Here are the details of our first Adventure Circle – aka, my attempt at getting some sensory integration exercises in our lives a la Enki. Enki talks about the importance of awaking our breath and bodies in the morning and we have been holding circle on mornings where we don’t have to “get up and get out” – around 4 or 5 mornings a week. The first part of our Adventure Circle is activity (“awakening breath”) – moving our bodies! Of course, we do this frequently throughout the day, but I like the way this puts an emphasis on getting some of that energy going in the right direction early in the day. Next, midline activities strengthen our ability to integrate our lateral midline (left to right), horizontal midline (up and down) and sagittal midline (forward and back). According to researchers, movement across midlines effects not just the ways in which your body moves through the world, but also your ability to read, write, concentrate and think flexibly (just google “crossing midlines” for more information.) Next comes work on the vestibular and proprioceptive senses – the senses that tell you where your body is in the world and how it is moving. Enki calls these two senses “base senses” – for those of you with interest, here is a link for more information. These are two senses which I am particularly interested in with regard to Atticus. I have frequently noticed his inability to understand where his body is – that he is about to run into people, or that he is “standing in someone’s space.” Finally, come “fingerplays” – usually short poems-like rhymes which accompany hand movements. Fingerplays work on developing fine motor skills.
Note: In italics are songs or chants taken from the Enki Kindergarden Movement Book – many of the songs are traditional songs, others were created/adapted by the Enki folks. The words in italics are the basis for the narration I provide throughout the circle.
Sing Come Follow– w/Variation: “On the water, on the water, on the water to the sea” while leading children into the living room. Lie down on the couch, curled up.
“Sleeping snug in our beds we heard someone singing.”
Sing Wake Up – mime waking up – stretch and jump up!
“We woke up and the morning was clear and bright! We went down to the harbor to find our boat.”
Sing Come Follow Variation (sung while skipping around the house):
Come sail, sail, sail, sail, sail with me,
Wither shall we sail, sail, sail? Wither shall we sail? O’er the sea.
On the water, on the water, on the water peacefully.
“We got on our boat and set sail.”
Sailor Boy (this is a a song where we hold hands and walk in a circle and mime different parts of the song)
“We saw some beautiful dolphins in the water and sang to them.” Sing Come Follow Variation while pretending to be dolphins or sailors singing. “We then continued sailing out into the sea.”
Far Out at Sea (another circle activity – we pretend to be horses/waves in the sea)
“We steered the boat towards a good fishing spot. (mime turning a boat wheel). First we got to work throwing out the fishing line (mime putting hooks on a line and throwing it out to sea). Then we swabbed the deck (down on knees, back and forth with hands). After the deck was clean we had to haul the fish in (pretend to bring in a fishing line, take off the fish and throw in a bucket).
Base Sense Sequence:
“A sudden storm came up and our boat was tossed to and fro.”
Standing tall, rock side to side. Raise arms to side and run around, and then spin around and around. (3 minutes) (Vestibular)
“Finally the storm ended and our boat ran ashore near an island. We hopped off the boat and swam to shore. When we got there, we saw that we were surrounded by beautiful frogs (mime hopping around like frogs).”
“After we rested, we got back on the boat and sailed away. After sailing for a while we saw the lighthouse near our home.”
“We arrived safely home.”
Closing: Our Home – another fingerplay
Here is a picture of the kids on the “sailboat” Atticus put together the first week and which we have continued to use as the base ship for circle. You can see my homeschool planning notebook in the background resting on the piano…
I was hoping to get more and better pictures of circle but found that the taking of the pictures made circle disintegrate in a major way! I’m too tired tonight to talk about how circle is going – I’ll get to that tomorrow…