Placement - Must we start with Geography (ECC)?

asheslawson
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Re: Placement?

Unread post by asheslawson » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:37 pm

I tend to lean towards saying I'd do ECC - they are such a great age to enjoy it - and your 1st grader could jump in on anything he/she wants - it had so many great activities. My youngest did MFW K, but jumped in on many of the activities her 4th grade brother was doing in ECC - she really enjoyed it. I'd definitely get the extra student sheets - she enjoyed making Nate Saints plane and all of the cultural John 3:16 sheets - plus many others. She will do ECC again for her 5th grade year (she is in 3rd now doing Ex-1850) and I'm really looking forward to doing it again with her. It was an extremely fun year.

I also enjoyed CTG - although I know it may be a bit repetitive - you may be surprised that after doing ECC for a year - and seeing how MFW does that period of history - they may get a much different "flavor" than they got the first time in SOTW vol 1. Additionally, MFW has other books that are used besides SOTW. I have at times wondered if we would come away with half as much if we were using just one history book like SOTW.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
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extrafor6
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Re: Placement?

Unread post by extrafor6 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:59 pm

I agree with beginning with ECC next year. We also came to MFW after using Sonlight Core 1. We used ECC last year with a 4th, 3rd and young 1st grader (and a tag-along 3 year old) Everyone loved it and it really is so much more than a geography study. The missionary biographies were a hit! I look forward to using it again with and 8th, 6th and 3rd grader in a few years.

As far as CTG, it's so much more than just ancient history. The Bible portion is excellent. My kids really know OT history and how it fits into ancient history as a whole. The Biblical feasts are also a part of CTG. We've read and enjoyed SOTW Vol. 1, but it's also nice to use a different text with Streams of Civilization. In my opinion, your dc aren't going to get bored by doing ancients again. The focus really is different than with some other programs.
If you are concerned about their lack of US History, which I totally understand, you could use the summer to watch Liberty Kids and read a concise US history book.

Hope that helps shed a little more light on your decision.
Blessings,
Stephanie

disneymommy
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Re: Placement?

Unread post by disneymommy » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:47 pm

We are finishing up Sonlight Core B with year with my first and third graders, which is Ancient History. For next year, second and fourth, I am planning to do ECC. It sounds like so much fun and I am really excited about it. I think it will work well for my oldest to go through the entire cycle one time before high school. And I do want to repeat ancient history with MFW using the Bible as the spine, One disappointment we found with Sonlight ancient history this year was the amount of secular reading. So for us, ECC seems perfect this year then we'll just continue the cycle.

I did briefly consider doing ECC this coming year and then jumping to RTR the following year since they'd have done ancients so recently. That could possibly be another option for you if you want to do ECC but then jump ahead to SOTW 2?

TriciaMR
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ECC for a Whole Year?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu May 08, 2014 7:16 am

mothermayi wrote:For those that have done ECC, did you or the kids tire of doing it for an entire school year? Are the assignments/worksheets repetitive? IOW, do you use the same sheets for each country or is there some variety? Thanks!
The worksheets in Exploring World Geography are a little repetitive... So, for the younger crowd, we did different ones for each continent (except they liked the animal ones, so we did all of those). For 7th & 8th graders they are all scheduled.

We didn't find the rest that repetitive. My kids enjoyed coloring the John 3:16 pages. It worked for us.
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
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4Truth
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Re: ECC for a Whole Year?

Unread post by 4Truth » Thu May 08, 2014 8:34 am

It is somewhat repetitive because of the very nature of studying countries and world cultures... a country is a country is a country. They all have a flag, a bird or some other symbol, a president or dictator of some sort, a population, borders that sometimes change after a conflict with another country, etc. But because they're different cultures and people groups with different religions and lifestyles, they're all unique from one another, too. That's why there's a variety of art & craft, cooking, music and other themes are sprinkled throughout the year.

MFW is distinct from the other curriculum you've used/considered because it's a unit study. As such, in ECC, everything you do for the content subjects (Bible, history, science, music, art) is tied to the study of each of the countries and people groups scheduled, so that alone provides an assortment of things to do from one week to the next, and from one country to the next. Then there's room at the end of the schedule for you to do a study of any other country that you're interested in, too, using some or all of the ideas that you've been doing throughout the year.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

gratitude
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Re: ECC for a Whole Year?

Unread post by gratitude » Thu May 08, 2014 9:58 am

The flag student sheet with John 3:16, flag student sheet for note booking, world geography book, and maps are similar since they have a similar lay-out. They are different since the verse is in a different language, the flag is for a different country, and the maps are of a new continent. The flag sheets and John 3:16 sheets that are similar from one country to the next are a small part of the over all program.

Each two weeks is a unit study for a country with a focus on the continent of the country. These unit studies paint a picture of a place. The place includes prayers for a people (Windows of the World), cooking (a meal from the country), an art project (ties into the countries heritage or art), geography game (learning the places names/ continent), flag sheets (coloring the flag and writing a few sentences about it), John 3:16 sheet (coloring a person dressed like the country and seeing John 3:16 in their language), Wee Sing (hearing a song in the countries own language), seeing photos of the place or continent (Children's Atlas), facts about the country (World Geography book), a missionary story that goes with the country (Hero Tales), ecosystems in the country/continent the landscape (Properties of Ecosystems), and a missionary story from the continent (deluxe package missionary books). All of these activities together paint a picture of a place. They tie together to give the students some idea of what the world is like today, what the landscape looks like across the world, many different languages, all the flags of the world, people's need for God's Word in their own language, the needs of the current world, and the fact that God cared so much about the world that He sent His only begotten Son into the world to save it and give salvation and ever lasting life to all those who would believe in His Son, whom He sent.

ruthamelia
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Re: ECC for a Whole Year?

Unread post by ruthamelia » Thu May 08, 2014 2:53 pm

We're almost finished with Australia, only Antarctica left to go. I just asked the 4th grader if it got boring or repetitive going from county to country and continent to continent and he said no. Both have enjoyed doing the flag sheets for each country. Science sheets are always different. EWG (which only the 4th grader did) also didn't get repetitive. The content is essentially the same from continent to continent, but you only do them 6 times (Antarctica only has a few pages). I actually see some benefit to the repetition- eventually he's able to start comparing what he has learned over time from one continent/country to the next. Also, as others have mentioned, cultures are so widely varied that overall the content of the curriculum always feels fresh and new.
Kids in school: 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, 4
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
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gratitude
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Considering skipping ECC

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:33 pm

mom2threeBoys wrote:I am indecisive overall right now. "Am I doing the right thing by pulling my kids out of a good public school?" "Should I just homeschool for middle school in a couple years."

And, my 8 year old who will be 4th grade in the fall & who is reluctant to make the change said he would prefer to learn history over geography. I understand the reason behind ECC at the beginning of the cycle, but this is a kid who LOVES history. His latest line of questioning has been about major U.S. Wars. So I would like to appease him a little.

I just looked at the samples, though, for CtG for the first time, and it looks a little heavy. Is it? My first grader will also be tagging along. I admit to looking at another literature based curriculum that does not schedule hands on activities (a must for my boys) or music or art (a desire of mine), but I keep coming back to MFW's nice schedule! Going to go dig in the garden and chat with God about it for a while ;)
Talking to God about it is the best place to go. He is the one who called me to home schooling before I knew people even schooled at home. He has always been my best guide for this journey.

As to government public school It personally is not an option for us for a very long list of reasons. Most of them coming from our understanding of scripture and our knowledge of the history of American education that started going the wrong direction in the mid 1800s. The challenges too of overcoming our own government public / college educations. It took years to fully renew our minds in scripture & in Christ afterwards. We were both raised in the church.

I think your decision to go into the garden and talk to Him awhile is the best thing you can do. I pray you hear Him clearly.

asheslawson
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Re: Considering skipping ECC

Unread post by asheslawson » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:56 pm

I agree God is the best resource and spending time gaining clarity from Him is best.

If you are interested in my experience, I would never have wanted to miss ECC. It is geography, but there is quite a bit of history worked in. My son is beginning 8th grade this fall, and started with ECC in 4th, and we still talk about the wonderful stories that year. Your son is 8 & going into 4th - so he is very young - but he actually has plenty of time to complete the cycle. My son is completing the 5th year in 8th & will have done all 5 years. It's hard to say for certain a favorite year - but ECC has been quite a contender for our favorite. I eagerly look forward to going through it again with my daughter the year after next. Of course, you have to choose what is best for your family - but if it were me, I'd do ECC and just grab some great books for him on the topics he loves for pleasure reading. However, if you are like our family, we were all so eager - it was hard to put down the Christian Heroes series we read that year. They would beg me to keep reading every day! Additionally, we loved some of the hands on projects, some of the science projects, the John 3:16 sheets, and Kingdom Tales.

Just thought you might enjoy hearing about those experiences - it is so hard to decide when you haven't gotten into it yet. I remember wondering many of the same things you are wondering. My son was in public school through 3rd grade & he was a huge fan of American History, Texas History, Civil War, etc. His room was covered in Alamo designs - and he checks every book out on the topic our tiny library can get in for him!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
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fiddlearnd
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Re: Considering skipping ECC

Unread post by fiddlearnd » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:07 pm

I will weigh in with a different perspective since we did just exactly this! We skipped ECC. We had just switched to MFW last year- my children were in public school and then the first two years we homeschooled we used another curriculum. God brought us to MFW and when I began looking I decided we would use 1850 to modern times (we selected this for various reasons that I won't go into). We weren't sure we were going to stay with MFW.

Anyway, long story short- I NOW see WHY MFW starts out with world geography. Looking back, I think my youngest (who is 10) would have benefitted from doing geography in order to understand the history better. We will be doing ECC this coming year and it looks fabulous! Both my kids will be doing the 7/8th supplement which will give them good research skills. We also plan to save $$ and schedule a trip to another country sometime this year and this should get the kids even more excited about their world studies.

There was no issue with us starting off cycle. The kids learned a ton and we saw how the MFW weaves in different sources and the Bible. I got to know how to use the TM and feel more comfortable tweaking things to fit our family's needs. So, I don't think there is any detriment to doing it that way. But I do now see the benefit of starting where MFW recommends - with ECC.

Best of luck to you in whatever you decide!
Paula

MelissaB
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Re: Considering skipping ECC

Unread post by MelissaB » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:54 pm

Whatever decision you make, you're going to have a good year. Both ECC and CTG are wonderful. You can't make a bad decision here, to be honest.

Like the other Moms said, ECC actually has a lot of history. (Hero Tales and the missionary biographies esp.)

CTG is fascinating all the way through. If you have time, God & the History of Art adds a lot to the study of the Egyptian and Greek kingdoms.

If you go with CTG, and if your ds likes history, you might want to purchase just the missionary biographies that come with the ECC pkg (Nate Saint, David Livingston, etc. - You can order them individually). They are packed full of history and adventure. We're on 1850-Mod, and we still order the missionary biographies from YWAM publishing. Our dd's read well over 30 (40?) by now. Excellent.

Both curricula are truly incredible. Either choice will be good. :-)

Whatever you choose - 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

ruthamelia
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New to MFW

Unread post by ruthamelia » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:54 pm

cappy wrote:is it really that important to start with ECC? If I do that, the then 4th grader would have done a year of American History, the 5th would have just done a year overview of World History, and my two olders would have done something very similar to Rome to the Reformation. So where I'd put them in MFW at that point I have no idea. I'm really just "typing out loud" now and don't really have a question that I expect concrete answers on......but if anyone does have any suggestions I'd be all ears.
Hi- just 2 thoughts I wanted to offer. First, I think of a lot of elementary and middle school history and science as a platform for skill building and familiarity more than retaining lots of facts. In high school retention of knowledge becomes more important, but when you talk about your younger kids being in different places in their history study in your current curriculum, if it were me I wouldn't be too terribly concerned about the disruption in progression of history whenever you decide to switch to bring them all together in MFW. If one student repeats a fairly similar time period two years in a row, they just get more depth from different resources. They may remember more later on. But I don't think it would cause a significant hindrance or major gaps in learning. Whatever the history topic is, they are learning how to manage information, how to assimilate information from multiple sources, how to think about people and the world, and how to learn (maybe the biggest one!).

Second, you asked if it is really important to start with ECC. I know I have seen several people mention starting at other points in the cycle, so I'm sure it can be done, and your children will still learn! I would give a plug for ECC, though, because I thought it was a fantastic year! Having the solid foundation in geography makes history so much more accessible to the kids, and they really learned their geography well, and are retaining it. I was a star student in public school, and graduating high school I don't think I had even half the grasp on world geography that they do. The people focus in ECC was excellent as well, helping open up the kids' limited experience to see how incredibly different the lives of all the people of the world are and how much God cares for all of them despite the differences. I would encourage you not to worry about your kids 'missing' something by having a year without dedicated history- they will have plenty of time to go through all of history again in high school when they are more likely to retain the information.

I hope something in there may be helpful to you, and you can forget about anything that isn't!
Kids in school: 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, 4
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
2018-2019: First, ECC, AHL

cappy
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Re: New to MFW

Unread post by cappy » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:28 am

ruthamelia wrote:Hi- just 2 thoughts I wanted to offer. First, I think of a lot of elementary and middle school history and science as a platform for skil building and familiarity more than retaining lots of facts.
It's not so much that I'm hung up on the history cycle from concern that they get it all in....but from the standpoint of .......I don't know the words to make this not sound negative.....but beating it to death so to speak. Not particularly a concern for my younger kids, but my two older ones (that would be in the family cycle) have had SO very much ancient history. Like so.much. I know there is always something new to learn, but ya gotta have a break every now and then, ya know?
ruthamelia wrote:Having the solid foundation in geography makes history so much more accessible to the kids, and they really learned their geography well, and are retaining it. I was a star student in public school, and graduating high school I don't think I had even half the grasp on world geography that they do. The people focus in ECC was excellent as well, helping open up the kids' limited experience to see how incredibly different the lives of all the people of the world are and how much God cares for all of them despite the differences. I would encourage you not to worry about your kids 'missing' something by having a year without dedicated history- they will have plenty of time to go through all of history again in high school when they are more likely to retain the information.
This is actually something I was thinking on since my last post, and I appreciate your saying this. I do think this would be a good thing. I know it would be good for the then 4th and 5th, but with my 7th and 8th, it would give them both a year [of ECC] before having to go to ancients again (one in the high school program and the other in the ancients from the family cycle).

I do wonder though about a new-to-MFW 8th grader joining in at ECC then moving directly to high school. Is that ok? I think it is, from what I have been reading, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it, as the curriculum we will be coming from is soooo skill-based in history that jumping over several guides would be pretty much impossible, so I think that's what's giving me pause about that.

ruthamelia
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Re: New to MFW

Unread post by ruthamelia » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:00 pm

I get it now- your explanation about ancients made sense!

I was hoping someone more experienced might answer your concern an 8th grader doing ECC then high school, since the oldest here is somewhere around 6/7 grade. I'll take a stab at it though- while going through ECC, it seemed very easy to adapt to a variety of ages. I actually had to keep it pretty scaled back for the 2nd grader, but it fit well for the 4/5 grade. For grade 7/8 there is a supplement that gives them additional activities. Compared to other curricula where the skills are heavily embedded, MFW in general has lots of flexibility- with plenty of guidance- for adapting to different levels of student. You just adjust the amount, quality, or type of work expected. Older students in ECC should do most if not all of the Exploring World Geography book, will complete a country report through the last several weeks, practice research skills, read a few additional books. In summary, it seems that ECC has worked fine for many families for an 8th grade year, and you should be able to easily use the teacher's manual to keep the learning at an appropriate level for 8th grade.
Kids in school: 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, 4
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
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Julie in MN
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Re: New to MFW

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:45 am

I agree 100% with Ruthamelia. My son did ECC in 8th and I thought it was an excellent time to do
ECC (he did ECC in 3rd as well, which was a fun time).

Think of it like you are moving to a new school district. Your kids don't have to go back to kindergarten :-) They will build on age-appropriate skills and pick up new information. Some of what K-12 ed does is just teach us how to be good learners.

By the way, that analogy probably works for me because I went to 5 gradeschools in 6 years of elementary school. And LOL some homeschools are like that. It's okay, I wasn't ruined. I did well in college after attending 3 different high schools, all with different styles and requirements. Maybe I had less cumulative knowledge and definitely I had gaps, but I probably learned other things like flexibility and paying attention ;)

Enjoy!
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

cappy
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Re: New to MFW

Unread post by cappy » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:12 pm

Thank you all for helping me work through this. For now, we have decided to start my high school girls with full MFW.

For my younger four, we are going with MFW's recommendations for LA already. My possible tentative plan is for the following year do ECC with then 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th grade. Time will tell....

Thank you again for all your help.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Starting family cycle with 1850-modern times?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:16 am

Amymamaof3 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:36 pm
I have three children--ds is finishing 7th grade, dd1 is finishing 5th grade and dd2 is finishing 2nd grade. Currently, we are using Sonlight Core F (Eastern Hemisphere) for the older 2. Next year, I would love to have them all 3 working together, so MFW is very attractive to me.

However, I am torn on where to start the cycle. I am leaning toward 1850-modern because it is different--meaning, my oldest will be starting high school the year after, which is ancient history (so I don't really want to do CtG) and we just finished a course very similar to ECC. Have any of you started with 1850-modern? If so, how did it work? Are there any reasons I shouldn't start there? Any advice would be great! Thanks :)
Hi Amy,
Most folks who have done geography already will still say that ECC is different, and more than the east, and a great way to begin MFW, and a good thing to do just before high school. Also, you wouldn't need to use a 2nd-3rd grade supplement if you start with ECC, because instead there are extra assignments for oldest to research on his own.

However, there are a few around here who have begun in a different year. While you wait for them to have time to post, I'll find few links so you can read up on their experiences.

I hope Dorinda gets a chance to go online, because she started late in the cycle. Here's are a couple of her posts. She was very happy with her plan, although she did tweak a little (don't we all!):
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 268#p98268
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 945#p75945

Paula didn't start with ECC and it went fine, although now she realizes how ECC would've been a great place to start: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... =75#p99138

HTH, and welcome!
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

Poohbee
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Location: North Dakota

Re: Starting family cycle with 1850-modern times?

Unread post by Poohbee » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:46 pm

Hi! Welcome!

Those are some great links that Julie posted! You can definitely get a feel for how it could go both ways...beginning with ECC or starting somewhere else in the cycle. Ultimately, you have to do what you feel is best for your family.

I do like one comment in the links that I think it was Dorinda made (or maybe it was someone else)...that she wanted to continue the flow of learning history that she had already begun with the other curriculum she had used. Saying that, though, I have to say that, while all of the years in the MFW cycle are wonderful, ECC is one of my favorites! My kids loved "flying" to other countries and having their passports stamped. I loved how the science, music, and art fit so well with the geography. And, we really got a heart for Bible translation that year as we read about and prayed for various people groups around the world and read the biographies of people such as Cameron Townsend. ECC is truly a great year. One of the things I really love about MFW is being able to teach my kids together for most subjects except LA and math. ECC lends itself really well to teaching together multiple kids with the age span that yours have.

But if you feel you are wanting to study some American history with your kiddos, the thought that came to me as I read your post is that MFW splits American history into a 2-year study. You will begin learning about the U.S. states and the Presidents in EX1850 and finish that study during 1850MOD. Have you done much with American history yet? If not, you might want to begin with EX1850. I realize that your oldest will be in 8th grade and would not get the modern history at that time as he will be starting high school, but it is likely you will have him do American history again in high school, so he would get the full scope then. It would work well for your younger two to start with EX1850, 1850MOD, and then go into ECC and just continue the cycle.

If you are really wanting to cover modern times, you could get Story of the World volume 3 on audio book and listen to that now and then to get that earlier history, and you could find some books and resources to learn about the states and Presidents that were covered in EX1850.

Just a few things that came to mind and some suggestions for you. Ultimately, you must do what you feel is best for your family. :-)
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

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