two to share it much less the third... and I have to pay extra for that "benefit"???? Crazy!
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by swimming-duck View Post
It's sad because I do think the curriculum itself sounds beautiful. Perhaps now that Enki is closing people who want to use Enki materials will be able to get their hands on reasonably priced used copies.
Not that I'm happy to see a company with a lovely curriculum go down the tubes, but this is exactly what I'm hoping for!
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:32 PM
 
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I am so disappointed about all of this.. I almost purchased a few months ago but we had some things come up and my daughter is only 2 so I didn't feel pressure to get it right away.. I was really hoping to be able to use enki I think it would be a perfect fit for us.. I hope this gets sorted out soon..
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is disappointing. Even more disappointing to me is Enki's response to the complaints that are being made. I've been watching the facebook page and while I'm definitely simplifying a bit, I feel like the gist of Enki's response is thus. "We are consulting with non-profit experts. This is the way we feel Enki needs to run. But we need your money to stay afloat."

It's just lousy business practice. I fully believe that a homeschooling curriculum supports itself with sales if the materials are well put together and distributed in a way that is feasible for parents. I believe Enki has done itself in with these changes and is now asking for other people's money in order to continue to offer the curriculum.

As far as I'm concerned, the only "experts" Enki should be listening to are the parents who are all telling them the same thing. And that is "Enki looks like a beautiful program, but these changes make it unaffordable for my family."

Crystal (34) married to LPN DH (38) , mama to (7/07), (1/09), and (7/11) and (12/28)
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:28 PM
 
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It's closed now

Did you see the notice on their Facebook page from July 12? They closed Enki Homeschool. It figures. That's what happens when you don't "get" your clientele, and how limited our resources are....and don't listen. They just. didn't. listen! How many years back can you find thread after thread after thread of people saying how great it would be, if they could only afford it...or be assured to get SOME of their money back! (re: the ridiculous "no-resale" rule.)

On that note...I have a complete Enki Kindergarten curriculum, if someone wants to talk about purchasing it. I spent over $500 on the complete thing and never used it....basically just looked through it a few times and determined (too late, past the return date...I had a new baby and didn't even crack them open for months....live and learn.) they were not for me. I needed MUCH simpler than this....but it's a beautiful curriculum and at this point I'm just looking for the best offer I can get. I've tried posting locally so I don't have to ship it, but no takers.

So if you want it, let me know! I'm not sure what to do with it anymore! It's from probably 2005 or so, I think, if that's relevant.
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah. I think I remember them saying something about reevaluating and maybe coming back down the road. I don't know. I'm not going to hold my breath...lol. But it does seem as though they've very stubbornly clung to their set way of running Enki and it has been Enki's downfall. I really do think it's such a shame because the curriculum really does look like it could be wonderful for some families. At this point with my oldest I'm thinking maybe I just need to stick it out with the WTM approach and just change up my implementation of things a bit.

I can't purchase any curriculum right now, but I may check in with you down the road to see if you're still trying to get rid of it. I might be interested in using it for my youngest if I decide not to go the CM/WTM approach with him.

Crystal (34) married to LPN DH (38) , mama to (7/07), (1/09), and (7/11) and (12/28)
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:20 PM
 
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I so wish I could take that kindergarten curriculum off your hands, but I just can't swing it right now. That's why I wanted to buy the stuff piecemeal from Enki (which, of course, they staunchly refused). I managed to get the first spiral-bound Teaching Guides 1 and 2, but what I REALLY need is apparently in the third! Argh. My DD's 4 and I just wanted to use this year to test out some of the philosophical foundations in setting up our home and our days. I thought it would be particularly helpful since we'll have a newborn. Then I could decide next year whether to add in the actual curriculum for kindergarten or send her to kindergarten. So, if anyone has a Teacher Guide 3 they're willing to part with, please send me a PM!
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:01 PM
 
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I'm not surprised they stopped selling. Really, for years their customers had been saying the same thing-it's unaffordable for most people. Look at other successful homeschool curriculum providers. They don't run their businesses in such strange ways. Some, like Oak Meadow, even encourage buying used or old copies (and they have the discount/seconds sales). I have Enki and from what they stated on their reasoning, it just doesn't hold water. They are not that much different! I have *much* cheaper programs that contain more hand holding and many more free or reasonable helps and resources. So they really can't keep blaming their prices being too low-that's just ridiculous.

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Old 07-22-2014, 11:31 AM
 
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They compared their practices to Live Ed

I just was going back through old emails I had between myself and Beth Sutton, trying to see the reason in not allowing resale...she claims they were following an idea they got from Live Education...but I went looking on Live Ed's site and I don't see a no resale rule on their site. Did they have one at one time?

She also told me at one time they spent over $12,000 to create digital versions of the teacher books (not the books the kids would be read from...since they are against technology with children)...and for some reason that didn't work and they lost all their work and their money. What I want to know is WHAT IN HELL costs $12,000 to turn digital when presumably the book files had to be digital to start with, or it couldn't go to the printer...so WHAT were they paying $12,000 for??? I cannot even imagine! It sounds to me like they were seriously ripped off and perhaps that started their serious downfall, in conjunction with the ridiculous no resale policy. The prices alone, I don't think, could have run them to the ground because it's true that other curriculum manufacturers do charge pretty comparable. But I guarantee the rest of their policies were different. Particularly the resale policy.

I really think that if they would just sell their materials a la carte, and digital, they could easily be back in business. But they just won't listen. I know they are against technology with young children, but there's no reason the parent materials couldn't all be digital!

I'd buy just the story books in a heartbeat! Why is it bad to sell them alone? Why do NO children get to hear those fabulous stories that they spent SO MANY hours researching and writing and authenticating? Why is it ALL to go to waste because it's all or nothing?

I don't get it. I just don't get it.

And what is left for Enki? They failed at their private school endeavor, and now at homeschool endeavor....what's left?
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:36 PM
 
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I just was going back through old emails I had between myself and Beth Sutton, trying to see the reason in not allowing resale...she claims they were following an idea they got from Live Education...but I went looking on Live Ed's site and I don't see a no resale rule on their site. Did they have one at one time?

She also told me at one time they spent over $12,000 to create digital versions of the teacher books (not the books the kids would be read from...since they are against technology with children)...and for some reason that didn't work and they lost all their work and their money. What I want to know is WHAT IN HELL costs $12,000 to turn digital when presumably the book files had to be digital to start with, or it couldn't go to the printer...so WHAT were they paying $12,000 for??? I cannot even imagine! It sounds to me like they were seriously ripped off and perhaps that started their serious downfall, in conjunction with the ridiculous no resale policy. The prices alone, I don't think, could have run them to the ground because it's true that other curriculum manufacturers do charge pretty comparable. But I guarantee the rest of their policies were different. Particularly the resale policy.

I really think that if they would just sell their materials a la carte, and digital, they could easily be back in business. But they just won't listen. I know they are against technology with young children, but there's no reason the parent materials couldn't all be digital!

I'd buy just the story books in a heartbeat! Why is it bad to sell them alone? Why do NO children get to hear those fabulous stories that they spent SO MANY hours researching and writing and authenticating? Why is it ALL to go to waste because it's all or nothing?

I don't get it. I just don't get it.

And what is left for Enki? They failed at their private school endeavor, and now at homeschool endeavor....what's left?
I agree. I have several friends who write e-books and curricula and it does NOT cost that much unless you're seriously ripped off or you pick some really crazy over the top expensive format for no reason. Seriously. I think people would be less upset about the Enki price if they offered payment plans (like Sonlight), digital products (like almost every hs company at this point), or would stop with the harassment about resale which IS protected by law as the right of first sale-so they just need to give that up.

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