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 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:
- Playing With Plays: Taming of the Shrew for Kids - This is a simple version of the play to start off with. The great thing is it is broken down by number of actors to accommodate various sizes of groups.
- Shakespeare, The Animated Tales - Taming of the Shrew - I think this claymation version of the play is an excellent introduction to the story.
- Tales From Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb is a great resource for abridged versions of Shakespeare's works.
- Shakespeare 16 Book Boxed Set of Children's Stories - This is an excellent set of stories for any home library. While you only read Taming of the Shrew in Challenge I, you will be reading six other plays in Challenge III, and this set will come in handy again!
- I've learned so much from Peter Leithart's Brightest Heaven of Invention: A Christian Guide to Six Shakespeare Plays. This book is part of the Challenge III curriculum and really give excellent insight into the Christian themes that develop in the play. I've realized the power of words as I've read through this play. It is really beautiful.
- 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:
- Everything You Need to Know About American History - I loved the maps in this one as we worked on drawing our own westward expansion maps.
- I also loved my markable map from our Sonlight days.
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.
- I really liked Christy Shipe's Introduction to Policy Debate as a more in depth resource for understanding the in's and out's of policy debate.
- The Debate Trivium Table is an excellent tool for walking through a 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:
- Johnny Tremain
- Call of the Wild
- Billy Budd
- Red Badge of Courage
- Through Gates of Splendor
- End of the Spear - this continues the story of the Auca Indians after the deaths of Nate Saint and Jim Elliot and their fellow missionary friends.
- The Grandfathers - This is a cool follow up to Through Gates of Splendor. Jessie Saint, grandson of Nate Saint who was also killed that day with Jim Elliot, shares the story of how the man who killed his grandfather becomes his adopted grandfather. It's pretty fascinating.
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
- Chuck Colson - How God Turned Around Nixon's Hatchet Man (free on YouTube) - watch anything by Chuck Colson. He's incredible to learn from!
- Do not watch the Starship Troopers movie. It's not worth your time.
- To Kill a Mockingbird - free on Netflix
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
- We've used Nicole the Math Lady for help with Saxon math. Her videos are short and engaging.
- Everything you need to know about Math homework
- Understanding Math
- Classical Conversations Math Trivium Table
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?
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.