Monday, February 11, 2008

Um, So Where Do We Go From Here?

We've thoroughly enjoyed our adventures in near-unschooling, and it has been going really well. We live, we love, and we learn. It's like breathing. But the boys have expressed a desire to have more guidance, more focused learning, and Papa and I have talked about some of the skills we think the boys need and how to approach that.

So, I guess we are . . . ? I hate labels. Are we Enki-inspired unschoolers? Holistic-minded tidal schoolers? Holistic eclectic learners? Do we boldly call ourselves Enki Homeschoolers and simply refuse to flinch when others point out that we don't do A, B, and C?

Maybe it helps to start with what we don't do. We aren't radical unschoolers. We acknowledge that all parents make decisions for their children, even if that decision is to keep them out of government and private schools. We believe that children need guidance; no one goes from newborn to adult without having learned a lot of skills from their human community.

We don't do school-at-home. Never in a million years. We don't replicate public school in our home, nor do we attempt to recreate the Enki private school experience in our home. In our experience, whenever we attempt to add too much structure and the day feels too much like school, we all lose interest.

We want as much freedom as we can possibly have. This means not joining public or private independent study programs, even if they will keep records for us or give us money. TANSTAAFL, and all that. We want the freedom to study what we want, when we want to. We want to visit friends when we want to, and to go places, and to never feel limited by externally-imposed structure.

To be completely honest, Papa asked why we hadn't completely jettisoned Enki. After all, we seem to be unschoolers. We strew the path. We listen to what the boys are interested in, and fly with it. When he asks about handwriting, I tell him that the boys as of yet don't seem to feel the need to write that often. I never interrupt Lego building for math practice.

How many pieces can you currently be ignoring and still stay within the blueprint? What is the Enki blueprint? Is there room for unschooling? Are we really unschoolers? Maybe we're tidal learners.

I've had my own doubts. What right have I to claim to be Enki-inspired? Then again, what right does anyone else have to take that away from me.

We are Enki-inspired learners because we are inspired by the philosophy and methods of Enki Education. Short of persons who have actually completed the Enki Teacher training, all of us who use the Enki Education materials are Enki-inspired. We love the inclusiveness of Enki, the beautiful materials, and the fact that the Enki Homeschool program is family-centered. We love the wholeness of it. We are not merely unschoolers; we have inspiration, guidance, and support. Perhaps, after all, we are Enki-inspired holistic learners (that sounds so familiar, have I written it before?).

So, in this rambling post (I won't be winning any blogging awards, I'm certain), I was trying to figure out what our next move it. I could sit down and plan out a nice Enki school year, print it out and put it in my binder, and be pretty certain that we wouldn't stick to it at all.

You know, this post is so long that I'm going to stop now, and start part two. Otherwise the most important revelation of the day may get lost down here.

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