Science - 7-9 year olds?

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Science - 7-9 year olds?

Unread post by kellybell »

Guest wrote:So far, my my older one (8) has trouble sitting still through the ECC science reading (she's ADHD) and I think some of it is just over the head of my just turned 7yo. Anyone have any suggestions, or a similar issue?
First off, if you like how the science subjects tie in to the areas you are studying, consider just finding a lot of library videos on the subject (I like the Slessinger videos, my kids like Bill Nye although he's quite evolutionary). Maybe view those and just discuss them afterwards. That would keep the science information coming in that correlates to the ECC countries. Watch a rain forest video, watch a forest video.

Then, if your children want some fun stuff, go to the library with them, and find the section that has lots of fun science stuff such as the Backyard Science books or the Janice VanCleave books. Let them look at a few books and decide what looks like fun. Ask them what they like and take advantage of that.

Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
Julie in MN
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Re: ECC Science

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Kelly has perfect ideas for 7 & 8 year olds. We also love the Schlessinger videos and I have come to suspect that company is a Christian one :o) My ds also watched Bill Nye videos over & over (except don't get the volcano one).

I have a couple small thoughts to add:

1. Some people forget to do the ECC experiments. Be sure to enjoy those. Put the heavy books on the eggshells, freeze the milk carton full of water, and create the ocean currents in the bathtub! They are all planned for you and relate nicely to the geography topics.

2. Take the opportunity to enjoy the nature walks scheduled in ECC. Have you had the chance to read some of Charlotte Mason's ideas on taking nature walks with children? Very inspiring. . Nature walks & nature notebooking will become harder to fit in in later years. We explored our yard that year, as well as different parts of a favorite park. Of course, with MN winters being as they are, we spent some time looking out the window at nature, but still I think it's good for kids -- of all ages. Some good experiences that I have pulled out to use as examples since then!
cbollin wrote:just a ditto to the "looking out the window at nature" during rainy days or long winters (or hot and sticky humid midwest summers). My kids are seeing all kinds of things. It started off as a game of "What is the cat looking at today?" And then we were able to start seeing various patterns and tracks of animals. We could just watch the birds. We even made a "sun and moon" chart to observe the different positions of sunrise and sunset (moon rise/set) as seen from our windows. It sounds simple. But it really helps with observation skills.
3. Don't forget the library list includes many science books with "extra" ideas for nature notebook sketching, nature identification, experiments to add, & more on the biomes.

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Unread post by Lucy »

I agree with Kelly. With the books I would just read the introductory sentence and then just have her choose what she would like you to read about. It may be 1 or it may be 3 things but that way she does not get over stimulated and burn out and shut down. The program was not really created for one as young as your just turned 7 year old and is meant to be modified with this age.

It sounds like that Adventures may be a better fit for your 2 than ECC. It is a shorter day and less information. The science is more experiment based and relates to the names of Jesus several times in the year.

The science is not the same every year in MFW . For instance the year after ECC is much more experiment based. Each year does get progressively a little more difficult starting with RTR I would say so this would be another reason to consider dong Adventures over ECC next year. If you can get to a convention to see the Adventures that would help you too.

Just some food for thought. The Lord will direct you in all your ways when you let him know your need.

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Unread post by LSH in MS »

I had young ones doing ECC (Adventures wasn't available) and they did not enjoy listening to me read the science books in ECC, either.

They enjoyed looking at the pictures, so that's what we did. We looked at the pictures, discussed the topics and got many nonfiction books from the library on their level. They could sit and listen to library books for a long time and loved looking at all the pictures. The Draw Write Now books and other simple drawing books from the library would help as they draw pictures of the animals. My children like these. Our library even had some of the Draw Write Now books.

Even in CTG we again got library books and videos on the same topic. They love the Magic School Bus books and videos and have learned a lot. Just remember that some things in MFW are designed for older children and if you only have younger ones you have to adapt. I will be using my curriculum again in future years so it will eventually get used at different levels.

I am looking forward to the science in RTR. I love the Apologia books, they seem so easy to use. Each year gets better so don't get discouraged.

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Unread post by Preciouscargo »

I think Julie's suggestions are important based on personal experience. I did well in school as a child but had a short attention span. I would have HATED science if not for the experiments. They were key in keeping my attention and interest. Our 4th grade teacher was WONDERFUL in working all those hands-on activities into our class time. I still remember enjoying her experiments with electrical currents, taking up water (celery with dyed water), etc. So I agree with Julie that those experiments can make a big difference in keeping one focused.

My dd LOVES to run experiments but isn't so interested if we only read. Btw, this site has some easily implemented science experiments if you need some options: or ... ore2.shtml

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Unread post by Lucy »

Just a comment and a reminder that all the programs were meant for you to add library books to them and other resources to bring the science, history, music or art that you are studying alive and to make it more interesting. So to the poster who suggested this she is right in line with what the author intended when she wrote the programs. The programs can stand alone if need be but are really meant to be enriched with other great resources found in the back of the manuel book list and others that you may find as well.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

first impressions on ECC

Unread post by cbollin »

Fenni wrote:We've completed the first two weeks of ECC. The AIG book seems over my 3rd grader's head. I mean he can understand the concepts if I break them down, but I don't know that I want to go to that much effort (because I'm in constant brain fog w/ a new baby). My 1st grader is supposed to be in on the science, too, and it is definitely not holding his attention. My boys are bright, imaginative, have amazing vocabularies and are accustomed to read-alouds. I'm not sure what to think.

Don't get me wrong. I love MFW, at least K, 1st and ADV so far. We did enjoy the Maps and Globes book and activities. Don't want to sound like a total downer. I guess my purpose in posting is for encouragement and to find out if I'm normal or alone in my thoughts.
Science, Prop. of Eco.:
In general here are some teaching tips for Properties of Ecosystems (I've heard both extremes out there: this is just absolutely easy to use with my child, or !this is crazy!) So from someone who thinks the book is multi level and usable easily, I'd like to offer some tips on how I do it.

*Remember with ECC, you have material in there for grades 2-8. Those who used ADV were used to a manual designed for grades 2-3. There is an adjustment to not doing it all.

*The first two weeks in ECC are the hardest to use. the first couple of chapters are full of "big fancy science words" You'll be happier in a few chapters. you will. They don't have to memorize the words all the time. They don't have to know them all. However, I do agree with you that the richness of the language in those chapters can be overwhelming.

*3rd grader does not have to know all of the Words in the Words to Know list. They will hear many of them throughout the year and get it.

*Remember -- some of those terms are abstract words. Your 3rd grader is still very much a concrete learner. Here are some examples of teaching from a living text book with a more hands on approach and geared for concrete learner.
How about that section with Populations and Communities and Niches? That's abstract to a 3rd grader. Are you getting stuck on p. 13 and 14? The language is rich. But.... you're the teacher with a living text. You know your child. Here is one way to introduce the new vocabulary words. You (teacher) use them in several sentences as a model for your student.

Have your child count the number of people in your house and say the number out loud.
Tell them "good job. The population of people in our house is 5."
have them count the number of plants. (The population of plants in our house is 3.)
Count the pets " the population of animals in our house is...)

Now your child has heard that word several time. Now tell them
Population is just the number of how many of something there is in a special place.

Now, walk outside and look at the houses on your street. All of those houses have their populations of people, plants and pets: that's our community.

For niche?
tell them a niche is a job. tell them a niche can change depending where you are and what needs to happen.
Have them hug daddy before he leaves for work. His "niche" in our family: he's the dad!.

now he goes to work and he's not in our house. He is in the work community. he's now in the St. Jude community. (or whatever).
So, I really think that as the book goes on, and you get into biomes and that, it's not going to be anything like those first two weeks. I know with 1st edition ECC many of us said "hey, the first 2 weeks are busy and full and eeek!" Personally, I think it is even more so with 2nd edition.

I think it's going to be easier next week. It's ok if your 1st grader just listens in. maybe grab some science books from 1st grade for a while if needed. just with the long term perspective...... they'll do this book again in 5 years if you continue with MFW. Even jr. high kids read this book as part of their advanced Geography assignments (while doing a jr. high science).

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Re: first impressions on ECC

Unread post by Lucy »

Dear Fenni,

Just adding on to remember to reread the the Teaching Tips for Properties of Ecosystems. You may only need to read the first paragraph and enjoy the pictures for your 3rd grader. If this book is too much for your 1st grader, which would not be surprising he can use library books as Crystal mentioned and focus on using the Living World Ency. with him. I would not expect him to be able to do any of the notebook pages from Properties of Eco Systems.

Hope that helps.
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Re: first impressions on ECC

Unread post by bunnytracks »

I have only used ECC 1st edition but I did want to say that the science in that was not over my childrens head (they had just finished ADV at the time) Maybe see about getting Wild Places and possibly even the complete book of animals and focusing on that along with Living World. Leave out POE until the next go around???

I do remember it being difficult to go from age specific like ADV to multi aged like ECC. It does get better once you get use to it. ((hugs))
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Science in ECC... 8yo

Unread post by cbollin »

rawbanana wrote:Ok, my 8yr old is just REALLY not getting the science. We read about the oxygen and water cycles and she *knows* what both are, its just the way they present it and their wording. So after I read it, I just said 'here's what you need to know' and DRASTICALLY simplified it into a few sentences. Is that ok? I feel like she wont get anything out of this science book if I am constantly having to simplify it....

Like even the 1st paragraph in lessons 6 (which is the one we did yesterday) even *I* dont really know what it means!
I'm hoping Jeanne might see this and chime in. I think of her as one of the experts with using POE. ;)

Yes it is ok. POE is a multi level book. So, in the first couple of weeks, it will be natural that parts will be over the heads of the youngest learners. But, the child will grow and it does get much easier as the year progresses.

In the lesson 6, water cycle lesson, Marie's notes in the ECC manual say "today's lesson is complex. You may simplify the information or omit for younger children." An 8 y.o fits that younger category. It will be plenty to look at the pictures and read the pictures in this lesson and then do the experiment from the box on p. 26. or to do another similar experiment with water cycle while watching water boil in a pan with a lid. That's the beauty of using multi level text -- you leave out the complex language for the youngest, and just do the experiments and captions and pictures, and some of the age appropriate paragraphs. Older children have more to hear when the younger children have had enough and have deer in the highlights look.

I have notes for many sections of POE to help mom and child simplify the early sections of the book for those growing pains times. ... 418#p55418

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Re: Science in ECC... 8yo

Unread post by RachelT »

Hi Anna! I think that in ECC with an 8 yr old, you can really focus in POE on the highlighted orange words and the picture of the water cycle on pg. 26 with an experiment like Crystal suggested above. I learned after a few short weeks that my 6.5 and 8.5 yr olds were not "getting" a lot of the information if I read each lesson verbatim. Instead, I learned to talk about important words and their definitions, touching on the points that talk about God's plan, like pg. 25 where it says at the end of the 2nd paragraph, "...but also shows God's amazing plan for providing energy for all living things. We probably looked at the picture and then recalled the water cycle. I think at some point this year or the year before we watched a Bill Nye science video from the library about the water cycle. Then I think we did something like Crystal's suggestion of just boiling some water and looking at the condensation on the lid.

Last year in ECC we really focused more on the Usborne Living World Encyclopedia, Complete Book of Animals and other animal encyclopedias that we have. We found lots of library books or videos on different habitats and animals around the world. The illustrations in the Usborne book were informative and we just didn't spend as much time on POE or trying to explain more complex ideas from that book because we will go back through it again in 5 years when we are learning at a different level.

I think if you can learn to break away from strictly reading the POE book and use it more as a conversational way of discussing some ideas and then focus more time on the other books or finding other fun resources from the library, your children will enjoy the science!

Rachel :)
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Re: Science in ECC... 8yo

Unread post by momtogc »

We just finished the same lesson this week and it was really tough for me, too. I just tried to simplify and just mainly focused on the photosynthesis part because I remembered a little bit about it from high school science (a hundred years ago). ; )

My dd is eight, nearly nine. I had her draw a very simple picture of photosynthesis. I drew one along with her. We colored a tree and a girl with the tree putting off oxygen and the girl "breathing" it in, which means we drew a line from the oxygen bubble to the girl. Then the girl "breathing" out carbon dioxide and it going to the tree (another line from the girl to the tree). We labeled it Photosynthesis with "The Oxygen Cycle" underneath the label.

It was definitely a hard one to grasp with all the talk about nitrogen, carbon, the break down of sugar, etc. I had to just leave off most of that. It was enough for me that my dd understands that God created this very interesting cycle and she might remember what it is called, but if not, that's okay, too. We didn't even do the experiment but we looked at the picture at the bottom of pg 26 and traced the cycle with our finger a few times.

So, yes, I definitely think it's okay to make it simple, on their level, whatever you think she will best understand without overwhelming her with big words and complex ideas. No harm in that, and less stress for you, too, perhaps!
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Re: Science in ECC... 8yo

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Well I may be biased because we did 1st edition the first time thru ECC and had a lovely year, but I'm going to say that my personal opinion is that you can save most of the reading in POE for the second time thru ECC for any child younger than 4th grade. Reading about the unique animals in each biome and mapping where the deserts are in the world and lots of time for nature walks -- that can be a great year for a 2nd or 3rd grader. It was for us, anyways :)

P.S. Remembering a cool post by Lainie, kinda related to explaining ecosystems to our kids... and to ourselves: ... 955#p22449
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Re: Science in ECC... 8yo

Unread post by cbollin »

I like Julie's idea of remembering to do those nature walks and enjoying the younger activities while they are still young.

It is a balance on what to drop when the 3rd grader is the younger sibling in ECC science when older sibling is doing POE, isn't it? Those younger ones sometimes just want to be doing what big sis is doing. I wanted to suggest that one other of those kinds of fun, younger activities is in POE book and can be included too. I think the hands on activities (experiments in the blue boxes) in POE can be enjoyed by those younger than 4th grade and then they might learn a new word or two while doing the experiment. and that will be enough in those pages for them to learn. and enjoying the pictures and captions and stuff like that can be done with the younger set. but basically, I'm just rambling because of the blue box activities. mostly I'm just rambling. uh...

thinking big picture here with POE:
the early part of the book covers concepts that apply to many parts of the world. Then it does seem to get "easier" to use the book (in my opinion) as the children get older and the information becomes limited to a certain biome. But yeah, the early part of the book is talking "general ecology" that applies all over the world so, it seems a lot heavier to digest.

one thing that helped me when I was using these Answers in Genesis science books in EX1850 was to do the activities first with both my 5th and 2nd grader. Introduce some vocab to both of them. Let the 2nd grader go do book basket or play or something, and then finish the rest of the text with just the 5th grader. Maybe that would help in some situations to let younger siblings get just the "fun" part and then know they can go do something else?
rawbanana wrote:Thanks everyone, sometimes it actually helps for her NOT to read along with me, that way, when I read it outloud, I can REALLY simplify what comes out of my mouth =)

So seriously, talk to me like I am 8 and tell me WHAT a biome and ecosystem are!! She is STILL kinda confused about what they are and its making her a bit miffed =)
An ecosystem is a lot like your bedroom and everything in it -- you (you're living) and your clothes, bed and stuff (non living). And my bedroom is like another ecosystem. And our kitchen is like one more ecosystem.

Now, when we put all of our bedrooms, and kitchen, and bathrooms together we have a house made of lots of rooms. A Biome is made many ecosystems together just like a great big house (biome) with lots and lots of rooms, and each room (ecosystem) is a special place.

(now is when I'd start singing "come and go with me to my father's house"... or at least sing a parody version of it... come and go with me to my father's world.... it's a great big booth, with lots and lots of books... and about that time an 8 y.o in my house would say "silly mommy" LOL) Audio Adrenaline's version.

But that's how I simplify things: I speak in analogies with stuff that is right in front of us to touch and see.
Kelly1730 wrote:Good job, crystal! I never thought about it like that but I wish I would have when my boys weren't quite getting it last fall;)
:) yeah! that's why I'm glad we have a board to post our "sighs" and get teaching ideas. We all go loopy and have brain freeze and someone can help. I want a slushie now for real brain freeze.

I think that kind of analogy with people in houses will help to naturally flow into the next concept with "niche" and how a "niche" can change. Just like mommy's job in the house is to teach (and sing parody songs) - that's her niche. But, when she goes to the grocery store, her niche is to be a purchaser of lots of food. Or daddy can be "daddy at home", then an x-ray scientists at the hospital. oooh.... niche, in your community.
Last edited by cbollin on Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Science in ECC... 8yo

Unread post by Fenni »

I'm w/ Julie and I would totally skip POE. We had a good science year w/ ECC (with 8 yo) when we dropped POE, concentrated on the animal books, and supplemented w/ library books.
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Re: Science in ECC... 8yo

Unread post by rawbanana »

Crystal, you are AMAZING!!! She is TOTALLY going to get that =)

My 3 that are doing ECC are 9.5, 8 and 6.5. The 6.5 yr old is doing fine with it actually. I just read it aloud and then afterwards I explain what they need to know. Hopefully 8yr old will mature a little over the next few months and be able to get more. She SEEMS so smart that sometimes I think I forget her age. She is on an 8th grade spelling level and 4th grade Language Arts (before we switched to PLL). So i just need to let her slow down and be 8 =)

I am just going to continue doing what I am doing for now as I REALLy like this science book.
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Re: Science in ECC... 8yo

Unread post by mamacastle2 »

I've loaned my POE book to a friend, and I don't exactly remember the water cycle stuff (who said anything about retention for moms?), but with POE in the early lessons, I did a lot of simplifying and rewording. I wouldn't toss it out completely. Once you get to studying the different ecosystems, it is much easier to understand and more enjoyable. But in the beginning weeks, my technique was to read it myself and retell it in a way my kids would understand. And then we played. For the water cycle, we sang the water cycle song from a SteveSongs CD (by the way, I'm not too old to admit I LOVE SteveSongs!), we went outside and looked at the clouds, the next time it rained after the lesson, we put on raincoats and umbrellas and filled up buckets of rain water and made mud pies, we breathed on all our plants to give them extra carbon dioxide... I don't know. Anything I could think of that would be fun and maybe messy and hopefully implant some little cue that they'll remember in the future.

I really didn't find it was over my kids heads (they were 8 and 6 at the time) as long as I didn't think of it as "I'm going to pick up the book and read it to my kids verbatim." Or have them read it by themselves. As long as I simplified it, it worked great. Even my 3yo got something out of it. (I never had a child reading over my shoulder. so that was never an issue. I can't read like that. Or type. Can't stand it when someone is standing over my shoulder.)

By the way, I like Crystal's ecosystem and biome illustration. Next time a child misbehaves, I'm sending them straight to their ecosystem!
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Re: Science in ECC... 8yo

Unread post by my3boys »

Just a suggestion - there is a series called 'One Small Square' that goes very well with the ECC science if you can find them.
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ECC science - 3rd grader

Unread post by cbollin »

erin.kate wrote:I'm just wondering ... if you have a 3rd grader (oldest) doing ECC ...
will she do The Complete Book of Animals AND Properties of Ecosystems for science, or just the Complete Book of Animals?
Thank you!
I would give POE a try with 3rd grader, making sure to understand how to use it in the beginning of the year with 3rd grader. It will be a big jump at the beginning of the year. The book is multi level in content and designed for use in grades 3-8 or so. However, the book stays at same level all year. So that means a child who is at the lower range, will need easing in time at the beginning of the year. You'll want to focus on one or two vocab words. Summarize some of the early chapters a bit. Don't worry if it takes a while to sink it. Ask for some teaching notes (I think I have that file still on a healthy computer?) to do that. Focus on the blue box experiments. Use the student sheets to help with narrations, encourage student to look back in the text for info. Take it a paragraph at a time.

over the year, you'll see lots of growth. But, if it gets to be way too much on the 3rd grader, you have cyber permission to drop it and wait until later.

POE adds a really nice element to ECC with more info on biomes and habitats and plenty of creation based ecology.

CBOA if interested - nice for fun, reading comprehension.

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Re: ECC science

Unread post by jasntas »

I used POE with a 4th and 1st grader and we used CBOA. I also added some animal lapbooks because we LOVE animal science around here. POE was a little difficult for my dc to understand at times but Crystal's teaching notes for POE were very helpful. Thank you, Crystal! Basically what I did was ask the questions first. Then stop and ask the question again when we would reach the answer in the text. We did most of the experiments from POE and we really enjoyed them. I have our results of the last few units on my blog if you'd like to take a look. The link is in my signature line below. HTH
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Re: ECC science

Unread post by Erna »

We are using both. My dd likes listening to me read POE and does CBOA so quickly that I have to separate it into sections over the weeks. For POE we just stop more frequently to narrate ideas, expand on things, or make a BIG DEAL over new words that we are learning. My five year old can even label something as biotic/abiotic and when I forget which is which my daughter in "3rd" will remind me what it means. (They always remember so much more than I do. It's good I can go through it 4+ times so I finally get it. LOL!)
erin.kate wrote:So, how old are your kids in ECC? Third only? Is your 5yo tagging along unofficially?
My oldest in "third" is 7 and will be 8 in October. We're stretching ECC over two years. My 5 yo was doing HWT b/c she was writing backwards and I heard it was a good program for lefties. We worked on phonics unofficially along with making patterns and some basic math concepts. Otherwise, she joined in on science, art/craft activities, Bible, and is generally around us for the things we read but with the demands of a 10 month old and 3 yo busy boy my oldest sometimes reads through things on her own on hectic days. She joins in on PLL discussions and picture studies. There are times she listens and watches while we do the geography game but I have moved that to evenings when her Dad is home to help. It is harder for me to do with four "littles" around. Sshhe picks up the names of a few countries.

I guess now that I have written the things above she does more than I thought. I have been casual with her curriculum b/c she wasn't really ready for everything beforehand but still want to do the K year because it is a fantastic year! (I learned so much about God's amazing world!) Then, I will blend some of 1st with CTG because I think she will need time to cement her letter formation before the year comes. I want to lay a good foundation.

So, all that to say my 5 yo tags along unoffocially. LOL! My 3 yo does too with certain things (I was surprised to hear him mention South America at our meal table one day.). There are even days I am a tag-a-long student ... I am amazed at what my little ones are learning. :o)
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Re: ECC science

Unread post by erin.kate »

It sounds like POE is a good way to stretch my daughter while still being able to keep things right on her level with CBOA when necessary. The two together sound like a nice fit.

I'm such an eager beaver about ECC. I still have a year to go ...
jasntas wrote: I have our results of the last few units on my blog if you'd like to take a look. The link is in my signature line below.
I LOVE seeing your blog ... gosh it looks like your kids are having an amazing time and learning so much. What I also love is seeing your 1st grader participate with your 4th grader. I was initially thinking of waiting until my oldest is in 4th so that my middle two are in 2nd to do ECC, but that gives me a gap year. boo. But, maybe I can be successful in combining ECC and 1st, esp since my younger daughter is quite advanced.
Erna wrote:We are using both.
Thanks, Erna. Sounds like with proper and frequent narration breaks we'll be fine with POE. :-)
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2009: MFW K♥

Re: ECC science

Unread post by cbollin »

Julie in MN wrote:Are these your POE notes, Crystal? ... 418#p55418
Thanks Julie! I like reading all of the answers on that thread from many people with lots of great ideas! That's what's so wonderful about this forum! many of us sharing lots of good stuff

Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: ECC science

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

dd is a read over my shoulder kind of kid and it really bothers her if I summarize. I started reading the selection beforehand and then just telling her about it instead of trying to read or summarize right out of the book and it goes better for us.

When there's a worksheet, I usually give it to her and tell her what the worksheet is about, then she has to listen to me talk about it to know how to do the worksheet. I believe that's sufficient for 3rd grade science, when you combine that with all the narrating and notebooking she does for Living World and the worksheets in CBOA.

(The experiments are cool, but not as good as the ones that Marie put into the TM.)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
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