Placement - Gaps if sibling missed ECC?

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Placement - Gaps if sibling missed ECC?

Unread post by Rebecca » Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:09 pm

What if my younger child misses the ECC foundation?
Author: Rebecca
Date: 12/12/2003

We are enjoying ECC this year and I have a ds 4 that is sitting in with us. He usually has some activities from the MFW preschool to work on but he is absorbing quite a bit during Bible, Geo, and Science. He especially likes the activities such as cooking and art. Last year in MFW1 he memorized the scripture and books of the Bible with us.

I learned a lot from MFW on not discouraging the younger sibling with "wait a minute I am doing school with your sister right now." If we give them activities and help them to feel a part of our schooling then they grasp much more than we realize and learn that schooling is not the segment of time that we sit down with books but rather a way of seeing the world.

ECC as a whole is not geared for a child younger than 2nd grade but there are so many ways to use this as a springboard for the younger children in your family. Allow them to learn the phrases in the language being studied and be a part in the Windows on the World prayer. My son loves the day we make the flags and wants to do one, too.

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Will 1st grader miss the whole foundational ECC year?

Unread post by tiffany » Tue Oct 04, 2005 7:42 am

LauraMarie wrote:Hi, this is our first year homeschooling. We are not really enjoying school. I am praying about switching to MFW. I have all girls 4th, 1st, 4 year old, and 22 month old.

If I do change to MFW, I don't know if I should go with MFW 1 and ECC.
My concern is next year then it seems that the 1st grader would miss the whole foundational ECC year.

Or, should I just combine them both with ECC this year? She is a very good reader. However, I don't want to throw her in and have the concepts be over her head, either.

I would like to try to have the majority of our learning be done as a family vs. individualized. That may be too idealistic given my dd grades. Can anyone give me any suggestions?
My 1st grader is doing ECC with his older siblings. He is doing great. He really enjoys it. You mention your daughter is a good reader. How are her writing skills? ECC will review basic lettering at the beginning of the year. My 1st grader does not do English, that is the only subject he skips. There is handwriting practice built in with the Bible verses, science pages and character traits. She would not have to do all of that if it is too much, or you could supplement with a handwriting program that is tailored to her abilities.

I totally understand you wanting to put your children in the same program. I would call the MFW staff. That way they can ask specific questions about your children and what your needs are.

This is our first year with MFW, and I love it and so do the kids. I'm totally sold on it, so of course that helps. Read some more posts, pray and pour over that catalog. Also call MFW. You'll be able to figure out if it's right for your family.

We are using the recommended materials for math and language arts and are happy with them. However, if you have something you are already using you wouldn't need to switch that right now, in order to save a little money. I must say the MFW choices are very time efficient which is important to us.

Hope this helps.
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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Unread post by LauraMarie » Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:28 am

Thank you for your help. I really would like to be able to just keep them both working on ECC. You asked how her writing skills are...would it be possible for her to dictate some of it to me? That is what we have been doing. She dicatates a story to me say for a Creative Writing lesson, then she illustrates it. She is also working on a handwriting program.

So in your oppinion, you don't think that the ECC concepts would be too hard for her to understand? If we could just tailor some of the writing to meet her level then maybe we could make it work???

It is encouraging to hear how you all like the program so much. Who knew it would be this diffucult for me to make a decision. :)
Laura~ married to Matt and blessed by the Lord with four little ladies~Abigail (1996), Ashleigh (1998), Amelia (2001), Alivia (2003)

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Unread post by tiffany » Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:57 am

Most of the writing I mentioned is copywork. The science lesson page however could be dictated to you and she could do the artwork herself. My kids usually choose to use tracing paper for the science art. There are also 2 geography vocabulary cards each week. The younger students only do one. This also involves copywork and artwork. You could just help her through the items that are difficult or let her skip some things. If she's anything like my 1st grader, she won't want to be left out. He has to do everything!

And no, I don't think the ECC concepts would be too hard for her. It would be helpful if she can sit and listen for short periods of time. If she is a willing learner, she will most likely just soak it up.
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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Unread post by Lucy » Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:19 pm

Hi Ladies,

I wanted to address the 5 year cycle. In a perfect world we could start all our kids at the beginning but that is not realistic. Any child who is in the home while you are doing ECC is going to glean and benefit from that or any other program that an older child is doing. It is foundational so it is better for the child who is not of age yet to have some of it rather than none of it. There is a lot that an advanced first grader could do.

But MFW first grade integrates lots of the language arts skills needed for a first grader and is only a 2hour day or less. Upper level programs are 3-4 hours. This is why not until 2nd grade do most kids join there older siblings in the upper program.

Many use MFW 1 and have the first grade join in where he can with ECC or any other upper level program.

If you start with ECC in 4th grade you can finish the cycle with that child also. You will come back and do ECC again with the younger child at a much higher level. Save all that ECC material:).

I hope this helps to clarify the 5 year cycle and helps you as you look at planning for now and the future.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.


Placement - We started with CTG, major gaps without ECC?

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:14 pm

KimR wrote:This is our first year homeschooling. We have decided to do CTG this year (which I've already purchased) rather than ECC. The reason is my ds previously attended public school through 5th grade. During that time he learned North and South American cultures/history, and all the different landforms throughout the world.

My concern is will there be major gaps by not studying the geography of the other countries before doing CTG and beyond? Is there a way to incorporate geography without overwhelming him with too much extra work? Will the geography/cultures be covered eventually anyway? I did purchase "Windows On The World" since it is used at times throughout CTG. Any thoughts and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Here's my opinion on it. CTG has a Light and Independent Friday so you could add in a few things on Fridays if you wanted to. I would want to focus on the cultures and landforms in the mid east and Mediterranean sea area if it were me.

I would want to include the missionary biographies as some point. They are good books. (that's the book in the ECC deluxe). But that really is not part of CTG. They are just good books. :)

just a thought or two


Julie in MN
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Geography in CTG

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:26 pm

One way you can decide what to cover on Fridays, if needed, would be to just go ahead & do CTG as written. Look for things like:

-- There is quite a bit of maping in CTG, so you will not miss out there. But keep an eye out for needed mapping skills.

-- There are quite a few sad events in CTG, and boys can be intrigued by all the battles & such. Keep an eye out for needed review of the Gospel or increased emphasis on Windows on the World.

-- In CTG you do a map of the modern countries in the middle east. Try to keep these in the conversation a bit over the year, or make a little "middle east board game" like we do in ECC to remember the countries today.

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

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Unread post by Lucy » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:23 pm

Dear Kim,

I am now in my 5th year with MFW and we started with ECC but we started late and I tried to rush things and we missed a lot. One of the things that I did not do, that I regret now, is having my children learn the over 100 countries that are learned on the map during the year playing the geography game you make during ECC. You will not notice it so much in CTG because the world is small at this time in history. It was when we did Rome to Ref. that I really saw the gaps. After the fall of Rome the world as we know it in Europe begins to take shape. I tried to do some extra mapping in RTR to help them learn all the countries of Europe but it was too much with the other work we were doing.

Since your son is entering 6th grade you are going to only complete 3 of the years before the high school years. You need to decide what you feel he needs to cover the most. MFW usually suggest that you cover the years in some sequential order but you could go ahead with CTG this year and then do ECC before going onto RTR. This way you will do the upper level work suggested for 7th graders(your choices and options) on the website and you could do the Apology science that is recommended for 7th graders instead of the ECC science.

I would highly recommend doing the full year of geography before doing RTR. It will also serve him well in high school when he does world history. It is so much more than geography too. The missionary stories and prayer focus are really wonderful too.


wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

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Unread post by KimR » Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:01 pm

Thank you so much for all of your suggestions and advice. You've all been so helpful. These message boards are such a blessing.
Kim ~ Wife of Mike; Mother of Matthew (21) and Tyler (12) Currently using RTR <><


Importance of ECC but what about younger sibling

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:37 am

Joy1139 wrote:Is anyone concerned that their younger children will have to skip ECC to stay in the cycle? If we continued with MFW, I will have a 2nd grader who will go from First Grade into RtR. I'm not too concerned that he would miss CtG because I know it will mesh with First Grade some and he can participate in some of what we do. But, he will miss ECC totally. If ECC's geography is as important as the Hazells say it is, then how can we let the youngers miss it? Anyone else wonder about this? Has anyone gone from First Grade to RtR. Seems like a huge jump to me. Thanks for any opinions.
Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:49 pm

Well, not exactly. My 2nd grader is joining in at year 4! I was a little concerned too, especially since I know I didn't do a good job with ECC 3 years ago.

This year we spend a little bit of time when appropriate pointing to the maps a lot and talking about different geography things. I really need to find my Geography A to Z book and bring it upstairs. Thanks for the reminder.

Here's an idea. When the time comes, get out the geography game and Geography A to Z and review them for a few weeks after you finish CTG and before you start RTR. You will only need an intro level of ECC --- so focus on the appropriate areas of the world (Europe, Mid East, China, etc). As you go along in RTR, get out some review material from some of the science times. I remember last year reviewing with my 4th grader about mountains and deserts when we studied Marco Polo.

During the year you do ECC, make sure to include younger one in activities in ECC ---if possible. You are only trying to expose and involve them. The content will come later. And it will come around in more depth when they are older.


Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:10 am

Think of it like this:
Have you even watched a movie but you were the person who sat down just a little bit after it started? Your friends and family help you catch up real quick on the important stuff. You might have to pause the DVD for 1 minute, but then you keep going on. And then you watch the rest of the movie. Later, you’ll watch the whole movie again. It’s ok.

Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
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Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:38 am

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:44 pm

My thought is that your child will still benefit from:

* overhearing a bit when you did ECC, and picking up more than you realize
* mom as teacher now has the ECC background when teaching the history cycle
* older siblings who did ECC can chime in & "teach" the young one
* the ones who approach history at a younger age will not be expected to absorb it all until later (a 2nd grader doing RTR will really just skim the surface & learn it in more depth in 4-5 years)
* the youngest ones will swing back around & get ECC at some point

And as David Hazell is fond of saying, we must homeschool in the real world not the ideal world :o)


Sue in MN
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Unread post by Sue in MN » Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:38 am

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:08 pm

Well, you will have already taught ECC so you can add in pertinent information as needed. Also, many dc sit in on much of the lessons of the older ones. I just add things in as needed. We still have the books so when we get to a new country we do a mini geography lesson with passport and the ECC books. It is not that hard to add a little in.

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Unread post by Joy1139 » Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:39 am

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:34 pm

Whew! I feel so much better. Right after I posted my question, it occurred to me that after having taught ECC, I will have a more thorough knowledge to just make me a better teacher. Also, after really considering it, it looks like I'll have my youngest sitting in on ECC while a first grader. So, he will probably get much more out of it than I thought.

Thanks you all!

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Is there geography beyond ECC?

Unread post by Lucy » Fri May 23, 2008 12:04 am

kstedl wrote:I was wondering how much geography is covered beyond ECC? For example, as your studying something in history - that you would be labeling important rivers, mountains, etc. in the area you're studying.

Also, does anyone use a nice mapping CD-Rom throughout the 4 year history cycle with MFW? I'm sure it's not needed; but was wondering if it would be a nice addition?
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:57 pm

Yes, you do continue to build on the geography learned in ECC and review terms as needed in the other years. CTG(year 2) does not have lots of mapping since it is not a very large area covered in that time period but RTR(year 3) has a lot of mapping and years 4 and 5 have even more as the known world grows with history.

Just a warning, you do not stop and learn where all the countries are in these years, but review from what has been learned in ECC(year 1).

I have found the maps provided in each year to be plenty. I would wait and see what you think of them before buying something.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
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Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri May 23, 2008 12:05 am

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:37 am

Just to expand on what Lucy said, you do continue to use geography skills throughout the history rotation, revisiting and building upon the foundation you have set in ECC.

You learn to draw a freehand map of the Bible lands (also taught in MFW-1st, I understand). Then the teacher's manual has a Bible lands map that you copy every so often, to map out what you are studying. You will map things like Abraham's journeys and different empires and the Bible lands today. There are not a lot of landforms identified, but your kids will become familiar with the Mediterranean sea, the Red Sea, the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, etc. This is done maybe monthly at most.

The teacher's manual provides two maps -- one includes the Bible lands but stretches over to include all of Europe, and the other is a world map. The first is used quite a bit during different times in the Roman empire as well as other empires that followed. The world map is used a bit near the end of RTR as you study the early explorers. Again, I don't remember mapping landforms but lots of bodies of water. And you also become familiar with a few geographical issues even if they aren't mapped out, such as countries that were isolated by mountain ranges.

I have my manual but we haven't started yet. The manual includes both of the RTR maps as well as several U.S. maps and even one of Japan. It looks like the world map and the U.S. colonies map will be used a lot.

I don't have this yet, but I do know that there are many maps from the SOTW Activity Guide. Also, all the student pages are already copied and in a binder for us!


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Question from a newbie re: 2nd child skipping ECC

Unread post by jasntas » Sat May 15, 2010 4:59 pm

DaddyOfTwo wrote:My family is still new to MFW, with our oldest dd having just completed MFW1. We are excited to begin ADV in the upcoming year, and we have a younger dd (age 3.5) who will begin MFWK in 1.5 yrs when my older dd begins ECC.

My wife and I love that ECC is such a nice intro to history via an initial year of geography--what a great idea! The only problem is the younger dd misses out on this wonderful opportunity because of "being thrown into the cycle".....which is of course a good thing for the teaching mom, understandably. The problem seems to me that the wonderful foundation of geography is only a benefit for the 1st child. The 2nd child misses it (until later), and also doesn't get to learn history in a direct chronological order (due to missing CTG if she joins in the cycle later, for example). Yes, I know she picks up CTG later, at the end of her cycle, but it's out of order for her.

Thus, the 2nd or 3rd children miss out on the initial geography benefit, AND they learn history out of order. Am I looking at this correctly? Have these ever been a perceived problem or negative to anyone else? Thanks for your feedback.
Well, I think the idea is that the younger ones are indirectly exposed to the geography and history cycle (and anything else the oldest is learning). They are able to experience some of the things the oldest is learning just by being there. And they will actually pick up on more than you think.

When I hs'ed my ds in K (with something else) my dd was only 2 that fall and she learned more than I would have ever imagined. For instance, we had ladybug larvae that we watched go through their cycle and grow into adult ladybugs. She had just turned 3 that spring when we had them. Fast forward to almost 2½ years later. Late last summer she was out in our back yard. She came running in and said, "Mom, I think we have ladybug larvae in the yard". She was absolutely right.

They are little sponges even when you are not even intentionally teaching them directly.

I am confident it will all work out in the end. :)
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.

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Question from a newbie re: 2nd child skipping ECC

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sat May 15, 2010 7:16 pm

That is a common concern for parents around here. My non-expert opinion is --

Combining your children is a huge plus with MFW. Your youngest truly does not get "jipped." :) When your oldest is doing ECC, your K'er will sit in for praying for people groups around the world, a lot of the reading, cooking recipes from the country you are studying, and some fun activities. She'll have her own passport and enjoy the stickers. Doing K will only take an hour or so per day, so she'll have plenty of ability to enjoy what she can handle from ECC.

The next year, the oldest is in CTG while the youngest does MFW1. Yea! They are both studying OT history. It will go on a different schedule, but again the youngest will sit in on the fun stuff.

From then on, they just go through their respective cycles. Way down the road, youngest may want to read up on Modern History in between 8th grade and High School, since she won't do 1850MOD again - that's OK, she got a lot out of it in 4th grade.

I hope that helps. The experts around here are either busy at convention or having a more fun Saturday than I am. :-)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL


Re: Question from a newbie re: 2nd child skipping ECC

Unread post by cbollin » Sat May 15, 2010 9:35 pm

My children are 3 years apart. It worked out just great to fold the next child in at 2nd grade mostly because I had taught ECC already.

Many times we just include younger siblings in part of what is going on . In ECC, that's going to happen because of the nature of teaching a family -- especially when they are 2 years apart. You'll be able to include the younger child in the family activity portions of ECC and they will be exposed all year to the information as you hang crafts, flags, meals, praying together. So the younger students aren't isolated away when we homeschool. They are part of the family. They are going to be part of what you are doing in scaled back ways and just listening.

then, because you have taught the program to older child, you'll know what things to review/remind along the way.

When my 2nd child was in 3rd grade and oldest was in 6th, we were in 1850MOD (year 5) of the cycle. There was of course, the younger sib supplement for that program. But what I noticed was that I had a tendency to use Book Basket selections for my 2nd child in a way that reminded me of what we did ECC. So there were some weeks where my oldest was learning about Russia, or China and world wars. Well, I just got a picture book of those places for my younger child. That child came back to the table telling me that she wanted to pray for Muslim groups in China. wow! So, we did. And then in 4th grade we cycled back to ECC as a full program.


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