Why the Tree of Life?


Changing Gears

It's common for first graders to resist circle or practice work, but resistance doesn't usually come at story time. Well, it came around here. There was enough resistance to the fairy tales that we were reading that I really began to feel that I was just not meeting Kirven where he is right now, but I wasn't sure what to do instead. Was it just a matter of stretching him a little bit, or was I breaking him trying to force feed these fairy tales?

Time for a consultation call with Beth Sutton to get her take on it. Her answer surprised me, but in the end, I agreed with her. Instead of fairy tales, we are going to be using chapter books during the next two blocks (Numbers Qualities and the Second Consonant Block). Kirven loves chapter books--- begs me not to stop; please just read a little bit more... I told Beth the ones we had read recently, all ones he loved, and they all have the same themes that fairy tales do: chaos, separation, conflict... So, why aren't the fairy tales appealing to Kirven? Perhaps he has not shifted into symbolic thinking? That's the theory anyway. We don't know, and I may never figure it out. But, I'm going to drop them for now, and we may try them again after February or so, particularly if I sense a shift in him that might suggest he is ready for them.

There is a big part of me that has to deal with letting go of the fairy tales. I love fairy tales, and I have been eager to share them with my children. For now, that is going to have to wait a little longer. And it was a good reminder that the Enki Approach is not the materials in the big binders; it is meeting the child where they are. And right now, Kirven is being fed by chapter books.

So, we are going to attempt to do the Number Qualities Block using Rascal, the book we just happened to finish today. We are taking this week more casually as I regroup and figure out what the heck I am going to do.


  1. Good for you, being flexible and responsive like that. And I love and sort of envy the fact that you have an expert you can consult with when the going gets tough!

  2. Don't you love it when the kiddos throw a curve ball at you? J seems to be going through the 9 year change, which, despite him having just turned 9, I really wasn't expecting him to go through for at least another year, given that he only just went through a 7 year-type change a year ago! Meanwhile, Zoo Boy is no where near ready to be done with Fairy Tales yet. So much for my plans to combine 2nd grade for my two after the holidays...guess it's time for a consult with Beth!