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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!
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.
- 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!
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.
- 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.
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!
- Nothing too heavy for me to carry by myself (thankful that I have two men that go to CC with me)
- 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?
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.