Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:13 am
Here's David's answer: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?t=484
Remember that is a *general* guideline. She can call the mfw office for more information on how it would work in her family. It is not a one size fits every situation.
Unless your oldest has a lot of culture studies from all parts of the world and already has a good knowledge base of current places and people, I do *not* think you should skip ECC.
When I read that someone is thinking of doing geography alongside history, I usually picture that in my mind as “we’ll do map work”. But geography is more than drawing lines on a piece of paper. Geography will set the stage for understanding the people and places in the history story and help to give a purpose (missions) to studying it all.
Imagine for a moment that you are getting ready to tell a story that will take several years to unfold. (i.e. chronological history, or good chunks of chronological history). You want to prepare your children to know who they are studying as well as having an understanding of where they are in the world and how it all connects. It is all new to our children (they are only children). So we have options --- stop telling the story ever couple of days to fill in lots of missing dots, or spend time ahead teaching the information and then review and remind as needed while telling the story. I think the first option becomes too choppy for retention. That's why I like ECC -- it fits the 2nd option. :)
We don’t want to teach history in a way that makes it seem as if we are having our children study about science fiction space alien ambassadors aboard a space station. But since it is new to our children (they aren’t that old) it might seem like space aliens that we are talking about. Or it might seem in their mind’s eye that all of these people have cultures just the same as the culture our children live in. I think that ECC can help take away that feeling that it is just a story about unknown peoples from long ago or in the imaginary future. Our children may be drawn in to history with a well written narrative text, but we need to help them picture themselves in the world of today; God might call them to go somewhere.
Or imagine that you are getting ready to watch a Shakespeare play with your kids. You’d spend time ahead of that preparing them to know what is happening and who the key players are and getting to know the language. If it is important to do that with a 5 act play, it is just as key to do it with chronological history that will take a few years to unfold. That’s why it is important to spend a year setting the stage and the purpose of telling that story. It is because God wants us to go into the world. It all connects.
It’s not so bad when we teach modern history or basic US history before that ECC base because we live in modern times and live in North America (or a good majority of us live in North America who are on this message board). But when we teach modern history and US history in the context of world history, it becomes important to have that ECC kind of background. It is easier for the children to see that kind of US (modern) history/setting because we live in it. But --- we don’t live in Egypt, or Greece, or Rome, or Russia, or China, or India, etc. --- a lot of history takes place there.
I think ECC helps our children see that the world filled with many people groups today. Once we get to know those people, then it becomes easier to find out about their history stories and how it all connects. I think ECC really gives those anchors to our children. That way we can see ourselves in other parts of the world as it is today.
I don’t think you should skip ECC. And I wouldn’t worry about not getting all of the history cycle in during the jr. high years for your oldest. You might want to call the MFW office and see which 2 years would work best for your family to get in during those 7th and 8th grade years as well as figuring out how it will work with your other child. If Jenn doesn't find that one thread with David's plan, I'll find it, because I was going to link to it too :)