Enki is an alternative education, for both the homeschool and the classroom, in which many rich and diverse elements are carefully woven together to support and nurture our fundamental premise – that educational excellence is fostered through the integration of body, heart, and mind. This is the key to cultivating competence, confidence, and a sense of belonging. Enki’s unique approach fosters:
- Connected Confidence: The strength of our connection to ourselves and the world gives us true confidence – NOT a confidence dependent on comparison to another, but one that fosters compassion.
- Flexible Competence: A strong base in the active process of learning gives us both the knowledge and the flexibility to adapt to the changing demands of the modern world.
- Commitment to Community & Environment:
Working together to care for and enjoy the communities of classroom, neighborhood, and city, fosters delight in and commitment to the world we share.
At all grade levels, whether in classroom or homeschool programs using this alternative education, we develop academic excellence while nurturing the whole child, weaving together specific academics, skills, arts, and movement to bring about integration. This builds a strong foundation of skill and understanding which enables the students to meet the world head-on, in a compassionate, flexible, and creative manner.
At this time in history, when the news reports are filled with stories of violence and despair among our youth, when teen suicide is on the rise, when our planet is showing signs of environmental destruction, we have to look for sources of real meaning and care in our lives and our schools. Clearly, something is needed: an alternative education.
When we are able to feel the life in everything we meet – human, animal, plant, and mineral – we will automatically have the respect and caring needed to relate properly, rendering violent destruction unimaginable. It is our belief and experience that only through an alternative education that focuses on the ongoing integration of body, heart and mind can we foster connectedness and confidence, which are the real antidotes to the isolation, despair and aggression facing our children today. In turn, this integration and the resulting sense of competence and connection are the ground from which communities based on compassion and cooperation spring forth.
Enki is a unique and innovative approach to alternative education, that works with a Developmental Immersion/ Mastery approach to curriculum. Immersion and mastery are the two core aspects of the learning method; content is chosen according to the child’s developmental needs and interests. Throughout the program, All academics are introduced throught the arts. Children are first immersed in the living quality of what they study. Through storytelling, visual arts, movement, music, manipulatives, activities, and projects this alternative education soaks in the qualities and living textures of what they are studying. Then, on this rich base of connection to life, they bring what they have absorbed to mastery through intellectual exploration, discussion, exercises, practice, and concrete application. This process allows the children to absorb, engage with, and retain what they have learned. Neither the immersion in the living nature of the subject, nor the technical mastery is seen as more important. Each is one part of the whole.
In our curriculum, this Developmental Immersion-Mastery cycle happens again and again over the years, forming ever-expanding rings of understanding. For example, the stories, manipulatives, and mechanics of place value (units, tens, hundreds) introduced in second grade, become the ground for the exploration of numeric base systems of other cultures and times in fifth grade. This, in turn, becomes the foundation for the eighth graders’ introduction to the history, structure, and function of the binary-based computer, and finally develops into the eleventh graders’ introduction to computer programming.
In this approach to alternative education, the child’s natural inquisitiveness and intelligence develop in harmony with her physical, artistic and social/emotional growth. A natural connection and confidence emerge and the child is able to express her full potential. As the students grow into the Middle and High School years, this confidence acts as a keel in the storms of adolescence. They now begin to share more fully in taking responsibility for their learning and leadership in their classroom and school communities. This involvement expands still further as High School students undertake an intensive apprenticeship program in the local community. Over the years, each student progresses from the early days of gentle challenges, through the community building years, and on to meet the demands of becoming a contributing and valued member of society. Through broad and varied experiences, each student is given the opportunity, support, and education to explore her own strengths and challenges.
Enki is an alternative education program, used in both classrooms and homeschools across the globe. It strives to recognize wisdom and vitality wherever they arise. In this spirit, the curriculum is informed by the work of several leading educators and a variety of methods. Central to our work are the multicultural focus of the United Nations International School, the integrated arts approach of Waldorf Education, the skill building techniques of traditional Western Education, and the independent project learning of theme studies programs.
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitches to everything else in the universe.” – John Muir