What’s on my Bookshelf: Challenge A Resources

When I first learned of Classical Conversations, the aspect of the program that really excited me was the vision for homeschooling through high school.  By the time I made it to an info meeting, I had felt the immense burden of planning a course through a wilderness that I had never explored.  It was a great blessing to find a community of homeschoolers who had blazed a trail for me to follow.  Another great blessing is that once you reach the Challenge program, the curriculum is complete.  You don't need to supplement anything.


That being said, here's a list of other books I have that have been helpful in implementing the program.  Again, they are simply resources, not supplements.  Everything in the program can be implemented without any of these options.  I'm not listing the required materials...for that list, click here.





With my last child I finally owned that "teacher" role as a parent since I was not her tutor. Over the summer we wrote down anything that we ran across that we found interesting like a tray lily pad, tawny frogmouth owl, or a seal. We used these for our research inspiration for the first portion of Challenge A. I just fit our interests into the recommended research for the week, and if they go along with what was recommended, we just went off roading! It made her research truly meaningful and interesting to her.

I was still thankful to have some science research books to draw from at home:

Science Fair -

Body Systems



  • Challenge A is shifting to analogical reasoning by focusing on analogies. I love Animalogy: Animal Analogies as a fun and beautiful way to simply introduce the concept of analogies. 


  • The Question by Leigh Bortins - This book is about the dialectic stage and discusses many of the books and topics studied in Challenge A.
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy - Do you want to have the hard conversations with your kids about the world we live in and their faith?  This book really helps give insight into the way our world thinks and how to combat the lies with Truth from God's Word.  Excellent resource...but read with friends!

Going over these books makes me thankful for my three children enjoying the richness of Challenge A.  I think I have the best deal as the parent, because I get three passes at each of the Challenge levels with each of my kids...they only see it once!

My ultmate list of Classical Conversations Resources for Challenge A

Looking for resources from another level?

Challenge A

Challenge B

Challenge I

Challenge II

Challenge III

Challenge IV


  1. Samantha on July 21, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Have you seen this youtube video about drawing the US? How would you compare it to the Draw the USA book?
    We will be learning to draw the USA this year, so I am trying to figure out the best resources to use for our co-op.


    • Betsy on July 22, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      I have seen these videos and they are very cool. One difference is that the Draw the USA book starts from the North East and works south and west, whereas the videos start with the Northwest and work eastward. In the book, she models the drawings as if on a 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, so she gives hints on how to keep your map to scale. I really like how she simplifies the shapes of the states for ease of copying. Sometimes kids get lost in drawing the maps because they want it to match all of the squiggles. They both seem like great resources, it just depends on if you want to be learning from a book or video and for a price or free!

      • Samantha on July 27, 2015 at 8:22 am

        thanks Betsy. I will let you know which way we go. I do like the idea of starting in the northeast since that follows better with our memory work.

  2. Paula P. on June 15, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    In order to make my job easier, you just need to email me daily about anything related to Chall. A. Ha!

    Thanks for this. So helpful’

    • Betsy on June 15, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      You’re so sweet! I should round up all of my Challenge A posts and share them with our training group. Glad this helped 🙂

  3. Nicole on February 6, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    Hi, just wondering if the Challenge A guide teaches how to draw the geological locations itself and also the science aspect of it? I only ask because what you have listed as additional help.

    Thank you

    • Betsy on February 20, 2020 at 9:37 pm

      The Challenge A guide divides the countries and features into sections and gives you a black line map to observe/learn from. It doesn’t teach directly because you really don’t need a guide to that. I didn’t have any of the draw the world books with my first round of Challenge A, and we managed! We actually worked really hard to learn it. The extra guides I listed just make the process a little easier. I really appreciated that. The same goes with the science drawing (is that what you’re asking about?) When you have to look at the body systems and copy them, you have to pay very close attention. This helps you learn! The good news is that they don’t have to be masterpieces! Hope this helps!

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