Ideas: ECC Fun extras


Ideas: ECC Fun extras

Unread post by cbollin »

txquiltmommy wrote:I know MFW is totally complete, and that you don't HAVE to add a single thing. However, there are always great ideas on this board for fun little extras, and I'd like to compile some of the ECC wisdom here in one spot!

We are nearing the end of our Adventures year, which has been amazing. I have picked up a few "extra" things (a USA cookbook, a USA passport, and a really fun map) that have added even more zing and fun to our year. Was there anything additional that you made/purchased for ECC that really added to your year?

I can hardly wait to start planning for ECC, and I just adore the creativity and helpfulness of all my friends here on this board. I'm anxious to hear your ECC ideas!
In addition to the great ideas that this thread will generate, I do want to point you to a place on this board that has a bunch of ideas already. There is a "current discussion forum" that is specifically for ECC ideas. If you go to the index, you'll see it 2 spots below the General Board and just above the archive section. or click below :)

I like reading new ideas as well, but wanted to make sure that part of the board didn't get overlooked.

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Unread post by kellybell »

I guess I've answered this before in one way or another, but I'm happy to write again about what made ECC special.

From my selfish point of view, I loved that it was complete and all I had to do is gather the books, gather a few things from Walmart (and the list at the top of each week's schedule told me what things), and teach! Pretty painless. If a homeschool program was phenomenal in every way but hard for mom to do, then it would be a flop in my book. ECC is easy for mom.

That said, what made it special?

The curriculum, as written, IS complete and you just get such a lot out of it. The things that my children enjoyed were the WIndow on the World book and the crafts, music, art, and cooking we did. Some of the food was a flop with our family (oh well) but that's part of the fun of learning, knowing that others eat much differently than us.

For ECC, the "extras" that made it special for our family were the field trips we took. As soon as we decided on ECC for our first year homeschooling, we told everyone what we were studying and opportunities came out of the woodwork. Our neighbor introduced us to a family that had just moved from Kenya. My mom sent us goodies from Mexico (little baskets, some coins). We found the local mosque and they gave us a tour. We went to the Indian restaurant and the Chinese market. We visited the founder of Bibles for the World (whose life story is told in the film Beyond the Next Mountain available from CBD). We visited an old German lady who was in Germany during WWII and was chosen to be a flower girl (she was about 8) for Hitler's parade when he came to town (everyone in town hated Hitler but the police made everyone go to the parade!). The kids wrote to their aunt who spent a few years in Australia. And she sent some pictures back.

Of course, every ECC family has different contacts and lives in a different places with different opportunities, but it was these extras that really made an impact. I am guessing most everyone that does ECC has a set of friends that would love to share their experiences in Japan, France, Brazil, etc. with them.

When we did ECC, we also displayed our colored flags on the wall near our "school room." Since each kid colored a flag, I would alternate whose flag we put up, even if that meant some sloppy flags from the younger two. Visitors to the house would see the flags and it often would get some interesting conversations going.

ECC was such a great year.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by Tina »

Hi: Somewhere in the TM is a list of school supplies and such that you are to have before you start, I would recommend making sure you have all that stuff, it makes it a lot easier doing ECC when you have most of what you need.

We loved all the crafts and the geography game. It was a lot of fun. Also, we really enjoyed the focus on missions and Window on the World. But then again, the cooking on Fridays was really fun. My favorite part of ECC was reading about Nate Saint. We took it one step more and also read about Jim Elliott. It was wonderful.

In the ECC ideas section (that Crystal was referencing above) there is also a post there that someone made about learning a new song or hymn for each country. It was really neat to do that. We didn't do all the hymns but we did some. That was special too.

We loved all of ECC. Have fun exploring!
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT
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Unread post by Blessedw/4 »

Two great games that we have added as extras this year are:

Map Tangle (kinda like Twister) by Borderline Games
Take Off! by Resource Games

My sister gave the kids one for christmas last year and my om gave them the other for christmas this year, both were ordered offline ... I'm sure you could google them.
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Unread post by DS4home »

ECC was such a fun year! We really enjoyed the crafts and the read alouds. Some of the extras we did:

- making a notebook page on each missionary after finishing the read aloud.

- I got the Usborn book of Peoples of the World

- We used the Draw Write Now books 4,7,8 for the science portion

- I also bought two more volumes of Hero Tales to add in to the bible portion

Have a fun year! Dawn
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Unread post by GoodCat »

One of the things we are doing that the children are enjoying, we take a few pictures of every craft we made and the party we had to close each country. At the end of the year, we will make a ECC scrapbook. They children are looking forward to it.

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Unread post by Tina »

Oh, we also got on video each meal we served during our ECC study. We also took video of the dc in their costumes for several countries. That was fun. They love watching them every once in a while!
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT
Jill S
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Unread post by Jill S »

I bought several Dover coloring books that went with either the country we were studying or the biome in science. I also found a coloring book with Houses around the World, or something like that, and also a Christmas around the World coloring book. They have so many different coloring books that restraint is more of an issue than finding something great!

I also bought some of their reuseable sticker books, like for the rain forest and the African plains. My daughter (who was 4 at the time) loved playing with the sticker books while we were doing our school time.

My kids really enjoyed having their crafts displayed, so we still have two windows in the kitchen with a "valance" of Chinese paper lanterns and Japanese carp, the light fixture over the kitchen table has Mexican tissue paper flowers hung from it (getting a little dusty!) and the African bowls we made of fabric are on a shelf in the formal living room. I've suggested taking some of it down and the kids are appalled!! I guess what I'm saying is: take the time to do the crafts!
Mom to Alex, 12, Russia--RtR
Luke, 12--RtR
Song, 9, China--RtR
Vera, 8, Russia, Down Syndrome
Anna, 7--MFW1
Emma, 6, Down Syndrome
Ella, 3, Colombia, Down Syndrome
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Favorite additional resources for ECC

Unread post by Willow »

Monica M. wrote:Well I am so excited about the new year with MFW. My question is did you add anything that you really enjoyed. I have looked at the Global Puzzle, The Take Off game, World Geography Songs cd, Children's World Cookbook etc. I just don't want to purchase alot of extra things we don't need.
Monica M.
Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:00 am

In my experience, Global Puzzle is for older dc (ages 10+) or if they really, really love puzzles... this puzzle has about 600 pieces. Generally each country has its own piece so as you can imagine there are loads of tiny pieces, plus a lot of water pieces. Dh and I ended up putting the puzzle together because our dc quickly got frustrated.

We have the Take Off game and my dc have never had much interest in it.

Now, my 6yo likes puzzles (just not the Global Puzzle!) and she has the Geopuzzles. Each one is a continent. She can do these by herself, and my 9yo who is not a puzzle fan will put them together too. I didn't buy them specifically for ECC; we already had them and then found out about MFW.
2007/08 ECC with 1st & 4th grade dc
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:40 am

Hi Monica,
I would just start with the ECC package, myself. It already includes a game, cooking, craft projects and other fun things.

Also do a sweep of the house & gather things you already have, and plug them into the appropriate continent. You may be surprised what you come up with. My son did ECC in 3rd grade & enjoyed things he already had -- a U.S. puzzle, a wire sculpture kit that he used for an Eiffel tower, pinata ideas that came with our Spanish set, and an African beading kit (I think it was his sister's from the Lion King era :o).

As the year begins, you can see if you have time to fill or activities you would like to branch out into. The more kids you have, the less filling you will probably need! You could tell the grandparents what you are studying this year, and what types of activities might be fun as Christmas gifts (related puzzles, stickers, art kits, building sets, nature walk magnifiers, books, etc., depending on the kids). You can get some ideas in the ECC manual (such as a Mancala game). Also great ideas are on the ECC idea board.

Ds was the only one doing ECC at our house, so it was nice that he also received gifts such as an ocean sand art kit, the global puzzle, 10 Days in Africa game, and a beeswax candle kit (substituted for the modeling beeswax). I also considered a soapmaking kit.

That was my strategy!
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Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:17 pm

I must agree with Julie. Start with the package and I think you'll see it's plenty.

That said, we DO have Take Off! and the kids go through stages of playing it and not playing it. I got it for a few bucks at the thrift store so it's not a big deal.

And, we also have Global Puzzle. We let each child pick a gift at our convention (well, within reason) in June and our 11 yodd (who likes both puzzles and geography) picked this and had fun putting it together.

And, I bought Geography Songs. Kids can't stand it and groan when I put it on. I should sell it.

Get cookbooks and such from the library (see the ECC appendix) and that will be fine.

What my kids REALLY remember about ECC were the extra field trips and such. We went to the Mexican restaurant and the Indian buffet. And, to the Chinese grocery store. Besides that, we spent about four hours visiting with a lady who moved here from Kenya. And we spent an afternoon with a lady that grew up in WWII era Germany (and she was forced to throw rose petals in front of Hitler in a parade when he visited their little town -- but everyone hated Hitler in that town), and a guy from India who lived in a house on stilts -- to keep the tigers out. We saw a local newscaster tell of her visit to Guatemala and we called to see if we could visit her -- and we did! Wow! Our neighbors went to Mexico for Christmas and sent us postcards. And, we went to our church's missionary night.

Sometimes these field trips meant we fell behind on our schedule. But they were well worth it!

So, let everyone know that you are studying different countries. Ask around and you will find people that want to share with you.

These things were worth more than Take Off or geography puzzle.
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Using ECC as an excuse...

Unread post by lisa062797 »

Using ECC as an excuse...
to try all kinds of yummy new recipes! LOL! Since we are studying Mexico the next couple of weeks, I am taking the cooking part a step farther. I googled Mexican recipes, found some ones that looked good, and went shopping. We will be eating Mexican food for most of our dinners during these next couple of weeks. We also sampled some Mango, and I will be making Mexican wedding cakes, Mexican hot chocolate, and probably a few other snacks/desserts. Next week, we may try a few Caribbean dishes. I hope to do this throughout the year with the other countries as well. I love to cook, and will definitely be stretching and expanding my cooking skills for sure!
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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Unread post by GoodCat »

That sounds a lot like what we did. Although we didn't do it for the whole 2 weeks. I think I'll do that next time around :)
We did usually have a feast of 2-3 days at the end of every country we studied. My children loved this and would look forward to it. They still talk about some of the foods we tried!!!

Have fun :)

Wife to Sean, a wonderful man for 13 yrs., mother to 6 beautiful children- 12dd, 11ds, 9ds, 7dd, 5dd, 2dd.
Used Abeka for 5 years.
Used ECC and MFW1 (and loved it)
Used CtG (and loved it : )
Using RtR (and loving it!!)
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Unread post by dhudson »

We have permanently added a few of the recipes from ECC to our cooking recipes.

We loved it and still enjoy many of the meals!
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002
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Unread post by lyntley »

We added some great recipes to our book too! Mexican food was great!We loved the food in Norway too: Meat cakes, Jewel bread and ginger cookies. and in Japan the crab corn soup was delicious. We make the Australian Muesli or Indian mango smoothie often for breakfast. Have fun feasting around the world!
Lynnette: Wife and Mother by the will of God.
ECC 07/08 with 9,7, and 2
CTG 08/09 with 10,8, and 3
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Oh, my...Mexican food is my FAV!

Unread post by DanaFL »

If you have a sweet tooth, you might want to steer clear of Tres Leches Cake. It is wickedly wonderful, and something I crave!
Mommy to 6, one still waiting in Kunming, China
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Unread post by Winkie »

We're doing the same thing! We eat Mexican 1-2 times a week as a regular anyway, so we decided to try it for all 2 weeks. We've all loved it and only had something else 1 or 2 nights. I don't expect to do this much for all the countries, although we will try more recipes than the ones called for in the TM. My dh loves to cook and experiment with new dishes, so a lot of this is in his court. I guess it's his contribution to our homeschool, lol!
6 boys, 1 girl + 1 long-awaited baby sister
Completed MFW from K to Graduation
2018-19 will use US1, and ECC (for the 3rd time!)

ECC addition - What countries are covered? What about anima

Unread post by cbollin »

mommyintraining wrote:I am wanting to incorporate some elements of another program into ECC and am trying to figure out how to do that.
Terri in WA
One of the best things that I have continued to like about MFW is that I add library books that are of interest to my kid. And in ECC, you don't over study animals because there are other topics to get to. Then you'll get to more animal studies in other years too, so don't over do it in ECC. I like not getting bogged down in unit studies. It's one of the many reasons that I've stayed so long with MFW. It gets done.

random thoughts:

One Small Square books: I remember my library had the tundra one and we had it in book basket. I never looked if we had the others in the series. See if your library has them and see if it is doable in your life. Then just grab one when it's that time in ECC. On the other hand, if you only did one in that series, that would be plenty. I like that about MFW. You don't feel married to a series of books in basket time.

I wouldn't limit notebooking to be about animals all the time. My middle gal loves to draw animals, but there were times that her science notebook (based on Living World) would be about flowers or plants. If there is an art instruction book that you'd find helpful, maybe that would work from the other program? I think I saw Draw Write Now? I know some people really like those and enjoy them in ECC too.

I think with the Complete Book of Animals and the new Ecosystem books, the will be less need to add stuff from one of the programs you mentioned.

If there are books in another program that would help you to not go to the library for basket, then select based on what your kids like and stay within budget. (I'm a library user! and especially now..... we're down to zero income. anyway. I know some people out there use readers from other programs to cut back on library trips. we're all different.)

ECC includes materials for praying for people around the world, and just enough snipet of info to know about some "plight" issues without being too much. So, I'd leave that aspect of the other program out of it. And instead make a family prayer diary from the ECC resource, Window on the World. Use p. 112-113 in that book for extra places and people.

There are recipes in the package books in ECC. Cookbooks are in book basket lists.

I know some fun little things my family did this year to help decorate house with a biome theme without overwhelming me in the process:
*stuffed penguins at the table make for fun "class room friends"
*pictures from magazines to go for a Safari theme
*found a desert setting wall decoration in a Party Supply store. It was in the Fiesta section. It was great. I taped it on the wall above the couch and we pretended to be in the desert of North America.
*for rain forest, we did a terrarium. The plant is still growing!
*we added music from the countries when possible. There is the Wee Sing song, but we found some things at our library.
*added some foreign language CD's from library (Teach Me series by Judy Mahoney)

I'm sure there are people who are combining some elements here and there. I'm not qualified to help on that.

Julie in MN
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Re: ECC-What countries are covered? What about animals?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

If you and your kids want to create an animals notebook, then you can just pencil it in so you don't forget to add to it during each biome. You could do it as a focus in your science notebook, which is created when students summarize their science readings several times a week. Or, you could put it right where it says "advanced" and put your own notebook's name in that box. Or you could put it underneath the grid & add an extra box for your project.

Just make sure you don't keep adding, adding, adding. You can lose the forest for the trees when you "visit" a new country & just see a mile of work ahead. When you add something in one spot, keep it in mind that you might need to let go in another spot. And then it should work.

ECC has time for pursuing special interests in our planet. Maybe a child will focus on animals... or cooking or history or fashion. Like Crystal, I encourage you to also keep in mind that your kids may want to try out new interests, too, as they explore ECC.

Have fun!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: ECC-What countries are covered? What about animals?

Unread post by cbollin »

Julie in MN wrote:Just make sure you don't keep adding, adding, adding. You can lose the forest for the trees
Have fun!
I wholeheartedly agree. If you keep adding and adding and adding, you'll get bogged down and drag it out too long.

Instead of writing it all in the manual to do each time, here's an alternative:

Make a grab bag of just a few of those ideas. When you need a quick pick me up in ECC if something gets too routine, then reach over and grab from the list just one idea to add in some variety that week so that you stay on track to finish. choose randomly that week if needed. But just one idea to spice it up that week.

Find the easiest program you can use to teach the kids how to read.

well, I need to grocery shop......

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Re: ECC-What countries are covered? What about animals?

Unread post by RB »

When I ordered ECC, I purchased a few books from another program. In all honesty, I could have saved a bit of money by not doing so and it would not have affected our year. We rarely look at the One Small Square books b/c we like the other book basket books better. We did have fun studying Christmas Around the World for a couple of weeks, but barely made a dent in the resources. ECC really is complete.
dd 15 dd 14 ds 12 ds 1
Adventures and 1st ('07/08), ECC and K ('08/09), CtG ('10-'11), RtR ('11-12), Expl-1850 ('12-'13)

Your Top Ten ECC Extras

Unread post by cbollin »

abrightmom wrote:Please share your favorite ECC extras, supplements, etc that have enriched your studies. :-) :-) :-)

I did find some wonderful resources at AIG for the Book Basket (books our library isn't going to carry).
the first time we did ecc...
field trip to zoo - organized by world regions
field trip to botanical garden - also in regions of growing.

and 2nd time...
making sure we did more of the scheduled food projects, or at least pick up something from a restaurant once in a while.
Of course we lived in a city in Indiana that hosted a Tibetan restaurant, so that was a fun Saturday afternoon for the girls and me.

oh, I remember something.. for US and Mexico - with the desert theme. I went to one of those Party Factory Outlet places or something close to that name, and they had a cactus theme wall border, party decoration. that was fun for the few dollars.
and one day at the community recycling center, someone had a Mexican hat, and pinata thingy... so look for dress up stuff for low cost.

We found a children's music CD at the library.. I'll find the title later. while looking for it on the board, I ran across this old thread of mine with the stuff from Brazil. ... 1&start=50

ahhhh sweet pleasant fun memories from ECC.

oh yeah... we also tried to do some fundraising for Bible translation through MFW's little group.

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Re: Your Top Ten ECC Extras

Unread post by Mexmarr »

We just started, but I think my top extra is going to be Geopuzzles. We will hopefully be getting the whole set, soon.
Misty, Wife to a wonderful man! Mother to:
Rosy age 8 - 3rd grade, ECC
Gracie age 7- K and ECC orally (legally blind, Aspergers)
Lizzie age 4 1/2 - waiting to start K!
Andy age 3
Rebekah age 2
Ruthie born March 31st

Completed 1st and Adventures
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Re: Your Top Ten ECC Extras

Unread post by jasntas »

Hmm, I had to go back to my blog to refresh my memory. Most of our most memorable 'extras' were crafts and projects we did but here is a list of some extra items we enjoyed.

DVD's - The Torchlighter Series; Jim Elliott, Amy Charmichael, Gladys Aylward (We also enjoyed Eric Liddell, Richard Wurmbrandt, William Tyndale)
DVD - Animal Atlas: Animal Passport
DVDs - Nat Geo's Really Wild Animals Series; Deep Sea Dive, (There's more. If I remember, I'll look later and add them. These do have some evolutionary content but all in all fun, kid friendly DVDs)
Books - Look What Came From... Series
Puzzles - 3D Eiffel Tower (from Michaels), Magnetic Travel Tangos (pre-made tangram puzzle)

I loved the looks of the Geopuzzles Misty mentioned. And, like Crystal, we love the zoo. My dc and I never get enough of the zoo. I wish I could say the same for my dh. :~
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
Julie in MN
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Re: Your Top Ten ECC Extras

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Interesting question. I think it depends a lot on (a) what you already have around the house (and around your neighborhood), (b) what your kids like, and (c) how old they are. But just off the top of my head:

1. God's World News for current events, especially for 7-8th but maybe even for 4-6th.
2. For books, we liked so many in ECC in 3rd grade, including the fairy tales and the Count Your Way Through books. When I had an 8th grader, book basket included some extras we just found like Families of the World, Family Life at the Close of the 20th Century: The Americas & the Caribbean.
3. For my 8th grader, we loved the DVD called "Mission: God at Work, Faith In Action," hosted by Steve Saint and Dianne Becker, which I reviewed over here: ... 125#p65767
4. For my 3rd grader, I liked having a big bag of potting soil and some of those Miracle Gro sticks and some buckets or plastic storage boxes for growing plants whenever it was mentioned as a possible activity.
5. Some kids will like lots of crafty things, like yarn and colored sand and fabric squares and maybe wooden boxes & things to decorate.
6. We always add more music at our house. When ds was in 3rd, several of us on the boards did Hymns for a Kid's Heart, which was a nice extra. Putumayo CDs were also fun.
7. And again, just have fun with things you *already have* around the house -- pretend animals from the rainforest and desert and ocean, maybe stamps or coins from around the world, etc.

Some ideas from other folks:
books ... ecc+extras

But I always suggest that you start with ECC as written so you don't add too much!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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