What’s On My Bookshelf: Challenge I Resources

The Classical Conversations Challenge I program already has a robust line-up of materials required for the seminars. At first, I didn't think there would be much more in the way of extra resources to recommend. As I thought back through all that I learned in Challenge I, I realized that there are more helps I could share. The good news is that many of them are free online resources!

As with all of my resource book lists, these items are all optional. Sometimes, in order to wrap your head around something, you need a little more help. So here are my helps for Challenge I, strand by strand:


In the fall, you work through Traditional Logic which feels like a breeze after Challenge B logic!

In the spring, students read through Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew several time in a reader's theater sort of way. It's a great introduction to the language of Shakespeare, and it's just simply funny. The kids love it!

Here are some great extra resources:

  • Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's version of The Taming of the Shrew is an excellent full length movie version of the play.
  • At the end of the semester, students compete a project centering around Shakespeare's life and times. Having some reference books like this one are great. However, many of these can be found at the library.


In the first semester, students read through American documents and discuss the beliefs of the founding fathers. Here are a couple of our favorite resources:

The second semester is spent studying Economics.

  • We loved playing the stock market game
  • Career Finder is a great place to look for careers and salaries for the cost of living project.
  • For other general economics questions, we used DK's The Economics Book as a resource.
  • A fun stock market simulating game is PIT - we loved playing it a couple of times in class. It's fast pace, and the whole class could play at the same time. It was fun to watch the different strategies emerge.

Policy Debate:

Exposition/Composition - American Literature

It's always interesting to see how directors turn classic books into stories for the big screen. Since they are adaptations, students will enjoy comparing the original story to the modified one. I don't own all of these, but many of them are at our local library. Movies for after you've read the book:

Latin - Henle 1

  • Declension Charts and Verb Charts
  • Henle Latin I Study Guide Units III-V by Memoria Press (I love the answer key in the back)
  • Cassell's Latin Dictionary
  • 501 Latin Verbs
  • Latin with Andy - a video resource that connects the skills learned in Essentials to Learning Latin. If you feel confident at the first of the year in repeating, then you probably don't need extra help until Lesson 24 when things start to be new again. The membership also gives you access to all of the printable resources like charts to copy, printable flashcards, and vocabulary lists and quizzes.
  • YouTube Vocabulary Videos- if you want a little help learning and reviewing that Latin vocabulary, check out Andy's YouTube channel which features vocabulary videos that correlate with the Henle Latin vocabulary.

Math - Algebra 1

Research - Physical Science

There isn't much more we used in Challenge I than the text and our lab journal. When they write a formal lab report, it was really helpful to have this guide:

Challenge I is a fantastic year that opens doors to freedom to become lifelong learners.  I learned so much journeying through these fantastic materials with my kids.

Looking for resources from another level?

Challenge A

Challenge B

Challenge I

Challenge II

Challenge III

Challenge IV


  1. Julie Fairall on April 18, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    Do you happen to have a wonderful list like this for Challenge 2 and would be willing to share? Thank You!

    • Betsy on April 20, 2019 at 2:26 pm

      I don’t have one yet, but I’ll be working on it soon! Blessings!

  2. Amanda on April 19, 2019 at 5:22 am

    This is fantastic! I would love to see your ideas for Challenges II-IV as well! 😉

    • Betsy on April 20, 2019 at 2:25 pm

      I’ll get to work on that!

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