Friday, August 19, 2011

MFW-ECC - Week 3 - North America

 The excitement is building...just one more week before we leave the United States and head to Mexico ;)

Some of the highlights from this week were...

Nature Walk 

We could have done our nature walk in our yard in the morning, but 'yours truly' had the bright idea of heading to the park that afternoon. *FAIL* It was only 107 degrees that afternoon and after being there only 5 minutes, we had gone through every bit of our water. 10 minutes later and the kids were zapped and their poor little faces were splotchy red. Our nature "walk" ended up being more of a nature "glance" and we high-tailed it outta there to Sonic to catch the last few minutes of happy hour :)

Global Art

Because the Wee Sing song for the week was a Native American one, we opted to do the sand paintings and the kids *loved* it. 

A drew a picture of she and her brother. J drew a picture of a baseball game/field. S drew an hour glass and various shapes/designs.
If you would like to do this project, you'll need:
white cardstock, paint brushes in various sizes, glue, cup of water (to add to the glue), paper plate, & colored sand
We got the colored sand from Hobby Lobby for about $6. MUCH easier than trying to color it yourself. Maybe I took some of the fun out of it, but due to time constraints, this was the best choice for us. (This sand was originally $10, but we used a 40% off coupon.) Inside the box were 12 different sand colors, and of course, between all the kiddos, they had to use EVERY color. We used very little and had a ton left over, so we are saving it for another global art project or 2 in the future that calls for sand as well.

Some things we have changed or have done differently...

Hero Tales
This book has become our new 'read aloud'. The kiddos were not really getting into "Kingdom Tales", so we shelved that book for now.

I have talked to a few people who have had some difficulty with this book. I have a 2nd grader who is doing ECC with two 4th graders, so from the first time I introduced this book, I have simplified things and only focused on the necessary. 

Typically, I'll at least read the opening paragraph of each section. Then, we focus mainly on the bold orange words contained in that section. We may or may not do the green and blue areas depending on difficulty and/or time. Or, we may opt to simplify those areas and only touch on a few key things.

{Just to give you an example, on Tuesday, I read the opening paragraph on page 39 down to the orange word 'forest'. Then I skipped down and mentioned the layers of the forest and briefly described those (emergent, canopy, understory, shrub layer, herb layer, and floor) while I drew along on our large dry-erase board. [Another idea could be to show internet pics of the different layers...there are lots of good ones out there.] Then, we discussed a few of the animals, birds, and insects that might live in each layer. [If you live near a forest (or lots of trees) another idea would be to go on an 'extra' nature walk and see first-hand what animals you could find living in those sections...document by taking pictures, drawing pictures, or simply talk as you walk.) We skipped the 'tree anatomy' and the 'taking it further' sections. 

We also skipped the United States worksheet on Wednesday and had the kiddos put together a United States puzzle instead.

I seem to be 'skipping' a lot here lately, but if I can find an alternative to doing yet another worksheet or workbook page, I'm gonna go with that option first. And if I feel an area has already been adequately covered and discussed, then we'll cut out the worksheets that seem redundant.

If you missed our highlights from Week 2, you can check them out here

This post has been linked up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers


  1. Soooo glad you're working ahead of me, Pauline! Otherwise, I'm sure we would be out in the heat next week! (Love the pic of their little red faces! They look exhausted!!)

    We're enjoying Kingdom Tales, but no so much POE. I'll try taking your suggestions and lecturing it instead of reading it. Maybe that'll help.

    Miss you! Ready for co-op to start back up again! : )

  2. Hmmmm... I wonder who you have been talking to. I am thinking you wrote this post just for me. I took a step back this week and we will "lose a week", but so glad to take time to gain a better attitude and work through my problem areas with ECC. It will just be a bonus that you will be one week ahead of us now, so beware I might be asking you lots of questions. ;) --Shannon at

  3. Jennifer - I am ready for co-op too and I know my kids are ready. I'm trying to get as many lesson plans done as I can before it starts. I think if I can stay ahead, then things won't seem so crazy when everything is in full swing. I miss that you are not ahead of me in I can't "borrow" from you :( You have so many wonderful ideas and are so creative ;)

    Shannon - bring on the questions :) Don't know if I can answer them all, but I sure will be glad to help wherever I can. I have gotten so much help from everyone else already so much this year. I am excited to be a part of so many MFW blogs and forums...everyone has been so helpful when I have encountered issues too. That is what I love about the homeschooling community :)

  4. What an excellent time saver! I would purchase the colored sand too. :) Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a great year with ECC.

  5. We had to make some adjustments to our ECC too :) I'll have to check out the colored sand at Hobby Lobby...thx!!

  6. I super excited to have found your ECC Blog. I will have a 3rd and 5th(special ed)doing this program next year. I love that you have geared it down to their level. I'll be watching.


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