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organizing Classical Conversations materials

Welcome, friend. This is Day 3 of a 5 part series on organizing Classical Conversations. Click below to see the other posts and read more about what we have planned!



I love to find practical and applicable ways to organize materials. Organization leads to a much more efficient school day. Classical Conversation (CC) materials, are no exception. However, they do present a challenge. The timeline cards are big and numerous. The review cards are small and easy to get mixed-up. So, I came up with a plan that works for me!

Below is my shelf. On the right, you will see Rachel’s notebook and a magazine file (from ikea) with her journals, her weekly assignment sheet, and her math CD’s. Next to them are books that I have selected for her to read. Each student has their own cube of materials on this shelf.

On the left is one of several cubes for CC. This one houses daily materials: the guide, the timeline cards, the review cards, and applicable literature for the first 6 weeks of class. Next to this shelf (not pictured), I keep another magazine file of notebooking pages that I have pre-printed for each subject. (More about that tomorrow.)

You probably know that the timeline cards are new this year. My friend found this awesome Sterilite box at Target. It’s just the right size for the timeline cards and the science arts and facts cards. I simply purchased a set of 5×8 dividers at an office supply store. The dividers come a little larger that 5×8, so I cut them down a bit to fit in the box. Then I divided the cards by periods, as they are divided on the corner of the card and in the timeline song. Finally, the science cards are at the back of the box.

Once our program starts and cards are used, I will mark our spot with a paper clip. That way I can keep track of which cards have already been taught. My children can remove a section of cards and work with them easily this way. In the past, I have had the cards divided by week, but I decided not to do that this time. I am going to focus on the large chunks of the time periods that are listed. I think this will help them to better place the event in history and will cause less stumbling on the breaks between weeks.

Many people don’t own the review cards at home and that’s ok. I purchased them mostly for tutoring my class, but I do enjoy having them at home when it comes to helping my children work toward memory master. I have them in a “really useful box” that I found at Office Depot. It is 0.7 liters. The cards are divided by subject and bound with silver 1inch book rings. We use these cards mostly for independent review of entire subjects. The child will take a subject set and quiz themselves like flashcards.

Have you found a great way to organize CC materials? Please share it with us!

Organizing Classical Conversations is sponsored by Scholaric Planner. My favorite feature of the planner is that I can drop repeating lessons into the plan without coming back each day to record it. I simply plan in that math curriculum and each day it comes up in the plan with the next lesson. That, friends, is a huge time saver!

This series is written in conjunction with 22 other bloggers to bring you 5 days of Organizing. Click below to check out the other great topics…

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  1. Jenna says

    I can’t tell you how thrilled and excited I am to see that I am already using one of the same organization methods that you are…you know I am always wishing to have your “skillz” when it comes to organization! Although we aren’t doing CC this year, I use the same cubbie shelf for organizing our materials. One column (3 cubbies) holds materials used exclusively for R (math, language arts), one column holds materials exclusively used for M (math, language arts), and the third column holds materials that both kids do together (history, science, geography, Bible) as well as books they both use, even if they do them at different times (spelling). It’s working well for us this year.

    • says

      You are so funny, Jenna. Who knew I had “skills” :-) Have you tried the magazine files at ikea? They are super cheap and relatively sturdy for the price. My last set lasted 2 years. This current set is brand new, but honestly there were only a few boxes that needed to be replaced. I organize the rest of our school materials much like you do!

      • says

        I’m not sure what the magazine files are for…just to keep composition notebooks and other light weight folders/magazines/papers from falling down? I can see the benefit of that, although honestly it has never occurred to me that it was a problem to just have them “slumped” against the side of the cube. See? That’s proof that I am not a naturally organized person. Stuff like that doesn’t bother me and it never even occurs to me that I might want a way to try to “fix” it, since I didn’t realize it was broken in the first place!

        • says

          Well they do keep them standing up, yes. But it’s more for organization than anything. The boxes keep like things together because they are labeled and the kids know where to put them. It also seems to save space.

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