Ages - Advanced assignments?

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Julie in MN
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Ages - Advanced assignments?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:38 am

ECC- Advanced options?
my3sons wrote:I am sure this is answered in the TM and I am just overlooking it, but I cannot find the answer. On assignments marked Advanced, what are the guidelines for if we should do them?

I am doing ECC with a 9 year old 3rd grader and his 7 year old brother, if that helps!
In my version 1 they discuss it during the week that the issue first comes up -- week 3. Does that help?

Also there are lots of experiences using the Geography packets with different ages on this thread:
Geog. packet ages
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Re: ECC- Advanced options?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Take a look at the Teaching Tips section.
You will see guidelines via subjects. That will help with Ecosystems and Geography stuff.

then, there are additional notes to define it further as you come to a specific advanced assignment.

In general, the guideline seems to be (my words on it, not a direct quote): advanced applies for grades 5-8, but give it a try with 4th graders and be flexible based on their abilities. Under 4th: not needed.

That would be for things like what to read extra from Intermediate World Atlas, and/or Illustrated world Atlas.

tagging onto what Julie said:
take a look on week 3, daily notes for "Monday" for some specifics on the Geography Packet research stuff. You can some flexibility built in to adjust for interest of your elementary age kids. It gets more defined there.


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Re: ECC- Advanced options?

Unread post by Mommyto3boys » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:58 pm

I was very selective in having my 3rd grader doing any of the geography packet. Sometimes he did a page where he looked at a map and tried to find the major features (matching like section) or I would have him try to match the name of the animal with the picture shown. I would help him at any time he needed it and it was good research skills for him to practice.


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ECC 2nd Edition Question...

Unread post by NJCheryl » Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:48 pm

hollybygolly wrote:For those of you who have the new ECC edition, in the grid plans where it says "Advanced" am I supposed to do those tasks with 3rd graders? Or is that for upper elementary? I'm reading the manual trying to learn how the program will go and couldn't find footnotes or anything about the "advanced" portions. Thanks for your help!
The break down for who does what for the advanced assignments is in the week 3 Monday notes. 3rd and 4th may do some of them, but are not expected to do all of them. I am currently on week 24 with a 4th grader. We have done a few of the advanced pages, but not many. She struggles a bit with learning, and I know she will be doing ECC again when we cycles back around, so I'm not too concerned about it.


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Re: ECC 2nd Edition Question...

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:27 pm

I'm not doing the "advanced" assignments at all with my 7yo 3rd grader, and she is still getting plenty out of the program. If I've got time, I may talk about one of the country pages or something like that, but she's pretty young to be expected to do that much. I keep reminding myself ECC is written for 3rd - 8th grade -- there's going to be things in there that she just doesn't need this time through.
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Re: ECC 2nd Edition Question...

Unread post by RachelT » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:32 pm

Hi! My ds is in 3rd gr. and my dd is in 1st and she does the unit study lessons with us. We are not worrying about any "Advanced" lessons because we will come back to ECC the year that they are in 8th and 6th grades. ECC has been really neat! :-)

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Re: ECC 2nd Edition Question...

Unread post by hollybygolly » Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:29 pm

Thank you ladies! That was does look like a very fun year! I'm terrible with geography, so I'm excited to learn along with my children. :) Blessings~holly
Have a blessed day loving our Savior-Holly
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Julie in MN
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ECC week 2

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:11 pm

rawbanana wrote:I am going thru the ECC manual just to see the layout of the week 2, Monday notes under Geography there is a bolded section that says 'Advanced'. I thought all Advanced stuff was for 7-8 grade...? But it says 7-8 graders should do all the pages, 5th and 6th, most, 3rd and 4th some with adult help, and 2nd grades are not expected to do says they will work on this for 6 weeks. So do my older 2 (who will be 5th and 3rd) do the Advanced stuff?
It also says the pages arent scheduled for 3-6 graders, so I just let them work on pages 98-115 in the World Geography book at their own pace?
Really I just want to be clear about when it says 'Advanced' as to if that means my older 2, or is that to my discretion?
Well, now that 2nd edition has a separate "7-8th grid," where the worksheets are all scheduled out, I think the "advanced" will mostly apply to grades 5 or sometimes just 6, or just plain a kid who's "advanced" -- you know if you have one of those.

It's just an indication that only certain kids will do the assignment. There's no curriculum police going to tell you either way :) My son is doing ECC in 8th, and he doesn't even do all the "advanced" things if we're busy doing something else. I'd say to start with the basics. Get those done. Then add as you see fit.

Most of the unit studies when I first started homeschooling would say, "Here are 1,000 things you could do regarding trees -- pick whatever you want for whomever you want." MFW is an amazing step up from that. It holds your hand a LOT. It has been tested by a LOT of REAL families, so that it is all do-able by a wide variety of kids and time is set aside in realistic chunks. But it still allows for the fact that we each have different families, and within our families are very different children.
rawbanana wrote:BUT when it says advanced in the ecosystems book it is 6-8th that right?
Again, the grades 7-8 will have their science on the separate "7-8th grid."

They are only doing Ecosystems as part of their geography study (biomes of deserts, rainforests, etc.). They don't do the experiments or write-ups about those, as they have their own science. They may well do the advanced readings, but again you can tailor it for the student who is already over-scheduled or learning lots in book basket, vs. one who is ready for more info.

Does that help at all? I know there's a worried feeling when you get ready for anything new, but once you get going, you'll be much comforted.
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Advanced ECC work

Unread post by amelasky » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:05 pm

momtogc wrote:We are headed into week three of ECC and things seem to be going well so far. I'm seeing that, as to be expected, fourth grade is a heavier work load than third. I'm finding that we have to sort of "crunch" things in to get it all done. Are there things that I can leave off when time does not allow - and not have regrets later?

I saw a note in the TM saying that if it says Advanced then it's for fourth - eighth grade. Is that also true of the Classroom Atlas when it says Advanced? I was thinking I might not do some of those Advanced things but I don't want to short change my dd. She is able to grasp a great deal but I want her to enjoy the study and not be overwhelmed.

This week we are adding the World Geography pages and I'm wondering how we will have time for that on top of the other things. I tend to do the bookwork and let the fun stuff go (hands on and nature walks) but I'd rather do it the other way around. Or in fourth grade should we be more disciplined to complete all the work?? And I haven't even begun to see how we could possibly do foreign language either. Any thoughts? Thanks!
I thought that I'd chime in with what we did last year for ECC. My dd was in 3rd grade when we completed ECC. She wasn't a little stressed with the jump from ADV to ECC. I found that there were several things that we had to do orally instead of written. (Her written skills are not her best area)

We actually tried two or three assignments from World Geography, and it was too much. We shelved the book. She had a complete year without it. I figure that we can pick it up next time around, but I wasn't going to add to much and steal her love of learning with stress.

We loved our year and I am amazed at how much we BOTH learned this past year.
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Re: Advanced ECC work

Unread post by club190 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:49 am

I don't think of fourth graders as being in the "advanced" category. The World Geography book is really for grades 6 to 8, but to think that a 4th grader could do that, no way, even if she is advanced for her age. Think about what most 9 or 10 year olds are doing. They aren't yet into puberty, so they aren't ready for the vast amount of connection making that goes with that territory.

They really are still in the grammar stage, the collecting of information stage, the reading to learn stage -- in fact that's the most important academic skill that a 4th grader should be doing -- learning how to read something and extract information from it. It's a real shift from the learning to read and subsequent fluency building of the K through 3rd grade years. (Please remember that grade levels don't amount to much, they really are just handy labels, and not applicable across the board to all kids.)

The ILL book will be great for your daughter, but remember that a lot of that is supposed to be done orally. Kids need to write everyday but they don't have to write in every academic subject area every day! The journey is supposed to be enjoyable. If your daughter is getting burned out then how can she be enjoying learning all this great stuff?? BTW, mom, you are supposed to be enjoying this homeschooling momma stuff too. Just sayin'!!


P.S. RE: the above statement about WG being for 6-8 (or even 9th grade) -- I checked out the various offerings from a number of publishers and really did find this book choice to be fabulous. Not much minutia, but rather, solid information about much of the world that does a great job in honing research skills for the middle schooler. Plus, middle school tends to vary around the nation. Some districts consider middle school to be just 7th and 8th grades, some group 6th through 8th together, others divide it up via 7th through 9th in middle school, and still others 5th through 8th grades. I think they must make the decision based on local demographics and building size more than physiology!
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Re: Advanced ECC work

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:09 am

Thoughts from my experiences with my middle daughter who was an average 4th grader in ECC with older sibling. There are many things you can leave out and not worry about it.

World Geography Pages: you use those with a 4th grader to help teach them how to read a map and draw information from it. do these alongside your child. There is no expectation in the ECC manual that 4th graders do "all" of those pages. Vary the kinds of pages as you do the continents. Leave out any that add too much stress or time to your day. My average 4th grader enjoyed those pages. The pages called "Physical Geography" and "Human Geography" -- think of those similar to how you treated the back side of the state sheets in ADV. Read some of it, highlight or underline one or two neat facts. the object is not to do every page with 4th grader, but to help introduce the idea of reading information and learning to make sense of it. For more helps/hints on specific kinds of pages ... 819#p48819

The TM is clear that 4th and 3rd grader MAY do some of these pages with adult help. It is not a requirement to do all, and definitely not to have them do it on their own. 5 minutes, maybe 1 or 2 days a week, keep it light and do them as a team. Isn't that enough to fit the goal of reading the page and processing information? sure. That's where Light Friday can be nice.

I found WG easy to use in the way that MFW recommends it for 4th grade. My daughter is very average (maybe a bit slow). She liked doing the book. It is about learning skills for research and how to interpret information in various forms. Just use it lightly, work with them as needed. It's ok if you don't use it until South America continent if time is tight.

in some ways my 4th grader used the WG book as part of her "reading comprehension time".

Illustrated World Atlas: you have my permission to leave out any advanced assignments when oldest is in 4th grade and time is tight. Don't worry about the advanced assignments at that point.

Classroom Atlas: same thing. leave out "advanced" if you want to. You might find that as the year progresses, you will be able to more easily add in the advanced readings in different countries/continents. And it will be ok with no regrets that you didn't get it in North America. It's ok.

in fact, anything that says "optional" or "advanced" -- if you want to leave it out for 4th grader, it will be ok. If you want to modify and just help them with part of the advanced assignment, that's ok.

My approach with IWA and CA (formerly called intermediate world atlas) was to have it as couch time to look at maps and just make general observations. Some of the topics were over my average 4th grader's ability, so we didn't worry about it. But I liked how with the "advanced" maps, she picked up the idea that not all places in the world have interstate roads like we do in the US. She learned something. IWA - she liked the pictures and captions. She learned that some places in the world had jobs different from what we do.

we grabbed some Schlessinger Media DVD's about families around the world, biomes around the world. stuff like that. then, the readings in the books were just to have a tiny bit more.

Foreign Language: some of that will be done in ECC with some of the pages in A Trip Around the World, and Another Trip. and even the Wee Sing songs. If you want to do "more foreign language": easy way on that. Pick Spanish for now and turn on subtitles/secondary audio tracks or whatever on DVD and TV shows that you already know and approve. That will be enough.

The pace in ECC really does get easier as you get past the US weeks.

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Re: Advanced ECC work

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:40 am

momtogc wrote:I tend to do the bookwork and let the fun stuff go (hands on and nature walks) but I'd rather do it the other way around. Or in fourth grade should we be more disciplined to complete all the work??
I give you *my* permission to do it "the other way around"!

We really are not a worksheet-y family here, and my ds didn't even do all of those in 8th grade. Some kids love them and do them all. Some families enjoy them together. My feeling is that ECC is a wonderful tool that you should use in the best way for *your* family.

If you are worried about quality education and long-term effects of skipping things, just remember a few things about what you're doing and why, and then you should be fine. The things I think it's good to remember:

1. Kids learn *better* by the fun stuff, so don't think you're benefiting their education by just doing the bookwork.

2. If you sub something out in one place, you should probably be making extra-sure you're doing it in another (e.g. read about it in book basket or do the scheduled science experiment), so you don't end up skipping an entire topic.

3. If you sub things out that are actually age-appropriate (such as not making a little boy write, or not having my 8th grader do many worksheets), then you should probably make sure that child is performing up to his age level in other ways (such as having the non-writer answer oral questions in complete sentences, or my son typing up summaries of things he didn't want to do on worksheets, or doing extra writing in English). Note that this is creating more work for yourself, but sometimes tailoring education to our child is one reason we homeschool :)

4. Later in the year, if you start to feel that there's "not enough," which can happen as your child grows older, remember that there are things in the program that you can now add back in, plus advanced things that you could try. I often read posts on other boards that cause me to think it's easy to forget this.

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)
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Re: Advanced ECC work

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:23 am

Julie in MN wrote:4. Later in the year, if you start to feel that there's "not enough," which can happen as your child grows older, remember that there are things in the program that you can now add back in, plus advanced things that you could try. I often read posts on other boards that cause me to think it's easy to forget this.
yep. true. yep.

There's a lot of difference over a semester or year's time in a child. They might be able to do the advanced assignments in the spring, but not ready in the fall. I'm thinking of a story that my mother in law told me once about when she was enrolling her oldest son (my dh) in Kindy. She went to the classroom in the spring before her son was starting. She saw all of these "so much more advanced kids" and began to be concerned that her "genius" wasn't up for that level of everything! The wise teacher told her "this is after I've worked with these children for almost 8 months! They weren't like this on the first month of school. Your son will grow and it will be fine."

I think this applies to the beginning of each and every school year of their lives!


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Re: Advanced ECC work

Unread post by doubleportion » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:26 am

Just chiming in here with our experience. I did ECC last year with a 3rd grader and she did some of the pages from WG. I think you can start slow in the beginning. The TM says on your notes from Week 3 under Monday regarding WG "3rd and 4th graders may do some of the pages with adult help." So your dd would fall into that category.

In ECC we did the following in WG with a very gifted 3rd grader:

North America (weeks 3-8)- pgs 99, 100, 102 & 103, & 109. She usually used her Atlas that comes in the ECC package to find the locations and know where to label things. The animals we often looked up together or she would do that page after a week of book basket books in the country. She would often remember the animals from her independent readings or from Complete Book of Animals. This was done over the course of a few weeks. Not all those pages in one day or even the same week.

South America (weeks 9-11)- pgs 122, 121, 131

Europe (weeks 12-17)- pgs 90,78, 77, 81,87, 83 (note this was the first time I gave her the Island's page and she only did about half of it with me working along side her the whole time).

Africa (weeks 18-20)- pgs 8, 11, 12, 24, 14-15, 20, 21, 17 (whole page with Mom giving help when needed)

Asia (weeks 21-30)- pgs 34, 33, 37, 46, 43 (she didn't know all of the animals listed, she labeled the ones she knew), 39 (she only labeled 3 islands this time)


Okay I could go on and on. Just remember that there are plenty of other pages in the Student Pages, A Trip Around the World, Another Trip Around the World and all the pages they are narrating back info they have learned. Just remember that WG is a supplement and use it as such. My dd did learn a lot of map reading skills using it and it solidified her understand of longitude and latitude, but that was over the course of the whole year going slowly. Just take it easy. The first few weeks of ECC are very full already, you don't need to squeeze anymore in than necessary. And she is on the young side of the Advanced work. Most of the time the Advanced work is not for a 4th grader.

The first weeks of ECC can feel a little overwhelming and then all of a sudden you hit your stride.

Enjoy your year!


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Re: Advanced ECC work

Unread post by NJCheryl » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:30 pm

We did ECC last year with my 4th grade daughter. She did not really do any of the advanced assignments. She struggles a bit and it just would have been too much for her. She still learned lots this year!


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Re: Advanced ECC work

Unread post by momtogc » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:59 pm

Thank you to everyone for the great ideas. Even though she can grasp a lot, dd is a young fourth grader so I'm sure she will grow into being able to do more of the advanced work as the year goes on. I tend to forget that she does better after the winter break when she seems to move into a higher level of maturity.

The other day, the day I wrote my op, dd told me she was overwhelmed. Looking back, I realize that I gave her a lot of info that day. Today was much better. We took Crystal's advice and did IWA on the couch. We took turns reading and dd seemed to enjoy that. She (we) had been wondering what deciduous trees were. How did I not know that? &) Also, I laid the CA book on the table open to the advanced pages and let her look at and discuss the things that were of interest to her. That worked so much better than me explaining all the maps, etc.

Edie, thank you for sharing the page numbers that you did from WG. I had pulled out a few of them but wasn't sure if it was enough. My dd is a major dawdler and things just take forever sometimes so I love the suggestion someone gave to do those pages for just five minutes. That will probably work well for us, with a timer if needed.

Thank-you again everyone for the comments, for taking time to share what has worked for you and your children. Very helpful! I know we are going to enjoy this year, it's just taking me a couple of weeks to get my mind wrapped around it all. Saturday we had fun making our egg-free chocolate chip World cookie cake. It turned out so cute and so yummy. Wish you all could have been here for a taste! :-)

Postby momtogc » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:11 pm
This week it already feels like things are smoothing out. We are enjoying this study very much!

Thank-you again!
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I got my box! Yay! (And I have questions, of course.)

Unread post by Poohbee » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:50 pm

MelissaM wrote:I'm so excited - we'll be starting ECC next week, hooray!

Ok. I will be using this program with 4th grade dd (and a tagalong ds in K). I'm trying to figure out which assignments she should be able to do - everything marked "advanced" is for 4th and up, right?

How do folks generally handle the World Geography book for this age? I am thinking about just having her do one page per week per unit for now - is that too low of an expectation? I want her to be able to learn to do the research - we haven't done anything like that before, so I'm thinking it might take a good chunk of time to get even one page done.

Also - we don't have a set of encyclopedias; do I need to make weekly library trips and use their reference materials? Generally, I reserve/renew books online and make a trip by myself every couple of weeks to drop off and pick up.

Hi Melissa!

Welcome to MFW! I have kids the same ages as yours, and we are doing ECC and K, as well. :-) My oldest dd is also 9 and in the 4th grade. To be honest, we do very little of the work marked "Advanced" because truthfully, our days are full enough. I use all of the MFW recommendations for math and language arts, except spelling, and I don't add anything extra to our days. Well, I do use a program for reading, but it doesn't add a whole lot of time to our day. We don't even do foreign language this year because I found that our days are plenty full. And also, there is a language activity for each of the countries we study, so I figure that will suffice for our foreign language this year. It usually takes us about 4-5 hours to complete our schoolwork each day. So, we don't do anything marked Advanced, except the World Geography book, unless I feel the Advanced work would be especially beneficial for my dd.

For World Geography, I have done exactly what you propose doing. I expect my dd to complete 1 World Geography page each week. To choose which pages I want her to complete, I looked through all of the pages for a continent, and I chose the ones that I thought would be most important or would be of interest to her. And, we do those same sheets for each continent. Because we usually study each continent for at least 3 weeks, for each continent we do the physical features, cities, and animals pages. Then, if we study a continent for more than 3 weeks, we do the languages, rivers, and mountains pages. When we get to Asia, because we study that continent for so many weeks, we will be able to do a few more of the sheets. But, I have found one World Geography page a week to be plenty for my dd.

As far as reference materials, we make a trip to the library about every 3 weeks. We can keep books for 3 weeks at a time and renew them for another 3 weeks. For reference, I check out nonfiction books about the countries we are studying. If we can't find the answers we need in the books we've checked out or have at home, we look on the Internet.

I am so excited for you that you will be starting ECC next week. I think you are absolutely going to love it! I know we do! Be sure you come back to the board with questions. It's nice for all of us to share our experiences. I come to the board often for advice and ideas.
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ECC advanced?

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:36 am

kacairo1 wrote:My dd is in 3rd grade. Should I be doing the "advanced" portion listed on the teaching grid? or is that only for the older grades?
I'd like to encourage you to re-read and maybe highlight the information in the intro section of the manual about it.

Personally? I do not like the term "advanced" in the ECC manual. I know when I did ECC the first time when my oldest was in 2nd grade, I said "oh.. my child is advanced so she has to do these things". roll your eyes at me and laugh.. I do that too. :) anyway.... I slowly began to realize that it wasn't needed for the stage of learning.

Let's redefine it a bit...
Advanced assignments in ECC can be seen as "those who are in grades 5-8 should be trying these". Grade 4 . maybe with some help and give it a try...... below 4th grade... not really needed to be honest. If you have a younger sibling (not your case) in grades 3 and under who want to try what big sister is doing... then, modify and enjoy and smile.

With the year long "continent research packet", you can introduce some of those if you have a worksheet kind of student who might enjoy it in 3rd grade. that way you don't feel like you've wasted money getting that book. But it could be as simple as reading the material the way you read the back side of the state sheets in adventures...... or doing one page type.

in general... no... the 3rd grader doesn't have to do those advanced assignments in order to be done for the day.


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Re: ECC advanced?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:19 pm

I know of some moms who used part of the advanced stuff or modified bits of it for younger kids, but I ended up shelving anything that was "advanced" for my third grader part-way through and we had a great year in which she learned a TON. My dd is bright and loves worksheets, but she just didn't need the extra work at that age. If we had extra time, we spent it playing the geography game or looking up different recipes for the country being studied. The book basket list in ECC is fabulous, too. My dd learned much more from picture books that were way below her grade level than she would have from doing above-level assignments.

If you've got CC going on as well as ECC, I recommend skipping all of the advanced (5th - 8th grade level) work in ECC. My opinion.
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Re: ECC advanced?

Unread post by kacairo1 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:21 pm

Thanks, Ladies! Yes, that seems to be my plan so far. We're just finishing up week 2 but I haven't really done any of the advanced items so I guess I'll stick with that plan. Thanks for your thoughts!
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