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Enki Cyber Middle School

Modern technology allows us to gather as a whole group, face-to-face, in real time. We then move between full group discussions and artistic undertakings, and small, peer group work. In the small groups, we have peer discussions, writer's workshops, and peer projects - and quite a bit of "peer play!" Under the guidance of a senior Enki teacher, each class includes discussions on independent reading, writing, art, and project work.

The first 6-7 weeks of each Humanities unit is spent establishing the cultural and historical setting. During this time we work with an Enki Book, written specifically for each unit. Reading is done ahead of time, so that in class our focus is on discussion of the reading and related issues, writing, and doing art work and mapping. While this period has a great deal of peer interaction, it is primarily a teacher led, whole group focus. Then, for the last five weeks,  we will shift our focus to development of peer group projects. This includes peer planning, independent work, and small group work - most of all it centers around the students' own creativity and independent follow through! In the course of this project work, students learn a great deal about creative compromise and working together to find positive - even playful - resolution to conflicting opinions and desires.

For the 2018/19 school year we are fortunate to have two of the original Enki Teachers joining us to teach Grades 6/7 and Grade 8. Both Jackie Mitchell and Marguerite Sands were in the first group of Enki Trainees, did the training several times, and taught in the Enki Training Program, and, of most importance, both have been teaching using the Enki principles and materials for the last twenty plus years. Last year they taught the Enki Cyber School.  Click here to see their full resumes.We look forward to again working closely with them.

This cyber school has been a wonderful experience for Phaedra. She was really needing the independence and the experience of working in a group of kids her age. She LOVES it!

We love the group projects and the way Beth puts the student's individual work together in a really beautiful way.  The way math, science and grammar are all woven together around a core subject makes the learning so much more tangible than traditional schooling.   We are so thankful that we are on this journey and hope we can continue in the years to come.

                                                                                                                                    Shamaar, Texas

NOW OFFERING Grades 6/7 and 8:

Two units per year,  per grade are being offered. These cover the humanities focus detailed below, and include the introduction of related mathematics and science. Each Humanities Unit meets online, in real time, three times a week, for two hours each class, for twelve classes. We do take holiday breaks including a week off towards the middle of the Unit.

We also offer a companion "Math and Science" class with each Unit. Here we take the work that is introduced in its living context in the Humanities classes, onto the concept and skill mastery level. In this way, the daily applications that are part of life in each culture, are brought to a useful and practical skill level. These classes meet online, in real time, twice a week, for an hour and a half for each class, for twelve weeks. Detailed below.

Finally, we are offering an 8 week Grammar Unit during the winter, between the other Units. This is open to all students Grades 6-8, whether or not they have attended other units. At this age, the children are ready - and need - to take responsibility for proper use of their grammar skills. Working with peer partners under the teachers' guidance, the students help one another do just this. These meet online, in real time, three times a week, for two hours for each class, for eight weeks. Detailed below.

Along with the live online classes, each week includes reading homework and some writing, project work, and completion of art work. We expect the students will spend two to four hours a week, depending on the week, on Humanities homework - in addition to the reading assignments - and two to three hours a week doing math and science practice work and exploration.


 

written work from our multicultural education program

Cuneiform Writing: Irrigation Changes Everything

written work from our multicultural education program

   

6th Grade (this will be offered for the 2019/20 School Year)

Humanities - Greece and Rome

In this unit we will select from the golden period of Greece (mythologies, philosophers, scientists, warriors), moving through the life of Jesus of Nazareth in his place between the positive expansiveness of ancient Greece and the hardening extremes of Ancient Rome. Once in Rome we will focus on the tremendous architectural accomplishments and the role of government in the rise and fall of an empire.

September to December 2019

  written work from our multicultural education program

From the Blessings of Mohammed

They’re gone
They were gone in the night
Stolen away, away far away
From their master and home
They are gone, gone is our life
Those camels are gone
How many times will I say it, they are gone.
But what’s that in the darkness?
A shape, a small lump, a difference in brightness
The camels have come home.
But what’s that, there is more,
Three instead of two!
A blessing, it’s true
Our camels are home.
                                                Phaedra

More samples of Grade 6 student work

  written work from our multicultural education program

Humanities - The Middle East

This Unit works with the story of a modern day peaceful warrior, and through her eyes looks at the life of Mohammed and the core of Islam. We then go back to ancient Sumer and look at the roots of education and the stunning inventions that made possible the shift from hunter-gatherer societies to city life.

March to May 2020

  written work from our multicultural education program

Math and Science - Greece and Rome

During the Humanities Unit, through the eyes of the early philosopher /scientists, we will introduce the various mathematical systems. These were borrowed, developed, and used by the Greeks and Romans as they explored new ways to describe and interact with the world. This will focus on work with decimals and percent. We will review basic computation with whole numbers and place value systems, but a prerequisite is an understanding of and ability to use, fractions.

Science will take the phenomenological approach used by early Greeks to explore optics and acoustics. Simple, readily-available materials will be needed for experiments.

As always, Enki math and science work is approached through a discovery process so the learning is the children's own, and we were happy to discover that this can be done through online conferencing.

September to December 2019

 

Math and Science - The Middle East

In the context of the Middle East we will focus on geometry, both in its origin in ancient Sumer, and in its central place as a symbol of the teachings of Allah, as represented on Mosque tiles. We will focus on the geometry of a circle, in its own right, and in relation to polygons. Geometry tools will be needed.

Science will focus on Ancient Sumer and the simple machines that brought humanity from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies; chief among these are the lever and the wheel. Most supplies for this exploration are readily available in any park, though we will also need a couple of pulleys.

As always, Enki math and science work is approached through a discovery process so the learning is the children's own, and we were happy to discover that this can be done through online conferencing.

March to May 2020

Additional samples of Grade 6 students' written work, art work, and projects are found here.

  written work from our multicultural education program

Discovering π (Pi):

written work from our multicultural education program

Applying Geometric Principles

written work from our multicultural education program
     

6th/7th Grade

Humanities - Ancient China

In this program we will focus on the explorers of Ancient China, explorers who traveled the world, explorers of philosophy, and explorers into new societies. This will include Confucius, Genghis Khan and the Warrior Queens, and sea explorer Zheng He.

September to December 2018

  written work from our multicultural education program

From Stories on the Plague:

I wake to the sound of bells. I am Matteo and I am trapped in this confusion of death, despair and suffering. As I rise from my bed I notice a small bird crouching on the window ledge.

I am struck by the colorful feathers rustling in the wind. A small point of happiness in this dead city. As I gaze at this wonderful and colorful creature I remember the old days. The days we spent having celebrations and feasts. Now everybody avoids each other. They fear that if they get too close they will get the disease as well. I put my head in my hands. What have we done to deserve this…….. this plague!

                                                Dash

More samples of Grade 7 student work

  written work from our multicultural education program

 

Humanities - The European Renaissance

This Unit covers the time of Marco Polo, through the plague and on into the writers, artists, explorers, and scientists of the European Renaissance. The children see all this through the eyes of a composite figure modeled on the early female Renaissance poets, and follow her transition from the horror of illness to inspiration of a new life.

March to May 2019

  written work from our multicultural education program

Math and Science - Ancient China

In this Unit we work with the patterns of early Chinese number systems, exploring the suanpan - or abacus - and the first base ten system, which is found in China. Through this the children will review and firm up all calculation processes using whole numbers and decimals.

In connection with the experience of Ancient China, we will explore human anatomy and biology through the lens of acupuncture and the meridian mapping of the body.

As always, Enki math and science work is approached through a discovery process so the learning is the children's own, and we were happy to discover that this can be done through online conferencing.

September to December 2018

 

  written work from our multicultural education program

Math and Science - European Renaissance

In this Unit we explore base systems as step one in looking at the shifts brought forth in the European Renaissance. From there we will work with ratio and proportion, and with the early algebraic thinking needed for this. All this happens in the context of the changes in approach to mathematical thinking brought about by the Renaissance and Fibonacci in particular.

In connection with the European explorers and scientists, our science work will focus on astronomy - particularly the shift from geocentric to heliocentric (solar) systems - and mapping/star navigation.

As always, Enki math and science work is approached through a discovery process so the learning is the children's own, and we were happy to discover that this can be done through online conferencing.

March to May 2019

Additional samples of Grade 7 students' written work, art work, and projects are found here.

 

 

8th Grade

Humanities - Revolution in Russia

In this Unit our focus is on standing up against oppression, as seen through the eyes of Ekaterina Breshkovsky and Andrei Sakharov. We will explore Karl Marx's vision for changing an oppressive feudal society and the changes that vision underwent as Lenin and Stalin took over. Within this we will meet Russian culture and look at the process of taking a vision into reality.

September to December 2018

additional samples from grade 8 found here

 

 
     

Humanities - Revolution in South Africa

Focusing on the life of Nelson Mandela, we will explore traditional South African society and culture, the development of apartheid, and Mandela's own development as he explored ways to change society. Mandela's navigation of his own internal turmoil as he moved from violent to non-violent revolution will be a central aspect of this study.

March to May 2019

additional samples from grade 8 found here

 
     

Math and Science

We are now offering math and science for Grade 8. Both Units will focus on an Introduction to Algebra in the context of equality. With the full year focused on this, we can take the students as far as they are ready to go. Science in The Russia Unit will focus Physics in relation to the basics of atoms and molecules in the context of Andrei Sakharov and nuclear energy. In the South Africa Unit, we will focus on an introduction to Chemistry and Archeology in the context of early man in Africa.

  Coming Soon
     
Grammar Unit Grades 6-8 (combined class)

Students at this age need to be – and are ready to be – responsible for proper grammar usage in their work. However, few meet this demand. Why, when they have spent their first 11-14 years immersed in high quality literature and speech, is this so? Why are they not using proper grammar automatically? In truth, they are - for the most part. The vast majority of the time when the children speak and read, they do so using the proper pacing that is grammar. Therefore, in this class, we bring the students to recognize that they already know the grammatical rules (for the most part) and that it is now their job to apply these. Because they are so focused on peers at this point, we work with peer partners in our writers' workshop, so they are correcting and improving one another's work. In so doing, they take far more responsibility for their own understanding and for their own work.

As the core content material for this course, we work with a book called "From Lion's Jaws." This is the very exciting and inspiring story of Tibetan lamas escaping the Chinese invasion. Our focus is on the journey of the 11th Trungpa Tulku, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche as he flees Surmang Monastery and leads an escape over the Himalayas to India. Students will do writing assignments on this story, and this will be the material we use to study grammar.

– multicultural education: studying sages

Tuitions and Fees:

Tuition for each 12 week Humanities Unit is $600. This includes use of the Enki reading material, the 36 online classes, and a parent meeting. Students will also need to provide their own sketch books and art supplies.

Tuition for the 12 week Math-Science Units is $350. Students need to provide their own sketch books and art supplies, and will need materials for explorations; most of the time, this will be items they can find in the park or the woods.

Tuition for the Grammar Unit is $400. Students need to get "From Lions Jaws" by Grant McLean, and to provide their own sketch books and art supplies.

Scholarships are available for all classes; simply email the office for a scholarship application. Our scholarship funds are limited, so please apply early if you need this support.

Registration: to register simply email the Enki office with an inquiry including the unit you are interested in, child's name and age and completed grade level, and a phone number. We will get back to you.

Testimonials

This Humanities class was a positive experience for my very sociable fourteen year old daughter.  Anytime I passed by or tuned in, I could tell either from her laughter, animated voice or intent listening that she was every bit as invested in this group of spirited teens as she had been with her classmates from a more conventional setting. What a lively bunch! And from what I could tell Jackie was a terrific teacher, very well suited for the task of guiding these students through the process of reading and absorbing the written materials then working in small groups to ‘present’ it again, reassembled and in another form; poetry, short stories, songs, drawings. Very impressive. Looking forward to spring semester.

                                                                                                                                    Jennifer, Texas

This cyber school has been a wonderful experience for Phaedra. She was really needing the independence and the experience of working in a group of kids her age. She LOVES it!  

We love the group projects and the way Beth puts the student's individual work together in a really beautiful way.  The way math, science and grammar are all woven together around a core subject makes the learning so much more tangible than traditional schooling.   We are so thankful that we are on this journey and hope we can continue in the years to come. 

                                                                                                                                    Shamaar, Texas

I cannot say enough good things about Beth Sutton and Enki Cyber School.  It has been an amazing experience for my 14 year old daughter.  Abigail was indifferent when I signed her up, but it quickly became her favorite class.  "Class," though, is an understatement.  It has been a learning journey that has involved not only learning about the subject matter (which has ranged from renaissance history and astronomy to current events involving Muslim refugees to high emotions in the aftermath of the presidential election), but also learning to collaborate with peers and work through disagreements.  Collaboration with peers who value diversity is often a missing element in homeschooling, but this experience has met that need.  In fact, as a biracial family living in a non-diverse community, this Enki experience has probably been far more mind broadening than any local school experience could have been.

With Beth's supportive guidance, Abigail's artistic and her creative writing abilities have grown in ways that I could not have helped her accomplish alone.  Beth was also able to create a space that felt safe enough for her to be expressive and want to participate in class.  At one point, when Abigail did not seem as engaged, Beth noticed it and took the time to explore the problem in a non-judgmental way, which helped Abigail to reengage and learn to work through issues like procrastination.  Beth is a gifted observer of adolescents and undaunted by the challenges that they present.  My only regret is that this class was not around when she was in sixth grade.   

                                                                                                                                    Toni, Ohio

My son’s experience with the Enki cyber class has been wonderful! During the course, I have seen his genuine interest in another culture and history grow exponentially. Not only that, but he has left almost every class feeling inspired by his teacher and his peers. I have seen his sense of empowerment through peaceful action grow because of his participation in this class. There also seems to be a beautiful balance between teacher-led learning, peer-group projects, and independent work. My son is already eagerly looking forward to his next cyber class with Enki.
                                                                                                                                    Amy McGehee Lee

The Enki middle school on-line class has been engaging as well as educational for my daughter.  She never wants to miss class!  The teacher's strategy of molding the material to the students makes it enticing and relevant.  The current subject matter was not only timely, the skills my daughter is developing are a wonderful foundation for future social engagement.  In class she partners with classmates to work together creating projects that are very impressive using the artistic elements explored in this class.  The artistic portions add a very kinetic aspect to the learning.  I highly recommend this program for any parent who is looking for a well rounded education.

                                                                                                                                    Debra, Michigan

                                                  

   
 
 
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