For the vast majority of cases of people who post questions, I have an opinion that it fits better to start at the beginning based on the big picture of the ages of their children and for teaching the whole family. For many families who have been bogged down in history and juggling "cores", ECC can be a breath of fresh air.HSmommi2mine wrote:Every time someone comes on here and asks where they should start, they are pretty universally told to start in ECC. While it is a good year and it useful to help the kids know geography in the later years I think we do a disservice to people when we universally recommend ECC as a starting point.
We did ECC but we could have easily gotten by without it by making sure we emphasized map work in the history years (which I have to do anyway because my younger one didn't do much of ECC map-work).
Why stop in the middle of a 4 year cycle without good reason? I often see people use ECC, decide it's not "enough" and never even get to the history years. I always feel bad because I want these people to see this history years so that they understand the reasoning behind ECC. Maybe I just want them to be devoted and get hooked with the history years so then when they do ECC they can see how it fits so nicely.
ECC makes perfect sense for younger kids going through the whole cycle but I don't think it is good to interrupt the history cycle for an upper grammar kid. Just my two pennies, YMMV. - ducking the tomatoes.
Other times, I just do not want to tell someone to start in year 4 or year 5 if they're oldest is 4th grade or even 5th grade (that's upper grammar, right??). So, I want to let the kids get a little older before doing the bigger stuff and keep them from burn out. (but there are exceptions if the kid has come from another school, or is used to doing heavier work load) That often factors into my reasons for expressing my opinion about it. They can jump back in after ECC. Even in 6th grade, it can make sense to start with ECC then jump to year 4 and 5. After that, we're talking the logic stage. It's almost better to start slower instead of going for burn out.
I don't have a history centered approach to classical education. I look at goals and stages of life and just how big the family is. I'd rather suggest to some stranger on the internet to let their child thrive in ECC rather than crash and burn in year 5. With ECC they'll have time for other things and to be able to let their genius kids explore science on their own, or learn an instrument, or have time to play in the snow and shovel for the neighbors.
Even a die hard MFW purist like me doesn't 100% always recommend starting ECC in every case. As much as possible I try look at the big picture and long term picture. There are exceptions and situations that don't make sense to start with ECC. Or it makes more sense to use it in a different part of the rotation. There are times it makes sense to jump a history year to get to modern history before high school. Also, I assume that people have free will and can hit the order button and get what they want. It is after all, just a recommendation and suggestion based on my experiences with it.
I also don't worry what people say about MFW being light. I've used the whole 5 year cycle. I know the big picture. I know what is coming in terms of length of day when you follow all of MFW's recommendations in the logic stage. It is not light. School is not done in 2 hours. ok?
But I understand your passion that you don't want people to dismiss MFW as a legit program just because they don't like ECC or something.
all of that aside, let me myself ask this. What is it about ECC that makes me encourage (not dictate to) people to "not miss it" or "try to do at some point"? (and remember, I don't work for mfw)
Well, a lot of it has to do with current events, current places (not just history of places) and beginning to see what the world is like today. It's about worldview too. I don't want people to miss out on being able to pray around the world for others. I don't want people to miss the fun just for the sake of doing more chron. history. Our children need to know that everybody needs Jesus. Everybody in the whole wide world. Everybody has a right to know.
and that world exists now. I think children benefit more from learning cultures of current people and places than from learning about this war and that war (and doing map work on the side). Can your children greet an international student (from local university) and say hello in their language? do you know what that means to the wife of a graduate student to be welcomed by strangers? I think it matters more that my child knows the person is from China and can try to greet her, rather than knowing more details about the Opium War.
It's about worldview and future passions for our children. Yes, history is important. But God has used ECC to help me to think about their future. When I teach current things about places around the world to my children, I know it is the stuff that is going to be left out of the history books for their children. In other words, even using SOTW vol 4 in 1850MOD, I was still telling history from when I was a little girl and I had my parents tell stories too. I think ECC is important to do so that my children know where places are in the world now, what is going on there, what the people look like now. what they eat. what they wear. I hope some day they grow up to go somewhere else. Yes, history is important, I know. But don't forget that even in 1850MOD, you aren't going to get current culture in SOTW vol 4 (you'll get some modern history and a lot of map work), but culture is important too. Why leave that out of their education? History is just one subject. Christ is the center.
Classical education is not just chronological history. It is about the goals educators had for their children. ECC meets one of those long term goals in my homeschool.
I just really like what ECC is about. And if it makes sense to use it in a family's situation, then I like to share that opinion to encourage them not to miss it at some point. I know there are exceptions for the timing of using ECC. I just don't see a lot of those situations.
your mileage may differ from mine.