Enki, Christopherus, and Oak Meadow (long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 11-03-2006, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have some questions regarding these programs. I like the looks of all of them, although I understand that OM is Waldorf "inspired", not entirely Waldorf. For instance, they don't cover the saints in second grade b/c some parents complained about the "religiousness" (for lack of a better term). The hands-on, arts based, flexible schedule appeals to me, though. Also, it's pretty affordable, and the craft kit is all put together on the website for you. It's also easier to understand how to put it together due to all the sample syllabus pages on the site.

Christopherus, I've heard, is more Christian based than Enki. I've looked on that website, and at the book Kindergarten for the three to six year old. It looks good, but again, I need some hand holding to get started with this. I need something really clear. Are the Christopherus resources good quality and quantity, or will I be constantly searching for more? Is there enough to use for three years (ages 3-6)?

I've been hearing wonderful things about Enki, however. So many people talk about all the resources contained within, how well it's all explained about family rhythms, etc, and on and on. I'm just not sure it would work for me b/c I am a Christian, and I've been given the impression that Enki's philosophy of life, so to speak, wouldn't mesh with my beliefs. I also don't know if I should buy the Foundation Guide AND the Early childhood guide or just one of them? The idea of drawing from so many different sources such as Waldorf, Montessori, and others appeals to me.

How are the guides set up? I know there's not a daily or even weekly schedule since each family is supposed to choose their own rhythm. Does it clearly explain how to do this, or will I end up with guides chock full of good stuff that I never do? I'm not particularly artsy, and I don't know how to do felt art, woodworking, sculpting, or anything, really. I made a C in 7th grade art, and that's only b/c the art teacher helped me so much that he couldn't flunk himself!

Thanks to any and all responders. I need help before my head explodes!

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#2 of 11 Old 11-04-2006, 09:25 AM
 
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Hi-
I have done internet research on waldorf homeschooling for almost 3 years now! There is so much online. By the time I bought the Christopherus books, I felt I knew most of what is in there! I like the K book, but it is just a guide. It is very similar to Oak Meadow's Learning Processes books. I haven't bought Enki becuase it is so pricey and I don't think I need it. But it sounds great and if money were no object I would buy it just to check it out!
Someone on the Christopherus yahoo group said the Christopherus books are like the "dummy" books, an introduction to the basics, but you still have much work to do!
I have found www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com to be very helpful. Of All the Christopherus books I own (all but the new language book and grade 1) I like the Waldorf homeschool book and the K book.
This is the first year I have made my own curriculum. But I use Christopherus and Oak Meadow as resources. There are a few yahoo groups that sell used Waldorf books, and I was able to buy Oak Meadow books cheap. I like the Oak Meadow guides, they keep me on track but give me freedom to go at our own pace. Oak Meadow is different in some areas, like the saints. But we just include whatever we want! So once you have the basic schedule from the waldorfhomeschool site or the books, you can put it together in a way that fits your family best.
PM me if you want!
We are doing PreK, K and grade 4! yikes..
HTH
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#3 of 11 Old 11-04-2006, 10:37 AM
 
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I would agree with everything Relynn said. If you get a copy of You Are You Are Your Child's First Teacher from Amazon or wherever, you'll have pretty much everything that the other publications have. OM has a demo of their online learning system, if you look at that, you can see how their lesson plans laid out.

I think if you want a "cover this this week" thing OM is the way to go. If you want more Waldorfy- well, the Waldorf kindy is based on a healthy home so if you've already got one of those you don't need more.

I've purchased three of Annettemarie's (she here at mdc) season currics. These are nice if you want some specific verses and handwork for each season. You could also get something like All Year Round, which has the festivals with crafts, but doesn't have verses/songs.

I guess my advice would be to get one basic book and then one with verses/songs and then one with crafts/festivals. Although many craft instructions can now be found online so that isn't even totally necessary.

Like PP, I bought a ton of books. I definitely could have gotten by on far less.

Also, if you want to check out some "from the source" stuff go to Bob and Nancy's books. Some of the books there are less expensive than the currics and are actually the source of the curric writer's ideas!

Have fun! And don't stress - Waldof kindy isn't academic!

RE: Christian - I am not Christian and Waldorf seems overwhelmingly Christian to me, so you might just have to get into it more to see how it feels to you. Hard to go on someone else's perception of this part.
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#4 of 11 Old 11-04-2006, 11:13 AM
 
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I only have experience with Christopherus, although at one point I had the Oak Meadow Learning Processes books (which I sold because I thought they were redundant with other resources I had).

I love the Christopherus stuff, but it seems to be based more on the idea that kids age 3-6 don't need a curriculum per se. What they need is a strong home environment. So, no, the kindy book doesn't tell you what to do each day. It does have ideas for establishing good rhythms in your home, lists of fairy tales to read, lots of good ideas for things to do and why to do them (for example, I think this was the Christopherus book that discussed various reasons for circle time, and how to do it in a home environment with so few kids you can't really have a circle so much as a triangle).

On the other hand, the Christopherus 1st grade (looking ahead) is about like having an experienced Waldorf homeschooling mom come into your house and organize your life. Although it has plenty of wiggle room built in, you can practically do it "seat of your pants".

Personally, I couldn't make heads or tails about how to do Waldorf until I read Christopherus. I had all sorts of the original sources, but it didn't make sense. It just didn't mesh with how my mind works, I guess.

Having read Christopherus, I understand much more about the hows and whys of Waldorf schooling and homeschooling. Frankly, I don't even consider us Waldorf homeschoolers -- I consider us Classical, with overtones of Waldorf (and a wee bit of Montessori). I am clearer about what to keep and what to discard about Waldorf, having read Christopherus.

I think Enki would overwhelm me with too many choices. Again, that's just the way my mind works -- I do better with fewer choices.
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#5 of 11 Old 11-04-2006, 12:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen Gwen View Post
Frankly, I don't even consider us Waldorf homeschoolers -- I consider us Classical, with overtones of Waldorf (and a wee bit of Montessori). I am clearer about what to keep and what to discard about Waldorf, having read Christopherus.
This actually describes us pretty well too which is why I don't mind picking and choosing. Should have mentioned that before.
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#6 of 11 Old 11-05-2006, 07:59 PM
 
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We're Enki users and it could easily be fit into a Christian home. One of the grat thing about Enki is that you make it your own, so a Christian can do Enki just as a Pagan (myself) can.

There's a group for people who want to check out Enki without buying it yet.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EnkiExperience/

Mom of 3 (Evan, Trey, Saffron ) Blogs at findingsummer.com
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#7 of 11 Old 11-07-2006, 12:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by moms222 View Post
I've been given the impression that Enki's philosophy of life, so to speak, wouldn't mesh with my beliefs.
Hmmm...In terms of philosophy of life, the foundation of enki is that all cultures and religions have inherent wisdom and vitality, that they are all valuable in their own right. It is rooted in multiculturalism, tolerance, and diversity. I guess it's up to you whether that fits with your beliefs.

I'd recommend asking Beth Sutton directly about which guides to purchase. You can contact her through the website and she is incredibly helpful. The guides give a wealth of info/guidance on how to find the rhythm that works for you. You also get a consultation phonecall with Beth as part of the package where you can address that. In terms of crafts, the enki approach is that you are a model of learning for your child; if you are new to felting/knitting/whatever then your child sees you learning and growing and gains something rich through that. That has helped me enormously!!

I also recommend you put your q's to the Enki Experience group that the pp referred to. There are all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds using enki. The beauty of it is that you adapt it to your own personal situation.
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#8 of 11 Old 11-08-2006, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#9 of 11 Old 11-08-2006, 10:35 PM
 
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We are using Enki Kinder this year and moving to Grade 1 after the new year. You are right that the kinder/grade 1 packages contain all the information you'll need. It is very comprehensive. Daily/weekly/monthly/yearly rhythm is explained clearly with sample rhythms that you can modify to suit the needs of your family. Beth (director of Enki) really focuses on how the curriculum will serve your family and she is not trying to mold your family into something else. Enki also stresses on multi-culturalism, honoring different people and different religion. You can definitely customize it to suit your religious needs.
I also purchased the christopherus kinder/early childhood and drawing books. The kinder book is a good introduction to waldorf early childhood especially for someone not familiar with waldorf. It gives a good overview but it is not a curriculum. So you'll need to go out and search for stories, crafts, songs,...

I have no first hand experience with OM so I won't comment on it.

Like PP said, check out the enkiexperience yahoogroup. You also get a pre-purchase consultation with Beth which is helpful. I have found her consultations invaluable.

Good luck with your decision.
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#10 of 11 Old 11-09-2006, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate the info. All you ladies give good advice.

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#11 of 11 Old 11-09-2006, 10:43 PM
 
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I have been using OM for the past three years. Since we are a Jewish family I like that it does not follow the Waldorf to a tee. It fits well for us. I really like the set up and an am able to make up a weekly schedule.

Shane - Homeschooling mom to three boys (12, 1-, 8) and living the open life with my husband.

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