Placement - After ECC, jumping to American History

Post Reply
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:04 pm

Placement - After ECC, jumping to American History

Unread post by TrustingHim »

4littlehearts wrote:Have any of you started here in your cycle after ECC instead of going in the recommended order of CTG, RTR, and so on? Can you tell me why this would not be the preferred method other than the fact that doing it this way the history would be out of order? I have a to be 5th and 2nd grader who do not know enough about American History and happen to be very interested in studying it. They would like to know more about the country they live in at least at this time. I also am of the philosophy that the younger ages should be used to teach them about their own country and then branching out into World history when they are a bit older especially for my younger child. I would like to have them in the same course next year, so I thought that maybe starting with Exploration to 1850 may be a good idea and going through the cycle with RTR being the last stage of the cycle. Any thoughts on this? Do the years progress in difficulty? Is that why this course is not usually recommended? Thanks!
We started MFW with EX-1850 in 1st and 4th grade. We just finished 1850-MOD (2nd and 5th), and will be doing ECC next year. I did it that way because that's where we were in the history cycle with my oldest, and she had never had US history. It worked well for us, but here are the drawbacks.

1. You're right, MFW does progress in difficulty, so you'll want to pick and choose what you read. We were struggling to keep up when some very kind ladies on this board pointed out that some of the books are not really for 4th and 5th graders. It's not that they're inappropriate or above reading level, but they were above comprehension and interest level. Sgt York comes to mind, as does Across Five Aprils, both from 1850-MOD. Your kiddo will be a year older than mine was, but I don't know if they're really 6th grade level either. We also skipped some of the history readings from SOTW for that reason.

2. Your 2nd grader won't really be "with" your 5th grader. The 2nd and 3rd grade go-alongs were perfect for my dd, but I was still teaching two separate histories.

3. The other drawback is, what will you do when you're done in the 6th grade. If you did CTG this year (5th), then you'd be right on track to make it through a fully cycle of history before High School. RTR (6th), EX-1850 (7th), 1850-Mod (8th). Then, you would cover the US history portions at a time when your children can better understand it. I know there's always your youngest to think about too (our dilemma as well), but it is what we're struggling with now.

Like I said, it worked VERY well for us, so it might work well for you too. These were just the cons I had to compromise with. :)


P.S. I had one more thought. You said that you would like to teach American History before branching out into world history, but ALL of MFW is world history. That's why my oldest could have used another year before we covered those two years.
Wife to an exceptional DH for 17 years
Mother to 2 Girls; 14 and 11
Used: EX-1850 & 1850-MOD both with the 2nd/3rd grade go-alongs and ECC with 7th/8th grade go alongs
2014/15: Ex-1850 & AHL
Psalm 118:24
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:05 pm

Re: Exploration-1850

Unread post by 4littlehearts »

Thanks Trustinghim for that explanation. I guess it would be wiser then, in my case to just go ahead with CTG instead of jumping up to Exploration-1850. I just needed to hear the explanation as to why it would be better to start there. You did a good job convincing me of that. I appreciate your response and sharing of your experiences with your dc. I know that my ds (5th grade) has poor comprehension so I think that those books you mentioned would be WAY above where he is at -at this time. Thanks again!

Re: Exploration-1850

Unread post by cbollin »

If you start with ECC, you do have the option to go into EX1850 according to David Hazell. He has a post on here about that. ... 484#p32832
It is one of the paths they sometimes recommend more often in the case of when oldest in family starts ECC in 6th grade and has 2 years until high school. You might want to give mfw's office a call and talk about it. You'd definitely use the younger sibling supplement in EX1850 so that you aren't teaching 2 complete programs. You might have some separated parts. That was my experience with teaching EX1850 with 5th and 2nd. They very much were in the same program - a few separated out books, but not 2 separate programs. Same in 1850MOD. They were together for Bible, activities in the manual, book basket was one big basket, any food projects were same. We had times where youngest was not expected to listen to a history book or read aloud. but experiences will vary I guess.??

MFW's sequence assumes the oldest child in the family got some basics of US history in either 2nd or 3rd grade, so they might not be history cycle ready for EX1850, 1850MOD just 2 years later.

So, sounds like you decided to just go in order which is what I'd lean in favor of telling you as well given it's a 5th grader.

I'd like to suggest a few ways to get some basic US history for the children to hold them over before fuller study. Use some of the books from the Adventures program during "reading time" in CTG. Or extra read aloud on weekend/evenings, whatever. Many of those read alouds will be at the library. You could get the book American Pioneers and Patriots from ADV. That tells overview of culture and lifestyle from point of view of fictional children growing up in those times. Check the ADV page of the MFW website. It's the US focus history program for grades 2-3 when they are the oldest in the grades 2-8.

Keep it light and fun. grab library books at major US holidays. consider watching "Liberty's Kids" for some historical fiction fun. Take field trips around the state where you live.
and get a current events magazine, such as God's World News -- see MFW"s language arts page for that info and discount.

hope that helps a bit. Those are the kinds of things I added into our ECC year when oldest did ECC in 2nd grade before Adventures was written and thought maybe some of it would help you to present some basics of US history before 7th grade.


PS -- no, don't go with ADV when oldest is older than 3rd grade unless very special needs are in consideration. It will not be enough and you'll tweak and tweak and lose the ease of use of MFW.
Last edited by cbollin on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Exploration-1850

Unread post by jasntas »

Just a thought. Maybe you could do a mini study of the U.S. and then continue with CTG.

I have soon to be 5th and 2nd graders too and we will be in the same place in the cycle. We did do ADV when I had a 3rd and K'er. This summer we are doing a mini U.S. study. I am using some of the books from ADV in addition to library books on George Washington, 4th of July, and such. I am using DVDs such as the George Washington by Nest Entertainment and Liberty's Kids. We are also putting together a simple lapbook I got for a couple of dollars at Called "We Love the U.S.A."

A suggestion I've made on this board before for a U.S.A. mini study was the following:

I think that the unit study and lapbook 'How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA' from would be a great mini substitute for ADV and it's free. Using the 'How to Make a cherry Pie' book this unit study includes geography, history, science, LA, applied math, life skills, art and music. (I would also suggest using a patriotic CD).

You can view the thread here: ... 705#p74705

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.
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by gratitude »

4littlehearts wrote:I have heard many propose that studying American history first is better because children relate to what they know right now. I have also heard that it is easier for them to process world history, ancients and the like when they are more mature. I do believe that MFW takes a different viewpoint if I am not mistaken. What is MFW's view?
My understanding from listening to David Hazel's CD's would be that MFW would agree with you. This is the reason they have Adventures for the oldest child, with a basic introduction to American History. David Hazel mentions on his CD teaching Bible first because we are Christian, and American History 2nd because we (or many of us) are American. The advantage of this route in our house is the 6 & 4 year old are picking up some basic introduction to American History too while I am doing it with the oldest. Your oldest child though of course was ready for the 5 - year cycle when you began. So I just thought I would chime in with my understanding. I believe in your situation though MFW would encourage the starting with ECC, as you have done, and then move on through the cycle. Someone, with far more experience than I, will have to chime in for that part.

Winter Promise has a beautiful catalogue. The reason I never used it was the TM looked too disorganized for me to follow on their web-site. I need it very simple to follow it.

Blessings for your decision.
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Agreeing with Carin that I think that's the way that MFW is set up, too. However, we live in the real world and everything doesn't always fall right into place perfectly.

One option for a child too old for Adventures is to do ECC and then jump ahead to EX1850. That is more commonly done with kids who do ECC in 6th (rather than 4th like your son) and kids who have already had a lot of ancients. For a 4th grader, it would be a jump in amount of work. Might be a shock, or might be welcomed, depending on the child. My ds started EX1850 in the middle of 6th grade and it was perfect for him. Doing it 1.5 years earlier seems possible, although doing 1850MOD 1.5 years earlier might have been a stretch, at least with the depth that we took modern history.

Those last two years have a supplement for your 2nd-3rd grader, so a lot of their history would probably be separate, especially in 1850MOD. Your are still the right age, though, to do science together, plus the music and Bible and other things would be together.

So going to EX1850 is a possibility.

However, EX1850 is different than Adventures, in that it's "real history." And learning "real history" is always better when you start at the beginning -- creation and the fall of man. What was your child doing before ECC? Do you think he has a solid understanding of "why history is so bad"? CTG would give him that, would give both kids that. (CTG is one of my favorites, since you spend so much time together in the Bible, so I'm a bit biased towards doing that as a family.)

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

Re: Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by cbollin »

My suggestions if you otherwise are interested in following MFW's chronological history, Biblical foundation, etc. but are concerned that neither child or the family has done any light level elementary US history, you can touch on it via reading, book basket, and light and independent Fridays. Don't over do it. Just enough that they know about major holidays (do a mini study this summer on Independence Day. it does have to be all worksheets either, or tons of reading).

You could easily get a few of the books in ADV basic package and use during reading time. shh... dont' tell... but I'm even letting my soon to be 7th grader read American Pioneer and Patriots again this coming year. I let them read below level from time to time. LOL

I hear your concern that as a family you haven't done any US history study up to now other than the few weeks in ECC, and we don't know what you did prior to ECC. But it can be done informally and lightly while doing CTG. Last year when I did CTG I moved from Indiana to Memphis. This meant a new library systems. I decided to let book basket be any topic of interest, and reading time was similar. add in Memphis geography and cultures. It was life. Much of US history can be life all around us.

You could get the God' s World News for current events.
You can enjoy some extra read alouds -- in CTG, the read alouds were character based, not ancient history based, so, you can do a few extra US books.
When you get your CTG manual, you'll see lots of non assigned read aloud boxes once the scheduled ones are done.

Don't worry too much thinking that they'll be messed up for life on this stuff. We worried too much as homeschooling moms on this stuff that they don't know enough about 4th of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Presidents Day. Enjoy some state field trips.

not sure that helped any. But don't let worry about missing a full US history program prior to 5th grade drive the decision.

Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:34 pm

7th and 8th graders---CtG and/or Exp to 1850

Unread post by ruthamelia »

cappy wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:13 pm This year is our first year with MFW and we are really enjoying it. We are doing ECC with a wide range of ages and skills. It has been a really good fit for all of them (doing various levels of assignments within the guide). I am now pondering next year.

I will have a bright, but language delayed 4th grader (reads and writes more on 2nd/3rd grade level), above avg 6th grader, an avg to slightly below avg 7th grader, and a dyslexic 8th grader.

My will-be 7th and 8th graders came from curriculum using world and biblical history year before last, and ancients last year. So I am sort of thinking we should skip CtoG and RtoR so they can get in a bit of American history. But I'm wondering about skipping up there with the younger two---in particular my youngest one, since he struggles anyway. Do the years and amounts of work increase within the guides?

Also, I like the latin and greek roots being used with CtoG, but I'm not sure it's worth doing another year of ancients with them just for that. My 7th grader is doing the 7th/8th supplement with ECC, but that is all the research type lessons and report writing he will have done, and my 6th grader isn't doing the supplement, so she's not had any research/report writing yet. (We do use MFW's recs for language arts though). I like the state study and research paper in Exp to 1850.

I guess my main questions are.....Is Exp to 1850 harder, in general, than CtoG? Would we be missing anything (skillwise--not history-wise) by skipping CtoG and RtR? Would adding in the latin/Greek roots book to Exp to 1850 seem disjointed?
I can't answer your entire question, not having used exp to 1850 yet, but here are a few thoughts.

Ctg uses the Old Testament as a primary text. So while you do learn about ancient Egypt etc, the greater emphasis and benefit in my mind was a solid and fun survey through the Old Testament.

As for using the vocab book from the earlier years in the later years, I can't think why that would be a problem. It wouldn't line up with other subjects the way it is written in the earlier years, but the language learning benefit would still be there. It only takes about 5 minutes a day (unless someone is dawdling ;) ).
Kids in school: 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, 4
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
2018-2019: First, ECC, AHL
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: 7th and 8th graders---CtG and/or Exp to 1850

Unread post by MelissaB »

Hi, Cappy,

We've used ECC all the way through 1850-Modern Times. ECC is important for world cultures and geography, and you've completed that. I can't think of any skills that your children would be missing.

From the Roots Up is studied over two years. I think Greek is studied during CTG; Latin in RTR. You can absolutely add those into the two American history years.

MFW has different, simpler-to-use instructions than the Roots book. Here's a brief description: Print one word on the blank side of a 4x6 card every Monday; on the lined-side, write the definition on the top line. Each Tuesday, the students looks up the word in the dictionary and you discuss the meaning. On Wednesday, the student writes sentences using the word on the lined-side of the 4x6 card. And on Thursday, you do a review of all of the words learned throughout the year. We found this to be a very successful method, and enjoyed it, too!

As for the amount of writing, as with all of MFW's wonderful curriculum, you can easily adjust the writing assignments in Expl.-1850 to meet each of your students' individual writing levels.

We learned so very much in Expl.-1850 and 1850-Mod.Times. {The President cards were one of our favorite activities!}

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
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: 7th and 8th graders---CtG and/or Exp to 1850

Unread post by Julie in MN »

You've already received good info, so I don't want to barrage you with more, but I wanted to mention something about your desire to get in American history with the 7-8th graders. Well, the 8th grader in particular. If American is really your goal for that student, then skipping ahead to EX1850 next year would be a way to do it. For older students, after ECC, MFW recommends you move to the area of history you were at before starting MFW. So, some families move from ECC to EX1850 or any of the other years, and then continue on in historical order.

I would say that EX1850 and 1850MOD are a bit "more" than CTG and RTR -- not necessarily harder, but just more information. We are interested in so many more details about history as we get closer to our own times. Because of that, MFW has a 2nd-3rd grade supplement for those last 2 years, which you might consider for your youngest. There are also marks in the manual to show the history readings that are for older students.

And it would be easy enough, as Melissa mentioned, to use Roots Up as part of your language arts in those years, as well.

On the other hand, for families with younger students on board, often it is easier to just start as a family at the beginning of history with CTG. As Ruthamelia mentioned, MFW's early history includes solid Biblical history, which is wonderful. To me, that helps students look at history through God's eyes, as the MFW slogan says :) For a struggling student, it would be a good prep for high school ancients, if the student wasn't burned out from doing ancients recently.

Blessings as you make these decisions,
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: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:52 pm

Re: 7th and 8th graders---CtG and/or Exp to 1850

Unread post by cappy »

Thank you all for your comments. Sorry it took me so long to get back to read them;-)
This information will help me as we ponder how to proceed. Looks like we really can't go "wrong" either way....that helps!
Post Reply