Comparing ECC to other geography programs

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Unread post by cbollin »

Rives wrote:Well, I can't believe I'm asking this question, as we've used MFW since Kindergarten, but I'm contemplating using another geography curriculum instead of ECC for this next year. My reasoning is I think I may feel a little less pressure (put on by myself) if I had a little less structure. Not to mention the cost is cheaper.

Thanks so much.
Not familiar 100% but a little something on the cost seems to be jumping out at me from their website.

It appears that you would need to buy maps, and various notebooking pages and such. These kinds of things are included in the package price of ECC. So make sure you are looking at everything you would have to buy when doing the side by side cost comparison. And to include the cost of the science book in your shopping cart as well. It is part of ECC's price.

That is the program that I was originally going to look at in 2003 to try to do alongside SL before I found MFW. So I've always wondered.... why I never made it over to that booth :)

Here is one thing to realize in the difference. ECC is designed to get you around the world in 36 weeks' time. The other program says that you can do their program in 1-3 years. If you try to do it in one school year, you will not be able to study every country and every science topic.

In the other program, the Bible verses are trying to relate to either the character trait in the literature or maybe in the science. In ECC, you will study the book of Matthew as a foundation of "go into all the world".

You'll be doing your own lesson plans to get through the other program. Not sure if that is less pressure on you.

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Unread post by 4Truth »

Rives, I owned or still own some of those curriculums. I tried to use one alongside Adventures but found it completely useless. There was MUCH more "meat" and information in ADV. ADV is much better scheduled, less disjointed, and more fulfilling, IMO. I can only imagine that the comparison to ECC would be very similar.

Also keep in mind that if you buy the program which appears less expensive up front, you'll still have to buy all the go-alongs and pull everything together yourself. I'm not sure it would be all that handy or simple to use by the time you deal with all that.

JMO, of course. :o)

Is it possible that you're just feeling burnout from it being the end of the traditional school year, with lots of great weather and outside activities in the months before you? I know I am. Do you think you might be able to get ADV finished up and then have a month or two to regroup before starting something new?
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Unread post by kellybell »

Of course, all of us here tend to be ECC fans. : )

Anyway, I think ECC is a year NOT to be missed.

Also, ECC has these two week chunks that are easy to "keep on track" with for me. So, you do two weeks in Kenya, two weeks in Japan.

It really works well and has such a nice missionary focus. My kids (and I!) emerged from ECC as changed people (more awareness of what is going on in the world, what people are like, etc.).

I'd simply say (as usual, I know) pray about your decision. God knows what is right for YOUR family. I like to look at things and look at them hard and then NOT look at them for a period of praying. During this time, God seems to bring out the pros and cons and the choice (which I agonized on just weeks before) is clear.

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 qfbrenda »

I owned another program for about a week. It was long enough for me to look through it, decide I did NOT have the time to gather all of the materials, and sell it again. I found it totally overwhelming.

I would do MFW in a less "have to follow the exact schedule" way before I would do another curriculum. YMMV. :)

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Unread post by scmlg »

I'll just ditto all the other ladies. Looked at others, but I love having everything already scheduled and laid out for me like MFW does for us. Compared to other curriculmns I find that MFW is soooo flexible. My husband's days off or Tues and Weds., so we do half days on those days, then make up for it on the days he works. With MFW it's so easy to do this, since it's not an overwhelming curriculumn.
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Comparing ECC to a separate study of Eastern Hemisphere

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Renai wrote:I can't believe I'm already thinking about next year; we are having so much fun in Adventures right now! We are using MFW1 for the English phonics (for those who don't remember, we hs bilingually) and she is excited to be reading in another language.

This question has been with me a long time now. Does anyone add a study of the Eastern Hemisphere in the 8th grade? Why have some of you decided to do it earlier and add it to ECC? What did you have to cut out, if anything? I'm still thinking of doing the Eastern Hemisphere in 8th, on our second round of ECC, but since I've been curious for so long, thought I'd ask.
Hi Renai,
To me, the reason that some look forward so much to studying the Eastern Hemisphere is because they haven't studied it at all yet. In MFW, you will not be in that position once your oldest reaches 3rd or 4th grade & is ready to include all continents in his studies.

Starting with ECC, and continuing through the history cycle, you will learn about the Eastern Hemisphere right along with the West. So it's really unnecessary to spend a year on the 10/40 window in Asia, since you'll be learning about and praying for all those countries all the way through. SL separates things out so that you're studying only America for a couple of years, and so they have to make up for it with a year in the East.

This year in RTR, we have dressed ourselves in traditional clothing from India, played games and eaten traditional foods from China, Japan, India, and Russia. Oh, and of course we've read about all those countries, too :o)

Most of these same things were covered in a gentle way in ECC, and then the earliest history of those countries was covered in CTG, and of course RTR covered what was going on in these countries during the Middle Ages.

Throughout all five years of the main MFW rotation, you will also read missionary stories about many countries, and continue to refer to Window on the World to pray for them. This year in RTR, we again reviewed eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, and also spent at least a full week learning the basic beliefs of the Muslim people (using materials from Voices of the Martyrs).

When we do ECC in 8th grade, we will add more of the "research" type of work you might be thinking of, where EH has students look things up in the encyclopedia. MFW suggests items for current events, country reports, more in-depth missionary biographies, etc.

You could, of course, add Eastern readers to your book basket in any MFW year, & there is time for extra read-alouds of your choice each year. I might check, though, to make sure you won't already get them as part of one of the MFW packages -- especially any of the YWAM books.
Last edited by Julie in MN on Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »

I used ECC last year with a 10 yo and an 8 yo.

We added in lots of books into our book basket and as read alouds. While my 8 yo liked some of the extras - some of them were clearly beyond him.
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Unread post by Renai »

Thanks to you both!

I feel better knowing MFW has it covered as far as the eastern hemisphere, and glad it's not all just stuck in one particular place in the curriculum. ECC is actually the whole reason I switched over- I wanted dd to get the geography and the mission focus earlier than 5th or 6th grade. Oh, and so far, we've got a great library, so I stopped buying so many books (now, that's a miracle!). I do want to get the mission books that I can in Spanish though to share with my husband in the evenings.

tk, I also like looking at booklists. I did a comparison last summer, and saw that many of the same books are also suggested in MFW. Maybe not always for the same time period, but there. In that case I follow MFW suggestion. I get as many books as I can ( we love to read).

Thanks again for your help!
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New here - ECC or CTG for upcoming 5th grader?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

vjba wrote:We have been using Sonlight for 6 years, and are seriously considering switching to MFW. While I love that SL is literature-based & they tie in their readers to the history, I feel their LA is especially lacking (Bible, too).

I see that MFW highly recommends starting with ECC, but my son will be entering 5th grade, and 1) he would not be able to finish all five by 8th grade, 2) we have already used quite a few of the books listed in ECC with Sonlight a couple of years ago (Hero Tales, the missionary story books in the deluxe package, Maps & Globes, Window on the World, the geography cd, & the Usborne science book), and 3) SL has been good as far as geography through the years.

I was considering starting with Creation to the Greeks -- do you think this would be okay? What would you recommend? He had world history in 1st & 2nd grade; US history in 3rd & 4th.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance. :)
Wow, what a tough decision!

Here is a tiny bit of info from folks who used some of the ECC books before:

I guess to me, you've already covered a lot of history, too, so ECC doesn't seem to be that different in that respect. And my ds tends to forget things he's done a few years ago.

Especially because ECC has a lot of expansion with 2nd edition, I think you could try it as written and if something seems worn out at your house, you could move over to do something on the 7-8th grid or put more emphasis on something you haven't done (such as Properties of Ecosystems and Kingdom Tales), and still have a full year.

ECC with MFW is really a life-changer for some of us, so you might find a bias towards that here. I remember Marie Hazell saying (paraphrasing here, probably not getting it right) that she was sitting in a church in Russia when she had a vision that she would write ECC. It's that kind of a God thing to me :)

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Re: New here - ECC or CTG for upcoming 5th grader?

Unread post by davimee »

Hi! I'm in the same boat as you, we've used Sonlight for the past 5 years, and my daughter is going in to 5th grade this year. I also wondered if I should start her in ECC or CtG, with my biggest worry being that she wouldn't be able to finish the final year of the cycle before high school. We didn't do very well with finishing all the SL books this year for the second half of American History, so I feel my daughter could really use that final year of the cycle. Plus, as you said, there are several books we've already read with SL.

I finally decided that for us, we will go ahead and do ECC this year. I also have a 2nd grader, so it will work perfectly for her. One thing I've thought about is switching to doing school year round. That is one possibility for getting all five years completed in the next four years. I don't know if I want to do that though, as that is an awful lot of school. Another thought I've had is to have some sort of condensed summer school the summer before she begins high school, and cover the basics of that fifth year.

I don't feel like she has a real good grasp of world geography, and that is probably my biggest reason for deciding to start with ECC. Sonlight's year of geography was kindergarten, so I think another year of geography would be great for both of my girls. Plus, ECC just looks downright fun! :-)

After discussing this with my husband he said not to worry too much about what we're going to cover 4 or 5 years from now. Since we're just starting with MFW, there's no telling if we'll still be using it that far down the road. If we really love it, I'm guessing we will be. But we'll just take it a year at a time. And who knows... maybe Christ will come back before then, and we won't have to worry about it! :-)

Good luck with your decision! Probably either one will be ok. And hopefully others here who have done the programs can chime in and give you more food for thought. It's great to meet another SLer here at MFW! :-)

Emily - Wife of one wonderful man, Mommy of two terrific girls (11 & 8 )

This is our second year with MFW, using Creation to the Greeks. :)
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Re: New here - ECC or CTG for upcoming 5th grader?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

davimee wrote:And who knows... maybe Christ will come back before then, and we won't have to worry about it! :-)
8[] <happy dancing party smilie> !!
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Re: New here - ECC or CTG for upcoming 5th grader?

Unread post by purepraisemom »

If you were following the sequence with SL, you'd have been doing Core 5 next, right? (And then you start world history at ancients in the following Core.) So you have probably mostly covered Western Hemisphere and European geography but not Eastern Hemisphere?

Hmmm, one option I can think of is to do ECC weeks 18-34 - only the Eastern Hemisphere countries - and choose different missionary stories that you haven't read yet since there are so many to choose from in that series. You could then start CtG at that point and still have more than half the school year to complete it.
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Re: New here - ECC or CTG for upcoming 5th grader?

Unread post by MelissaM »

Hmmm, one option I can think of is to do ECC weeks 18-34 - only the Eastern Hemisphere countries - and choose different missionary stories that you haven't read yet since there are so many to choose from in that series. You could then start CtG at that point and still have more than half the school year to complete it.
If you choose this route though, I would still cover the first 2 weeks of ECC, which are introductory weeks where you learn all about maps, globes, memorize the continents and oceans, learn latitude and longitude, etc. It's a great foundation for the rest of the year.

And thanks everyone, this is helping me think through my "To Condense or Not Condense" issues as well.

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ECC Alternative?

Unread post by 4monkeyz »

Kelly Marie wrote:My oldest is going into 3rd grade. We have really enjoyed Adventures this year, but don't have the money to buy ECC for next year. :( I know there is a similar unit study plan by a popular homeshool blogger, but I don't want to miss the emphasis MFW has.
Has anyone else run into this, and what did you do?
I know what curriculum you are referring to & I actually debated the same thing last year. Some of the reasons I kept with ECC was because of the cost and the missions focus. And I loved Adventures!! :)

I know this other set of materials is cheaper, however, when I realized that I would have to print out all the materials and come up with binders or storage of the sort of seemed like a lot of work and a lot of printer expense.

I realized that I love MFW and I love the convenience of having that TM and student pages. Someone else has already done the hard work which makes my job easier.

I understand cost is a factor here, perhaps I could brainstorm a few ways you could keep the cost down?? The first would be to purchase the Basic pkg. - my dd is in 2nd grade and even though I loved the missionary stories, she really didn't. The only one my kids got into was the first, Cam Townsend, which you might be able to find through the library or even used. Substitute read alouds through the library or even books you have at home. It might not tie in perfectly with the theme but it would still provide the cozy reading time. There is an origami bk, but my dd was too young to get in to it and my son wasn't even interested. We also didn't even read Kingdom Tales, my kids were not ready for it yet. I ended up packing those items away for the second time round. You also could look through the Basic pkg and see what she might be too young for - kind of pick through, but I do think the Basic pkg is a great price and if you have younger children, you will be using it again, so divide the price twice btwn. two years of use...if that makes any sense?? MFW also has good resell value so if you won't be using it again, that is a possibility.

I hope that helps somewhat...Praying for you, I know how hard it is to make those choices. My dh took me to the Ohio convention this past weekend and it was at times rather overwhelming. Heehee. (((hugs)))
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Re: ECC Alternative?

Unread post by Shlee Brown »

Another option to keep cost low is only buying the IG, then purchasing the frequently used resource books used, and borrowing the rest through the library.

If you have an account with Amazon (not necessarily as a prime member) here is what I suggest. Make a 'wish list' for ECC. (you can make this private) What this does is save you constant searching for books, typing in titles. You just scroll down your list and move on.

You could definitely spend less money this way if you have the time/patience.
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Re: ECC Alternative?

Unread post by Kelly Marie »

Thank you ladies!!
You have given me lots of great ideas. Our area homeschool conference is this Friday and Saturday. I'm really looking forward to seeing and holding ECC.
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Will ECC be redundant?

Unread post by gratitude »

ElectricCityAcademy wrote:Hi all!
We've been enjoying MFW since the kids were in preschool. I decided to take 2013-2014 off from MFW, though, and do a piecing-together curriculum for one year -- since I'd read that ECC is best begun when the oldest child is starting 4th grade. (This coming year I will have a 4th grader and a 3rd grader.)

HOWEVER, my curriculum choice last year was GeoMatters' Trail Guide to World Geography. Will ECC just seem like a big repeat to the kids? I know that ECC also has things in it like missionary stories, etc -- and I guess it isn't bad to have two years of learning countries/capitals. It's just that last year was all geography, mapping, and even doing art projects from the countries.

Should I start with ECC this year as planned? Or move forward to Creation to the Greeks? Thanks in advance.
I haven't used the Geography program that you used this year.

Yes, ECC also has Matthew and scripture memory and missionaries. It also does flags and cooking for different countries and the geography game. The science is ecosystems.

We aren't finished yet with ECC, but I think the game in the end teaches 105 country locations through the game that does work.

How many country locations did they learn? The Children's Atlas goes into some information for some of the countries. Did your study go into the places at all? Windows of the World goes into the needs of a people group in a country once a week for prayer.

I hope that helps.
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Re: Will ECC be redundant?

Unread post by MelissaB »

Hi, Meg,

I'm not familiar with GeoMatters, but in case it's helpful: ECC also includes an overview study of the history of each continent, studies the culture/s of the peoples living there, their beliefs, and in science it studies the physical geography of that continent.

This may be redundant, but you will definitely want to include the missionary biographies. :) And always play the geography game. You will be amazed at the capitals/countries they memorize on every continent.

Whichever you choose, ECC or Creation to Greeks, you will learn SO MUCH. You have two great choices. If you choose ECC - it's great! If you choose CtG - great! :-)

If you do conclude that CtG is a better choice this year, remember that you can always do ECC again at the end of the cycle, which is helpful to do right before high school. ;)

You'll enjoy both!
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Re: Will ECC be redundant?

Unread post by Joyhomeschool »

When I started MFW I had done an ancient history year prior. We started with ADV, ECC and when we got to CTG they still remembered a lot so we just skimmed and didn't read everything. What if you came to something that was the same, you reviewed and then focused more on the art, bible, mission stories, activities, science and music portions?
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Re: Will ECC be redundant?

Unread post by ElectricCityAcademy »

Hi again! Thanks for your replies!

GeoMatters didn't go into too much depth into each country. We learned and mapped every single country on the globe, and within each continent the kids picked one country and researched basic things like currency, popular foods, monuments, etc. There were optional dishes to cook, but we only made 5-6 during the year. Other than that, it didn't delve into the culture of the countries much. Also, every country on earth was a bit hard to bite off and chew at their ages, so I'm not sure how much was retained. I like the idea of only 105 countries with more time allowance for greater in-depth study.

They recommended memorizing countries & capitals for the older grades for ALL countries, but only some of the countries/capitals for the younger grades. They didn't give many aids to help that, though, so we resorted to handmade flash cards....and those weren't a favorite.

SO -- would it be too early to jump on into Creation to the Greeks? I do like that I can return to ECC later on before high school. Just don't want to go over their heads. I wonder how many start with Creation to the Greeks with their oldest going into 4th grade?

[Editor's Note: ECC will explore 15 countries in-depth over the year. 105 countries refers to the board game, which teaches names and locations but does not immerse in culture.]
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Re: Will ECC be redundant?

Unread post by Yodergoat »

I believe that most MFW users begin Creation to the Greeks with oldest in 4th, because that oldest child probably did K, First, Adventures for second, ECC for third and then began history cycle at CTG for fourth. That will allow for your oldest to get ECC in eighth grade. So CTG seems like a natural choice for fourth grade.

But, like another said, doing a more in-depth study of the cultures of specific countries and the wonderful missions/prayer aspect of ECC could be a nice follow-up to their year of learning just a little bit about all the countries. The read-alouds will really enhance the year, and you can just skip any information that would seem too redundant and use that time instead to explore the foods, customs, prayer needs, and other interesting details about the countries.

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Re: Will ECC be redundant?

Unread post by gratitude »

Yodergoat wrote:I believe that most MFW users begin Creation to the Greeks with oldest in 4th, because that oldest child probably did K, First, Adventures for second, ECC for third and then began history cycle at CTG for fourth. That will allow for your oldest to get ECC in eighth grade. So CTG seems like a natural choice for fourth grade.
Like the original poster I waited until my oldest was in 4th to do ECC. He did MFW1 for K/1st and ADV for 1st/2nd. I tried ECC in 3rd for 4 weeks with a 3rd, 2nd, & K. I am really glad I decide to wait. It is so much more fun with them all a year older and the program improved significantly during his 3rd grade year. It has helped a lot to have a 4th grader as part of it. I am also very glad to not have Homer this year. I just wanted to encourage the original poster to know that I found waiting, as she has done, to be beneficial. My 3 oldest are all able to participate, and the timing has been good for this program.

I would look at what you have & have not covered in ECC and see how much will be new and how much review.

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Re: Will ECC be redundant?

Unread post by asheslawson »

MelissaB wrote:This should not influence your decision at all, but ECC was our favorite year. :-)
Agreeing with Melissa!! But of course, it may seem a bit repetitious since you've had a full year of geography - but there was so much more in ECC that I enjoyed. Is there any way you can get to one of the summer events where MFW will have their curriculum on display for you to peruse??
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