Carting it All to Community Day at Classical Conversations

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Once you hit Essentials, all of the sudden you're faced with the dilemma of how to carry all of your gear to and from your community.  Often, you'll see a fleet of rolly carts rolling into a church as the classroom moves in.  When we were in middle/high school, we had lockers to leave heavy books that we didn't need for homework.  Since all of the work is done at home, but all of the work is talked about in community, all of the books need to be both places.

Over the years we've tried several methods for bringing books to and fro, and over the years we've expanded what we bring to community as we have moved up into the Challenge programs.  So here's a review of what we've used and what we liked about it!

Cartingit All

1. Good ole Back Pack...nice and heavy!

Even for an Essentials student (or mom), bringing your gear can get heavy.  When you reach Challenge, a well organized kid can pull off a back pack if they know exactly what they need to bring each week and how to pack it well.

Good ole Back Pack


  • Easy to pack in the car
  • made to be easily carried
  • everything is contained
  • Carries easily up and down stairs


  • Stuff gets bent or lost
  • requires loading and unloading...more opportunity to forget something
  • Gets heavy and hard to carry

2. Rolly Carts

My first year as a mother in CC, I tutored Foundations and had a kid in Essentials.  There was no way that all I needed to get to class would fit in a bag, so I invested in a rolly cart with storage pockets.  I've used this cart for the past five years and it's still going strong!

Rolly Cart

I also inherited this small purple cart from my mother-in-law three years ago.  It holds less, but I like it because it folds up and stores easily.


  • Carries stuff easily
  • Keeps things sitting upright and easy to reach
  • Easy to organize
  • Holds much more than a back pack


  • Heavy to get in and out of the car
  • If you buy a cheap one, they break quickly
  • More expensive
  • Bulky to store at home
  • Tricky to carry if you have to go up stairs and don't have elevator access

3. Magna Cart & Crates

When my son and I moved up into Challenge, my husband was tutoring Essentials, so he took over my red rolly cart, and I got the purple one.  We then had the challenge of deciding if we wanted to buy another cart.  My son decided he just wanted a crate - nice and cheap! It has a home in the school room, so he can work out of it and never have to pack and unpack.  It's really helped with not forgetting books on community day. That first year he just carried his crate in and out, but the next year, I added a crate for the extra items I brought to class that wouldn't fit in my cart, and we got a hand truck to haul it all.  This has been my least favorite solution as the folding and unfolding of the hand truck has become more difficult over time.

Magna Cart & Crates


  • Easy to store
  • Crates keep stuff together during the week
  • Holds a lot of materials
  • Hand truck makes carrying easier


  • Magna Cart didn't last a year before we started having trouble with it
  • Tricky to balance crates on the hand truck
  • More than once, the crate was dumped in the church parking lot *tear

4. Dolly & Really Useful Boxes

It's getting serious over here this year.  My son and I are in Challenge I, my husband is moving up to Challenge A, and both of my girls will be in Essentials.  The other challenge of carting all of your stuff is fitting it all in the car!  We've changed our strategy this year, and we've looked for a solution to carry all of our stuff, and here's what we came up with.

Dolly & Really Useful Boxes (1)

We got a dolly and a couple of Really Useful Boxes that we will stack the crates on.  This picture isn't complete because we'll need a bungee cord to secure it all to the dolly.  No missing us on community day!

Rolling in to CC day


  • Streamlined
  • Nothing too heavy for me to carry by myself (thankful that I have two men that go to CC with me)  


  • bulky
  • Lots of pieces

I'll let you know more about our final solution as the year continues!


What do you use to cart all of your stuff to community day?



  1. Rachel on August 22, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Hey, is that the dolly from Sams Club that folds flat? I just got one of those for Brett to tote all my science and art supplies, and Nolans Pack n Play! He’ll also use it to help my tutors bring in there gear as well as the childcare workers who bring bins of toys each week! (I think it will be really handy and hope it lasts!)

    • Betsy on August 23, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      I got it on Amazon. It doesn’t have a handle, but we stack it so high it doesn’t need one! That is a great idea for Foundations directors…you have a lot to haul as well. I love not having to carry anything myself. It’s a good way to put your boy to work!

  2. Jaleah on January 28, 2016 at 7:18 am

    I have two kiddos with only one in Essentials. I also tutor Foundations. I can fit everything we need for the day in one large tote from Thirty-One….including lunch bags and water bottles. This assumes that we have no large props or other items for presentations. My supply bin for class is left at the church. I do have to cart my tr-fold whiteboard back and forth.

    • Betsy on January 28, 2016 at 7:54 am

      That is awesome! Those Thirty-One bags can be really amazing.

  3. Jennifer on April 13, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    Sewing machine carrier on wheels. It has pockets and i can hold foundations and essentials books and, since I sub, i have my box of games for review as well. It has saved my back and shoulders this year! I bought it at Joann’s with a 60%off coupon!

  4. Kristen on April 14, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    This is great! As a Foundations tutor for years, I did the scrapbooking rolling tote. As a F & E director now I’ve used a wagon from Costco that folds up. The hallway during Essentials is so funny as it’s full of wagons ♡

  5. Holly on July 15, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Hi there, Betsy!

    I’m looking into carting it all to CC next year with 3 in Challenge! Thank you for this helpful article!

    Can you tell me what sizes of the Really Useful Boxes you have in this picture?

    Is that size truly enough to fit everything your Challenge Students need with the lid on or do they have a few things that don’t fit?

    How do you store these at home?

    Would it be feasible for ALL Challenge 2 materials to live inside this box with the lid shut and use it daily for working out of?

    Thank you for your help!!


    • Betsy on July 15, 2019 at 7:19 pm

      These are the 32 liter boxes ( Binders are just a touch big to stand up straight, so you have to angle them in a bit! We mostly used these for carting microscopes, so we stored the boxes in the garage. However, I do think it would hold all of your Challenge 2 materials…maybe not all of the readers all of the time, but you don’t need them all the time, so it would probably work!

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