Aug 3, 2013

Organizing Your CC Year - for Newbies



If you've been doing Classical Conversations for a while and have your own system that is working for you, don't waste your time reading this post. Really. Go check out YvanaSuzanne, or Beth, or take a look at the new Trivium Tuesday posts. It's okay; I don't mind. :)

However, if you're new to CC and don't really know how to begin organizing everything, I'd like to share with you a system that is working for me. Use it, change it, or point and laugh at it, but maybe it will be helpful to another family. :)

Let me preface all this by saying that a year ago, when I was brand new and struggling to wrap my head around what I had gotten myself into, I spent hours (literally!) on Brandy's awesome site, Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood. Most of my organizational ideas come straight from her (see her post here). So, thank you so much, Brandy!

Okay, first things first. Since you're still reading, I'm assuming you're new to CC. By now, you should probably have your Foundations Guide - 4th Edition. Since this will be loved and used for many years to come, you might want to protect this big boy. Get a binder and dividers. Use scissors and cut the comb binding to free the pages, then put them in page protectors. Once you've done that, you can breathe a little sigh of relief; spilled coffee or glitter glue close to your FG will no longer give you a heart attack.


I LOVE the Better Binders from Staples. They use rubber to reinforce the spine, so they're very long-lasting. A 1 1/2 inch Better Binder is the perfect size for the FG. I also love the Avery Big Tab Pocket Dividers. The divider tabs stick out past the page protectors! Thanks, Tammi, for introducing me to those this year - completely awesome! (And by the way, you probably don't know my friend Tammi, but she so could have her own blog! I get so many great ideas from her, and her Classical Notebook is insanely awesome!)



And here's my little command center in the kitchen of essential binders and resources.

Okay, so now that you've got your FG squared away, my next recommendation is to start a Cycle 2 box:


I bought this box from Staples, too (of course); I think it's around $16 (but I bought this one on sale for $6! Look for the sales!)


I have a hanging file folder for every week of CC. When I see something on C3 (CC Connected, on the CC website), Pinterest, or anywhere else that I think will work for that week, I print it off and file it. Done. I also file any small books that I'd like to read that week. Just to show you an example, here's what's in my Week 2 file:


I have my pin map pins ready to go from Sola Gratia Mom's Enrichment Teaching Plans, Science Snippets and History Highlights from C3, Diet Diner (file folder game about Herbivores, Carnivores, and Omnivores), skip counting mazes from Confessions of a Homeschooler (for Mary's Classical Notebook), History sentence copy work from C3, Illustrate the History Sentence worksheet from C3, tri-fold board pages from C3, and a map coloring book I picked up at a scratch-and-dent store. Basically, anything having to do with Week 2 goes in the folder.

So, the night before Week 2 starts, I get the folder and sort the papers/books into this:


All the History stuff goes in the History slot, Science in the Science slot, etc. Then I switch out all my tri-fold board pages. The folder will be empty after this, and everything will be out and ready for the week. Then, whatever I don't get to that week goes back into the folder before Week 3 starts, including my tri-fold board pages. I keep everything for the next time Cycle 2 rolls around. And here's the tri-fold board:


 It holds a page of memory work for each subject, as well as the timeline cards for the week. I get all of these from C3. The idea for the board also came from Brandy at Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood.

So, if you're new to CC, hopefully some of these things will give you ideas of how you can organize and plan for your upcoming school year, because it's going to be GREAT! With God's help, you CAN do this! You just need to get into a groove and find out what works for your family. My way is not the only way to do it; this is just what works for us. 

Do you have any questions about anything? Something maybe I can help you with, friend? I'm no expert, but I'd love to give it a shot! Or, if you do things a different way, please share what's working with your family. I'd love to hear your ideas!

And if you're a tutor, don't miss Tutor Talk!





32 comments:

  1. Very cool melody!by the way I sent you a question via email.

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  2. What do you have in your CC cycle 2 binder? Did you pull out that section from the FG?

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    1. Hi Nancy, great question! In my Cycle 2 binder, I have a section for Classical Ed. notes that I've taken so far this year from various books, a section for suggested book lists, a section for reading match-ups (SOTW and the Everything You Need to Know About... books), a section for important/encouraging blog posts, and a section for my weekly plans (this is where I keep my Sola Gratia Mom's Teaching Enrichment Plans). I'll also print off my Pinterst pins for each week and file them here.

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  3. So... pardon my ignorance... I'm totally totally new to CC - as in I heard about it this morning, and then happened upon this post shared on FB. Are you doing this outside of a CC group? Or along with it? Hope you don't mind my newbie question. :)

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    1. Hi Lauren! No question is too new! :) I'm in a CC community, not doing it on my own, although many people do. So I'll meet once a week with my class (I'm a tutor this year) to go over memory work and do an art and science project. We also do oral presentations to practice public speaking skills. Is there a group in your area?

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  4. What is the CC file that you used for your tri-fold board?

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    1. Well, I used a lot of different versions; there are many to choose from. I think most of them were from user LivPurple, but you have to be careful that they're the updated 4th Edition information. This is the first year of the new Cycle 2 info., so watch out for the Geography and Latin changes.

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  5. Hi Melody!
    I love your tips! I wanted to share that I also use a larger Staples binder like the one you show and purchased tabs numbered 1-24. I have my son file all of his completed work for each week there (including the weekly Science snippets, History Highlights, etc) and that way he has it all in a neat little package and LOVES going back to review his work during the year! I print out pictures I take of projects he did for that week and glue to a page I add to that week with some captions also. It's so funny because sometimes he just likes to go back and reminisce about the fun things we did in an earlier week and it's all filed there under that weekly tab for his review - a whole year's worth.
    Thank you for all you do to support us!
    Carlen

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    1. Ooh! Great idea about the photos of projects, Carlen! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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    2. Where can I find the history highlights for cycle 2? thank you

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  6. Hi Melody,

    How do you tape the trifold board on the wall? Please share in detail. Thanks. Jane

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    1. Hi Jane! I use the Command picture mounting strips with velcro. That way I can take down the board when I need to, and there are no permanent marks on the wall.

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  7. Hey Melody! Quick question: where did you find your hanging folder file that goes on the wall (the one you use to sort the subject material)? I'd like to get one to sort our daily work. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Tara! I ordered mine from Amazon, but I recently saw a similar hanging file folder chart at Walmart in the back to school section. I LOVE it!

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    2. I use pictures frames with glass panes and pretty light colored background. I write that weeks info on the front of the glass with dry erase. (Dollar store!) They're very decorative.

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  8. This looks so awesome! My organization skills left my head when I had kids. Maybe one day they will return =) I don't do CC, but I'm sure your ideas will be super helpful to many moms!

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  9. Hi Melody....I love all of your ideas! One question I have is tri-fold or white board? I am doing CC for the first year and am only doing it at home not with a community and I'm not sure which one to use. I love the clean/organizational look of the tri-fold but I love the lack of expense that a white board would be since I wouldn't have to print out the topics weekly. What would you recommend. Thank you so much!

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    1. Hi Lisa! I would recommend the portable DIY white board if I could only choose one.

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  10. This is great! This is our first year and this was so helpful!! Thank you for putting it together! God bless you in this new school year!

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    1. You are so welcome! God bless you, too, friend! :)

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  11. Hi thanks so much for all your suggestions. How did you tape the page protectors on your board and interchange the items without it coming off? I'm having a hard time with it.

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Laurie! I used Scotch double-sided tape for the big trifold board. I put the tape at the top of the page protectors. Clear packing tape also works well. Does that help at all?

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  12. awesome. i got a lot of inspiration from this!!

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  13. I'm new to CC. I'm getting ready to order the foundations fourth edition kit and I was wondering if you could suggest any additional supplies that I should order that does not come in the kit?

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    1. Your ideas are awesome by the way!

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    2. Thanks! All you'll need is the FG and tin whistle (one for each child), honestly. I like that I have the timeline cards (but I have to as a tutor), and I LOVE the Memory Work Audio CD with all the songs (sooo great!). I could live without everything else. The 'else' is nice, but not necessary. Hope this helps, friend, and welcome to CC! :)

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  14. Hi Melody! I am new to CC this up coming year and just beginning my planning! I love your ideas and organization 😉 I do have a question...what do you keep in your pink cc cycle 2 binder you keep at your command center?

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  15. Hi! I am interested in using CC History Cards in my homeschool this year (and possibly to teach a co-op class), but we are not a part of Classical Conversations. From what I can see on the website, I can purchase the history cards, but what about the curriculum guide? Is it possible to just purchase the activities, history sentences, weekly lessons/guides for CC's History and Geography? I'm sorry if the answer to my question seems obvious, but I am relatively new to the homeschooling world as well. Thanks for any assistance you can provide!

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  16. Hi! I am new to CC and trying to get everything together. I love the organization of your Foundations Guide! Can you please tell me what your last tab is? Thanks so much!

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  17. How big is the Cycle 2 Box. I want one :)

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  18. hello, great board where on CC connected can I get the print out for that wall board you have?

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  19. Hi. I was wondering what is in your CC Cycle 2 pink binder at your command centre if all your files for your trifold board are in your file box? Your ideas are awesome and I made the file box last year. It worked for that year but I was wondering how you file past CC cycle info (flashcards, trifold board sheets, etc).

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