2nd grader - Adventures vs. ECC

Julie in MN
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2nd grader - Adventures vs. ECC

Unread post by Julie in MN »

TammyB wrote:ECC looks like a lot of fun, so I am eager to do it. I also would like to wait on American history a bit.
How much harder is ECC than Adventures? We have already done quite a lot of geography, so both of my children already have some foundational knowledge.Any thoughts?
Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:17 pm

Hi Tammy,
It's my understanding that Adventures was developed because MFW families who had oldest children in 2nd grade did fine with ECC, but ran into trouble when starting the full history sequence so young. It's do-able (ask some of the families like Crystal who are still doing it), but most of them would advise you to take the gentler route. Adventures days are 2.5-3 hours, while days with ECC & up are about 4. And Adventures, by the way, is very gentle on the history -- no wars & such.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:29 am

Julie's right. My oldest did ECC when she was in 2nd grade because Adventures didn't exist. I had to resist the strong temptation to not do the Advanced assignments. I mean, afterall, this was my first born and therefore advanced, right? Don't we all think that way with the first one?

From a recent post of yours, your oldest will only be 7.5. The read alouds in Adventures will be better suited for your children's ages, i.m.o.

Adventures: The history is an overview. It is followed after the 1st grade program, which studies history from Genesis to Revelation. So in some way, MFW considers that K, 1st and Adventures are an introductory history cycle from creation to modern times.

The Bible lessons in Adventures are learning the names of Jesus. And the science in Adventures relates back to those names ---- so when you study Jesus is the Bread of Life, you learn about yeast, bread, etc. in science.

My suggestion is to rethink it during convention season when you can look through the materials. MFW says that Adventures is optional for children with older siblings already in the 5 year history cycle, but they are still strongly recommending it for oldest.

Let him thrive in Adventures rather than struggle with ECC. KWIM?
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Unread post by caod »

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:41 pm

We are presently doing Adventures. I understand the desire to get going with the geography but I do recommend the Adventures. It is not just American History. The first eleven weeks have been Am. History but now we are getting into looking at each state which is very different than a strict Am. History curriculum. Science is a study of birds.

From someone who has the tendency to push way too much it has been a good balance for me and something that has kept my kids enjoying themselves without me pushing them to do more and learn more. I really learned the hard way that burn out can come if you are too anxious to get exciting stuff into your kids that YOU want to learn when it is all new to them, just not to you. Truthfully, I would much rather be doing ECC or even the full history but I know they are just not ready for it yet. I am counting on the fact that the wait will be worth it. My kids are 6 and 7. The exact ages that Adventures was designed for. We are actually doing 1st and 2nd but in reality they are both doing both and it is working (kinda!).

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Unread post by peavey »

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:18 pm

We did Adv last year with oldest in 2nd and twins in MFWK. Now doing ECC, I am SO GLAD we had ADV available. ECC is SO much more involved and has been a struggle even for my 3rd grader. Yes, the geography is GREAT, but they wouldn't have picked up nearly as much last year.

Also, I feel the MFWK science, Bible, art material is exceptional. If you do MFWK with ADV, you will have more freedom to do more of the K program than you would with ECC.

As others say, just MHO!!
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Unread post by scmlg »

Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:30 am

I wanted to jump in and agree with the others. I wouldn't/didn't skip Adv. So far we love it so much! My oldest (8) could have easily done "harder" work, but we are learning so much. The way it is weaving Christ throughout, the depth of History, and all the projects are so enriching. Your children will love it!!!! We are having the best time. I can't say enough on how wonderful I think this curricula is.

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What to do after 1st

Unread post by HopeAnn »

LJGM wrote:Hi, I am new here, although I feel acquainted with many of you from lurking around reading posts and gaining from your experience and wisdom. I have 4 children and am currently homeschooling my oldest DD using MFW1. We love it! It has been a perfect fit for our family. There have been rough times this year, but I am learning to trust the Hazells.

My question now is about what to do after 1st. My DD will be 7 when we start the next school year. I have been planning to do Adventures, but then I realized that she is likely to be the only one using it and I wondered if I should skip to ECC. The other 3 children will jump into the cycle without doing Adventures. (They are 3,2,and 7 months.) What are the pros and cons of doing or skipping Adventures?
Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:55 pm
Adventures is designed for a second or third grader. ECC is designed for a third grader and up. I am using Adventures and I would recommend it for your second grader. I would wait on ECC as it is more challenging.

Your younger kids will be able to participate in the Bible crafts, some of the simpler science experiments, and will enjoy very much the study on birds. I purchased some basic USA puzzles and a wall map for my younger child. A basic push pin shows what state we are in and she enjoys the puzzles. The bird feeder and learning about the different bird songs has been very fun for my younger one. Plus the week for Thanksgiving can be used by all ages.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:14 am

welcome to the board!

The younger children will use the books from Adventures when all of you get to EX1850. So, it is not a waste of money to use ADV. And just agreeing with HopeAnn that the younger children can be included in ADV.

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Unread post by LSH in MS »

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:52 pm

My second grader did ECC because ADV wasn't written yet, but he would have done better to wait a year, not so much for ECC, but for the other programs. I recommend doing adventures because it gives your younger children a chance to get a little older before you begin the 5 year cycle.
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Unread post by niki »

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:57 pm

We are doing ADV with a 1st (reading/writing great) and a 2nd grader this year. The year has been a breeze (because the kids love it, not because it too easy - but it's easy for me and that's a real bonus).

Don't skip it, it has been our best year yet. Each year of HS gets better and better. MFW has been such a blessing for my family.

Have fun!
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Unread post by Homeschooling6 »

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:59 pm

I agree with the others to start with ADV it is so much fun. My kiddos are having a blast with learning about the states and like someone mentioned you will use it again at the end of the 5 year cycle. Even if you were not going to use it again, it is so worth taking the time to do it.

I have a 5yr, 6, 7 & 8yr olds using it but only the last three are doing the State Sheets. If you have the extra money I would recomend buying an extra set of state sheets. I would love to have a set of my own to hang up because the dc all go in their notebooks.

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Is it possible to start my oldest (2nd grade) in ECC?

Unread post by Mercy »

Robyn in TX wrote:My dd is the oldest and will be in 2nd grade next year. From what I am understanding, I should start with ADV but is it possible/beneficial/detrimental/crazy to start my oldest (2nd grade) in ECC? I really like the missions aspect of it.... Just wondering! Thanks for your help!
Posted: Mon May 19, 2008 3:12 pm
ADV is just "built" for this age. I switched, not necessarily because ECC was too hard, but because I began to trust MFW's advice more. I realized they really do know what they are doing. And, I'm glad that I did. My son needed time to learn how to summarize what he had read in smaller increments (instead of narrating the entire story back to me word for word). He also has been learning things he had never known before about the pilgrims and even God's word. That's important to me. I'm glad he's getting a good overview of American history before we get to the "hard years." It will make the hard years, when we study history more in depth, a little softer I think...maybe?

He also is excelling in his art. Something we would not have gotten to otherwise. He's feeling more confident in his ability to draw.

Anyway, yes, I also agree to be patient is best. (smiling, because I've been telling myself the same thing throughout this whole process.)

You'll get there. ECC really is a great year! But, so is ADV!!!!
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question about Adventures.....

Unread post by doubleportion »

faithhopelove wrote:I have only looked over MFW K and a little of 1st and ECC-I have a girlfriend who raves about MFW. I'm very interested in Adventures. I re-read some posts last night where people use it for different ages. In your opinion, is it better for a 7 or 8 yr old? Could it even be used for a 9 yr old? I tend to avoid grade association because I find the kids to be all over the grade spectrum, y'know.

I have been using another program and it's just not working out. It seems like MFW uses some of the same books. Is there anyone here who has switched to MFW? Can you give specific reasons why?

My 7 yr old would be reading well, keeping up with math....but does not like long history readings. We tried reading History Stories for Children and there was no interest. On the other hand, we read The Long Way Westward last night and he loved it!

We do not get to the library often, but I've been fortunate to find good deals on books. I would probably have to purchase more for the book basket.
My 7 yo. dd is doing great with ADV. She is a very good reader. The readings are never long in history unlike something like Sonlight. Most of them are read alouds, not them reading to you.

I'm not familiar with HOD, so can't give you any input there. We used Sonlight last year and my daughter started to dread school and my voice was getting worn out from all the read alouds. This is our first year with MFW. Using MFW this year has been the polar opposite. She loves school now and I never hear any complaints about not wanting to do school for the day!!

The book basket books are easy to supplement if you can't find them at the library or don't go to the library. I wouldn't suggest skipping book basket, but you can always downsize the number of books you put in it each week. My dd has come to love book basket and even asks if it can go "five more minutes". We go to the library usually every two weeks and sometimes even more like every three weeks. You could easily pick up just a few book basket books for each week all at once, as we do. MFW is very flexible. That is one thing we love about it! You adjust it to fit your family.

Hope this helps you make a decision. We are in week 19 of ADV and loving every minute of it!!

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Unread post by KimberlyND »

I did use your previous program with my ds(7) when he was 4 or 5. We never got very far in it. He didn't like it and I can say that I didn't either. After using K things I already had that I used for the older kids, I heard about MFW. We started out in MFW-1 and are now in ADV. Maybe we should have started in the K program but ds is doing well now. I did purchase the K program and will use it for dd(3)!!

We liked MFW-1 and are loving ADV!!! We use the recommendations from MFW for math, spelling, and language and it is working out well. We usually start schooling around 9:00 and are finished by noon (most days). Nothing is overwhelming.

ADV is recommended for "2nd or 3rd Graders (and advanced 1st graders who are reading and writing well)." MFW also states "Second or third graders with older siblings should skip it and go directly into the Five-Year Cycle..., joining in their siblings' current program. This ensures that a parent does not have to teach two different programs for 2nd - 8th graders."

Again...we love MFW!! And especially love ADV!! I have been homeschooling for many years and have never loved school like I do since I found MFW! I hope this helps a little.
Kimberly in ND
MFW user since 2007, gone through K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CtG, RtR, Exp. to 1850, & 1850 to Modern Times
Using ECC 2014-2015 with an 8th grade son and 4th grade daughter
Have been HS for 19 years and graduated 3 dc.
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Adventures is a shorter day than the following 5 years in the MFW cycle. It's recommended for 2nd & 3rd graders who are the oldest in the family. By 4th grade, it probably will feel light in several areas. Another reason to start ECC by 4th is so that you can make it through a full cycle before high school. The MFW cycles are multi-age and include:
* Prereading
* Learning to read
* Learning to love to read (approximately 2nd -8th grades)
* Learning by reading (9th-adult)

As far as whether your child will have an interest in history, I suppose that can never be guaranteed. Each child has their own interests. But MFW comes at each subject from several different angles, so usually there is something that sparks a child's interest in history:
* Nonfiction information, which increases with the child's age
* Fiction or biographical read-alouds with related historical (or geographical) settings
* Biblical tie-ins
* Visual picture books like Usborne
* Simple projects like those posting this week about making Johnny Cake
* In some years, art and/or music relate to the historical period
* Science may tie in to history & bring it to life
* Book basket & independent reading can certainly relate, depending on the child's interests

Does that help at all?
Last edited by Julie in MN on Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Unread post by 3littlechickies »

Hi There!

I didn't respond before because I haven't technically used Adventures yet, but I have the manual and all the books and have gone over it so much I feel like I have used it! I have, however, used HOD. We ditched it after about 1 1/2 months. I was so excited about it and really tried to love it, but there were just some things we could't seem to get over. First off, I didn't like the layout at all. While I know some people love having each day on a 2 page spread, I much prefer the weekly layout of Adventures. The other thing was I felt like if we didn't complete all of the activities together, my kids kind of lost the meaning behind them. Suffice it to say, it just wasn't a fit for us. Adventures, however, I am so excited to start! I love the layout, and I feel like there is just the right balance or reading, notebooking, coloring and crafts. Good luck in your decision! I hope this helped some:)

Re: question about Adventures.....

Unread post by cbollin »

faithhopelove wrote:. Would Adventures be for a 7 OR 8 yr old? Is it age specific.

restating what was probably already said. I know I didn't read everything carefully and there are a couple of thread about ADV right now.

ADV is written in mind for when the oldest child in the family is at about standard ages in US for grade 2 and/or 3. However, it is not "grade" specific in that all kids in the family will use it in 2nd grade. When oldest is in 2nd (or 3rd) grade, younger siblings can join in the fun. MFW is designed for to allow for multiple level teaching and family style learning.

Younger sibs will not use ADV in 2nd grade, but fold into the "5 year cycle" going directly into older siblings program.

So, it is designed for use for a 7 or 8 year old. I'm guessing your 7 year old would be fine in it. I think it was this thread, or maybe the other one where someone asked about using it with a 9 year old --- in the vast majority of cases it will be too light to use with a kid that age and they should be in the "5 year cycle" programs. There are exceptions for special needs families and things like that.

Last edited by cbollin on Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by RachelT »

Hi! I'm just tagging along here to say that Adventures has been great for my 7.5yr old and my 5.5 (almost 6) year old is doing most of it, too! The history read alouds are great! They are not too long and they are enjoyable. My children really like the Pioneers and Patriots book and they've enjoyed other read alouds like "Farmer Boy" that we are reading right now. My 2nd grader is challenged in the spelling, reading, and writing but we are working on that. I hope Adventures is a great adventure for your family, too!

Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

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Can someone help me with a 2nd grade question?

Unread post by mlbuchina »

jackjujam wrote:My up and coming 2nd grader is the oldest in our family. I know the MFW website says use Adventures for the oldest child that is in 2nd grade, but I don't want to. LOL. I was wondering if it is ok or possible to start out in ECC and bypass Adventures? It just looks more interesting to me (and most likely to my son). Also, I would love to hear experience with the Language Arts options. My son needs a little extra help in reading.

We are still fairly new at homeschooling and it is so overwhelming!

I agree that ECC looks so great! I have an up and coming 2nd grader, and while I did get Adv., I am already looking forward to ECC! lol

I got my box with all the goodies from Adv., and as we were looking through it, my dd6 got really excited about all the things we would be doing. She especially loves science, and wanted to take the books and read them now. I have everything stored in the box to keep her out of all the books! Needless to say, we are all very excited about starting Adv. next year.

Guess that doesn't really address your question, but I thought I would share the excitement for Adv. 8|
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Re: Can someone help me with a 2nd grade question?

Unread post by RachelT »

Hello! We are doing ECC this year with my 3rd and 1st graders. It is going well, but we really enjoyed Adventures and I wouldn't miss that either! It was fun for them to learn about our country and some of the important historical figures and holidays that we celebrate here. Things like the Pledge of Allegiance, patriotic songs, and a beginning understanding of the geography of our country and all the different states. The science was fun, the magnet kit was really cool! There are also lots of library books to go with American history. ECC is really great, but some of it is still advanced for my 3rd grader and has to be scaled back, particularly one of the science books (which I pretty much summarize now) and we don't even do any of the "Advanced" lessons or the World Geography book. The missionary biographies were also too much for my younger one. I would wait another year so that your oldest might be more "ready" for some of these things.

Just my 2 cents!

Rachel :)
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19


Re: Can someone help me with a 2nd grade question?

Unread post by cbollin »

If you are new to homeschooling and feeling overwhelmed --- then don't do ECC when your oldest is in 2nd grade. You will feel more overwhelmed in my opinion to leave out a lot of things and modify and all of that. Everyone might feel more successful in ADV. It's one thing to do ECC with a younger sibling who is 2nd grade because you naturally tend to filter and all of that. But it took me until week 8 or 9 in ECC to finally stop overteaching from ECC with my oldest when she was in 2nd grade. I didn't ruin her or me...... but... I just don't recommend that everyone do ECC in 2nd with oldest. I was just too tempted to not skip stuff. ECC is written as multi level teaching. ADV is written for 2nd grade. With ADV -- if you do everything in the manual for oldest, then you'll still have time to spend with younger kids, and go do Park Days and other stuff.

some of the unseen things in ADV that might be a bit more interesting:
they get to make some boats (foil) to float on an ocean (bathtub) and let those boats race and chase either each both in storm and without storm while learning about crossing the Atlantic.
They get to try some foods from various regions of the states.
They get some fun hands on science experiments to study all things of things. The directions are easy to follow, materials are normal things to find in normal stores.
they get to learn science related to the Names of Jesus --- so you do a fun unit on bread/yeast, chemical reactions in science and then try to make your own bread with your child while learning that Jesus is the bread of life

There's making of crowns as you learn He is the of Kings. There are adventure stories in the program.

Are you able to get to a convention and see MFW's booth and products in person? Sometimes seeing both programs next to each other really helps to see it all.

but, while ECC is a really great year (and I've done it twice)...

language arts... you can use whatever you want, but if you use MFW's recommendations the 2nd grader will use Primary language lessons, Spelling by Sound and Structure, and the language arts that is built into the unit study program. For help with reading -- that might mean something more than is easy to describe on a forum, so you might call MFW's office and see on that. Your son might need to do more phonics practice with readers, or might just need more time to develop fluency...and the answers might be different based on the goal.

Some kids just need to hear more books -- my kids liked audio books with the book in front of them.
Or watching Reading Rainbow.

not sure that helps any..... I'm seeing the time and need to get off the computer again.

Last edited by cbollin on Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Can someone help me with a 2nd grade question?

Unread post by sojen »

I just wanted to say we loved Adventures! I did it with my 3rd grader and it was great. She also needed help with reading and that year she made huge improvements. The reading list in Adventures was perfect to build her confidence.

I know what you mean about ECC, I couldn't wait to get it started either. But now that we are doing it I am glad my daughter was older. There is more challenging stuff, and I am so thankful she is stronger academically and emotionally to take on the more intense concepts. (missionary life, more difficult science vocabulary, etc.)

I don't want to talk you out of what you want to do, though. I think ECC could totally work with your son with a little tweaking :) My Father's World makes it easy to teach and fun for all. Honestly, my 2 year old has enjoyed some of ECC, so it can work :) I am just glad we had the year of Adventures.
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.
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Re: Can someone help me with a 2nd grade question?

Unread post by TriciaMR »


Since this will be your first year, I would go with Adventures. Even though we didn't do Adventures, from what I've heard people say, it is a big step up from Adventures to ECC. (I've home schooled from the beginning, and my dd was in 3rd when we switched to MFW and used ECC.) The are lots of hands on activities and great books in Adventures. It will probably take your family a while to adjust to you being the teacher and mom. Our state home school organization recommends focusing on just character and the 3 R's the first year if you are pulling kids out of public school (or private school).

You probably want some kind of phonics reinforcement if your son is having trouble reading. You might check out All-About-Spelling or Explode the Code, or even the 1st grade curriculum from MFW for phonics.

Primary Language Lessons, what MFW recommends, is great for teaching basic grammar without calling it grammar, but it doesn't teach reading. My dd had writing issues, so we were able to do much of it orally, which was good. Spelling by Sound and Structure is what MFW recommends for spelling in 2nd grade.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
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Re: Can someone help me with a 2nd grade question?

Unread post by doubleportion »

We did ADV last year with our dd in 2nd grade. It was our first year with MFW but not with homeschooling. We just completed ECC last week for her 3rd grade year.

I think doing ADV for 2nd grade was perfect. The subject matter was not upsetting to her or over her head. The academics were just the right balance of challenging but not too much.

Having completed ECC now with her as a 3rd grader, I know that she would not have enjoyed or been able to handle the ECC subjects matter as well. But for 3rd grade it was perfect. Especially introducing other cultures and religions would have been more challenging for in 2nd grade if we had just jumped into ECC. She had a great year to grow in maturity and spiritually with ADV first. ADV is much less demanding than ECC and is just the right amount of work for even a very academically strong 2nd grader. From our experience, I would recommend ADV first and then ECC, especially if you are new to homeschooling. I don't think you will be disappointed.

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Re: Can someone help me with a 2nd grade question?

Unread post by erikdeb »

We are loving Adventures this year, too. But if you really want, you COULD do ECC. I just kept telling myself we'd be there next year. :)

Deb, Mom to Isaac-8, Noah-6, Lydia-4, Micah-3, Simon-1
Once through MFW K, 1st, and ADV
2010-2011, MFW K and ECC
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Re: Can someone help me with a 2nd grade question?

Unread post by s_duguid »

Agreeing with the above responders. ADV was our first year to homeschooling, followed by ECC. ADV was the perfect balance for a single 2nd grader. The book basket was amazing and so age appropriate. ECC is definitely a step up especially with the packets. I can't wait to rotate through ECC again in 8th grade and go even deeper with it.
Sue, married 20 years and mother to 3 (only homeschooling one):
TJ (18), college sophomore
Drew (17), high school senior
Victoria (12) starting 1850-MOD in fall
  • completed Exp_1850, RtR, CtG, ECC, ADV
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