Combining ECC and younger child learning to read

Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

New, can I combine 7 year old with older child in ECC?

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

Amarie wrote:Hi, we are in the process of choosing new curriculum for the fall, and I'm researching MFW ECC. It looks really good! I have an 11 year old and 7 year old. I wondered if I could combine them with ECC, and just use what I've been using in the areas where my seven year old isn't quite at a second grade level, mainly handwriting and reading? He is on the verge of becoming an independent reader. I used first grade social studies and science with him last year from a different curriculum, he did really well with it. I wondered if some of you who have used ECC could give me your opinion.
I haven't used ECC. I have it and I'm using it with my 8 year old 3rd grader this year and his 5 tag along siblings.

Yes, that is the idea. Your 2nd grader would do the Bible, geography, science and electives (like music and art) with the 11 year old. Each would have their own LA and math on their own level. Now that I finally have the manual, I'm seeing the big picture of how this would work even though I don't have any older students. (I'm looking to the future too.) It looks like it would work well. :D

Good luck!
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: New, can I combine 7 year old with older child in ECC?

Unread post by Yodergoat »

Welcome! I'm also about to begin ECC, but with an only child age 8.

It is the plan of MFW to have younger siblings join in just as Heather described, doing language arts and math at their own level. From what I have heard, younger siblings are delighted to join in with ECC, especially with all of its hands-on activities. I think it's recommended that you get the student sheets for a younger sibling in that age range, as well as The Complete Book of Animals as part of science because so much of Properties of Ecosystems may be above a younger child's level. Since ECC is a multi-level program, there will be some content that can be skipped this time around for the younger child. He should repeat it later at an older age on a deeper level.

I think some people worry that a few of the topics in ECC might be a bit mature for younger children, such as missionary biographies with heavier content like danger or martyrdom. If this is a concern, some of these topics could be discussed with the older child while the younger child is doing something else at his level.

You may want to consider doing the language arts from Learning God's Story with your younger son if he is not quite up to second grade level in writing. It has a great phonics program and the Bible Reader and Notebook are wonderful for learning reading and writing. Just an idea...
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Re: New, can I combine 7 year old with older child in ECC?

Unread post by ruthamelia »

We recently finished ECC with a 10 year old and 7 year old, turning 8. Not only did it work for both, I think it actually addressed some of the weaknesses the 7 year old had, similar to what you are describing.

The Complete Book of Animals was great reading practice- she begged for the pull-out books, and if she had a choice this was the first thing she wanted to do each day. It was also a good opportunity for brief handwriting practice. The answers were short enough that the meltdowns over handwriting from the previous year disappeared. Handwriting practice is scattered throughout ECC as well, with memory verse copy work and dictation being most notable. When she had reached her limit of handwriting for the day, other assignments were easily turned into discussions, scribing, or drawing instead of writing. Essentially, she wasn't held back from learning other concepts and ideas by weakness in handwriting. The opportunity to choose her reading material from the book basket helped propel her into becoming a voracious independent reader.

Aside from addressing her weaknesses, ECC boosted her confidence because there were so many opportunities to be successful. She thrived in the geography content, the missionary biographies ("Please just one more chapter!"), and many hands on activities. She surprised everyone with how quickly and thoroughly she learned to identify countries using the geography game. In summary, it was easy to keep the 10 year old challenged while still keeping the learning applicable and accessible to the 7 year old. Hope some of that helps!
Kids in school: 17, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 6
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
2020-21 First, RTR, AHL
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: New, can I combine 7 year old with older child in ECC?

Unread post by MelissaB »

Postby MelissaB » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:53 pm
Those are our experiences using ECC w/ a younger sibling, too. We definitely would use the Book of Animals as a primary science book for the 7 year old.

Agree with Shawna a/b being cautious with the missionary biographies' content. If your 7 year old is tenderhearted, note that Nate Saint and his fellow missionary partners are killed by the Auca tribe at the end of that biography. [*Note: Nate's sister, Rachel, eventually became a missionary that lived with the Auca tribe, and Nate Saint's son, Steve Saint, had the honor of baptizing one of the men who killed his dad! Rachel's biography is also available through YWAM publishing, if your older students want to know more after they finish Nate Saint.] Actually, in our case, our youngest dd did fine with Nate Saint's biography; our oldest dd was in tears. :)

Each of Ruthemelia's notes on adjusting for a younger student are perfect and right on target.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:34 pm

K/ ECC schedule?

Unread post by ruthamelia »

disneymommy wrote:I am not a schedule person. I hate them, feel confined and antsy. However, I have five young children to care for and teach and a household to take care of. I need to be more organized. And my oldest LOVES routines and asked if we could please try something like the one listed in the front of the ECC manual. I told her I would be willing to attempt it.

So here is what I've come up with. I'm really hoping someone who has done these programs can tell me if this is realistic. My kids will be 9, 7, 5, 3 and 1.

8:00 ECC Bible box, K calendar box, family meeting time
8:30 handwriting, vocab or math drill
8:45 math for everyone (Singapore- my oldest is just about completely independent)
9:15- spelling and phonics for everyone (not sure how long K phonics will take?- could always spill over into the next time slot)
9:30 - English (LLFT and ILL)
9:45- Reading (drawn into the heart of reading for oldest, 7 and 5 year old will both read aloud to me)
10:15- Writing (IEW themed books for older two)
10:35- geography
10:50- science
11:10- music/art/K activities (pick and chose, I know I probably won't get to everything in K)
12:00- lunch with K bible then recess
1:00- book basket and rest time
2:00- Spanish, typing, handicrafts, snap circuits(free time here, but meant to be productive time)
3:00- snack (both K and ECC read alouds either here or at bedtime)

I'm a bit nervous about the 8:00 start because I do best with housework in the morning and I am wondering if I will struggle to keep up if I am waiting until later to get to that. Thinking that before 8, I can do:
My quiet time
Beds made
Everyone dressed and ready
Breakfast eaten and cleaned up

Oh my goodness! I'm already so stressed out, just having typed that up. I'm honestly not sure I can do it, lol. I wonder if I should break it up a little less? Like this:

8:00 chore time
8:30 ECC Bible, k calendar, circle time, family meeting
9:00 LA hour
10:00 math hour
11:00 geography and science hour
12:00 K Bible during lunch (kitchen clean up and dinner prep, recess for kids after lunch)
1:00 nap and book basket/quiet time
2:00 art/music/k activities/ extras
3:00 snack and read alouds (or save them for bedtime)

This seems much more do-able to me. Although I see a few negatives (like all of LA being together- Maybe too much writing all at once for my 7 year old?). And it will take us longer. We won't actually finish with everything before lunch. But if we are moving quickly, we can just move ahead. If much rather be done earlier than planned than take longer and feel behind all day.
Postby ruthamelia » Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:32 pm
Just a few thoughts, since we just finished ECC with 5 kids the same ages as you'll have!

- Some days we finished before lunch, but not terribly often! I think it's reasonable to expect to go past lunch with 2 little ones who will need at least some of your time in the morning. Nap time after lunch (or whenever nap time is for you) was often a good time to plan things that the little ones couldn't quite make it through, like longer read aloud sessions. So, I wouldn't worry about your schedule going into the time after lunch. Then, on days when things go particularly well and you do finish before lunch, it's a treat!

- I like your "less broken up" option better for the kindergartener. Instead of having to pull him in for brief sessions many times through the day, it looks like his work could be completed in fewer chunks, meaning more playtime and less difficulty reengaging attention. In my experience, the 5 year old could easily be distracted by the 3 and1 year old playing, but it was easier to keep him going for 20-30 minutes at a time a few times than 10 minutes at a time lots of times.

-Remember Fridays are usually light days, if you follow the manual closely. You may eventually find yourself adapting that daily schedule to look a little different for Fridays. School could often easily be finished by mid morning on those days.

-Last thought, don't let the first two weeks deter you from your schedule! The balance is quite different those first two weeks, so if your schedule doesn't feel quite right those first few weeks, try it again week 3 or 4 and you may find a different outcome.
Kids in school: 17, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 6
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
2020-21 First, RTR, AHL
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: K/ ECC schedule?

Unread post by MelissaB »

It looks like your 2nd schedule looks more workable to me, too.

Like Ruthamelia's already noted, Fridays are lighter days. We like to schedule "make-up work" time on Fridays, which allows us time to finish any incomplete work. It's a "Play Time" if all of their work has been finished.

ECC/K are such a fun year together.

Enjoy! :)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
Posts: 392
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: K/ ECC schedule?

Unread post by Poohbee »

I see in your schedule that you begin with K calendar (and ECC things), but you have K activities scheduled later in the day. I have just one other suggestion for you to try. I have heard or read many times...on this board, in magazines, on blogs...that it often works best for you to devote some time to the youngest kids first. I have found that to be true! You should certainly try the schedule as you have written it, but if you find that something isn't working, you may want to try doing the K stuff with your K'er (maybe pull in the 3 and 1-year-olds, too) first thing in the morning, or maybe right after Bible. Get your older kids going with some independent work while you work with the littles for maybe half an hour to 45 minutes on the K activities. Then, the littles can go play while you work with the older kids. Of course, there will be interruptions in your day as you need to attend to your little ones, but I find that my youngest is fresh in the morning, and if I work with him first, then he is free to play the rest of the day, and I am more free to work with my older kids. Just something else to think about and maybe try at some point. :-)

One other thing that has worked well in our house has been for us to do some of our "together" work, such as history or geography, and then I give my kids a list of their independent work, and they can choose which subjects they want to do when. So, instead of having a language arts hour or a math hour, we just have independent work time, and I am available to help them as they work on their subjects, but it gives them some choices as to the order in which they want to complete subjects. Again, just an idea to consider when implementing your schedule. It might help you, too, since you don't really like schedules, but you'll have a general framework for when you are to get certain things done. For example, here is how our schedule looked last year as we did EX1850:

9:00--Bible and hymn
9:30--Independent Work (handwriting, reading, book basket, spelling, Rosetta Stone, art, etc.) and mom works with preschooler
10:15--History (together)
11:00--English (3rd grader) & more independent work time (7th grader)
11:30--Lunch break
End around 2:30 or 3

This schedule just gave us a general framework to follow. Sometimes we were off on our times, but that was okay. Sometimes certain subjects required a bit of instruction or help from me, such as art or reading, just depending on what we were doing that day, and other days those subjects were independent for my kids.

Just a bit more food for thought for you. :-) You'll play with your schedule, and you'll find what works for you and your kiddos. It's different for everyone. You just have to tweak and try some different things.
happily married to Vince (22 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2021-2022: CTG with 12yo boy
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: K/ ECC schedule?

Unread post by disneymommy »

Thanks so much for all the thoughts. My dd is very wed to the idea of having a schedule more like the first one :~ I'm still not so sure, but I did tell her we'd give it a try. So I'm going to follow through on it for at least a few weeks. I thought we'd also get started slowly, so hopefully that will help us to see how things fit together. I'm planning to begin with ECC and K with nothing additional, then over the first few weeks add in our math, LA and any other extras.

I have gone back and forth a lot about what to do with K, whether to try to do it all at once in the beginning of our school day or to break it up. We recently brought our five year old in for a behavioral eval. We were told that she COULD diagnose with with ADHD but really we'd only want to treat him if we were going be sending him to school and expect him to sit in a desk all day (SO thankful we are homeschooling him since he's super bright but just very busy physically). So I just don't know how he'll function best. That will take some trial and error.

For now, I think I'll stick with something like the first schedule and see how it goes. Although I am planning to tweak it a bit to add a little more wiggle room - maybe even just add five minutes to each subject - I don't want to feel rushed and like I'm watching the clock all day long.
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: Nevada

Schedule suggestions (ECC with toddler and K)

Unread post by manyblessings »

Pfeifer5 wrote: Sat Jun 11, 2016 2:56 pm I could use some suggestions on how to order our days in the Fall when we start ECC. Here is the situation. My kids the Fall will be ages 10, 7, 5 and 2. (Turning 2 in August) We currently live in an RV (by choice) but that's not really a huge factor. We essentially have three areas in the RV to use separately. (A kid's room/playroom, living area, and master bedroom) There's also outdoor space if the weather is nice. I'm trying to figure out the best way to order our day so we can get school and chores done. I would love to hear how some other families do it, especially with little ones.

I'll be doing ECC with my two oldest and haven't decided what to do for K with my 5yo. Schooling with toddlers has never gone well for me despite the strategies I employed. (Busy boxes, etc.) She's an active child so I'm anticipating this will be a challenge.

Thank you!
I would recommend MFW K for your Kindergartner, just the basic set for the language arts and math. You K child can tag along with the older for Bible, history and science activities as able. Don't feel like you have to do each and every activity in the manual, I think most people pick and choose what makes the lessons most interesting for their family :)

As for the 2 year old, You could consider getting just the educational toys from the Preschool for 2s and 3s package, to have some things to help keep your toddler busy-these would be kept put away and only brought out during school time while the older kids need your attention. If your youngest still naps, you could use that time for more difficult/teacher-intensive subjects such as math.

I hope these ideas are helpful, and this archive has lots of posts about schooling with toddlers and keeping them busy :)
4 adults, 1 in 3rd
3 in heaven
Married 6/20/09
2020-2021 ECC
Post Reply