Home Schooling and the Enki Teacher Training
by Mary MacEachern, Scotsburn, Nova Scotia
I became interested in home schooling my children during an intense search for an alternative to the public schools. It was in the course of this same search that I first encountered the Enki teacher training program.
From the beginning I was intrigued by what I read, but at that time, over eight years ago, my children were too young to consider taking on a full training program so I began with just the opening weekend, Rousing Intuition: Observing the Child. During this weekend I was introduced to ways to observe my children and myself without judgment, to see where their needs and my own lie. I began on a lifelong journey to open to, recognize, and trust my own intuition. It was clear then, and still is today, having finished the full 2 1/2 year course and worked to apply the Enki approach in my small home-based school, that this open observation and clear seeing is the heart of this work. From the earliest days of the training, I knew that that would apply to any kind of teaching I might undertake. Although in the early days I couldn’t go on to the full program right away, when the Rousing Intuition workshop was offered again the next year I took it again. Much of the content was the same and yet each time was unique; I had no sense of repeating or redoing, but rather a feeling that cultivating intuition would always be fresh.
The more I did, the more intrigued I was by this work and finally, as my children got older, I was able to begin the full course. I did wonder just how it would relate to home schooling but with all the emphasis on integrating the whole child; integrating academics, arts, and movement, and doing it all in a developmental context, I wanted to give it a try so I signed up for the July intensive. Today, with the course completed long ago, I see that the Enki program has clarified and grounded my own beliefs about children and education and given me the framework and skills to assist my children academically in a way that is whole, respectful, and supportive of their personal development and, more often than not, fun.
I believe children should experience the world around them. They are more than minds waiting to be trained to recite facts and figures, analyze the latest opinions, or perform mental gymnastics. Nor are they just a series of pieces (physical, emotional and intellectual) we can measure out, balance and mix according the recipe for “whole – healthy – child.” Rather their health depends on a living integration of the many aspects of themselves and their world which in turn becomes much more than the sum of its parts! In the course of the training I learned how to bring these beliefs into the children’s day to day experience. I learned methods for teaching core academics in a rhythmic, whole, artistic, and fun way. I learned how multicultural education can be an indispensable part of knowing ourselves and our humanity as well as a tool to cultivate open-mindedness. I learned how to bring this perspective to life for the children through songs, stories, games, dance, movement, food and projects, again and again giving the children a chance to experience their own passions and struggles as universally human.
Enki Education strives to integrate the child’s body, speech (heart and communication), and mind from which a sense of well being, confidence, and competence naturally emerges. Then, as they dance through the waves of life, this experience provides an anchor and they are drawn back again and again to the seat of their own well being.
The more I learned the more I saw how the courses were just as relevant to me in my home school as to any teacher in any method. As we worked through specific methods to cultivate integration in the classroom I was challenged, again and again, to keep my attention on the core issues, and I was supported in my struggle to adapt both content and method to my particular situation.
On a personal level this training has challenged me to sink into new experiences and find my own truth within them. This often involved some combination of accepting and rejecting, but it always involved opening and learning. I think it is this challenge to sink in and take risks that has allowed me to bring learning experiences to my own children with an open heart. This is the greatest teaching to my family – always seeking the truth within our hearts.