Monday, May 5, 2014

Our 2014 year with ECC and MFW 1st

We ended the year of ECC (Exploring Countries and Cultures), 1st grade (2nd time) and also Pre-K. I really enjoyed this year and these are some things I thought that worked well this year and some that I would improve.

1st Grade and Pre-K

1. Daily Calendar
I cannot say how much I love the daily calendar.
This was for the 1st grader. I love especially the daily math. It started easy (because of the smaller number) and added up. And because of this, I found my girl was all ready for Singapore Math 1B three quarter into the year. Her understanding on place values was strong and so was her addition with double digits. It also "taught" her (by means of practicing everyday) money and time! It was very very cool.

I compiled the calendar pages from here and here 

For the Pre-K'ler, at the end of the year she traced her letters very well and knew her numbers. What a great way to learn!
I got the resource from here

2. Dry Erase Crayons and protective sheets
I found the dry erase crayons on protective sheet extra helpful! The crayons were MUCH easier to clean than the dry erase markers and they come in more colors.(and they have no odor!) This year, instead of laminating, I tried protective sheets for all her "worksheets" and I LOVE THEM!!!!! So good, easy to clean and reusable (and MUCH MUCH less work than laminating)

3. 1st Grade Bible Notebook art
This year I attempted to find more art for the bible notebook. On many days she drew too, but the art was extra fun for the Pre-K'ler to join in. 

4. Letter of the Week
I love this site that helped me a lot with the Pre-K letters. I arranged her learning the letters according to the ECC schedule (eg, C for Canada or I for India etc) and I got great ideas for the letter art that she adored!!

Some other consistent resources I used for the letter/s of the week were these and they were great!
First School First Alphabet Tracing (and word search in the latter half)
Letter hunt (all Erica's stuff are well designed materials. I have used/will continue to use for K)



1. Hero Tales
I don't know why this comes up right away, but I really do like this book. It was easy to read for my 3rd grader and it gave important details and learning about the Christian heros.

2. Habitat Dioramas
I liked the fact that Science this year was tied to biomes of the country. It was a wonderful way to learn about the countries. Living Encyclopedia is a great resource and I do LOVE this extra resource that I happened to get for free 2 years back. I would have to remember to use the worksheet with the dioramas next time

3. Geography Game
Yes, we LOVED our geography game in this house (including mama who is learning about the maps of the world first time). It helped SOOOO much in remembering the map!!!

4. Crafts/Food/Extras
I think all the "peripheral" things of ECC (even extras, like crafts or food or games etc) made ECC really fun, especially when I had smaller ones tagging along. They were not always easy to do, because it took extra work and I think the next time I do ECC I will try even harder on the food part.
Rosemaling for Norway

Centerpiece for Mexico

Tea time for Canada

So...what didn't work as well (or that I would like to improve?)
  • Geography Vocabulary - though I think it's wonderful, I feel like it being a task to be done every week and he didn't remember anything. Maybe the next time around he'll be bigger and I'll expect him to retain more of the information

  • YWAM books - some of them were really hard to finish through and some of them (content wise) were a bit above his head. BUT! I learnt with the latter books it helped to give the boy 3 reading questions per chapter so he could sort of at least make sure he was understanding. We didn't do this as read-aloud (he read on his own) because of the little ones (not enough time). Even so, he said he enjoyed George Muller's stories. Maybe next time I'll try these for the younger ones
  • Memory Pages - I thought they would be fun for him, and they were (especially putting the air ticket on) and I think it helped to consolidate all we learnt for that country. What I didn't realize was it was hard to print the pictures right away so it always felt the work was not finished.

  • Properties of Ecosystems - many felt this book dry for the younger ones. I have to admit sometimes I did skip the chapters. But what I did was to skip paragraphs and read the "important" ones (that is, the ones that taught the "terms" he "needed" to know for that chapter) I am sure when he is older this book will make a lot of sense. I actually do like the way it is written, pointing always to the Creator.
  • Wee-Sing - At first it was SOOO fun to listen to the songs, then I got lazy. So, maybe next time I have to try harder.

Special Links
If you'll like to see how I planned for my year, here they are

And all the good stuff (links) on Pinterest

And last (but not least, because books are soooo integral to MFW!!), our booklists

And in case you are curious about what "other" books we read for they are

1 comment:

  1. Lindsay, I don't know why your comment does not show here anymore. But I try to fix the link (which seems to be the same)

    If it still does not work, search scholastic diorama habitat, they are onsale for $5 at the moment (1/6/2018), I got it for free before.