General Ideas for ECC

If you are using Exploring Countries and Cultures, please share your ideas with us.
Julie - Staff
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Music in ECC

Unread post by Julie - Staff » Sat May 31, 2008 11:11 pm

donutmom wrote:We just started ECC and are about to "visit" our first foreign country next week--Mexico. My kids love to listen to the Wee Sing tape--couldn't restrain them to the one song a week; they just like music!

Anyhow, I was looking at the library for some CDs of Mexican music of which I found several. I have limited Spanish skills remaining from high school class, but all the CDs I found have love songs on them (based on titles that translate "Night of Love", "Prisoner of your Arms"). Did anyone get music from the library that didn't include such songs?
Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:59 pm
Author: lyntley

We listened to mariachi music, the Mexican hat dance, and learned the words to De Colores (there's a sweet story about that song). That was enough for us. You can find them by googling...I know what you mean by the kiddies picking up things. We're in week 20 and little 2YO is still shouting Ole' from the hat dance music.

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:28 pm
Author: kstedl

We've really enjoyed "The Music of....." series. For example, "The Music of Mexico", etc. The label is Compendia. For example, if you did a search on for, "The Music of Mexico" you can find it and listen to samples off of it (the singer on this particular one is Jose Cortego and his Mariachi Ensemble). This label has a whole series of folk music and our library had some of the countries that we studied in the adult music section. We've really enjoyed the couple we were able to use with our studies!

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:19 pm
Author: Renai

For Mexico, anything by Cri-Cri (from the sound a cricket makes) is safe. He is an old-time famous children song singer/writer. You can find on YouTube a video animation of one his songs (he's singing).

From there are also links to other animations featuring his songs. The one I linked to is called La Muneca Fea- The Ugly Doll. It is really sweet. A doll is left in the attic because she is old and torn up and starts crying. the mice hear her and tell her that, silly doll, don't cry- you may be left in the attic but are still loved: by the broom and dustpan, a feather duster, spider, old suitcase, and the mice themselves.

Guiainfantil on Youtube has a bunch of traditional animated children's songs as well.

Anyway, hope this helps.
Last edited by Julie - Staff on Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Extra Game

Unread post by Heidi » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:58 pm

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:39 am

For Christmas, we received a game called Snapshots Across America. It is fun and my kids are having a ball with it. It is geography of US. Games are also a great way to "add" extra subjects in.

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A Bible based handbook to the zoo

Unread post by Hmschooling » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:50 pm

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:52 am

We have a book that's from Vision Forum I believe. It's Called "Zoo Guide" - A Bible based handbook to the zoo. It has AWESOME pics of animals from around the world, like you might find at a zoo. It has info on zoos and their underlying philosophies, creation, the fall, death, flood, extinction, animal kinds and adaptations, defense/attack structures, evolution, natural selection, biomes, stewardship, the good news all from a Christian view. it has sections for ungrouped mammals, bird, cats, monkeys and apes, and reptiles and amphibians.

On the left side is a full page picture of the animal. On the right is the animal name, day of creation it was created on, God's design for it, features, fun facts, created kind members, then a section that list scientific info such as class, order, family, genus/species. Then size, weight, diet pre and post sin, and it's habitat-- this is where ECC comes in. It tells the type of habitat and/or country its from.

I plan to have my kids go through this book and find all the animals from the country we are studying and/or all the animals from the habitat we are studying and see that many countries have similar habitats (desert, etc.)

We LOVE this book!

Lisa Ringel
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ECC Kickoff to bring other users of MFW into community withi

Unread post by Lisa Ringel » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:49 pm

On Sat. Aug 16, 2008 Our family hosted a ECC kickoff to start up the new year. It was a successful way to meet other families in my area with the same ages of children and the same interest.
I sent an email to friends and asked them to pass it along. Each family coming was to dress like the country/culture of choice, bring a main dish and a dessert from that country, a craft or game to share with the children. We took their pictures when they arrived, issued passports, introduced the "countries" represented and their foods to share. We had face painting, a moon bounce for a carnival kind of event. Represented among us was Mexico, France, China, Africa and the Netherlands.

After each child completed the activity at each country and had their pass
ports stamped they received a certificate/Citizenship Award

When I asked the Lord what He would have me share with the children, He gave me Mt 4:19, "Come and follow me", Jesus said, " and I will make you fishers of men." It was an exciting time to ask them what does Jesus mean by "fishers of men", and to hear there responses...In conclusion, the goal was for them to know that we do not have to travel to other countries to share the gospel, we are missionaries in our own neighborhoods and we are to use the bait, (God's Word) to tell others why they need a Saviour ...

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Re: Planet Earth BBC Series

Unread post by dascott » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:55 pm

ajebner wrote:I have to say that one of the best purchases that I've made this year to augment ECC was the BBC's Planet Earth Series on DVD. It is simply wonderful and you can pick episodes that go right along with the science topics...not only Mountains, Tundra, Seasonal Forests, but also Saving the Species and Living Together (which is perfect during France).
After reading this post, I found this DVD series online and purchased it. We watched the one that was marked for intro. and the kids loved it. It has beautiful scenery and birds that we had never seen before. We are looking forward to using it throughout the year. It was well worth the money. I purchased mine online for about $35.00.


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Don't forget AiG

Unread post by Hmschooling » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:56 pm

This link will take you to Answers in Genesis' Kids site of animals. A great fun resource!
Currently using HOD
Planning our future return to MFW for the high school years

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Great websites for ECC Missions

Unread post by doubleportion » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:45 pm

SIM (Serving In Missions) has a great kids website to help children learn about some of the countries their missionaries serve in.
There is a wealth of info on it for your kids to discover including plenty of info on the countries and what life is like for the Missionary Kids etc. The country info includes geography, climate, government,economy, interesting country facts, official language, religion etc. It is a great website. We are looking forward to using it next year in ECC. You select a continent and then select explore God's world.

Another great resource is Voice of Martyrs Kids of Courage website. You can download free printable info rich booklets on select countries. then go to downloads
The current countries they have are China, Egypt, Eritrea, India & Uzbekistan. If you have any problems downloading them, let me know. I have them all already. They are PDF files which run about 1.5 MB each or so.

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States quiz - Spelling idea

Unread post by lisa062797 » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:40 pm

Ds just took the quiz in ECC where he has to label as many states as he can on a U.S. map.

I gave him a list of the states so he would know how to spell them. He got them all right! Every single one, with no help from me. I am one proud mama. :D
Winkie wrote:My oldest also did ADV last year & he got 49/50 on the states quiz. He simply blanked out on Colorado & couldn't come up with its name. Great idea to provide a spelling list! My ds' spellings were ... um ... quite inventive. He's been complaining about doing Spelling Power, so at least I could tell him that he obviously needs to keep doing it.
Lisa in MN
Wife to Nick
Mom to
Vincent (11) Completed MFWK, MFW1, ADV, ECC, CtoG, RtR, and currently in EX1850
Andrew (6) Completed MFWK, and currently in 1st
Isaac (4) Currently enjoying MFW preschool toys

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Here's are some resources to try...

Unread post by sonlitgables » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:15 pm

The One Small Square series by Donald M. Silver are excellent resources for different habitats. One of the titles is One Small Square Desert. There are many habitats represented in this series. My children really enjoy them. There are lots of great illustrations and you can really get a feel for the many different types of animals and plants in the areas. I'm looking forward to using these books when we venture into ECC again. :)
-Cindy, mom of 4, ages 4 to 15
Enjoying My Father's World
Ancient History & Literature
& Creation to the Greeks

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Planet Earth videos - note

Unread post by tiffany » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:14 am

RB wrote: ... 200#p27200
We like Planet Earth videos, too, except we have to fast forward some of the worst predator/prey scenes :)
We've been watching those lately just for fun. We hadn't seen them yet. The cinematography is stunning, but you are right about the prey aspect. Depending on the ages of your kids, I would be close by in case you need to skip a scene. We put them on our DVR so we can fast forward through those parts.

We joke around about not getting too attached to any animal you see on the screen, because anytime you think something is cute- it is about to be someone's lunch! That and a lot of talk about animal droppings, which of course my boys love to joke about. Nature can be brutal and yes gross too!
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Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
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Planet Earth videos

Unread post by NakiainNC » Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:04 pm

Thanks for the info.

We definitely have to be careful with the predator/prey scenes, but my girls usually take it better than I do. :) We do talk a lot about the circle of life.
Blessed to be the mommy of 3 little ladies and wife to one hunk!

RJ's Momma
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Boy am I going to learn a lot!!!

Unread post by RJ's Momma » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:50 pm

faithmom wrote:I thought I might begin making the Geography game ahead of time like someone suggested. I looked at the first one (North America, no less) and realized I would have to do some research in order to label all the countries. I think there were supposed to be 16 countries and I couldn't even guess where all of them would go on the map I was looking at. Obviously I knew some, but not all. I never cease to be amazed at how much I learn in our little school. If my kids even learn half of what's in ECC, it will be more than I ever did!!!
Post Posted Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:03 pm by RJ's Momma

I am actually going to take the geography pre-test and then post-test with my dd. I want to see how much I learn too:)

Wife to dh 12 years, Momma to 'RJ' 10 years old
CtG - July 2009 (5th grade) ECC-4th grade Adventures-3rd grade
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More Geography Games

Unread post by Mommyto2 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:11 pm

Here's an FYI.

Highlights currently has two kinds of geography games for purchase. One is Top Secret Adventures game for $19.99. This isn't the monthly subscription but a board game. We bought this and my 6 y.o. and 9 y.o. love to play it. It is geared more toward the younger end of the ECC crowd but it will help teach mapping, continents, a few major countries on each continent and some major cities as well as geographical info such as major rivers, mountain ranges, etc. Plus it is fun. Also the gameboard and all the cards are super heavy duty. This is a game that will last through much use. This game can be played by the kids with little adult supervision.

They also have an educational game called "Where in the World" for $29.99. We bought that too. It has 3 double sided small boards (8x8?). (It does not include Antarctica.) Each board has a continent on each side. All the countries are numbered and colored with no names. The game cards are color coded by continent. There are multiple games you can play but this is much more educational and less "fun". It is geared more for the older ECCers. Each card includes: continent, country, capital, population, monetary unit, literacy rate, major language, major religion, major export, major import and major seacoasts.

My ds was doing so well in memorizing all the countries and capitals that I wanted to add on more info for him for each country but it was going to be labor intensive on my part to start researching language and religion on all the countries we already studied plus all the new ones and change all the game cards, etc. Basically I didn't want to do it. The $30 was worth it to me especially because my ds does well in this area of school and I wanted to encourage him.

How do I make this very educational game more fun for him? Pennies. He gets a penny for each correct answer. He can usually earn between .50 and .75 each time we play.

I will say though that we still colored the Africa map and I had him label all the countries because it was good for him to slowly color and label to start cementing where the countries are. I need to do the same thing or he is going to whoop my behind when we play the game...

mom to ds 9 and dd 6

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Salt map to solidify vocabulary

Unread post by bethben » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:24 am

To review Geography terms, have your child make a pretend salt map. You can get a recipe for salt dough online.

I gave ds several terms (like mountain range, bay, peninsula...) that I wanted him to include in his map. He then had to form these terms out of the dough and make his own country. He put toothpicks into the dough before it hardened so that he could lable the land forms. He also painted it.

He found it to be a really fun project and even went beyond what I expected of him. He included all the terms in the Geography A-Z book. It really helped him to solidify what he had been learning.

Married to my best friend for 13 years
DS- 9 in special ed. public school
DS - 7 ECC 08/09 Adventures 07/08
DS - 3 Little Hands to Heaven 08/09

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Location: South, USA

Fun geography games and maps

Unread post by hsmomof5 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:15 pm

Fun geography games and maps
ds 19 (college freshman), ds 12, ds 12, and ds 10 (ECC '08) (CTG '09), dd 3 (Preschool)

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Endangered Species & Habitat ideas

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:53 am

(1) At our post office this week, they had a 2-sided sheet of "wall art" called Endangered Species, Removable wall art, Collectable stamp images. The sheet has 14 colorful stickers with the species identified. Some are as big as a postcard. Since the geography packets have an endangered species page for each continent, these might be a fun extra for certain ECC kids who would like to add them to their notebook or stamp collection or... wall?

(2) animal Habitats! by Judy Press,
Learning about North American animals and plants through art, science & creative play
For little ones trying to wrap their brains around biomes, this book explains habitats at kid level in very small bites. Even though it says North America, it covers most of the biomes -- desert, forest, rainforest, rivers & lakes, grasslands, arctic tundra, etc. (Note: One reference seen to insects being here millions of years.)

As far as the activities, it has more paper crafts than my particular son would have enjoyed, but there were a couple he would have wanted to do (prairie dog on a popsicle stick that you pop out of a paper cup), and my dd would have loved all of them.
Last edited by Julie in MN on Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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ECC-recommended cookbook

Unread post by s_duguid » Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:44 pm

I stumbled upon a book through "Rainbow" that has been extremely useful to us this past year. It is Eat Your Way Around the World by Jamie Aramini. (I just found out prior to writing this that this cookbook was designed to go along with GtG unit study.)

The recipes have been very delicious; the ingredients are easy to find; and the "Food Profile," culture information and dining customs have been very enlightening. I was very surprised yesterday (Japanese night) when my kids tried tofu for the first time and loved it! :-) In fact, I have one child in particular who wants some of the dishes to go on our regular rotation of meals.

I have used recipes from Cooking the ____________ Way and from A Trip Around the World books, but this cookbook is even better. It has been a wonderful compliment to our study of countries and their culture and has been a fantastic way to share with and include the rest of the family with my daughter's learning experience.

Last edited by s_duguid on Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sue, married 20 years and mother to 3 (only homeschooling one):
TJ (18), college sophomore
Drew (17), high school senior
Victoria (12) starting 1850-MOD in fall
  • completed Exp_1850, RtR, CtG, ECC, ADV

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Re: ECC-recommended cookbook

Unread post by mamaofredheads » Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:14 pm

I ordered this recently because we will be starting ECC in July. It looks like it will be a lot of fun, and the recipes have been simplified a bit. It does have some interesting info about the different countries. I'm looking forward to using it next year.


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ECC Ideas and Archives

Unread post by BHelf » Mon May 25, 2009 6:59 pm

buzymom wrote:I found a great resource off of a list I belong to .. it is great..
here is the link:
I was looking through the ECC Ideas and the Archives last week and came across this post. I went to this website and requested my passports and I got them in the mail today. They sent me soooo much stuff about missions and involving kids in missions as well as a bunch of "poster" size maps of the world to color and regular 8 1/2 x 11 size ones to color. There is also maps to color by "region". (All the countries are labeled.) They also sent magnets, balloons, stickers, pencils, bookmarks and other things. They have stamps to go with the passports from 127 countries--you just have to print out the ones you need from their website.

Thank you to whoever posted this originally!!

I plan on using a lot of it with my 3 and 2 year olds--for fun. I hope they will want to sit with us and "do school" for a little bit so I can have them all together for awhile during school time. Even if they just color those maps and put a sticker in their own passports, I'll be happy! My 2 YO actually WANTS to do stuff...but my 3 YO (boy, of course) can't sit still long enough to care! :) But some of that stuff will be fun for him, I think.

I love how Missions-minded ECC is and I can't wait to read all of the books. I looked briefly at the chapter on street children in Window on the World and wow...I've met some children who have lived in these situations. Just heartbreaking and I'm glad it's going to be part of SCHOOL to pray for them and find ways to help people across the world. I love MFW!!
doubleportion wrote:Thanks for the reminder. This would be particularly helpful for those with preschoolers tagging along on ECC. BTW- The link for the printable passport stickers is
There are other printables at that link as well.
Posted by BHelf » Sat May 30, 2009 6:08 pm
Yes, I plan on using a lot of it with my 3 and 2 year olds--for fun. I hope they will want to sit with us and "do school" for a little bit so I can have them all together for awhile during school time. Even if they just color those maps and put a sticker in their own passports, I'll be happy!

I love how Missions-minded ECC is and I can't wait to read all of the books. The books in the basic package are awesome. I looked briefly at the chapter on street children in Window on the World and wow...I've met some children who have lived in these situations. Just heartbreaking and I'm glad it's going to be part of SCHOOL to pray for them and find ways to help people across the world. I love MFW!!
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Video for ECC

Unread post by BHelf » Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:41 pm

Found this video on Youtube about Bible translation (it's a Wycliffe video but has different mission organizations featured to talk about literacy and the bible) and thought it would go along great when reading the God Speaks book or anytime during ECC really.

search for: Wycliffe Literacy to find the video.

I watched this with my DD tonight and I think it was another way to make it real to her that people need to know how to read and write so they can read the Bible in their language.
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
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Great ECC find at KMart

Unread post by kellybell » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:04 pm

Hi Friends,

Today I was at KMart buying boring stuff and poked my head in the school supply section at the front of the store. In addition to the usual crayons, backpacks, and glue sticks, I found a really neat 2 CD set called Anthems of the World. The first CD has national anthems of many countries and the second CD has patriotic songs. We're done with ECC, having gone through it twice, but I picked it up anyway. The company name on the front was Sound Sensations and it was $5.


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Unread post by BHelf » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:14 pm

We use their free version for learning a little Latvian as it's so rare to find something that teaches that language! It is good as you read the word, say the word, hear the word, type the word....all at various times to help with retention. I thought some of their words were rather in the Latvian program under "animals" it teaches you the name of "fly" and "cockroach". I'm wondering if these are huge problems in Latvia (and I guess I'll get to find out in September when I'm there...) but it made us laugh. I think it is good to get a feel for a language you may be considering trying to learn more in depth. I'd still really like to get Rosetta Stone Russian (since there isn't a good in-depth Latvian curriculum out there and so many Latvians speak Russian so it'll help us in our mission work), but this is good in the meantime.

Okay, I rambled. Anyways, yes I like the program! Especially the free part. But it is really good at teaching as well in my opinion.
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
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ECC blog posts

Unread post by Lainie » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:17 pm

Many of you have asked about out ECC year and I wasn't blogging back then. Soooo, I took a little time today and made a few posts about our ECC year and loaded a bunch of pictures onto Photobucket so there are several slideshows of pictures.

Our science notebooking and geography cards are all posted. I will post misc. pictures of other things from that year but this is a start.

I hope that helps those of you who asked :)
Lainie (Oregon)
"Sanctify them in truth; Thy word is truth" John 17:17

Have completed 1st, entire 5 year cycle, and all high school! Whoo hoo!
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Great New books for ECC or other years

Unread post by doubleportion » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:49 am

Our library just got the series "Follow That Food Chain" published by Lerner Publications Company, 2009

The books in the series include:
A desert food chain : a who-eats-what adventure in North America / by Rebecca Hogue Wojahn and Donald Wojahn.

A Savanna food chain : a who-eats-what adventure in Africa / by Rebecca Hogue Wojahn and Donald Wojahn.

A tundra food chain : a who-eats-what adventure in the Arctic / by Rebecca Hogue Wojahn and Donald Wojahn.

An Australian outback food chain : a who-eats-what adventure / by Rebecca Hogue Wojahn and Donald Wojahn.

A temperate forest food chain : a who-eats-what adventure in North America / by Rebecca Hogue Wojahn and Donald Wojahn.

A rain forest food chain : A who-eats-what adventure in South America / by Rebecca Hogue Wojahn and Donald Wojahn.

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ECC, sooo excited

Unread post by sarajoy » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:51 pm

I'm so excited, I wanted to share. :-) We have next door neighbors from Iran and they recently went to visit family in Turkey. They brought back souvenirs for my kids!! Travel brochures, some money from Turkey and Iran, some Turkish Nougats (Turkish Delight anyone?), tea, and even a travel brochure from Romania!! It has been fun to see how God has provide us with a network of friends who know so much more about this wonderful world He created. My brother is an international pilot, we have missionary friends in Kenya and Bolivia, and my husband's boss is from Argentina. My encouragement to everyone is to keep talking with people about what you are doing for you kids and you'll never know what doors of learning and connections with people God will open up for you.


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