3rd-4th grade - Transition from Adventures to ECC

Julie in MN
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3rd-4th grade - Transition from Adventures to ECC

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:28 pm

3rd grader in ECC??

We did ECC in 3rd & we loved it. We did the whole thing -- Nature Walks, even Writing Strands [MFW now recommends waiting until 4th grade]. It was a lovely year for us.

No, ds did not retain every detail. (I realize now we should have played the game every single time it was scheduled :o) But he did get a real sense of the planet and where the different people groups are, how they are different, etc. And it was refreshing for both of us to have a year without studying any wars or disasters or disagreements.

I think the thing I valued most was that he went into the history cycle fully aware that everyone does not know Christ and looking at things from God's perspective. Instead of judging people, he was praying for them.

When I hear people say they are struggling in ECC, it seems to almost *always* be regarding the country packets. Since I did ECC with my *youngest,* I had no problem following the instructions & scaling way back on those worksheets for him. Worksheets are not really what MFW is all about, anyways.

However, if it's your *oldest,* maybe you should do something drastic to keep you from overdoing on that book -- glue it to the basement shelf so it's hard to get at or something?! LOL I was that way with my oldest!
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

Jenn in NC
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Re: 3rd grader in ECC??

Unread post by Jenn in NC » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:11 pm

Julie in MN wrote:However, if it's your *oldest,* maybe you should do something drastic to keep you from overdoing on that book -- glue it to the basement shelf so it's hard to get at or something?! LOL I was that way with my oldest!
Julie this is too funny! I love the visual that puts in my mind. Thanks for the word picture :) ... and for the laugh.
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
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How much of an increase

Unread post by niki » Sun May 18, 2008 1:18 am

Gail wrote:How much of an increase is there in the "meat" of ECC compared to Adv??
Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:43 pm
We are using ECC this year after Adv. Because ECC covers a wide variety of ages, there are many levels of work for your child(ren). I'm using with a 2nd and 3rd grader and will have no problem as we cycle back through (in 7th and 8th grade) taking it up to the next level.

I'm sure that others will give a more eloquent answer, but fear not! There is great "meat" to chew on... we are very much enjoying our year and our time schooling has greatly increased from last year too. Many things are spelled out in the beginning of the year (TM) and just assumed they are being continued throughout the year. I sometimes get off track and have to re-evaluate where my kids are and am I doing for them what they need, whether it be more or less...but it's right there for you in this curriculum thanks to such a great author! (thanks Marie)

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:40 pm

I used ECC last year with a 2nd and 3rd grader after using ADV. They did great. I didn't do any advanced work and we didn't even use the workbook World Geography with them and there was plenty to do and learn since we will cycle through it in 4 years with a 5th 7th and 8th grader...not that will be fun!

Agreeing with the others, you'll do fine!

Jenn in NC
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Re: How much of an increase

Unread post by Jenn in NC » Sun May 18, 2008 1:19 am

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:55 am
Agreeing with Niki that ECC is very flexible. I had a 4th grader and a 2nd grader doing it, and found it very easy to adjust the level of the information/projects and so on to each dc's level. And there was plenty there that an older child could have done as well. It is a very good program.

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Re: How much of an increase

Unread post by kellybell » Sun May 18, 2008 1:19 am

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:25 am

We also did it with a 2nd and 4th grader and found it "just right." There is extra map work for older kids and the crafts, music, and cooking can be tweaked to match the interests and abilities of the kids.

ECC is pleasantly meaty without being overwhelming. You and your kids shouldn't burn out on it and moan every time you get out that TM.


Re: How much of an increase

Unread post by TurnOurHearts » Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:08 am

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:05 pm
Last year we did MFWK & ADV, and this year we're doing MFW1 & ECC. Both have been stellar years. The TM gives you all the information you need to know about doing ECC with younger students. We've not encountered any problems following their suggestions. It's very doable & FUN, FUN, FUN!! My youngest has really enjoyed being included in many of my oldest child's studies as well - music, science, geography, art, read alouds. And next year, both my children will use CtG (Creation to the Greeks) for 4th & 2nd grade, respectively ~ I can't wait!! This is where my youngest will be 'folded in' to the cycle. Yippee ~ one TM!!!

Please keep asking questions if you have more, or if this is confusing. Some of these ladies have been around awhile & really know their stuff. The rest of us have just been SO BLESSED by this curriculum that we can't help but want to try to help others!

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chickening out on starting ECC this fall

Unread post by my3boys » Thu May 07, 2009 8:09 am

Fenni wrote:I want to do it, but I'm just not sure it will be the right time for me or my 3rd grader. What I'm thinking about doing is just the 3R's and then keeping the book basket full from the library. It just doesn't make sense to me to step up the amount of work he is expected to do when he struggles to finish what is currently expected of him. He loves to learn and devours books in the book basket, but he doesn't really like "school" and has trouble staying on task. He's almost 8, btw. any experienced moms of dawdling boys care to comment?

I was thinking for 3R's, I'd continue with his current math and PLL, toss in some Bible verses to copy and memorize, and maybe use the McGuffey's reader again with him. He's a good reader and his comprehension is at high school level so I'm not really concerned about that area. Thing I don't want to do is create extra work for myself putting this together. MFW is great for me because it is "open and go."

My plan would be to start ECC in December or January. so what do you think? Should I just start ECC and take it slow maybe taking 2 days to cover 1 day? or wait a few months?

scared to take too much on with all these little ones!
Is there a particular area that he is struggling? I don't think ECC has to be too much of a step up. You don't have to add the advanced activities or do any of the geography packet (you could even leave out the long read-alouds if you feel that is too much). The rest is mostly just fun reading and activities about each country. I geared our year toward my fourth grader this year, but I could just as well have used mostly pictures books and the fun activities and geared it toward my First graders.
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR

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Re: chickening out on starting ECC this fall

Unread post by niki » Thu May 07, 2009 8:48 am

I think ECC'll be a great year to do...in 8th grade he'll do it again at the advanced level, so whatever you get out of it next school year will be ok.

I did it last year with a 2nd and 3rd grader (and a tag along Ker). We had a blast. Don't chicken out. I think you'll find the year to be a great treasure.


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Re: chickening out on starting ECC this fall

Unread post by dhudson » Thu May 07, 2009 9:33 am

I think ECC is a great year for getting kids ready to do the next step into the history cycle. It's pretty gentle and you can make it as hands-on as you want. I do have a very distractible, extroverted little girl (and two boys who are task-oriented and detailed - sometimes God is funny ;) ) and I ask the same of all of them although how we get there might be different. I have printed lists of assignments for my oldest (11) and then a check off list on a white board for my twins(7).

The other thing I have done to train my kids into being diligent is to use an egg timer. I set a time frame for each task and then give a reward for getting the task done well in that time. I have used a marble jar, sticker chart as well as good old-fashioned candy as rewards depending on age and inclination. This has done the trick with all three. You might want to try using the egg-timer to things this summer to get your son used to it. It's also great for chores and getting ready for the day. I have an egg-timer on every level of my home for this very reason. :-)

My 7yr old twins were folded into EXP to 1850 with my oldest this year and they handled it well, it took some training but it worked. Use the summer as a training ground and I bet he will be ready this fall for ECC.
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
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Re: chickening out on starting ECC this fall

Unread post by LSH in MS » Thu May 07, 2009 5:03 pm

I did it with a 2nd grader, and 1st grader, and had a 4 year old and 2 year old. It wasn't too much. You can adapt it to him. We did not do any of the world geography pages. We read a lot of the wonderful picture books for each country and got a lot of picture books for the animals in each biome. We didn't do a lot of writing or drawing with the science, we mostly just read the books. We did the fun projects in A Trip Around the World and Global Art, and made a flag for each country.

I guess what I want to say is that you can do the 3 rs, use the book basket in ECC extensively, and do a few projects and have a great year in ECC. My 3 kids loved that year. I am looking forward to them doing it again in 2 years. Then they will be able to get a lot more out of it, but it will be fun to see what they remember when we did it the first time.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years

Amy in NC
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Re: chickening out on starting ECC this fall

Unread post by Amy in NC » Thu May 07, 2009 8:52 pm

When my oldest started 3rd grade I also had a 1st grader, a 2yr old and a baby due in Oct. I knew that I couldn't do ECC and 1st and take care of the little ones. So we did a year of just 3 R's. It wasn't very exciting, but we did do MFW 1st, so that helped add some fun stuff to the day. But the goal was to keep Mommy sane and not overwhelmed. We focused a lot on my 3rd grader's reading that year. It means my oldest will just finish the 5 year cycle before high school, but I'm ok with that. I had a peace about my decision and have never regretted it. You have to decide what it is God would have you do. There are so many good opinions, but ultimately God's is the only one that will make your year great. HTH and doesn't make your decision harder.

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Re: chickening out on starting ECC this fall

Unread post by tiffany » Fri May 08, 2009 9:38 am

RachelT wrote:We have done well with Adventures this year! I guess I'm raising my hand in cyberspace and saying, "I'm nervous, too, Fenni!" I also don't know how he will handle the stories about the missionaries that are tragic.
The tragedies are downplayed for this age. My husband read the YWAM stories to the kids. It is minor enough that it could be adapted, or portions skipped. You can even skip a book if you feel you need to.

To Fenni, when we did ECC, I had a 6 year old who had already completed SSRW. There was not such a thing as Adventures at that time. He blended in with the olders and did the age appropriate things. I also had a 3rd and 5th grader doing ECC as well, plus a 2 and 4 year old to make things interesting. :-) Talk about a juggling act! Sometimes I think a toddler is more difficult than a new baby, both have their challenges.

I would pray and see what God would have you do. Don't be afraid to adapt ECC to fit your needs. Don't feel you have to check off every box or activity. You are in charge of the instruction of your children. You can leave things out or change it to suit your needs.

We've been thrown a few curves over the years. Some years have been easier than others, but I do value the consistency that MFW provides. For me, I like a plan even if it takes us longer than I planned, or if I have to skip a couple of things. We did have one of the history cycles that took us 2 years. We plugged along the best we could and kept up with the 3 R's.
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

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Overwhelmed-Please help! :)

Unread post by TammyB » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:50 pm

shawnswife wrote:I will be doing ECC with my two dd's, ages 8 and 9) and 1st with my 6 year old ds. Last year we did ADV and K and that was pretty tricky at times, especially with a very high-maintenance three year old.

I've spent some time looking through ECC and it seems like WAY MORE work than ADV. And 1st seems like WAY MORE work than K. How on earth am I supposed to teach them both at the same time? My 9 yo DD can work pretty independently on lots of things, but my 8 you dd needs quite a bit of help, as will my 1st grader of course. And I have the very interruptive 3 yo.

I prefer to be on a schedule, but I find it usually doesn't work out that way. Just too many interruptions. There is never enough time for the individual attention my kids need and keeping my own sanity at the same time. In ADV it seemed that all the "fun" stuff was what got cut out. I keep telling myself that in a few years when my youngest is a bit older things will get better, but until then? I remember when my two oldest were pre K/ K age we did all kinds of fun learning activities. I feel like my boys are missing out on all that stuff because I have too much to focus on with my girls now that they are getting older. When will it be the boys' turn for the attention?

I feel like I'm just rambling here. Sorry! Thank you for taking the time to read this and I so appreciate any input or advice :) .
I am very well acquainted with that overwhelmed feeling you are experiencing right now. :) I am not one of those hs moms who juggles lots of things easily. When I did K and Adv, we did not do everything. Not at all. I wanted to. I really did, but I had one of those tornado two year olds running around, and things got crazy a lot. There was a lot of the K program that I didn't do. She did join in a lot on Adventures, however, so she still did a lot of fun things.

This year we did first and ECC, and we haven't finished either yet. My first grader is memorizing the books of the Bible and the Proverbs and is doing the Bible reader and notebook. I had to let all the fun Bible and science stuff go. I just couldn't do it all. Oh well. DD would rather be drawing anyway. :)

We've done a lot of ECC but nowhere near all the craft projects from Global Art. I usually didn't plan ahead well enough, so I often didn't have the supplies needed for the projects (not to mention that I don't have a craft-type store near by).


Even though we haven't done everything in any of the programs, my kids have still learned a lot, and I have had to work on focusing on what WE HAVE accomplished rather than on what WE HAVE NOT. That is not generally easy for my perfectionistic personality, but it is good for me. I have also had to learn not to compare myself to other hs moms who seem to accomplish more than I. (Well, I guess I am still working on that.) I really am doing the very best I can, and that is what the Lord expects of me.

As far as ECC goes, my suggestion is to start a tad bit early and stretch that first week into a week and a half or two. Either that or do only the unit study stuff that first week. Those first two weeks are really busy, and you will be doing yourself a favor to give yourself a bit of extra room with them. (Not every week in ECC is as full.)



Re: Overwhelmed-Please help! :)

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:05 am

Hi Jennifer,

((hugs)) here first. Yes, 2nd edition ECC manual just looks overwhelming, doesn’t it? But it is very beautiful and planned well. Lots of teaching notes. The first couple of weeks have lots of notes to help you. Day at a time. And it will level out. I have too long of an answer. Take it slowly. I hope I don't add to the overwhelming feeling with this much input.

Yes, ECC is very different from ADV. But, it helps to remember that ADV is written for a much smaller age range. ECC will have Advanced assignments that you will ignore and it will be just fine. So, if it says “advanced”, you can leave it out with the kids’ ages you have.

Ease into the school year. ECC first two weeks are the busy, heavy duty weeks that tend to make many of us go EEK! If you don’t do a full plate of language arts and math that week, it’ll be ok. The music lessons in ECC are fun and can be done in the car if needed. My kids enjoyed trying to use them during breaks in school too.

Things to remember about those first two weeks: They are not intended to be master the material weeks for youngest kids. They are introduction weeks. Some kids will click right away with the information. Others will just need time over the year to get it. I think it can be helpful to know that ahead of time. If they don’t get everything with hemispheres and maps and globes – it’s ok! You will get lots of practice over the whole year to help them. Don’t struggle for long in it. Just introduce the ideas, read the Maps and Globes book, be willing to model and demonstrate on the wall map and your globe. And if it takes them all year, it’s ok.

Also, they are learning how to use the books like Illustrated World Atlas. That’s a reference book. So just keep in mind the goal with 3rd/4th graders and younger with the lessons in that book in the first two weeks is that you are introducing them to the idea of looking up cool tidbits of info about a whole bunch of places around the world and the idea of rankings of World’s largest this and that. Unless you plan to be on Jeopardy soon, you can look up that stuff the rest of your life. ((hugs))

If the map distortion lesson doesn’t make sense to them, just know this little thing about me. I first learned that info in 5th grade and can remember to this day that I tuned it out when my teacher was talking. Heee hee. So, enjoy the demo with the orange. If it doesn’t work, then look on the ECC ideas forum for Paige’s pictures and let the kids look at the pics.

Can you start ECC and first grade on different weeks instead of starting both programs on the same day? I’d recommend starting with first grade (based only on my kids of course) and letting older kids help you learn the math routines and all of that. Then they’ll help you teach that kid. Go ahead and make a notecard or list of those Daily math routines. I found this year that my 7th and 4th grade girls could “teach” Kindy to their sister because I made them part of the math routine and story time. Was it perfect situation? Sure was. (giggle)

Then you can build ECC into the day. And if they need to not do a full set of language arts and math that first two weeks, at least try to do math fact drills those weeks and at least look at the language arts materials to ease back into that school year.

Other tips in ECC:
For the ages you have, don’t feel like they have to make 2 Geography Vocabulary sheets each week. One will be ok. Let them trace a picture. We did plenty of that. In fact, we changed the assignment a tiny bit. Instead of using 4 x 6 index cards, we used a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Top part was blank, bottom with lines. You know, like the handwriting notebooking sheets in the ADV appendix.

But if they only do one of the words on Fridays for vocab notebook that’s ok. You can just study and read the other word. Some kids can do those on their own during “independent time” while you work with another child.

General ECC tips in younger grades:
Enjoy and simplify a craft. Let them try to take lead on it. We simplified a lot of the crafts and still had sooooooooo much fun with it. Examples: sand painting, we bought these inexpensive sand crafts that you just peel back the paper and pour color sand on top. Instead of doing wire sculpture in Africa, we used pipe cleaners for that. Order yourself some modeling beeswax (used in lesson 16) early on. Ask grandparents for a gift card to the Craft store.

Science in ECC:
Given your children’s ages, please give yourself permission to not do the Advanced, optional readings from Ecosystems. Let the kids read along from the book with you. When you ask questions, let them sit with you to look up the answers from the text. The answers are in the ECC manual. Remember that the idea is to help your child begin to know and see what is the world around them and in places where they aren’t.

Read Alouds:
We’ve done in the evening as long as we’ve done MFW.

Well, that was meant to encourage, but it probably was too much information.

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Re: Overwhelmed-Please help! :)

Unread post by SandKsmama » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:15 am

My first year of homeschooling, I did K and ECC, and had a 2 year old running around; then 1st with CTG and a 3 year old. I *promise* it will get easier and better as your little guy matures. And it's really okay if you don't fit every single thing in...the beauty of the history cycle is that they will all see it again, and what they didn't get the first time around, they'll get the second time.

In the meantime, though, I do have a few suggestions that might help. I DO encourage you to work on a schedule - maybe even just a schedule of things to keep your toddler busy, b/c it seems like this is one of the greater sources of frustration/chaos during your school day. (and remind me of this in a year or two when my baby is that age, okay? I think the website http://www.preschoolersandpeace.com is phenomenal with LOTS of ideas and such to that end.

I also found it very, very helpful to do something with my little one *first* - get the olders going on math or handwriting (something they can work on independently for a little while) and do some preschool time with the little guy. For whatever reason, it seemed like if I spent time with my toddler/preschooler first, they were more content to NOT be the center of attention the rest of the time, and it was easier to rotate them to other activities they could do on their own, while I worked with their older siblings. I kept that kind of schedule even up to this year, when my "baby" was 5 years old (before the new addition was born LOL). I got the olders going on independent work, then worked with the youngest on her stuff, so she could go off and play while I finished up with the older ones.

The only other suggestion that immediately comes to mind is to NOT try to do all of both programs if that is overwhelming you. I surely didn't! Your first grader can join in on lots of ECC. Focus in on the phonics/math/Bible reader and notebook parts of 1st, and let her join in on the science/arts/crafts/read alouds from ECC.

I hope this was a little helpful to you - I SO understand how you are feeling, and you are not alone!
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!

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Re: Overwhelmed-Please help! :)

Unread post by jasntas » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:06 pm

I hope this post is at least a little encouraging to you.

For a little background: I hs-ed my ds in K with an advanced program. We didn't get a lot done and I felt like a failure. So feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what else to do I sent him to ps for the last 2 years.

You know what I found out? The ps doesn't completely cover everything in it's entirety either. And in 2nd grade my ds rarely ever even finished an assignment. His teacher didn't even seem to care. I even told her to send the unfinished assignments home and I would make sure they were completed. She only sent home a couple of unfinished assignments. So we would spend 2 to 3 hours a night on homework and other materials assigned by me just to keep him up with his peers.

I volunteered in the classroom so I knew a lot of what was going on or not going on. And I asked my ds lots of questions. His ps did very little science and art. Most science was out of a text book and not hands on. I think they actually did 1 hands on science project all year. My ds loves science so that was very disappointing to him. I was the one that did most of the art projects with the kids and only did them maybe a handful of times.

I am a bit of a perfectionist myself and working in the classroom has really been an eye opener for me. It has helped me to realize that I don't have to complete every assignment or do every project to know that my kids will still learn. I know that we will complete more than he did in ps. Even with your little distractionist (is that a word?) I bet you completed more and will complete more. A ps classroom has an average of 20 distractions. And, believe me, it doesn't matter what their ages, there are still lots of "distractionists".

All this to say that I bet your kids learned and experienced more than most kids in ps. Even with as little as you feel like you completed. I can almost guarantee it.

And remember that you are teaching them what YOU want them to learn. Not what the ps system wants them to learn.

When I get in the middle of this coming school year, someone please remind me of this as I'm sure I'll be here for encouragement, too.

I really hope this helps at least a little.
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.

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Re: Overwhelmed-Please help! :)

Unread post by shawnswife » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:46 pm

Thank you so much everyone for your your kind and encouraging responses! I'm going to have to take some time and process all the great advice I've been given. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions soon :). It's nice to know I'm not alone!

Blessings to you all!
Jennifer F.

Wife to Shawn since 1997
Mom to dd (2000), dd (2001), ds (2002), ds (2006)

Using RTR and MFW K (2011-2012)
Completed parts of CTG and Story of the World (2010-2011)
Completed ECC and MFW 1st (2009-2010)
Completed ADV and MFW K (2008-2009)

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Re: Overwhelmed-Please help! :)

Unread post by tiffany » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:28 pm

I did ECC with Kindergarten, and we more than lived through it. That was our first year with MfW, and we really had a great year. Next year, I have a 1st grader, 3 in Exp.-1850 and a high school freshman. So, I am with you, things can get a bit scary sometimes. Remember to trust in the Lord and not your own abilities. I am CERTAIN homeschooling would be impossible without HIS help!

I'll pray for you.
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

Julie in MN
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Re: Overwhelmed-Please help! :)

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:26 pm

You folks with lots of kids just amaze me. But lucky for you, MFW was written by a family who had lots of kids, too. It's just a matter of getting comfortable with the new book every year, I think. Here is how I *think* I might approach the year, for whatever that's worth, having never taught with 4 kids at my feet!

1. Take your manual and cross off everything that says 7-8th. Use a black marker or tape over it, if you must. Reducing your stress and creating a fun year is worth a messy manual :o)
2. If you're keeping the 2nd-3rd grade section, then cross off absolutely everything that says "advanced." And consider skipping the 2nd-3rd portion if it doesn't help your day.
3. Do read-alouds in the evening, so they don't take up time in your day.
4. Plan only one art project in every continent. That's what? Eight during the year? Add more later if time. Get at least the first 1-2 ready during the summer.
5. Look over the vocabulary card assignments & see how you can streamline that for your particular kids. The idea is to introduce a vocabulary study and add to the geography study, but I realize now that my son didn't really grasp all of geographical formations when he did ECC in 3rd.
6. Use the summer to prepare. Make copies, cut out game cards, check the library or your own bookshelves.
7. Use the atlases and Living World science book to be amazed at the world, not to memorize facts. Sit with your children and look. Ask them whether they realized all the information that could be learned about the world on the page, or what looks interesting, and read that section.
8. Recognize that your kids are growing daily. What seems impossible for them to achieve today may look very differently a year from now.
9. Recognize that when your children miss something that my child enjoyed in the curriculum, they are still gaining a fun family group feeling that my child sadly never gets to experience. He doesn't like being the only one to answer every single question, or only having mom to laugh at his funny art project. Realize that the manual was written for both our families, and how it comes out will look differently in different situations.

shawnswife wrote:Thank you, Julie! What wonderful, practical suggestions! I really like your idea of marking out the grade portions I know I will not be using. Psychologically, I think that makes it seem like less. I also like your idea about one art project per unit or continent or whatever that was. :) Thanks so much for chiming in!

Last edited by Julie in MN on Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:03 am, 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)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Posts: 78
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Location: AR

Re: Overwhelmed-Please help! :)

Unread post by momtogc » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:58 am

I have only used MFW 1st with one child so I really can't add anything from personal experience but I will tell you what a friend of mine did when she was using ECC and had a preschooler.

She put together several containers of fun items for the preschooler to play with, things that he could play with independently but near Mom and older sister while they did school. She had one box/container for each day of the week and on that day she would pull out the box and let her youngest play with what was in it. After the older child was done with school, the box was put away until next week.

To give an example, she had a box of Leggos for Wednesday. He could only play with those Leggos only on Wednesday while sister was doing school. After schoolwork was done, the box went back in the closet until next Wednesday. This way he knew what to expect and had something to look forward to each day of the week. You can decide what your youngest would enjoy doing the most and change it up along the way if he became bored with a particular item.

And another friend with four girls ages eight and up, showed me how she uses schedules to let them do as much independent work as they are able. She made a weekly schedule for each child, listing all of their work. They were to do all that they could independently then come to her when they needed assistance. I used her example with my daughter last year for second grade (my dd was a young seven) in this way: I listed all the thing that I thought she could do on her own, i.e. math worksheets, some reading, copywork, piano practice etc, and made her a simple little daily schedule. She would work on these each morning, but with the freedom to ask me for help as needed. When she was done with those things we moved into doing the work that I had to help her with. She grew so much in the area of taking responsibilty as a result. It also helped her to realize that if she concentrated and worked quickly, it freed up time for other things. This might be something that could work with your eight year old, and maybe even your six year old?

OH, and I highly recommend listening to David Hazell's CD called "What Should 21st Century Christians Be Teaching Their Children?" It's very good and after hearing this session, I really began to relax over homeschooling. Check it out if you can. His CDs are available on the MFW website.

I wish you well for the coming school year. Lean on God when you have those especially frustrating and overwhelming times.

In Chist,
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850

Julie in MN
Posts: 2915
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Nervous about ECC! Please help explain.

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:10 pm

amelasky wrote:My dd and I have completed K, 1st, and ADV. I have been reading through our ECC manual and getting the room decorated, books organized, etc. I have read through the first six weeks of the ECC TM. I have to admit that I'm nervous. I must state that I was nervous at the beginning of each year, but for some reason, I'm REALLY uptight about this year.

Would those of you that have finished ECC please take the time to encourage me? I trust MFW completely and I know it will be an AWESOME year. A few of the recommended books have me a little worried about their content because my dd is super sensitive. I'm used to "editing on the fly" with her while reading though. Shouldn't be a big issue.

Any advice, tips, or planning ideas that you can pass along? Prayer too would be most helpful. I'm feeling really isolated this year. My husband has been super busy at work, so I haven't been able to sit down and go over the year with him, or even really bounce ideas off him, or anything. I guess that I'm needing a little extra "help" this year. You all are such a blessing and an asset to MFW!
I know the nerves thing. I've felt it at each "transition point" over the years. And going from ADV to ECC is one of those. You'll be fine, but how to get you through this worrying phase?!

I remember posting a few ideas not too long ago about someone who felt "overwhelmed" -- it was a different sized family than yours, but maybe something will click: [above]

I will say that ECC was the first year that I homeschooled my youngest (3rd grader at the time). It was a very special year for us and I know it will be for you, too. Just remember you are teaching a 3rd grader, and the manual is for families who have kids all the way up to 8th grade. This was easier for me being that I was teaching a youngest child, and it will be harder for you with a firstborn. You might need to take a black marker & cross out things that are advanced. Now that there's an extra grid section for 2-3rd & 7-8th, don't do it all!!! If you're "adding" something for 2-3rd, that means you TAKE AWAY something else (usually the geography packets or maybe science notebooking).

I like the way that Writing Strands lessons give you goals as the first thing on the page, before it gets into the assignment. (You are NOT going to do WS yet!) It's just a good technique --
- Here are my goals
- There are a thousand things I could teach along the way
- Let's focus on the goals first

For a 3rd grader, your goals may be to expand his horizons from the US to the world, to learn to love the variety of people God has created, to pray for the world, to realize that true heroes might be in the mission field (or the other side of the coin -- folks in the mission field can be just regular folks who step forward), and a MFW favorite -- learning to love to read. A few goals like that don't seem as scary, do they :)

I'll be doing part of ECC later in ds's 8th grade year, and I've started to realize that it's not going to be the same as the lovely year we had in 3rd grade. In 3rd, we had time to read picture books and fairy tales (for the first time). We did those nature walks in our yard and at a park and we found a cool oak grove behind a community center & watched it change over the seasons. 8th grade will be good stuff, but not the same. Enjoy *this* year.
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

Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:47 pm

Re: Nervous about ECC! Please help explain.

Unread post by BostonMom » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:04 pm

I was nervous about ECC too, but we loved it. One of their favorite memories was setting up chairs and "flying" to each new country. They also still ask to play the geography game occasionally (even though it's been two years!). It's really hard to get a feel for the year just perusing the books. Once you jump in and get both feet wet, I think you'll be thrilled.

Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: Nervous about ECC! Please help explain.

Unread post by dhudson » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:32 pm

I think Moms get nervous about ECC because it's a bigger program than any of the years before but it is a great year. I found it to be academically challenging but fun and a great foundation for the history cycle. What I loved the most though, was the Biblical worldview taught in ECC. My kids developed a great love for the world and a heart for evangelism which previously had not been a major part of our home.
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: Nervous about ECC! Please help.

Unread post by RachelT » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:47 pm

Hi Annie! You are ahead of me because I don't have my ECC TM, yet. However, I panicked last week about ECC and actually called MFW for the first time! David called me back later in the day because I had questions about placement. Basically, my ds has completed MFW K, 1st, and Adv., but because his diagnoses of learning disabilities didn't happen until this spring, I was all of a sudden worrying about being ready to do it next year.

David explained to me that most of it will be similar to the time we put into Adv., but because of my son's special needs, I have to have more instructional time with him right now since he is doing less independent work, still learning to read and spell, etc. He urged me strongly to go ahead with ECC and not to "dumb down" the curriculum by having him repeat something else that he has already completed. We also talked about how last year in Adv., it was the Adv. "stuff" like the history and read alouds that my children loved and really enjoyed, it was the "fun stuff"! So, David even suggested starting earlier in the summer with the "fun" parts of the curriculum, bank some "school" time, and then add back in the math and reading later.

Anyway, I don't have any answers for you because I have not done ECC before, but I felt very at peace after speaking with David that I need to continue to challenge my ds and that I will make it work. I also felt encouraged to call again before another 3 years goes by if I need help figuring things out!

We'll be journeying through ECC with you. When do you plan to start? We won't begin until sometime in August.

Rachel :-)
amelasky wrote: Rachel,
I'm praying for peace and know things will be okay because God is in control. It's been a really rough year for us health wise, so I know that is part of my worries.

I look forward to this next year and it is so nice to know that there are several other families going through ECC at the same time!
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19



Re: Nervous about ECC! Please help.

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:09 am


((hugs)) to you and your daughter.

Some general tips for teaching stressed out kids who want to work at a higher level than they are ready for? Now, all of this is based on my mistakes and lessons learned, so take what applies and ignore the rest.

1. Your daughter is young so don't fret too much on the rote recall of math facts right now. I know, Perfect Homeschool Mary up the street from you has kids who learned it all by age 4. so what?
encourage your oldest to look on a chart to help her, or sing a song, or whatever. Emphasize to her to say "I need to study that one first".

2. the writing process: %| is how they can feel. So, given her age, go back a few steps and re learn those important steps through copywork. When doing a writing page, have her narrate to you. You write down her words. Let her copy it. Go through the process together. Use her strengths to get through the weaker sections.

3. spelling -- don't turn a writing lesson into a spelling lesson. Don't go with the "sound it out" route. Encourage her to say "I need your help to spell a word". and then spell it for her. Wait until "spelling time" on the spelling grid to go over any spelling rules. at this age, don't mix and match it.

p.s. if you are using Spelling Power (or even if you are not), take a glance at this article and glean from it

One thing I caught myself saying (and heard it in your post, but don't know if you really said it or not) is that: my oldest is so smart, I know she can do this -- but I never taught her the steps to do it.

go back and practice those steps together. She's smart, she'll learn them.

just some thoughts in my head as I read your post about being nervous. (((hugs)))
amelasky wrote: A few of the recommended books have me a little worried about their content because my dd is super sensitive. I'm used to "editing on the fly" with her while reading though. Shouldn't be a big issue.
Some of the missionary books have heads up warnings in the TM so you won't have much on the fly. it'll be fun!

-crystal, who didn't totally ruin her first born and neither have you. ((hugs))

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