Using ECC in a Homeschool Co-op or Classroom

If you are using Exploring Countries and Cultures, please share your ideas with us.
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Using ECC in a Homeschool Co-op or Classroom

Unread post by Marie »

Ideas for using ECC in a homeschool group or classroom

Additional ideas in the Archives: ... 650#p61650 (last paragraph) ... 229#p73229 (high school) (junior and senior high science)
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Unread post by mamax3 »

Thought I would post this here. We had fun cultural parties when we were doing ECC! Here is what we did:


We invite you to come and celebrate with us as we explore many countries around the world.
We ask that you bring at least one food item from the country we are studying and art projects to share. Also, if possible dress in the cultures clothing.
Parties will be held at .... (inside or outside dependant on weather).
Please RSVP by the Monday before each party so we know how many guest to prepare for. Contact ....

7/30/04 Mexico 6:00 pm
8/19/04 Canada 6:00 pm
9/22/04 Brazil 6:00 pm
10/7/04 Norway 6:00 pm
10/22/04 France 6:00 pm
11/5/04 Germany 6:00 pm
1/21/05 Kenya 6:00 pm
2/4/05 Saudi Arabia 6:00 pm
2/18/05 India 6:00 pm
3/4/05 China 6:00 pm
3/18/05 Japan 6:00 pm
4/1/05 Russia 6:00 pm
4/15/05 Australia 6:00 pm
5/20/05 Egypt 6:00 pm
5/26/05 Israel 6:00 pm

We hope you will join us in our trip around the world!! See you soon!!
Sybil, mother of CJ (11) and Damian (8) using CTG, and Brendan (4) using MFW K
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Unread post by Lucy »

I used ECC to teach a group of kids that were ages 8-13. I found it easy to pick out fun activities to do and to learn fun things about the continents and countries. The other families were not doing ECC either. I just called it a geography class and we spent the year taking a trip around the world. It would be easy for someone else to teach the science that goes with it too or you could incorporate that into your class as well.

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 kellybell »

We've not co-oped our MFW stuff but I love thinking about these things.

First off, would the co-op be strictly MFW families, or would other families be in it? Would you require the families to stay in step with each other if possible (ie. "we'll all be on week 25 on the first of March.") Would the families be fine with you assigning a lot of homework or not? Would you meet weekly, monthly?

The answers to those questions would determine what would work:

1. You could do a Bible study discussion. Also, you could tie in the Bible study books (Victor, Then Sings my Soul, etc.) That would be neat.
2. You could do science. The science recommended for elementary MFW would be easy to co-op. If the co-op includes some middle schoolers, the middle schoolers could: participate with the little kids, TEACH the little kids, have their own co-op(s) or study halls to do their Apologia work (there's a lot of Apologia work, but not too much), etc.
3. You could do the Hebrew holidays. This would be really fun to do with more than just your family! I think this is my favorite idea. This is for CTG.
4. You could do a cooking and craft co-op.
5. You could do a report co-op where each child (or each family) presents a project or speech related
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:12 pm

My preference is to use co-ops for the fun group stuff, so nobody feels "behind" if they need to spend longer on some of the basics. Also, even if some families are way ahead, the fun stuff can still be a "review" or "revisit" of things they have learned, to cement them in place.

Some things our co-op has done (not MFW based, but several members use MFW):

* Invite missionaries to come talk to the kids.

* Have a "book club" where the kids talk about one of the missionary stories that everyone plans to read at about the same time. Ours was after everyone had read about Nate Saint, and we also watched the movie. You could even just watch the movie trailers or the end where the Auca man sees a drive-thru restaurant for the first time, etc. There are online paper airplane models & such, also.

* Oral presentations, where each child presents a country, a missionary, or some related topic. We do one child each co-op meeting.

* Nature walks or related science studies. We had a naturalist from a nature center teach science one year, and visited her nature center as well.

Amy S.
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Unread post by Amy S. »

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:31 pm

We use ECC in a monthly coop. We rotate kids through three stations: art, food and academic. When we studied Mexico, for example, the kids made clay art at the art station; at the food station, they rolled out their own tortillas, learned about the versatility of tortillas, ate them and read stories from Mexico; at the academic station, they learned about the journey to independence for Mexico, did map work and learned the Mexican Hat Dance, among other things. I could see a fourth station or period focusing on missions. We always start out by praying for the country, reminding our kids that people need Jesus all over the world.

We have also done Brazil and will "visit" Italy next Friday.

Each mom takes one country and plans and leads it with the help of an assistant mom. All the other moms are their worker bees that day. We have free access to a community center and we all help clean up afterward. One mom agreed to be the craft coordinator so she is exempt from leading a country. Each family paid $15 at the beginning of the year to cover the cost of crafts. The two moms leading/assisting for a particular country take on the financial burden of whatever materials they choose for the academic and snack times for that month.

We have about 34 kids divided into three groups. One of the groups consists of preschoolers and so the activities are modified for them a bit.

Let me know if you have any other questions about or suggestions for our group. It truly has been a much anticipated event each month. I would love to hear how a group manages to do it weekly.

Amy S.
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Co-op doing different year

Unread post by Lucy »

caod wrote:We are joining a coop next year who is going to do ECC and RTR as options. I guess the other alternative would be to not sign up for either option next year at coop.

Obviously, I want to stay on the same for both of them. I have a 7 year old (lst-2nd grade) and an 8 year old (3rd grade). We are doing ECC this year. We did Adv. last year.
Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:06 pm

I used to teach a class to students using the material that I had taught the year before in MFW. My kids were always doing the next year at home so the following year was always a review of the previous year. They liked knowing a lot of the stuff and being in the know a bit.

For others in the class who were also using some other classical/chronological history at home it was either as Crystal mentioned a review or a preview of material to come.

In your case I would go with the review so that you do not have info overload with new material from CTG and RTR. This is just what I would do. In the end you may just go with your original thought to just have fun with the electives.

Also one more thought piggy backing on Jenn's thought. If you did RTR this year, this works great for 2 years but the 3rd year they will be doing 1850-modern and you will be ready to do EX-1850. At this point you may just choose to leave the coop part and do electives since I would not do those 2 years out of order for sure. A lot to think about.

Just a thought too, are there others in your same boat who would like to a CTG coop with you?

I am not sure if that will work for you but I really like the idea of staying with the cycle better. I would not have your kids redo the year they have just done at home again. I think your kids may not be very motivated to study the same thing over.

I know this is a lot to think on. Seek Him on this and He will give you the answer.
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Using ECC in a Coop

Unread post by schelean »

doubleportion wrote:I am going to be using a number of things from ECC in a coop class this fall. I have called it "A Trip Around the World" and plan on doing mostly the country study side of things including the crafts and cooking activities.

That said, does anyone have experience having done this or have advice to offer on the best way to do it? I will have 15 students for one 45 minute class once a week from Sept- Nov for about 11 weeks grades 4th through 7th. I don't have a big budget so I have to be mindful of material costs.

Hi Edie
I did this last year in a weekly coop. I made sure we learned the continents using a continent song. We played the geography games. You can play 3 students/game. I ordered extra from MFW. I made sure we tasted the foods from each country and learned a bit of the culture. I had some missionaries come and speak to our class about the country they had served in. We did make the Mexican ponchos and he kids loved it. I think it is mentioned on this board in the ECC Mexico weeks. I was able to find a great sale on polar fleece.

I think I scheduled a country/month. We were not able to cover all that ECC includes, but we did 8 countries.

We also learned about the equator and located the countries on the blow up globe. I would toss it around the room each class period as an opener. I would ask them to find the country, an ocean, equator, etc.

I had several parents say their kids loved it. This is a quick response and if you need more info, just ask more specific questions and I will be glad to tell you how we did it.

Have fun!
Schelean in Texas
MFW user since 2006
Exp-1850 w/dd 11& K w/ds 6
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Re: Using ECC in a Coop

Unread post by doubleportion »

Schelean, THANK YOU!!

I love the idea of using the blow up globe, I hadn't thought of that.

I plan on doing only about seven countries. 11 weeks is not much time to cover as many as I would like. I plan on mostly doing two weeks on each country and a couple on one week.

I had thought of covering the continents and oceans songs. I will have to see if I can fit into my budget the extra purchase of additional geography games. I own two boards already, but I will have 14 kids in the class.

I plan on doing Mexico, Brazil, France, Japan, Kenya, Australia & India.

I was not real sure of what to do for a craft for Brazil. My friend who just came back from a mission trip to Brazil said that they make bracelets that look allot like friendship bracelets. I thought of them making bracelets with the colors of the Brazilian flag or some kind of soccer craft.

I intend on doing a craft and food for each country as well as creating flag pages and giving culture, language, people, and land info. I will use the Wee Sing Around the World CD and pages from A Trip Around the World & Another Trip.

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Using ECC in a Coop

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Edie -- it sounds like such a fun co-op class! I'm sure that you'll do a great job at it, too.

I'm just wondering . . . is the geography game worth it? 14 students for 11 weeks? I would probably focus on each specific country that you picked out and toss around the blow up globe to look at other countries on that continent without worrying about learning all of their names and locations. You could play a game of sorts by saying a country's name and then tossing the ball to someone, who needs to find it and then says another country and tosses again - that kind of thing.

There's so much info in ECC and the supporting books that you'll be plenty busy for 45 minutes, especially if you're copying activity pages from Trip Around the World, etc. Don't forget to take your favorite picture books from book basket, too. :-)

I'm loving thinking about this so much that I'm almost ready to volunteer to do something similiar at a local co-op. Almost. But not really. 8[] Good for you for doing it!
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
Julie in MN
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Co-op fish or ocean experiment needed

Unread post by Julie in MN »

1974girl wrote:I love all the MFW science experiments because they are so easy to do. I need a fish or ocean science experiment to do with 3rd-6th graders in my co-op. Does anyone remember seeing anything you could pass on? I don't want to have to kill a fish in the process. Some of the experiments on the internet want me to mess with their oxygen levels to see how to make a goldfish breathe fast. I can't do that. I'd feel sorry for him and take him out and stick him in good water. So....nothing to hurt a fish.
Just some random ideas that come to mind.

1. Do something with ocean currents out of the ECC manual and book basket. Depending on what facilities you have, look forward to the Japan experiments. I posted something about ours under #2 here: ... 3136#p3136
Even just drawing the currents on the map is valuable, I think. That was #7 on the link above.
Tides are another fascinating part of studying ocean currents. I loved that book on the ECC book basket list called The Very Last First Time.

2. Depending on your equipment, gather some pond water and look what's swimming around in there, and draw/ID some of the creatures. A microscope is ideal for this, but another good tool is a "jeweler's loupe" that you put on your eye (my dh also used one of those for examining negatives when he was developing film, so they're not just for jewelers).

3. Watch a movie about fish. On the link above, I mentioned that we really enjoyed the Moody video about the deep, and the Bill Nye one. Or just enjoy the wonder of creation with a general movie of fish swimming under water, coral, etc.

You can also find videos of random interesting things like salmon migrating upstream on YouTube. Here's a video I plan to have my son watch about the varied ways that fish move in the water: ... 02417W/MZw

4. Depending on where you live, you could examine sand or compare sand from different locations. This is another thing you can look at with a jeweler's loupe. You can probably find some experiments online, like this one that came up on a quick search: ... and_1.html
I've always wanted to find something about melting sand to make glass, but I've never followed through on that.

5. Salt water experiments relate to the oceans. If you live near saltwater, you can just put drops onto tinfoil and wait until it evaporates and leaves salt crystals. I think there are saltwater experiments in ECC, too, where you freeze fresh & salt water, float something in fresh & salt water, etc. There are also lots of osmosis experiments with saltwater & potatoes or carrots & such, but maybe that would get too complex. But you could look up how some animals can survive in saltwater, such as the Salt Regulation paragraph here: ... neLife.htm

6. You could watch virtual dissections of various sea creatures online, if you're okay with that. Or you could have a fisherman come in and prepare a fish he has caught. You could just have the kids watch a fishtank and label the external anatomy, if you prefer. A random search brought up this external anatomy of a shrimp, but I'm sure you could find any sea creature:
or page 11 here: ... awfish.pdf

I'm probably not the one to answer a post about keeping something simple :~
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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Re: Using ECC in a Homeschool Co-op or Classroom

Unread post by doubleportion »

I've successfully used ideas from ECC to teach two coop classes. We had two different levels of classes: 4th-6th grade and 1st-3rd grade. Last semester I taught on Mexico, Australia, India, and Japan. I checked out books using the books list from the ECC TM for each country. For each country I used pages from A Trip Around the World and Another Trip Around the World.
Each time we started a country the kids colored the flag and then cut out a print out of John 3:16 in the native language. They pasted that to their flags. We would talk about country facts and had fun trying out the languages. Each country we would try a food or native foods and make a craft.

For India I had a friend who is a native of India come and share about her home country and I picked up Naan and Kheer from a local Indian restaurant.

For Mexico I bought empanadas from a local Panaderia (mexican bakery) and used a Mexican Hot Chocolate mix called Abuelita. The kids made mini-pinatas and we filled them with m&m's or skittles.http://quietlyrunningtheracehomeschooli ... natas.html

For Australia they made the 3D paper craft of the Sydney Opera House and I made Anzac cookies for them to try.

In Japan we just had enough time to do the craft which was painting their names in Katakana onto paper plates that we turned into Japanese fans. and ... -japanese/

I also used Geography songs to help them learn the continents and each country we used music from the Wee Sing Around the World CD. It was allot of fun!
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Co-op Using Continents/Animals from ECC

Unread post by ♥nbamaboyz »

Super Excited as Monday was BOXDAY for us! We will be doing ECC & MFW1st for the next school year.
I have read the threads about Co-op with ECC. At our Co-op no other families use MFW so I don't want to be sending homework for them to do since they already probably have a full schedule for the rest of the week.

However after digging into our BOX, I'm thinking I could teach a class using the 5-min. Devotions Book along with a world map/globe & each Monday we could study an animal from different Continents using The Complete Book of Animals & The Great Animal Search.

I'm thinking the first few weeks we would talk about the United States, show on a map where the U.S. is located. Then talk about about the U.S. has lots of farm land, then read the devotion about farm animals. Look in The Great Animal Search at farm animals then read the stories from The Complete Book of Animals. Find a craft from the Global Art book or online that goes along with our "theme" for the week. The class would be an hour long. Of course every few weeks we would change our continent & animals.

Just checking to see if any of you have ever used ECC this way before?
Of course I realize the devotion book is new to MFW but it looks like it would flow great with ECC's animals. Also thought maybe each child could learn a fun fact about an animal from the continent we would be doing the following week & then let the child standup and tell it to the class. Any thoughts? This would be for 1st - 3rd graders.
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Re: Co-op Using Continents/Animals from ECC

Unread post by Yodergoat »

This sounds much like the sort of classes I like to teach at co-op! I usually teach some animal-themed class, or an art class in which we draw animals!

I've never used ECC, so am not very familiar with the resources you will be using. But it sounds fun, and you are enthusiastic for it which is part of the battle in making a co-op class work. The ages sound appropriate for your plan. My daughter would totally want to go that class!

If there is any way to incorporate drawing your animal, too, that could be nice (maybe using one of those simple "I Can Draw Animals" books)... but that may just be my bias. ;)

Have fun...
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!
Julie in MN
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Re: Co-op Using Continents/Animals from ECC

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I agree, my kids would have loved your ideas!!

And I see one of those I Can Draw Animals books that Shawna mentioned on the MFW Enrichment page, it looks too cute. ... enrichment

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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Re: Using ECC in a Homeschool Co-op or Classroom

Unread post by higgins »

I like using the co-ops for the fun group stuff. Nobody will ever feel being left behind ìf they have to spend longer on some of the basics.
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