What is Enki Education?
Enki Education is an independent program that strives to recognize
wisdom and vitality wherever they arise. In this spirit both the
classroom and homeschool curriculum are informed by
the work of several leading educators and a variety
of methods. Central among these are:
the multicultural focus of
the United Nations International
the integrated arts
approach of Waldorf Inspired Programs;
the skill building techniques
of traditional Western education;
the independent project
learning of theme studies programs;
the focus on neurological development of Sensory and Reflex Integration Programs; and,
the rhythmic flow between form and freedom as found in the work of Josh Lieberman (Progressive Camping, Camp Robinson Crusoe)
Although we are grateful to those who have gone before, Enki differs
markedly from both Theme Studies and Waldorf Inspired Programs,
as well as all other approaches. The Enki approach, known as Developmental-Immersion
Mastery weaves together many rich and diverse elements in order
to support our fundamental premise - that the integration of body,
heart and mind is key to cultivating educational excellence, confidence,
and competence. At all grade levels, whether in classroom or homeschooling
programs, all academics are taught using a three fold process. This process begins with the arts and opens to full mastery of skills and concepts. In this way, we nurture the whole child, weaving together a coherent program including academics, arts, story, activities, movement, and exploration, to bring about deep learning and growth. The resulting strong and broad foundation enables the students to meet the world head-on, in a compassionate, flexible, and creative manner.
Since 1993 the Enki approach has been used in homeschools,
and in independent elementary and junior high schools in the U.S.
In 2014 it became clear that these endeavors were not viable and we are currently exploring new structures that will allow us to bring this work forward.
When and how did this approach begin?
In 1989 a group of parents and teachers requested that Beth Sutton, M.Ed., develop teacher education programs, and begin working with them to establish elementary and homeschool curriculum and programs. In response Enki Education, Inc. was born.
The first order of business was development of a Teacher Training Program. In 1991 we began with workshops for parents and teachers, which quickly grew into the Enki Teacher Training Program. Now entering its fourteenth year, the program has served many classroom teachers, homeschooling parents, and other interested people. Students have come from across the United States and Canada, and from Europe and Asia. Much of the program is done off site through correspondence courses and independent study in order to make it more accessible to adult learners with other family and employment commitments.
In 1993 the first group of Enki-trained teachers worked with Enki Education, Inc. to open both an elementary school in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and several Homeschool programs. In 1998 a group of parents and teachers began working to open a school in New Hampshire. Over the years our program and curriculum materials have been used in preschools, home schools, homeschooling cooperatives, and independent elementary and junior high schools.
Unfortunately, due to the current economic climate, both of our independent elementary schools and our homeschooling program have had to close or substantially restructure, and we are currently exploring new ways to bring Enki into the world.
About the Directors . . .
Beth Sutton, M.Ed., is the director and core developer of Enki Education. Beth has been a certified teacher in several states,
and is also certified in Waldorf
Education. She has been a teacher
and director of schools and camps over the last 49 years, and
in Traditional, Experimental, and Integrated Day/Emergent Curriculum, and Waldorf methods. She has
taught in both Waldorf Schools and Waldorf inspired programs, as well as Enki Schools.
Beth's commitment to multicultural education is grounded in her own childhood, throughout which she had the great fortune to be educated at the United Nations International School. Her understanding of the importance of the dynamic interplay of the individual and the community was fostered at Camp Robinson Crusoe, under the guidance
of Josh Lieberman, father of progressive camping, during the nine years she spent there.
Along with her commitment to bringing the children a fully integrated educational experience, Beth has always been passionate about helping children tackle their learning challenges through movement. This led her to study and work with Sensory Integration beginning in 1979. Over the years she has gone on to study: Educational Kinesiology (Brain Gym); Diet and Remediation; the Irlen Method (dyslexia); and she is currently completing her instructor's training in Rhythmic Movement Training with Dr. Harald Blomberg. She brings all of these approaches into the children's daily experience through this fully integrated curriculum.
Beth began working with homeschoolers 15 years ago and has been homeschoooling her oldest grandson for the last 6 years. She
is the mother of three grown children and the grandmother of six.
Amy Wallace, MS, CNM, is the Associate Program Director for Enki Education. Amy's passion has always been in guiding new birth, and her background is in midwifery where she is both a nurse midwife and a professor at Regis University. Through the births of her own children and her commitment to guiding them on a positive path, Amy began homeschooling.
Amy has been homeschooling her two children with the Enki approach for the past 13 years. In 2010, she began leading a multi-aged, homeschool enrichment program, as well. Over the years, she has done in-depth study, both in groups and in private classes, with Beth Sutton. In 2007 she was asked to join in supporting Enki families in an official post. This began as work with online groups and parent consultations and grew into work with curriculum and program development. In 2013 Amy became the Associate Program Director of Enki Education, and as such is engaged in all program creation, guidance, and decision making. We are very fortunate to have her particular experience and perspective guiding Enki.
About the Faculty:
Jackie Mitchell, one of the original Enki teachers, has joined the Enki faculty to teach the Cyber 8th Graders. Jackie is an Enki trained teacher who taught in the elementary grades for 20 years at the Shambhala School in Halifax, Nova Scotia, using and developing Enki materials. She is a founding member of the parent group who started the Shambhala Elementary School and was in the first Enki teacher training group.
Jackie's background is in sociology and dance therapy in which she has undergraduate degrees. She is currently writing a thesis on curriculum development to complete her Masters degree in education. At present, she is in Bhutan where she is designing an integrated secular curriculum at the middle school level for young Buddhist monks. The product and experience of this work will be an integral part of her thesis. Born and brought up in Scotland, she has also lived and worked in France, Portugal, the USA, and now Bhutan, but has spent most of her adult life in Canada. She has a lifelong passion for education as a vehicle for transformation. She has two children, now grown up, both who were educated in the Enki approach in their elementary years at the Shambhala School.
Marguerite Sands, another of the original Enki teachers, has joined the Enki faculty to teach the Cyber 6th and 7th Graders. Marguerite is certified in early childhood ed, elementary ed, art k-12, and waldorf ed. She has a BA (Sarah Lawrence College, liberal arts/arts), an MA (Goddard College, art/ed), Waldorf Teaching Cert (Antioch NE), and is a graduate of the Enki Teacher Training program.
Marguerite has been teaching since 1990, and has taught in Green Mtn Waldorf School, grades 1 through 4/5, Shambhala Elementary School grades 1 through 6, and she team-taught & assisted in developing curriculum for a
graduate-level course at Mt St Vincent University.
Melissa Rumianowski has always felt drawn to spend her time with children and teens. Over the years, she has worked as a nanny, mentor, assistant and teacher in various classroom, outdoor and homeschool settings. From 2015 to 2018, Melissa co-taught grades 4 and 5 in an Enki Program at the Applesong School in Colorado.
Melissa is passionate about Enki education and delights in the sense of community that springs forth in each group. Melissa has her BA in early and middle childhood development, and is working on a masters degree through Self Design Graduate Institute, including her Enki training gin that program. She is passionate about medicinal plants, dance, sustainability. She is the mother of one: toddler Wyatt.
Perekin Mackey is now in her 6th year of teaching Enki Elementary Grades at the Applesong Cottage School in Colorado. With over a decade of standardized teaching under her belt, Perekin (Perky) wished for a more holistic experience for her own children as they came of school age. Enlivened in the outdoors, Perky also longed for a program rich with nature-connection. She serendipitously met Applesong Home-school Cooperative, was introduced to Enki Education, and engaged in the Enki teacher training. She began to transform her way of living and learning with children. Over the past six years, Perky has guided children through the Enki appoach, in grades Kindergarten through Second. Concurrently, she earned an M.Ed in Holistic Education for the Primary Grades through Lesley University,
with a focus on Enki Education and an emphasis on nature-rooted education.
Perky's most cherished teacher experience is being enveloped in a moment of wonder with her students, usually in the forest, by the river, or in the school garden.
Perky has 3 children aged 8, 11, and 14. The two younger children have been educated in Enki programs since kindergarten.