Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thoughts on Enki Materials

So what do you get for your $$$? Is it worth it, and why? Well I can only speak for myself and for my family. For us this has been a great fit. It is helping me to grow into more of what I want to be for my kids and my family. It is putting the words to the thoughts I have been carrying around with me for years and most importantly it is helping me with the actions it takes to get there. So here are my thoughts on the materials I have and a bit of what you get.

Enki Homeschool Teacher's Guides I, II & III

These are the Foundation Guides. They are not the day to day what to do books, they are the nuts and bolts of Enki, what is it about, how does it work, and why. From these books, which also come with a binder bound workbook for the parent to work through the concepts in, there are several great points. Combined (without the workbook pages) this is nearly 500 pages of information, spiral bound for easy reference. Chapters include topics such as...

the Enki Homeschool

The Heart of the Matter: I love this section. It is all about what are we really tring to teach when we are teaching things such as humanities, or doing movement circle etc... Once you know the heart of something, you dont have to worry so much with the fluff that we think surround it. Knowing the heart makes it so much more clear to feel good about your ability to actually bring the heart of a topic to your children. This was a great help to me and I read it over and over again.

Creating an Enki ecosystem within your life

Nourishing the teacher/parent

Stages of Child Development

Rhythm (and how to actually tap into your families natural rhythm)

Integrating Body, Speech and Mind
Great section with a lot of great info on neurological integration, sensory integration, and speech and gesture.

The Activity of Learning

Unity and diversity

Setting boundaries

Again these are not daily planners or daily curriculum schedules. They are about how to implement Enki philosophy into your life and your home, and therefore will be useful for years to come. In my opinion you can get these books alone and really feel good about what it can add to your homeschooling experience. It has really helped me to understand the why's of all those things I have heard about for years. Yeah, we all know rhythm is important, but how do you begin to implement it in a non-rigid way that actually nourishes your family rather than smothering them? Sure a circle works in a cute little Waldorf School, but why do they do it, and can I nourish that same need within my family without making my kids sit in a circle in the middle of my living room? What is up with movement and is it really something we need to do? Yes, for us that has been huge! Movement is a good example for me of something that Enki really changed for me. I know many people do Movement in their lessons, but I just really thought of it as one of the "if I can" sections of what I was trying to do. Now I see it as probably the most important part of our day. Ironically I come from years of Sensory Integration therapy for my son, and still I wasnt fully understanding this piece of the puzzle.

So now since I brought it up, lets look at the Movement Guides. But first a note; Even if you are not teaching kindergarten, you will still want the kindergarten resources because you WILL use them. You can purchase most of them in a combo pack at a large savings.

So on to the movement guides. When you order the K and 1 Movement Guides you also get CD's of the songs and the verses as well as a DVD showing the actual movments and how to do them. The Kindergarten guide has 220 pages and doesw include the sheet music for those talented people out there who planned on a musical accompaniment (not me). The first 25 pages are about the hows and whys including a very useful key for how the book is set up. Each movement is on a chart so when you are choosing a particular song or movement you can see what areas it highlights. The chart has Vestibular, Vestibular highlighting Balance, Proprioceptive, Tactile, Auditory, Visual, Midlines (lateral, horizontal, forward/back) Hand and finger coordination and wrist flexibility.

The movements are then further divided into Activities which are further divided by season. So in the Kindergarten guide you have Opening Activities (23 activities total) Midline Activities (34 activities total) Base Sense Activities (25 activities total) Fingerplays & Academic Games (35 total) Story Songs, Graces and Transition songs (20 activities total).
In the First Grade guide you have Opening Activities (19 new, 11 suggested from the K guide) Midline Activities (17 new, 29 from K) Base Sense & EduK-braingym (20 new, 11 from K) Academic Activities (20 new) Bean Bag Activities (14 new) Copper Rod Activities (5 new) Closing Spirals (17 new) Fingerplays (5 new, 21 from K) Graces and Transitions (20 new, 13 from K)Games and ropes (17 new activities).
If by chance you have no interest in Enki, but have a child who may benefit from movement exercises or therapies, this is a great comprehensive do it yourself program to have on hand.

More to come....


maya said...

This is so helpful; thanks for sharing all this. Does enki incorporate using yoga postures at all? And/or any kind of meditation/mindfulness practice?

tracy said...

This is so interesting. I like what I read at the Enki site. And you mak it sound so neat! I also know A needs help with midline activites and has other sensory type issues. I know you mentioned having the brain gym book also-how do you think they compare? Would it be too late to use this with him at 9?

Blissfulbee said...

Maya; yes there are quite a bit of yoga poses involved in the Base Sense section of the book. As we begin to incorporate more of them into our movement, we will shrink our yoga time a bit. As for meditation, not as much with the kids, there is quite a bit about mindful meditation for the parent though. We do some breathing exercises and simple meditation. My youngest son even gets it. I have overheard him telling someone to take some deep breaths and count to three. LOL

Tracy: Yes you can fully do the BrainGym stuff and movment stuff with A. I think it even helps adults. I mean obviously the earlier you start it the better, but it is never too late to start working on these things. some things are easy like rubbing your ears from top to bottom to stimulate blood flow to the ears and assist in listening skills. GM will do that on his own now.