I wrote this post yesterday, but Blogger was having lots of problems. I tried to edit the date stamp today, but it didn't work (and Blogger is still having issues).
I have spent a considerable amount of time today (6/7/06) thinking about how we are integrating Enki into our lives.
As usual, I jump into everything with both feet. Once I had Enki resources I was ready to "do" Enki. But doing isn't living. Enki has to become part of our lives, not become our entire life. It's so easy to be so focused on methods that you lose sight of the real goal of holistic education.
It's easy to get caught up in doing everything right; it's like a checklist (you know, like the AP checklist that people rattle off when they "meet" each other...breastfeeding, cosleeping, baby wearing, etc. and all of the non-AP things that make the list, like cloth diapering, eating organics, etc.). Movement? Check. Candle? Check. Verse? Check....only in the end you can end up trying to cram so much in that you aren't enjoying the days.
Whatever we do, we need to think about why we are doing it and how it can be integrated into our lives to enrich them and not overwhelm them. Home is not school; we don't have 6 dedicated hours and we homeschool teachers have many other tasks that we must attend to each and every day. At the same time, we have 24 hours and everything we do is part of learning. So we must practice balance. Certainly, my children learn much from participating in the running of our household - laundry skills, baking, cooking, cleaning, provisioning/marketing (I hate the term "shopping" because it has been co-opted by our culture and turned into recreation and entertainment). These are skills they need. But there is much more I need to teach them as they journey into adulthood and take over the reigns of their education. Reading, writing, arithmetic. Exposure to other cultures (as Beth says, living the culture rather than approaching it as a cultural "Disneyland"), artistic pursuits, music, movement, history. And much, much more.
One area I have difficulty with is perfectionism. I want to do everything perfectly and if I can't I sometimes think I might as well not even try. That's something I don't want to model to my children. I must always bring myself back to center, because perfectionism and procrastination are both off balance.
So I have to still the voice who thinks she isn't good enough if we haven't yet incorporated movement into the day, or when another week passes without a seasonal craft or watercolor painting. I have to remember that we have time...that is one reason why we have chosen the path of holistic homeschooling. None of our time is wasted, even if we just sit on the couch listening to CDs, or spend 2 hours building with Legos, or dig in the dirt. Again, it is a question of balance - we need time for lessons, but we also need time for family and friends.
A lot of these issues are explored in the Enki Foundation Guides. The blessings and challenges of homeschooling. Teacher health. The Enki web. When I was first purchasing the guides and was stressed out that the resources weren't yet available many people told me that the guides would be enough, and I didn't believe them. Now I think the guides, which encompass the Enki philosophy, would benefit any homeschooling family, whether or not they choose to follow the Enki curriculum and use Enki resources.
I'm not sure where I am going with all of this. I've just been thinking today, taking a step back and looking for the places where we live the Enki philosophy, rather than making sure that we're "doing" Enki right.