Organization for MFW ECC - Exploring Countries and Cultures

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This year we will detour into My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures. I've been known around here to spend a little too much time in office supply stores buying supplies. It didn't take too long to organize this guide. Fortunately MFW provides student notebook pages. I did print off other things that many generous MFW moms had made. This is how I put it all together:

This is my shiny new guide, the student notebook, and my master schedule.

As folks around here know, I'm always pushing these Staples Better Binders. They are so worth the money! These things are indestructible. I've never had to throw one away. You can recycle your old binders at Staples and get $2 back for each one. That helps the cost some at least. They go on sale during back to school time, so grab them then, or you'll go broke! I bought the 1 1/2 inch size for the student notebook. At the beginning of each week I take out the pages that will be used and put them all on a clip board. These binders are too big to work out of, but they make a nice place to store everything in one place.

Another thing I love over at Staples is their Better Dividers. Again, these things last forever. I always recycle the ones I used from previous years. I love that there are printable labels to use. You can find that template here.

I've divided the binder into these sections:
  • Memory Verses
  • World
  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Antarctica
  • Bible Copywork
  • Hero Tales
  • Geography Vocabulary
  • Geography Game
  • Fast Facts
I included the memory verses in the first section.

The next tab has all of the pre and post test world geography pages, and anything else that doesn't belong in the continent sections.

I pre-printed all A Trip Around the World Pages, and Another Trip Around the World Pages and included them in each continent section, so we won't have to do that in the future. This is the North America section.

South America






I'm so thankful for the creator of the blog Mama Jenn. She created these great Bible copywork pages.

She also made Hero Tales copywork pages. I like that there is a place to draw a picture.

Additionally she made geography vocabulary pages. All of these activities are scheduled in the MFW guide. 

The next section holds the Geography game pieces, though I may take these out to put in the binder I keep mine in.

The last section holds the Fast Facts drill sheets. We will probably not use these as much as CLE already has daily math drills.

I laminated the Geography Game instructions, boards, and game pieces. I 3 hole punched them and put them in the binder. This binder also holds the Currency Kit conversion pages.

I laminated all of the game pieces and separated them by continent.

The new Currency Kit did not come cut out. This literally took (hours.) I chose not to laminate the pieces as I will not be using this guide again in the future. Even if I were, I'm not sure I would have. It took long enough!

This is my master schedule. I like having an official record that includes all the things we do. I bound it with my fancy new ProClick Binding Machine! If you'd like a cover for your teacher resources, mine is here.

I keep attendance and field trip logs in the front.

This is our official attendance sheet for the year.

This is where we will keep a log of the field trips we take. There will be plenty of fun things we will get to do with this guide! We're going to have lots of fun!

 I look forward to getting to know you MFW ladies. I have a whole lot to learn about this new guide. I hope to learn from your successes, and maybe I will be able to share some of mine. We start school in 4 weeks! See you soon!


  1. As always, another great organization post! Looks colorful, pretty, and fun!

  2. could I ask you a question about your weekly schedule? I love the set up!! but I am not as genius with templates... how did you create this? any chance you have a blank version you could share with just the headings on the top and left?
    next question: did you type out everything from the TM (of course adding your own subjects like Grammar or Math) ... how long did this take you?! And what are the benefits of investing in this as opposed to simply using the TM as a checklist? I guess I'm new at this and not sure if I can take the time to type it all up, but if it is extremely valuable in the long run, i might kick myself for not being so organized in the beginning.
    thanks for sharing your photos! and the template for the front of your master schedule! I printed it yesterday and it looks so pretty! may you be blessed for your generous sharing of your hard work!

  3. I actually had meant to make a blank template that people could use if they wanted. I will work on that :) There is no need to do it though if you are happy with using your guide. I like having all of the elements typed out, but you could totally just use your ECC TM in that way and write things in if you like. I like having a permanent record of what we've done in case I ever have to show it to someone. I won't use this guide again, and want to be able to sell it in good condition when we're done with it.

  4. Hi! I'm trying CLE math with my 2 kids this year. Are those flashcards in the boxes in the pic from CLE? Your son likes CLE? I'm just not a " mathy" person, so I hope it works out. What do you love about it?

  5. Those cards in the boxes are the CLE flash cards. They're scheduled in each lesson. I wouldn't say I'm mathy either :) I originally though I'd only like mastery math, but spiral has been so much better for my kids. I like that CLE introduces small bites, and then reviews them. This approach could frustrate really strong math students. My oldest was struggling, and CLE was the first thing we found that worked well for him, so I went ahead and purchased it for Silas as well.

  6. I am new to homeschooling this year and getting ready to start ECC with my kids next week. Bless you for sharing your organizational methods and these wonderful resources! Thank you!

  7. Looks beautiful! I pinned for later - planning on doing ECC with Mali and Elli when my little Bo is old enough for FIAR. :)

  8. Oh that's exciting! I wish you were ahead of me. You have all the best ideas :)

  9. Do the Geo Puzzle games come with MFW ECC or did you add that supplement? I didn't see it listed in the package contents. We'll be starting ECC in the Fall. Thank you.

  10. We added them. They are worth the money and a great alternative to the geography game if you are short on time.

  11. As I'm planning our first year using this (thanks to you! *grin*), I'm curious about whether or not you used Exploring World Geography much? I know you used it for third grade, which is what we'll be using it for as well. I'm on the fence - I can't pay full price and I'm having a hard time getting it used...and it's optional at this level. Thoughts? Thanks! -Joy

    1. We didn't use it very much at all. I think we only used the animal pages. I think you can skip it for this age. There is plenty to do with out it. I hope you have a great year. It was my son's favorite school year so far :)

  12. "I pre-printed all A Trip Around the World Pages, and Another Trip Around the World Pages and included them in each continent section, so we won't have to do that in the future. This is the North America section."

    Can you explain where you got these pages please?

    1. I just mean I copied them out of the Trip Around the World books ahead of time according to which were scheduled in the ECC TM :)

  13. What size binder did you end up with for all your planning pages?

    1. I put all the student notebook pages in a 1 1/2 inch Better Binder from Staples :)

  14. What is in your Master Schedule? I'm drooling over here! Do you a downloadable file for it? I would love to recreate something like that.

    1. It was just where we kept a record of our daily schedule and attendance. I don't have a file for what was in ours, but I did share a blank template like the one we used on here :)


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