Encouragement: If you're struggling with ECC

Toni@homezcool4us
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:28 pm

Encouragement: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:30 am

I hesitated to post this, but honestly it rested heavily on my heart, enough to stir me to post. I visit other hs boards, as I'm sure many of us do. It's a great way to gain ideas, insight, and encouragement and just a fresh perspective (so needed at this time of year, eh?) In doing this, I've come across a few posts where a MFW user is considering switching to another curriculum based on struggling with ECC for one reason or another. I will be the first to admit, ECC was sometimes a struggle for me as well (only certain elements of that year).

However... If I had left MFW based on that one experience, I would have missed CTG this year, and let me tell you, I WOULD HAVE MISSED SO MUCH! CTG has been awesome. The pace. The interesting subject matter. The participation in the feasts. The projects. The field trips (we just ate at a vegetarian Indian restaurant this past week in conjunction with our study of the caste system, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.)

What I want to emphasize is this. If you are finding the workload and pace of ECC to be challenging, please don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Your children are gaining wonderful skills that will serve them well in the future. Consider how you can modify or adapt the ECC year to better fit your individual students and/or family. Ask for suggestions. Share your particular struggles. Praise God for the specific blessings. But don't make the assumption that every year will be more of the last. We are nearing completion of our fourth year with MFW and I can confidently say that each year has a different "feel". Sometimes it's a moderate difference and other times it feels more drastic. ECC definitely has its own unique feel due to the heavy geography content. If ECC is your FIRST experience with MFW, then I encourage you all the more to stick with it and give CTG a try. I truly believe you will be most pleasantly surprised at what a difference a year makes.

All this said, I don't mean to say that ECC is a "bad" year. It's not. It is quite unique, really. And every child is wired differently. Every teacher-mom has her own vision and expectations. This will play into how each family feels about every individual homeschool year (no matter what schooling option or curriculum one goes with). For me, I saw the importance and benefit of ECC while struggling with it at the same time. And yet I've heard others here say they absolutely loved ECC. Again, unique experiences and perspectives. But *if* you've felt discouraged in any way by this particular year, PLEASE be prayerful about making major curriculum changes if they are based on this. I just don't want anyone to miss out on what we discovered just one year later.
Blessings!
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
~Toni~
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:48 pm

Toni,
What a nice post.

I love these boards because you can go online & find posts that encourage you from all different directions. We went through ECC like a breeze but we've had our ups &downs over other things at times. It's always important to keep the big picture in mind, isn't it?

Blessings,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

TammyB
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:27 pm

Re: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by TammyB » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:42 pm

Thank you so much for posting this. :) We have had some great moments with ECC, but..... The issue that I am working on is not becoming a slave to the schedule. That is a whole 'nother post, though, and God is helping me. :) I do not make curriculum changes based on temporary discouragement or emotion. I have to feel clearly that it is the right thing to do. I have learned (through struggles with Singapore math) that something that is causing me headaches now can eventually bring enjoyment and growth.

Thank you again for your post. :)

Blessings,
Tammy

cbollin

Re: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:53 pm

One of things to keep in mind when you are struggling in any of the MFW programs (not just ECC) is to call the MFW office and ask for suggestions of what's going on. Or you can post over here. More than likely someone else is a few weeks ahead of you in a program and has a cool idea to help stir it up a bit and help break the routine and all of that. I suggest calling because sometimes it's quicker and more efficient than typing. Nothing wrong with asking on the board. But sometimes it's a phone call too. MFW provides that one on one service. Over on one of the yahoo groups someone else described it well "It's like calling family."

There are times that I call their office asking "why isn't this working right now?" They really try to help with ideas to get over the parts that seem to not click. I can remember really struggling with a few weeks in the whole jump to 7th grade and just couldn't figure it out. I mean I know that I know that I'm using MFW for a long time. Like Toni said, don't miss what's coming.

-crystal

TriciaMR
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by TriciaMR » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:37 pm

For us, ECC has been a blessing. Maybe it is where we came from (workbook/textbook). The first 2 weeks were a struggle - quite intense. And Saudi Arabia, well, we were glad to be out of Saudi... But, otherwise, Geography is now my dd's new favorite subject. Oh, she doesn't really like doing the vocabulary words (but we compromise - I draw the picture, she colors and writes). And sickness seems to be our theme since January. But, this school year has been a blessing. We've not done every activity in the manual. We don't always do the cooking. We haven't been able to do Nature Walks as much as I would like. But, if the geography game is listed, we do it - my dd is disappointed if it isn't listed every day. Playing the beans in the egg cups game - we did it. (Now I need to go find a Chinese checkers game :) ) I love it when she brings me a book from the book basket and says, "Mom! This was a really good book." or "Mom, I didn't like this book." And then we discuss why. Today, she read a book about Mother Theresa (she has no clue who she was or what she did), and she said, "Mom, I think this lady believed in God."

We have so much together time, and working out issues/problems together. And, my little guys join in some. I make extra copies of flags, and the John 3:16 pages, and such, and they do them - not necessarily the right colors. Sometimes, they join in on science, and they want a "science page," too. And they do them! It is so much fun for us to be doing this together as a family.

My advice, if you're struggling, just relax and enjoy it. Don't try to get done by noon, unless you absolutely have to. Try to make it easier on the kids - do as much as you can orally. Just enjoy it.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
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Location: Minnesota

Re: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:09 pm

LA in Baltimore wrote:Do all the other levels give a better one year picture of the big picture? Is it better to not jump into MFW with ECC?
I imagine it depends on the family. Some families will come to MFW from an unschooling approach, while others will come from a college-prep preschool program, and all steps in between. If a family is way into history, then ECC might not give them a feel for MFW's approach to history (this is HUGE in some homeschooling circles). Or, perhaps if a family is very large, ECC doesn't give them a picture of MFW as families learning together, if they are juggling separate map work for each child. And the geography packets -- those seem to give a wrong impression to some folks because they really aren't scheduled out in the way most MFW assignments are, and they may tempt folks to revert back to a workbook approach? If a family has never taught everyone together, there may be a learning curve the first year, as far as adjusting work for different ages, which would be the case with any program. I taught ECC to my youngest so I am guessing that I was a lot more laid back than I would have been if I'd started teaching ECC to my oldest?

For me, ECC definitely gave me a feel for MFW as a curriculum that --
- studies the actual Bible (not summaries of the Bible or bits & pieces of the Bible)
- looks at all of life from God's perspective
- can realistically be completed in 4 hours per day, even if your family has other things on their plate
- encourages nature walks and games and kid-friendly ways to learn
- teaches solid information, such as locating countries on a blank world map
- doesn't leave out the details like art, music, copywork, & math drill
- has a passion for getting the Bible to all of God's children

However, I definitely think that each year with MFW has its own flavor. For instance, Ex1850 and 1850Mod may seem like similar subject matter, but to me they are absolutely different years in every way. Really, to me they are just as different as ECC and CTG. I suppose if you started in one, you wouldn't have a sense of what the other was like... And since God made so many unique individuals, maybe starting in ECC won't mean starting in their favorite year for every family, or for every person within a family -- but hopefully it will really contribute to their favorite year, when they get there?

In some circles, curriculum analysis seems (to me) to come down to, on the one hand, the value of consistency & preventing a single informational gap -- vs. -- the value of newness & the excitement of change. I find MFW has a nice balance over the years --

- For things focused on in only one particular year, we get to fully absorb them in depth for a time, without the stress and confusion of constant change. And then the following year, we get to experience a completely different program and enjoy that for a year. Geography is thorough and visits the entire planet. The New Testament/Roman era & spread of the Gospel is given its own year, rather than squeezing it in with Old Testament/ancient history.

- For things that pop in & out of the program during lots of years, the amount of time spent is reigned in. We only study 3 composers per year. There are only a limited number of timeline pieces. We read a couple of scientist biographies, not one on every scientist in existence.

Well, just some meandering thoughts this evening,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

donutmom
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:41 am

to Toni--Re: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by donutmom » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:35 am

Toni,

That is just what I needed to hear right now. I've been thinking of next year and which way to go curriculum-wise. I read the postings yesterday and have been dwelling on it. We've had a rough year, and we're using ECC. But your post made me really stop and think about "stuff". I've had to be honest with myself and have concluded that the rough year is more related to the year, not to ECC. It's related to all the things that God's been working in my life (that can be rough and rewarding at the same time, if you know what I mean!), my brother's recuperation from a near fatal accident, etc. Thankfully, ECC has "allowed" other things to go on in our lives, and yet still accomplish lessons. And there are parts of ECC that my kiddos get so excited about, that we didn't have in other curriculum.

So reading your post and the others was such a good thing. It made me remember how I felt when I first found MFW. Came home from a convention and talked my hubby's ear off about it! It had all the components that I was trying to put together on my own. It came from the same "philosophy" and focus that we felt was important for our children's education. It was all scheduled out for me!!! It was easy to do and allowed flexibility (when I remind myself to let it be my slave and not me be a slave to it!). It was such an answer to prayer when God brought it into our lives. I know God can certainly direct us in another path for our children's education and/or what materials we use, but I must let Him do the directing. Here I am, putting myself under stress about what to do next year. . .but of my own accord, not God's. Now isn't that just the smart way to do things!! (Yes, lots of sarcasm oozing from that sentence!)

Part of the issue is that my oldest son will only get through Expl. to 1850s by the time he reaches 9th grade. So in my mind, I've thought that if he can't get all the way through, why do part of it. There are some other things out there that can be done in 3 years, so wouldn't that be better??!! OK, I'll admit it, I'm a perfectionist and much too detailed oriented--so if something can't be done perfect, well, then, is it worth doing?? (Yeh, that's been one of the lessons God's been working on me--guess I haven't learned it yet!) I sometimes sacrifice excellence at the expense of perfectionism. I'm sure there are others who haven't gotten through the whole cycle. And it's quite alright. So anyone who can help me "deal" with that fact, I'd appreciate it!

Well, until/unless God directs otherwise, we will be using CTG next year. Ooooh, it does feel good to say that!! My mind seems so much more settled, my shoulders lighter. So, Toni, you weren't picking on ECC, but I'm thinking that if you had mentioned another level (one I wasn't in), I'm not so sure I would have given so much thought about it. I'd say God stirred your heart, if for no other reason, than for Him to speak to me. Thanks for listening to Him and posting.

Dee

P.S. Ha, ha. As I previewed this, I realized that you all would realize about my "detail issues". That's one long post!! :-)

Toni@homezcool4us
Posts: 122
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Re: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:31 pm

I'd say God stirred your heart, if for no other reason, than for Him to speak to me. Thanks for listening to Him and posting.
Okay, that literally made my eyes teary. I really hesitated to post, as I wanted my words and tone to breath encouragement and not criticism. I wasn't at all sure I could accomplish that, yet it truly weighed heavily on my heart that I should make the post. After reading your words, Dee, I'm so very glad I did. I can't speak to your concerns about your ds missing a year of the cycle, but I most certainly can bathe it in prayer for you. Thanks for sharing here. I really love when God moves among us and we recognize it.
Blessings!
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
~Toni~
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE

Littlelight
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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:31 pm

Re: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by Littlelight » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:01 am

Actually - I'm coming at it from the opposite end of the spectrum....

We loveECC!
I am actually 'afraid' to start into the cycle because I HAVE heard that they are so different.

We have really found our 'niche' with the way that the ECC schedule works for us,
(and yes, I have 'tweaked' it a bit to make it fit our needs better,) but on a whole I am very pleased with it.

I am a bit nervous as to how the rest of the programs will 'compare' - because I think that this has been our best year of homeschooling yet!
Michelle
New to MFW-ECC in 2008
http://homeschoolblogger.com/foxvalleyfamily/

Kim Schroter
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:17 am

Re: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by Kim Schroter » Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:32 pm

Toni,
I too, truly know God used your words to comfort me as well. Here's my story:

We have used MFW from the start. My daughters have gone through K, 1st, Adventures and part of ECC. I feel we gave up last year with it, then I was encouraged by David Hazell at a local homeschool convention to stick it out for the value of geography needed for the 4 year history cycle. We started in September again (for a 2nd year and only made it part way... again). I started praying and asking God if He was changing directions for our family and wanted our children in a charter school or at least another curriculum. We LOVED K, 1st & Adventures, so I didn't know where our dilemma was. It was hard to read all the posts about how families were thriving in and loving ECC. I actually stepped away from this message board for the last year due to feelings of inadequacy using MFW! Instead of finding encouragement, I allowed myself to fall under condemnation. Certainly not from anything on the boards, just my own state of mind and lack of utilizing God's grace!

To make a long story short, I did look into other avenues and God always closed the door quickly. He lit the fire of home schooling within me again, taught me to be flexible, and showed me I can't do it without Him. As I look toward next year, I think CTG will be a wonderful fit for my girls who will be in 3rd and 5th grade. My husband agrees we should stick with MFW and I do too! We came to this conclusion last night and now I saw your post today. It makes my heart glad to know we are not the only family that struggled so hard with ECC. It is also so encouraging to know you went on to CTG with great results.

Thank you Toni.
Married to John 12 years
Mother to Hannah 9 , Summer 7, Ruth 3 and Charlie 4 months

cbollin

Re: For those who have struggled with ECC

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:29 am

annaz wrote:Just curious on the age of your child you are doing it with. I'm interested in this and want to make sure my dd isn't too old/young for it.
Thanks.
I didn't struggle with it.

In 2003 my oldest was 2nd grade. At first I tried to do all of the advanced assignments. Then when I treated her like a 2nd grader, it was fun to do ECC.

This year, I have a 7th and 4th grader and they are doing well.

but you were asking from those who struggled.... so...

-crystal

Julie in MN
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Re: For those who have struggled with ECC

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:51 am

Non-struggling ECC-er here, too. My son was in 3rd, but he wasn't the oldest so I didn't push him (like I probably did my oldest) & just enjoyed the cultural immersion.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

TriciaMR
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Re: For those who have struggled with ECC

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:08 am

We don't struggle, as long as I don't push my 3rd grade dd to do "advanced" assignments. I'll save those for 8th grade. And, only do one vocabulary word a week for a 3rd grader.

My little 4 year old boys join in on the science experiments, and "passport day."

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

Andrea
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Re: For those who have struggled with ECC

Unread post by Andrea » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:22 am

Hi -- No struggling here, either. Our 8 year old ds is having a great time, as well as our 5 and 3 year olds when they join us for music, food, geography game and story time! We have all learned so much. Our son even enjoys the advanced packet pages we choose to do. The science is great, and the missionary bios have been life-changing for our family.
Andrea
wife to Dave (1994)
Jacob (10)
Grace (7)
Kayla (5)
using K and RTR this year
http://crownedwithkindness.blogspot.com/

RB
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:14 am

Re: For those who have struggled with ECC

Unread post by RB » Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:39 pm

Hand raised!
Struggled, sought solutions, loving it now :)
Kids age 7 and 8 at the beginning of the year.
I wanted a geography year with the heart of ECC, but the first 4-6 weeks were...a struggle. Got great advice here. Also, when I sat down and thought about what a year would look like if I made it myself (which I didn't want to do) it looked very similar to ECC with no advanced assignments, lots of picture books, folktales, music and cooking, missionary stories, and a relaxed attitude about map assignments and the Geography game (for example helping 7 y.o. label maps at times).

Here's my latest theory: Many of us do Adventures before ECC and Adventures is made for a narrow age range, therefore it is often a really, really good fit with minimal struggle. We adored Adventures. ECC is for grades 3-6 (or 2-8, depending on how you think of it) which is a much bigger range. It works well for a wide range as long as parents have goals and expectations that fit the ages of their family.

It is an incredibly worthwhile year!!!!
R.B.
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)

Toni@homezcool4us
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:28 pm

Re: If you're struggling with ECC

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:35 pm

Kim, your post absolutely gave me goosebumps. I love the moments when I *know* God has either directly answered a prayer, clearly spoken to my heart, OR clearly used me (my life, my experiences, whatever it might be) to speak to another.
I'm sooo glad now that I posted.

I really think you will be pleasantly surprised by the pace and interesting subject matter of CTG. It's been a GREAT year. And I followed Marie's advice with the feasts that come up in CTG. Several come up in close proximity at the beginning of the year. Use flexibility as your "friend". If, as Marie suggests, you can only do a part of each festival, read through and decide which parts will have the most lasting impact or be most meaningful for your kids in the long run.

Overall, the entire CTG year has just been more manageable. For example, you will build a scaled model of the tabernacle in CTG. It's done in very manageable bits and with time to absorb the significance of each part. My dd really enjoyed doing it and now she'll have a deeper understanding of the tabernacle and a visual picture of it every time she encounters it in bible reading or discussion. I bring this up as just one example of the change in pace and/or intensity.

So glad my post has been helpful to you. Look forward with renewed confidence. I really believe you'll be inspired by the new year.
Blessings!
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
~Toni~
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE

hsmomof5
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Location: South, USA
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Re: For those who have struggled with ECC

Unread post by hsmomof5 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:19 am

I have been doing ECC with two 11 yos and a 9 yo. No struggles here.
~Kysha
ds 19 (college freshman), ds 12, ds 12, and ds 10 (ECC '08) (CTG '09), dd 3 (Preschool)

Andrea
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Contact:

direct me to posts, please. re: overwhelmed w/ ECC

Unread post by Andrea » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:18 pm

Fenni wrote:I am using ECC (3rd grader) and 1st this yr, plus have 3 younger children including a newborn. Others had written about being overwhelmed and had been given good advice on what was essential and what could be omitted or simplified. The posts were encouraging as well. I would like to save some of these posts so I can refer to them as I prepare to begin our school year. Does anyone else already have them bookmarked? Thanks!

[Editor's note: Thread is above]
Hi Fenni,
You sure are blessed with a full house! We did ECC last year with our ds - grade 3, and 1st with our dd. We also had a 3 year old. This is what we did for ECC.

The first couple of weeks is really packed with info and you could stretch them out over a longer time (you can stretch out any of the country/continent units, actually).

The geography packet (I don't know if it's the same in the updated ECC) has pages we left out. We focused on the longitude/latitude island pages, the animals, religions, and mountains.

For our 1st grader, I really didn't want to, but had to leave out the science and add her to the ECC science. We did nature walks together. We are doing the 1st grade science this summer with all the kids and it's really fun! She also joined us for the Matthew study (which we did at breakfast), Window on the World, geography game, and our international "feasts." We read lots of country books from the appendix.

Our 3rd grader and 3 year old joined in on the 1st grade Bible. We were unable to work through Drawing With Children, however. We'll get to it sometime, though!

I guess I just worked hard to group teach wherever it was possible, instead of focusing on what we were leaving out in each program. We had a great time all learning the same things. It was quite a successful year for us! The kids learned a lot and have really retained it.
wife to Dave (1994)
Jacob (10)
Grace (7)
Kayla (5)
using K and RTR this year
http://crownedwithkindness.blogspot.com/

gressman9
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:56 pm

Re: direct me to posts, please. re: overwhelmed w/ ECC

Unread post by gressman9 » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:51 am

You could completely leave out the geography packet. I just did ECC with a 6th and 2nd grader and my 6th grader found some of the pages hard. I did not make the 2nd grader do any of them. He learned so much with the other things we did.

Carylee
crazily busy, but blessed mom2seven

cbollin

Not loving ECC

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:59 am

momtogc wrote:We have completed ten weeks of ECC and we are just not loving it (following a wonderfully fun year with ADV). The only thing that keeps me from throwing in the towel is I do want my dd to learn where countries are in the world and a little about some of them. Is it just us, or have others not liked ECC? I have tried to have a good attitude. I know school is not always fun but the "struggle" is wearing me down.

She hates the Illustrated World Atlas. I've tried leaving off some of the readings from this book, I've tried finding more interesting things online, too. She does not like the book basket books either. I've even put in some books that I bought: a cool zoo book with animals and a people around the world type book that I mark with a flag for the current people we are studying. She won't even look at them anymore.

We had to omit World Geography because it was just too over my dd's head. I've tried to be upbeat about things but geography worksheets are just plain boring. And try as I might to teach dd to do "research", she mostly wants to look things up online. She doesn't see the value in using books to research when everything is so handily available online. How do I answer that? I have tried to find creative things for us to do. For one, I made a "chart" and asked dd to draw and color in resources that are found in South America. That went okay. We found a book to read a bit about each country in S. America and found some interesting things but that only takes minutes in our day.

Some of the recipes we can't use due to food allergies. I could probably do better in this area but I absolutely hate to cook. Crafts - we have done some of them, reluctantly. She didn't even want to do them because she is not liking geography. She was sort of looking forward to the Carnival costume and mask (because she likes to paint) but I opted out of those because I learned that Carnival is the equivalent of Mardi Gras (we did have some good talks about what it is though). I'm going to try incorporating lapbooks to see if that will bring a little happiness to our school days. I have the rosemaling things ready to go for Norway in the hopes that it will perk her up to be able to paint the little box I bought for her to use.

Her negative opinion about it started in weeks one and two with the mapping, etc. I did a fun project for that - a map quest where I drew a map of our part of town and we went on a drive with her navigating. She enjoyed that one thing but the rest of the time she was uninterested in our studies. She expected things to improve as we moved along into the country studies, but they just haven't really gotten better in her opinion.

Oh, science. She doesn't like that either. I think POE is a pretty neat book and we've done the experiments but even the worms were not of any interest to her. I was surprised about that.

Just to let you know, my daughter is a happy, joyful person who smiles as soon as she wakes up every day. She's not a grumpy, moody child so this is how I know she is sincere in saying she doesn't enjoy the geography because normally she is so upbeat about nearly everything. Just wanted to throw that in there so you would know I'm not talking about a child who normally has a bad attitude or anything. : )
first the (((hugs))) ok, another one (hug) If you are looking for permission or freedom to change programs, you can do that. :) But you can still hang out with us and visit. right? at least for a little bit?

If you are looking for ways to radically change it up.... just bullet points...

You did week 10. When is the last time you took a week off of school? It's September and you're in week 10. You must have been like my family and start in summer. Take a week off of "ecc" and just do some 3 R's, or take a break and go to the zoo for school next week.

I've seen over the years where several people have many food allergies and still have to cook or eat each day and use the program. Here is just one example:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... ies#p58466

I'd encourage you each country to ask out loud for recipe or quick non burnable food or grocery item. Mike has to be creative with this. Edie does too. Several others. You don't have to figure it out on your own. Ask out loud and I'm sure someone who posts regularly or maybe even a lurker would have an idea on that.

In terms of World Geography book: there is nothing wrong with online research either. You asked how to answer that. Well, she can learn to look things up online and just work in the book for 5 minutes and you're done. I would tell her, well, it's important to learn to read maps because you will not always have a GPS on you. If there are parts that she wants to try online with your supervision, do it. My kids and I did. We did some books, some just cross reference on a map, and some look it up on wikipedia or other source. 5 minutes a day and help her. The other options: since she is 3rd or maybe 4th grade, you don't have to do any of the research packet.

Illustrated World Atlas: I'm confused. It's there for pictures and a few "look at this" moments. The idea is to help them see that not everything is alike in the world. I might take some time off from reading parts of it out loud for a week or so. Just enjoy the pictures as classroom decoration to create the feel of being there. that's plenty for that book at 4th grade level, isn't it? maybe she'd like to find out that not all countries in the world have the same kind of public toilets. It's not a funny topic, except it would be on my mind if I hadn't followed a thread on another forum recently about this. I'm still trying to figure out the Russian train. ok...
I have tried to find creative things for us to do. For one, I made a "chart" and asked dd to draw and color in resources that are found in South America. That went okay. We found a book to read a bit about each country in S. America and found some interesting things but that only takes minutes in our day.
I'm glad it only takes a few minutes. Why should it take longer?

seriously, back to the toilet idea: what if you found a common normal thing in your house and let her find out what do other children in other parts of the world do for that: what are their beds like? what are their kitchens like? How do they dress for school? Can you homeschool there?

but don't spend tons of time on it. Exactly like you said... a few minutes in your day.

book basket: did you run into this problem in ADV where she didn't want to look at anything? She might just need a break from basket time altogether. That's ok. I've had to do that a few times over the years. Or put stuff in there that has nothing to do with school topic. Remember variety: children's stories from the area, grab travel books about the places just to look at pictures, it doesn't have to be all information books.

do you have friends who could come and tell your daughter stories and show pictures of when they lived in a country?

Maybe since your daughter is really excited about making the craft, you could use it as a time to talk about cross cultural living, and have a dress up party.
Re: Not loving ECC

Postby cbollin » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:00 am
I do sometimes wonder if it is more of the 2nd year expectation? I've heard over the years that people who start with K, don't like 1st. Those who start with 1st and love love love it, end up not liking ADV. Some who start with ADV think ECC is over the top. Some who start with ECC and love it, end up snarling at CTG.... etc etc etc. I don't know is my answer. For me, it was the third year -- I liked ECC, I liked CTG and K that year... then, I struggled in the rome part of RTR the first time around. that was five years ago....

Before ditching ECC (and it is ok to do that if it not a program that works) think about this: after a wonderfully fun year in ADV, think back to what made it fun even when some of it wasn't all day exciting. Can you recreate that feeling with ECC? What parts of ADV did she like?

ECC doesn't have to be all about worksheets in geography. Or learning every possible thing about a country. Don't worry if she "doesn't get to repeat it in 8th grade".

-crystal

TriciaMR
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Re: Not loving ECC

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:13 pm

Our first year with MFW was ECC, so we loved it - even with the challenges we faced that year (see my blog about dd's writing issues and attitude issues and a bout of pneumonia). I've not done Adventures, but I can kind of guess what it is like...

First Adventures is History, and it is much easier to find fun books and stories about History than geography or even cultures. My dd loved the "Look what comes from <name of country>" books when we did ECC. She'd tell her dad at dinner, "Dad, did you know blah-blah-blah came from Norway?" or whatever.

Secondly, she LOVED the picture books in the book basket. I would pull out a few to read to my younger two each week, and she'd be right there listening. Or, she'd come to me after book basket time and say, "Oh Mom, this is a really good one. You should read this to the boys." I understand if your library doesn't have those, but if you do and you skipped them because they were for the "younger crowd," you might reconsider.

Thirdly, adding lapbooks might help, or what about just getting one of those tri-fold boards and having your dd do a presentation at the end of every two weeks to her dad or maybe at "presentation day" if you have a homeschool support group that does those. Our homeschool support group has a geography fair, and my kids used what we learned in ECC to come up with their presentations.

We didn't do all the crafts in ECC - sometimes we just didn't have the time. But I tried to do most of them, even if it meant spending Sunday afternoon at Michaels grabbing supplies or substituting something I liked.

Also, agreeing with Crystal - Wow! Week 10 already?!?! I started early August, and am on week 7 in 1st grade with my boys and halfway through week 5 in RTR - Perhaps you could use a break? Or, if you want it to "apply" what about having her make a short video "commercial" trying to convince people to come visit your state/city or maybe even the country/continent you're studying. If she likes art, that might be up her ally.

Just throwing out ideas. My other thought, don't be a slave to the teacher's manual - it's a tool for you. (I do that all the time, and have to remember no one from MFW is going to call me if I don't do a certain project or read a certain book or move Writing Strands to different days ;) )

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

705emily
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:52 pm

Re: Not loving ECC

Unread post by 705emily » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:37 pm

One thing you mentioned--caught my attention. You thought she might enjoy the crafty project such as rosemailing. My kids also really enjoy hands-on crafts. In ECC (this wasn't something recommended in the curriculum) but every time we started a new country--the kids would each make a colorful coversheet on card-stock for that country. They would write the country name in big letters across the top--or down one side, and then would either glue clip art, or photographs that I printed off the computer of famous landmarks, etc. etc. I also found stickers that went with the countries and they would use those too. They would do this while I would read to them. The sheets went in our notebook at the front of each country we studied. ....just an idea. I hope and pray that you find what works best for you and her--even if it's not ECC!

Blessings
Irmi Gaut
MFW K, MFW 1, Adventures, ECC this year!

'And my God shall supply ALL your needs according to his riches in Glory!'

RB
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:14 am

Re: Not loving ECC

Unread post by RB » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:12 pm

We did not love ECC either while we did it, especially in the beginning. I'm SO glad we finished , though, and amazingly we now remember all the parts we liked. For us, it was a real burnout year for reasons that have nothing to do with curriculum. Aside from that, though, i have a theory why so many of us struggle with ECC after Adventures.

Adventures fits second and third graders perfectly. It's designed for a narrow age range. ECC is designed for a much broader age range. Some of the books are just not a perfect fit for younger kids. Somewhere in the middle of the year I took a piece of paper and jotted down what we would do if I could design a Geography program. Amazingly it looked alot like ECC with a few modifications, and it took away the guilt for not using a few books (such as World Geography). Once we cut out the stuff we didn't like, we really had a great time.

As for cooking, we did a number of countries at restaurants instead :)

I once read that someone let their child do a notebook page for each country as though it were a travel journal. Wish I'd though of that for my then-3rd grader!

We substituted a book called Our World by Millie Miller for the Illustrated Atlas...much better fit.

Our library had those videos about families around the world, and they were a huge hit in our home. Great for the younger ages.

We are now in CtG and we are really loving it!!
Last edited by RB on Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
R.B.
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)

NJCheryl
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:08 pm

Re: Not loving ECC

Unread post by NJCheryl » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:16 pm

NCJessieRN wrote:I must be one of the weirdos who has loved every year so far 8[]
Fellow weirdo here. We have done K, 1st, Adv, ECC, And we are starting week 5 of CTG. I thought I wasn't going to like CTG, but we have been loving it.

Also wanted to add how well my daughter knows her world geography after our year in ECC. Each week in church we are praying for a different country. We have a map on the wall, and the children get to com up and put a push pin the the country we are praying for that week. She has no trouble locating the countries. Don't know if it works for everyone, but the geography game really did wonders.

Cheryl

doubleportion
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Re: Not loving ECC

Unread post by doubleportion » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:18 pm

Just wondering what things she really liked in ADV. Are you doing the deluxe package of ECC? What are her interests? Maybe there are some of us who can give you ideas about how to adjust so she will enjoy it more.
momtogc wrote:I have tried to have a good attitude. I know school is not always fun but the "struggle" is wearing me down.
Our own attitudes translate often to our children.


It is hard for me to relate. Our first year with MFW was ADV. But we loved ECC. Each year so far has been very different.

I am wondering if the work load from ADV to ECC is also causing some of the problems? Is it more than you expected coming from ADV? Are you doing things orally rather than written if she doesn't like workbook pages.

I changed the crafts for many countries to suit our family style and budget as well as simplified for less messy things sometimes.

What kind of books does your dd like?
momtogc wrote:Crafts - we have done some of them, reluctantly. She didn't even want to do them because she is not liking geography.

Most of the crafts that I remember doing were more about the people groups and culture and not about geography in general. What crafts have you done? We also changed many of them based on my dd's interest or like of a certain type of art thing.

Keep bouncing ideas off of everyone here. I wouldn't give up just yet.

:)
Edie

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