Friday, June 02, 2006

Enki Crafts & Nature Stories

Back to the Enki materials thoughts. I recently received the Natures Stories, and the Seasonal Crafts guides in the mail. I have a giant stack of reading next to my bed; which isnt unusual, but right now is quite a bit. It is fun to make notes about your initial thoughts and impressions. I will be curious to come back and read this in about six months after really putting it all to use.

I purchased the Crafts books mostly because I liked the natural materials take on the topic, and because I wanted to have the suggested resources to make my life easier. I already have and use EarthWays and it is a terrific book, but how are these different??

Much like the movement guides there is a VERY handy and simple key to follow so you can choose what will work for your child based on your child's developmental abilities and skills. So you have "B" for beginning foundation skills such as sewing and knotting. "C/D" for complex skills needing dexterity (doll making or knitting) and "T" for projects that require a lot of time, maybe you will do it over a series of days. I LOVE these keys, and they make is so much easier for me to choose appropriate ideas without having to read through them all to see what will or will not work for us. The kindergarten book has quite a bit on painting wet on wet, including stories and tips. I appreciated this a lot too, especially the stories!! The crafts are separated by season, so it is an easy reference. Within the kindergarten book there are 64 crafts (not including the painting section).

The first grade Crafts book includes Origami and knitting. There are references to some ideas from the Kindergarten guide. They very much flow from one to the other. Within the G1 guide there are 47 new activities, plus some knitting stories etc...

Nature Stories:
The nature stories tie in with the seasons really nicely. You can view the table of contents on the Enki site, but what was interesting to me is that the stories read really nicely and the added feature of science for the teacher sections. In the guide Beth writes that this is not so you can instruct it, but so that you can make any changes you may want to without losing the truth of the science which lies within the story. I like that, and I like the repeating verses that each story has within it. So when or if you are out in nature or come across an example of something from the story you can just repeat that one little verse and the whole story will come back. I haven't gotten to use these guides yet, but they are beautiful and I have had a chance to skim through the stories themselves. I'm fairly certain (and APKimberMama can probably comment on this) these stories are suggested and referenced in the instruction guide within the First Grade. In looking in the Kindergarten (Early Childhood) Teaching guide it does discuss the three types of Nature Stories in the Enki Resources (guides)...
  1. The Legend: These are stories of magical events that lead to a phenomenon.
  2. The quasi-fairy Tale: these are stories which follow the quasi-fairy tale format, but which have nature science as a central driving principle.
  3. The Manifestation of Energy: these are stories in which the energies of nature are given body or form.

(Enki Early Childhood guide page 167) Quoted from the guide itself.

more to come....


APKimberMama said...

Are you at all overwhelmed by the preparation required for the crafts? Just reading about the clip boards is enough to send me into hiding. Can I just say that we are not handy! Not to mention having the time to do the prep work.

I just have to remind myself to take everything slowly. Breathe!

Blissfulbee said...

lol, well now that you mention it. Yeah, there is a bit more work involved in the ideas in these books. The plus side, I think, is that in the end you have really made some cool and amazing things. There werent too many that felt like, "yeah, yeah, Ive seen that a million times". I think I will see if my dh can tackle the boards, I was going to blow that part off, but in reading them, I can see how they act as that ever needed third hand. LOL