Ask Kytka Archives: August 31, 2000
What is the Enki perspective or ethic that we are working with?
There are two major aspects which manifest slightly differently in different types of materials. First of all, underlying all else is the belief that all human beings, by birthright, have within them an unconditional vitality, wisdom and compassion. We could call this a fundamental innocence. While it may be more or less challenged and obscured in the course of each life, it is our birthright, neither earned nor lost and always there for the uncovering. Along with the content and language of the stories, we bring this experience forth by offering stories from all over the world.
Second, connecting with this birthright or natural innocence requires the integration of body, heart, and mind which, in turn, depends on meeting the child where he is and mirroring back to him the value of his inner longings and issues. These inner issues and longings result from a developmental sequence that has not only been seen by professional child observers and teachers, but is readily visible to all.
From the Enki perspective, ONLY THOSE STORIES AND ACTIVITIES WHICH MIRROR THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE OF THE CHILD CAN BRING ABOUT AN INTEGRATION OF BODY, HEART, AND MIND, and in turn, connect him with his natural gifts.
Therefore, however “true” or wonderful a story may be, for us it is only a “true tale” if it is in harmony with the child’s development and thus brings integration. No story is a “true tale” in and of itself.
We have found stories for the kindergartner which address both these issues are not easy to find. We have researched hundreds of books covering thousands of stories, and have long pondered the reason for this. It will take the perspective of time and an in depth anthropological study to really understand, but it is our hypothesis that the difficulty in finding appropriate material for the kindergartner stems from the changing world we live in. 4 and 5 year olds today face very different challenges than they did generations ago. They are being pushed much too fast and are not fully developing the ground they need to grow with confidence. Today¹s kindergartner lives, either personally or by way of peers, in a world of broken homes and fractured communities. He is bombarded with information and mature imagery on a daily basis. TV presents a series of role models who are praised for their ability to outsmart or put down others. We wind up with an explosion of ADD, cynicism, and withdrawn, anti-social behaviors. For this reason, we feel many of the traditional tales that once gave the child an excellent balance of independence and security, are no longer appropriate. Today he needs challenge within security in a way he has not in the past.
Kindergartners need to know that home is dependable. This knowledge must be in place for them to safely and successfully journey out from home and grow and change. Therefore, all the kindergarten stories involve facing a challenge and returning home, unchanged and safe. In some of our stories this process is straightforward; in others it comes forth as delight in the natural cycles that make up our ecosystem.
Part of the kindergartners’ safety is in knowing that life is dependable and has an order that they can take hold of and work with. This is met in our materials through simplicity and repetition. Repetition happens first in the unfolding of the story. Each story has within it a basic three-fold cycle so the child knows what to expect and can anticipate outcomes. As well, each story has a repeating verse that captures some central aspect of the story.
Together these allow the child to feel he is master of the story world. Our experience has shown that, while children have always needed repetition, in today¹s busy and chaotic world, the element of simple repetition has proven even more important. For this reason some of our stories have been made even more simple and repetitive than the original versions.
Third, the kindergartner, like the younger child, finds his health in the wholeness of the world, and not in his individuality. Individuality requires a standing back and separating, a self-consciousness. While the kindergartner has begun to exercise this muscle, at this juncture he needs reassurance that he can just melt into the world and find its natural harmony and nourishment. Therefore, all the stories create a world which the child is free to enter and take from, but none of them have an interactive or reflective aspect. In telling the stories, we create a world and each child is free to take it in as fits his needs.
All our stories, verses, and projects are chosen and adapted, or written, to address all of these issues and thus nourish the kindergartner of today.
THE ENKI KINDERGARTEN RESOURCE BOOK IS COMPLETE AND AVAILABLE NOW!
From around the world and through the seasons come over 100 circle activities, 80 stories, and 60 projects, all created, or chosen and adapted, specifically for the 4-6 year old. Song tape included. Also included is in depth guidance on when, why, and how to use these materials, to help teachers and parents offer a rich and focused experience, without expending undue time and effort in preparation.
First Time Buyers: full price is $200 plus shipping (please ask the post office for rates on shipping 7 pounds, from zip 03242 to you) for the Kindergarten Resource Book. Or buy the Teachers’ Guides at $200 plus shipping, full description on the web at www.enkieducation.org.
Enki Teachers’ Guide Owners
If you already own the Teachers’ Guide, the Resource book is $125 plus shipping. Send your check and order to:
Enki Education, Inc.
29 Old W. Hopkinton Rd
Henniker, NH 03242
Don’t forget to order our 30 minute video with footage inside classrooms using the Enki approach! Just $20 and no shipping fees if ordered with a book.
- Holistic Education: Enki At A Glance
- What Is Enki Education
- Why are you called Enki
- What is so special about an Enki Education
- When and how did this approach begin
- How does Enki meet the Special Needs Child
- What can I expect of the teachers in an Enki Program
- How early do you begin teaching a foreign language
- How does Enki nurture the child with Special Needs
- How do graduates of the Enki program fare
- What are teachers and parents saying about the Enki Program