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A Vowel Block

In the Enki curriculum, vowel sounds are taught over a series of three mini-blocks: long, short, and paired.  Following an intake, digestion, and sleep cycle, these are squeezed in between the other larger blocks.  We did the first one right after St. Nicholas day, a month ago.


The story used is called "The True Name of the King."


In it, the whole countryside is given the chance to become the next king,
simply by discovering the true name of the king: something that endures from birth to death.

E & U

A young girl wishes to discover the name and become king,
so she sets off and has a series of trials that teach her what the king's name is not.


In the end, when she has lost nearly all hope,
she discovers that the true name is within "life."
It is the letter "I."

Vowel Star

This intense one-week block included guided watercolor paintings every day, which we had never done before. Enki recommends guided paintings when children struggle to sink into simply enjoying the play of color on the page, when the are more concerned with a certain outcome.  Since Willow had no experience with being told what to paint, there was a little pushback the first day.  She got used to the idea, though, and we did well the rest of the week.  It was hard on my paper supply--we used five sheets a day!  I did get a chance to see that, yes, the heavier paper is always the way to go.  You can see one photo on the "E" and "U" day where the paper is rippling with all the moisture.

After we finish up our fairy tale verse reader and some word families, we'll work on the next vowel story.  Then, it will be onto the four processes and one of the main reason I chose Enki.


( 2 trees — Plant a Forest )
Jan. 11th, 2016 04:58 am (UTC)
This goes along with my understanding that vowel sounds should be viewed as quite special - Donna Simmons referred to them as "heart sounds" - her First Grade syllabus includes a story that weaves together meeting all the letters of the alphabet, and the vowel introductions always involve the Prince putting his hand over his heart or keeping something close to his heart. I believe it was she (or someone else?) who suggested not to draw phonetic pictures (as you would with consonants) to go along with vowels, but perhaps angels. I love the beautiful watercolor paintings! We do guided paintings quite regularly, and our paper is running low!! ~ Stacey
Jan. 11th, 2016 11:29 am (UTC)
How interesting her version is! I have two more chances at first grade, so I might give hers a go in the future, as I have always felt angels were appropriate for Laurel.
( 2 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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