Friday, December 08, 2006

enter Enki

Fall was fast approaching, it was time to think a little more seriously about this whole homeschooling thing. I knew that Jacob wasn't really ready for a Kindergarten curriculum yet, and of course neither was Zoo Boy at just 3 1/2. All summer long there had been a lot of talk about Enki Education on the RDI-Homeschoolers list. I had been to the website and read through the rather extensive materials there, and while it really resonated with me, it almost resonated too much -- like I wondered if I really needed to pay for their curriculum to make the sorts of things they talked about happen in my homeschooling program.

Fortunately, some of the parents at the RDI Annual Parents Conference in August brought some of their Enki materials along for others to see, including my roommate for weekend, so I got a good sample of reading done of the manuals, and got to see how a couple of RDI-Enki families actually put the curriculum into use. I decided that owning the materials was going to be the best way to incorporate the ideas into our home life. When I got home from the conference, I ordered the complete Kindergarten Curriculum, figuring I could spend the next year reading about it and incorporating some of the basic structure in our home-pre-schooling and planning our K year next year.

I couldn't believe it when an ENORMOUS, ridiculously heavy box arrived a couple weeks later. I had already received a package a week previously with a bunch of CDs (lots of music, a searchable copy of the Guides, and a couple DVDs), letting me know that my order was "at the printer". I nearly passed out with the vast amount of materials provided -- really quite a bargain (me being the barain hunter that I am), considering that the price of their curriculum is pretty much in line with any other comprehensive curriculum.

I started right away reading as much as I could. I put aside a couple hours a day (most days) to read, and even so, I'm still not even through all three of the Homeschooling Teaching Guides (although I'm getting close! ). The thing I like most about this method is that it's more about lifestyle than about individual lessons, and the entire curriculum is based on actual research into child development and learning. (Hmm, gee, what does that sound like? Oh yeah, RDI!!) I love that the Guides discuss the research findings and explain in depth why certain things support child development and certain things do not. (I'll talk more about the details over the next several posts.) It jived really well with my reading about RDI, but it went a big step further in that there is a huge focus on Sensory Integration with young children. (Mind you, this is NOT a special needs curriculum -- it's talking about the importance of Sensory Integration for ALL children -- but because it's a strong point of the curriculum, it's makes it particularly useful for special needs kids, at least Autistic and SPD kids.) I've always felt that Sensory Integration is a critical issue that needs to be addressed along with RDI, so I could immediately see how the Enki Education curriculum was going to be supportive of our Autism Remediation goals, and how it would intertwine nicely with our RDI program. It was the missing piece I didn't even know we were missing, that tied it all together for us.

I'm going to spend the next several posts talking about some of the stuff I've learned from the Enki Education materials, and how we've started to implement it in our daily lives. It may look like I'm ignoring RDI for a bit, but really, since RDI is the way we live our lives, Enki has become the framework we structure our life around. They truly are inseperable around here.


At 10:16 AM, Anonymous diane said...

Yippeee, I look forward to your posts! Thank you for taking the time! Sincerely, Diane

At 4:00 PM, Blogger Mama Chaos said...

I love Enki. It is so much more than just a curriculum. :)


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