Friday, June 24, 2011

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Supplemental Resources

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN IN 2011.  This website and all posts are being updated for the coming school year.  Please click here for updated reading lists, schedules, plans and planners for the 2014-2015 school year!

List of updated Cycle 3 posts for 2014-2015:

I've been super excited about posting all of the free resources we've found for Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations.  But before listing all of this, I just want to remind us all that simplicity is key to making Foundations work.  In fact, if you are new to Classical Conversations, read our post Classical Conversations for Beginners BEFORE looking at anything I have listed on this blog! 

First and foremost, there is the Bible, around which all other subjects revolve.  In the words of Leigh Bortins, in a:
  • Good Christian Education:  All subjects belong to God.
  • Great Christian Education:  All subjects glorify God.
  • Classical Christian Education:  Subjects are unified in their relation to God. 
We're using a classical model for education which can be easily represented as follows.  To learn something, we must:
  1. Be able to read the words (Grammar)
  2. Know what the words mean (Dialectic)
  3. Put meanings into context (Rhetoric)
The Grammar Stage simply means input.  We do this through repetition, intensity and duration.  We seek mastery and depth on a few things, not survey and breadth across many.  Our main goal at this stage is the memorization of key facts, including scripture!  In light of our focus on memorization, I first want to provide you with The Scripture Memory System (by Simply Charlotte Mason), a file-folder method of memorizing that has been proven time and again. 

The very useful program Anki provides a means of practicing on-line flashcards of the material to be memorized and automatically shuffles the memory work to a frequency that is needed, much like the hand-made file folder version at Simply Charlotte Mason.

Remember: Get the basics down in Foundations, and you will have even more time to explore and connect ideas when you hit the dialectic stage in your learning journey! I have to keep reminding myself that the point is not to do everything, but to glean what I find most pertinent and useful for our family! 

Having said that, the Cycle 3 history and geography bring us back home to America, and because our third grader and kindergartner are totally excited about the people, events and places of the United States, we've already had a bit of a head start on some things...  Which is why I wanted to post this, but please keep in mind to glean what will work for your family.  Do not try to do it all, but focus primarily on 1) relating all subjects to God's Word, and 2) memorizing.  

Before downloading these, you may want to see my previous post on On-line Organization for Cycle 3.  To see how you might structure your days at home, go to our previous post on Classical Conversations at Home. For those who are new to Classical Conversations, click here to see what a day in the life of our Classical Conversations Community is like.


We will be learning states and capitals.  All three boys LOVE the Animaniacs version of this, to the tune of Turkey in the Straw:

Math is a great website for math drill sheets on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, measurement, fractions, and a number of other math concepts.
The Toymaker has a fun skip counter and multipies.
Also available for free on currclick are Skip Counting Drill Sheets from Lilliput Station.  Try playing Multiplication Bingo, too!

Play games to help with math facts memorization!
Dinah Zyke's Teaching Mathematics with Foldables provides a method of learning new math concepts using graphic organizers in the form of foldables.

And if your child likes lapbooking, create a lapbook to help practice the multiplication (or division or addition/subtraction) facts. 

For even more ideas for math (including games), refer to our post on Classical Conversations Math Resources.

Language Arts

For a list of picture books, early chapter books, and advanced chapter books that relate to American history, refer to another of our posts, American History Literature Resources.  A couple of Newbery Literature unit studies that tie into American History are:

The Courage of Sarah Noble  by Alice Dalgliesh
In addition to the Homeschoolshare Unit Study linked here, you can also view our previous post on this study.  Stephen really enjoyed this book (we actually completed it during Cycle 2 using Total Language Plus) and even wrote his own little book about having courage in the midst of facing his own fears.

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
We are planning to start out our 2011-2012 school year with The Sign of the Beaver before Essentials classes begin.  In addition to the Colonial America and Native American tie-ins, it includes events in our timeline as well: The French & Indian Wars and The Treaty of Paris.
For a more thorough list of American History Literature Resources, click here.

William J. Bennett's The Children's Treasury of Virtues (must be purchased). The Treasury of Virtues contains The Children's Book of Virtues, The Children's Book of Heroes, and The Children's Book of America.  Tina Marie at Chasin Raisins has provided suggested readings for each week using this book. For younger children, this is really the only reader you would need to have readings that correlate with Cycle 3.  If you buy this book, you'll also want to download The Book of Virtues project for character study activities to go along with this book.


We used The Timeline Project from Brandenburg Studies (download free at Currclick!) to create a large timeline for the walls in our school room.  As we memorized and studied each historical event/person, we posted a picture representing it.  It helped to give us a better idea of when events occurred in relation to each other, and it was fun!  We also used the following Homeschool Bits freebies in conjunction with The Timeline Project: 
We are planning to start a Book of Centuries next year as well.  To find out how to use a Book of Centuries and to download a free template, go to Simply Charlotte Mason.  We will actually be using a Book of Centuries Timeline Notebook offered by Guest Hollow because it is broken down into decades for the past few centuries.

Our Timeline
For resources on the U.S. Presidents see our previous post on Presidents Day Resources.

Also check out this great sampler of Timeline Games, which includes timeline event cards from the American Revolution, Civil War, Space Exploration, Astronomy, Lewis & Clark, U.S. Presidents, Statehood, and New York City.

Anki may be used as previously mentioned to practice our vocabulary as flashcards.  And I am planning to create handwriting practice pages for John 1:1-7 in Latin to practice over the course of the year.  Go to The Amazing Handwriting Worksheet Maker and select the style, size, and format for doing so. 

For even more ideas for Latin (including games), refer to our post on Free Latin Resources.

For a list of some free history books written in an understandable format for children, go to our previous post Supplementing CC on a Shoestring.  There are several history books out there on the public domain as free pdf (or other e-reader format).  Because we like to read literature, we listen to history books when audio is available.  American History Stories Vol 1 & 2 by Mara Pratt are available as free audiobooks at Librivox. As we stated in our previous post, other audio and pdf downloads for use with American History can be found at Project Gutenberg, Google e-books, Librivox or For even more children's literature, visit The Baldwin On-Line Children's Literature Project (also called, as well as Children's Books On-Line.

  • American History Stories Volume 1 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf audio downloads   
  • American History Stories Volume 2 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf audio downloads 
  • American History Stories Volume 3 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf      
  • American History Stories Volume 4 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf 
See our post on History Readings for Cycle 3, which includes correlations for the Veritas Press Timeline Cards, Story of the World, A Short History of the United States, and American History Stories.  And for more detailed lessons for Weeks 1-6, go to our post on American History, Timeline, and Literatures Resources Weeks 1-6.

We will be completing A Journey Through Learning's free lapbook/unit study called "Overview of the 17th Century."  I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter to receive this resource (a $14 value). Click here for a sample. It contains topics such as:  The Northwest Passage, Pocahontas, Church of England, Puritans, Mayflower Journey, Life of the Pilgrims, Squanto,Salem Witch Trials, and the 13 colonies.  IT IS WONDERFUL!!! 

We are hoping to also complete the free American Revolution Lapbook (click here for direct link to lapbook download) available on the Just Us blog.  This can be completed in conjunction with reading Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, which would be a good book to read over a semester; it contains 12 chapters with 4-5 sections in each chapter. 

And Homeschoolshare has a VERY COOL lapbook on the U.S. Presidents.  They also have free resources for the American Revolution, the Civil War, Native Americans, Westward Expansion, and the Great Depression.

See our post on American History Literature resources for book lists that correlate with American History.'

For the gamers, Mission US is a free on-line role-playing game that includes history leading up to the Boston Tea Party.  A game where you might actually learn something useful?  I can't believe it! (Don't forget to download the teacher's resource packet for this.  It includes history information and short biographies.)

Also, visit for games and activities, or watch 40 episodes of Liberty's Kids videos on youtube.

And later in our CC year you can listen to a 12-part audio documentary of the rebirth of the South (Old Time Radio) at  In fact, there are a whole bunch of Old Time Radio programs: from re-enactments of historical events to the readings of works by various noted authors/poets (such as Edgar Allan Poe). I hope to sift through and provide links to radio programs that fit into each week's memory work, but this would be a rather lofty goal for me...

Again, Homeschoolshare provides free unit studies on the human body: My body and Human Body. also has worksheets on the human body, as well as Enchanted Learning.  And Homeschool Bits offers a sample activity packet on The Human Body.

One of my absolute favorite resources is an entire elementary life science curriculum provided as a free pdf download at Mr. Q's Science website.  He also provides labnotes that contain science experiments - we really enjoy his silly way of explaining science and have even purchased some of his other books!

Also refer to Homeschoolshare's Multi-Age Chemistry Unit Lap-n-Note when you begin the last half of the school year.  And download the Periodic Table in pictures from Keith's Thinkzone, a resource that contains all sorts of neat puzzles and other resources for science, math, history, geography, art & music.  Teacher Book Bag also offers a Periodic Table  of Elements Card Kit on Currclick.

For even more ideas for Science (including games), refer to our post on Free Science Resources: Human Anatomy and Chemistry.

Fine Arts:
If you'd like to practice drawing but have no background in art, What to Draw and How to Draw It by E. G. Lutz provides step-by-step instructions on drawing a number of pictures, including lighthouses, birds (turkeys, chickens, roosters, cranes), and farm animals.

For a storybook about drawing, download Willie's First Drawing Lessons by A Lady.  It is an amusing story about some of the elements of drawing, but it uses nature to describe the straight lines, curved lines, and angles that we see all around us.
  • For some great ideas on painting and craft projects, you can visit that artist woman.  It is a great encouragement to see her work, which she posts step-by-step for those of us who are not so art-inclined.
  • For more drawing resources, refer to our post Fine Arts:  Drawing.
  • For tin whistle (shudder...), I am SO ENCOURAGED to hear how BEAUTIFUL the tin whistle can sound.  This piece is performed by Ryan Duns of Fordham University, who has also uploaded several videos, which make up an on-line video course for learning to play the Irish tin whistle.
  • For artists, visit Nadene of Practical Pages for an art-era timeline, artist wall charts, a famous artist lapbook, and other great resources.  This site does not match up with the artists we will be studying, but the resources are simply fantastic!  She also offers many of the same type of resources for famous musicians, including Tchaikovsky. And her Bible resources are also fantastic!
  • For a glimpse of what it's like to go to the symphony, view the on-line video Let's Go to the Symphony available from Nashville Sympony's website.  Also visit Dallas Sympony Orchestra's website for kids for games, an orchestra chart, a virtual toure, and other activities as well. Other sites I want to check out:

  • Making Music Fun (with sheet music, composer & music theory worksheets, and practice charts) 
  • American Symphony Orchestra League
  • Free Music Theory Worksheets
  • Piano Teacher Resources (many are general enough for Tin Whistle)
  • The San Francisco Symphony's educational website for children
  • The New York Philharmonic's educational website for children
  • Composer Notebooking Pages are available from
  • Before we study Classical Music, you must visit Musopen for free classical music recordings, sheet music, and music history.  "Musopen is an online music library of copyright free (public domain) music. We want to give the world access to music without the legal hassles so common today. There is a great deal of music that has expired copyrights, but almost no recordings of this music is in the public domain. We aim to record or obtain recordings that have no copyrights so that our visitors may listen, re-use, or in any way enjoy music. Put simply, our mission is to set music free." (Quote taken from Musopen website.)
  • Last but NOT least is the Melody Lap-n-Note.  Contains lapbook components on our national anthem, instrument families (along with a game!), composers, and much more!  Though it is intended to go with the book M is for Melody by Luanne Angelo, much of this is stand-alone, and the answers can be found elsewhere if needed.  This is a great resource for teaching orchestra and music to children!   
Future Posts:

I will post more detailed resources as the next school year approaches, but here is a sampling of what is in store:
Week 3:  For a fun way to discuss the Boston Tea Party, download the 1773 edition of The Boston Tea Party by H.W. McVickar, free on google e-books. It is an illustrated poem that even young children will enjoy!  You can also find other versions at (I'll have more resources posted like this at a later date...)
Week 6:  For the Lewis and Clark Expedition, National Geographic and PBS both have great on-line resources, but Discovering Lewis and Clark provides the most extensive site on the Internet.  It is what I call a "living website," one in which suggestions are encouraged and updates are made based upon new articles and research. And check out Dynamic2Mom's notebooking pages and mini-books to help you record your learnings as you study Lewis & Clark!

Be sure to subscribe or follow us to stay up-to-date on the free resources we'll be using to supplement Cycle 3!  Feel free to post your own resources in the comments section - I can include those in future posts if you'd like to share with others!

If you have landed on this blog post and are looking for resources for specific weeks, go to our Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Supplemental Resource Page.

Our Original Cycle 3 Reading List for 2011-2012 school year: 
For the 2014-2015 school year, click here.

We've narrowed down our list of U.S. History texts to use with Cycle 3, choosing books on the elementary school level.  In selecting these, we considered readability, vocabulary, and whether or not audio recordings were available (because we listen to or read-along with our history lessons).
First, we have Story of the World (SotW) by Susan Wise-Bauer, which can be purchased through Amazon.  SotW is a world history book, so the American History is dispersed throughout Volumes 3 and 4.  Because it is a world history book, it does not contain some of the history that we will be studying in Cycle 3.  Correlation to SotW is listed at the bottom of this post.

A Short History of the United States by Edward Channing is a fairly complete American history book from 1000 to 1900 .  Download a free e-book or the audio recordings from Librivox.  (NOTE:  Though the audio recordings are listed as "Chapters" on Librivox, there are actually several chapters on each recording, so you will have recordings for the entire book if you download the 26 "Chapters" from Librivox. The recordings range from 7 minutes to 38 minutes in length.)  As a family, if we listen to one "chapter" recording per week, we will have listened to a complete history of the United States up to 1900, filling in the gaps left in our Cycle 3 memory work.  As a side note, Channing's A History of the United States, is regarded as one of the most complete and accurate accounts of American history and received the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for History.

American History Stories Vol 1-4 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick provides a narrative account of various people and events throughout American History.  Audio recordings only exist for Volumes 1 & 2 of this series.  We plan to use these to supplement our study of Columbus, Pilgrims/Colonial Life and the American Revolution.  The history contained in each volume is as follows:

Volume 1:  Norsemen to the end of the French & Indian War  pdf    audio
Volume 2:  American Revolution & Patriotic Songs  pdf    audio
Volume 3:  The First President through the Fugitive Slave Law  pdf
Volume 4:  Abraham Lincoln through The War Between the States  pdf

Though there are many other history books available for free as pdf/audio downloads, these seem to be the best fit for our family.

Included below is a table of the history readings that correlate to Cycle 3 material, along with the Veritas Press Timeline Cards.

Veritas Press Timeline Cards
Story of the World
American History Stories
A Short History of the United States
1 Columbus R2 Vol. 3; Pg. 19 Vol. 1; p. 11-24 p. 3-4
2 Pilgrims R8, R9, R10 Vol. 3; Pg. 61-64 Vol. 1; p. 55-69 p. 29-32
3 Boston Tea Party R17 Vol. 3; Pg. 209-212 Vol. 2; p. 5-35 p. 85-88
4 Declaration of Independence R21 Vol. 3; Pg. 213-217 Vol. 2; p. 72-75 p. 109-111
5 George Washington R27 Vol. 3; Pg. 223-226 Vol. 3; p. 7-20 p. 152-170
6 Louisiana Purchase R28, R29 Vol. 3; Pg. 278-281 & 297-302 Vol. 3; p. 27-28 p. 191-193
7 War of 1812 R31, Y1 Vol. 3; Pg. 309-313 Vol. 3; p. 43-44 p. 203, 208-219
8 Henry Clay & The Missouri Compromise R32 p. 223
9 Compromise of 1850, Fugitive Slave Act Vol. 3; p. 148-157 p. 280-282, 288
10 Polk Y9 Vol.3; p. 128-132 p. 270-276
11 Abraham Lincoln Y12, Y13, Y14 Vol. 4; Pg. 49-53 Vol. 4 p. 295-331
12 General Robert E. Lee Y15 Vol. 4; Pg. 51-53 Vol. 4 p. 332-358
13 14th Amendment Y17, Y18 Vol. 4; Pg. 53-56 p. 362
14 Tycoons Y19 Vol. 4; Pg. 173-177
15 T. Roosevelt Y22, Y23 Vol. 4; Pg. 161-167
16 Immigration to America Y24
17 President Wilson Y26 Vol. 4; Pg. 216-221 & 227-231
18 Pearl Harbor Y29 Vol. 4; Pg. 305-309
19 NATO Y30 Vol. 4; Pg. 223-227
20 Brown v. Board of Education Vol. 4; Pg. 402-408
21 US Astronauts Y31 Vol. 4; Pg. 385-389
22 September 11, 2001 Y32 Vol. 4; Pg. 477
23 Preamble to the US Constitution R25, R26 Vol.3; Pg. 219-223 Appendix
24 Bill of Rights R25, R26 Vol.3; Pg. 219-223 Appendix
    This site is not endorsed by Classical Conversations. I'm just a mom who loves God and enjoys learning with her kids.  You may see our family's disclaimer notice below:

    In other words, I'm scatterbrained and haven't reached perfection yet.  Fortunately for me (and everyone else), God is still working on me!


    1. Looks like some fun stuff! This is the way I like to study history with my kids but I use Greenleaf Press.

      Came over from the Hip Homeschool Hop!

    2. Hi, I'm visiting from Hip Homeschool Mom. You have a lot of fantastic information listed here, and I enjoyed reading and learning more about things (especially National Geographic!!!). Thanks for sharing. BTW, I "followed" your blog and would love a follow back if you have time.

      Mary @ Redo 101

    3. What I love about CC, is the mom's. Despite my own research for the coming year and all I've found, most of these resources are totally new to me thanks!

    4. This is going to be our first year with CC and my first year tutoring. Thanks so very much for these wonderful resources. You are a huge blessing. Looking forward to an amazing year.

    5. Got my DVD today :) Thank you again for the great giveaway!! :)

    6. Thank you so much! Very awesome. We are going to attempt to do Cycle 3 at home and this will certainly help.

    7. Thank you! I just found you by googling for CC blogs. I am a new director and will be following your blog :)

    8. I just found your blog through our CC blog and I am so excited! Thank you for these awesome resources. This will be our first year doing CC and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for History. I will definitely be using some of this!

    9. Thanks so much for all this valuable information! We will be starting our 4th year with CC and my 2nd year tutoring the Master's class. I'll definitely be coming to back to your site for tips, ideas, and suggestions. Thanks again!

    10. Thank you so much for sharing this! I linked to your blog for our CC campus - I wanted to make sure YOU received the credit for your hard work! Thank you again!

    11. MandileighjohnsonJune 1, 2011 at 10:22 PM

      You are awesome. This is exactly what I was looking for. I am a new director for a CC in Chattanooga. I will certainly link to you!

    12. We are brand new to CC and my daughter is young but I think we'll use the Liberty's Kids DVD set. My sons loved that show when they were younger. Also, you can't go wrong with School House Rock!

    13. Yes! I need to include that in our list! Episode #1 through #40 are free on the Liberty's Kids Youtube channel at . I agree with School House Rock. I especially like the Preamble song. I wish I could have memorized it that way when I was in 4th grade! :)

      Thanks for your input!

    14. Your resources are AMAZING! We are brand new too and are looking to school on a shoestring next year. Thanks for sharing all the free stuff. Also found this website full of classical children's literature,don't know if you've posted it yet. We'll be using a lot of it next

    15. I am so grateful for your super information and resources. Thank you for taking the time to pass on such fantastic guidance to others. What a blessing!

    16. Wow, this will take some time to digest. Great Stuff! Had never heard of the "Book of Virtues Project" Have you used it? Its quite a pdf. Regarding the handwriting generator. I spent $15 and bought this one. It's not perfect but it works better than any others I've found.

    17. Thanks for the feedback (and the suggestion for a handwriting generator)! I have never used the BOV Project but plan to use it this fall. We will not do all of it - probably just the readings, a few of the projects, the questions (mostly orally) and some of the copywork. But I will take it easy with it the first time around, as we'll be able to use this again in the future but on a different level.

    18. Thanks so very much from a CC mom in SC!!

    19. Thank you so much for making this information available to our family and CC Community. I am a new Director this year in Wilmore, KY. I would like to contact you via email or phone if possible with a few questions regarding CC. My email is

      Thanks so much- Tiffani

    20. Hi Karin,
      We are starting CC in my hometown this year. I will be the tutor for the Master's class. Would you please email me?
      Sharla Foy

    21. Wow, I am so glad that I came across this post and your blog! Thanks so much for all the info! We are in CC in Chester, VA and are starting our second year this fall. I've been looking for ways to extend our learning while following the CC curriculum as a guide.

    22. Wow! Just found this site ! You are AWESOME! Thank you SOOOOO much for sharing all this great info! What a literal GOD SEND! :)Becky from Indian Land, SC

    23. THANK YOU!!!!!!! Today was our first day back to school and our first day with CC. I am planning on returning to your website a lot. I haven't made even a tiny dent in checking out all of your resources. My middle daughter plays Turkey in the Straw on her violin, and all 3 of my children enjoyed that cartoon clip of the states and capitals. I am encouraged, thanks so much.

    24. Welcome to CC! Glad you are enjoying yourselves so much! That's wonderful!

      And don't worry about checking out all of these resources - even I won't make more than a tiny dent in all that I have listed here, and I put it together! :)

      Have a blessed year, and thanks for your comment!

    25. Thank you so much for posting this list. This will be my second year as a tutor in our apprentice class and I know I will be able to use a lot of this! Love your blog!

    26. Hey great info! thank you . I was so excited to get some History lessons from the Website Raising Refounders, however, when i printed out the Christopher Columbus Biograpy for 7-12 grade it had his Birthday incorrect. They listed it as 1436 and he was born 1451. How can i trust the information on this website? Have you used it before this year? Thanks Corinne

    27. Hi Corrine, J. Anne Huss here from Simple Schooling and Raising Refoudners. I did not write any of the history included in the Raising Refoudners project downloads, they all come from a book called First Course in American History (for lower levels) and a collection of several other public domain history books (for the upper levels) - all of which are listed on the title page if you get the complete file set. My contribution to the project is the reformatting of the digital books and the inclusion of original worksheets and parent solutions.

      It is possible that when the digital book was converted into another format that some numbers were messed up as the software is not perfect. If you find that to be the case please let me know. Otherwise, I leave the words of the author of the original book(s) as they stand as it is not my book to change.

    28. Thank you for pointing this out. I had not downloaded all of these individual files because we had purchased the overall American History Course offered by the same author. I am looking into it. I apologize that there was an error - I have used several of the resources offered by this educator and have never found any other error. We have not even started using this resource yet, so I really appreciate the heads up. I will delete it from this site if I don't get an adequate response from the person who created it.

    29. In the LA section you mentioned regarding The Children's Treasury of Virtues that, "For younger children, this is really the only reader you would need to have readings that correlate with Cycle 3." What do you mean by reader? Is that a book the child reads to the parent or parent to child? Sorry if this is a silly question. Also, how old are "younger children?" Finally, I have the older Veritas memory cards. Can I exchange them for the CC memory cards you mention in your 2014 plan by cross-referencing your 2011 plan? Thanks for the help!! Blessings!

    30. Hi Wendy! By that I simply mean that if you would like to have illustrated stories to read that correlate somewhat with our memory work, there is plenty within the Treasury of Virtues. (But it's not necessary to correlate reading with the memory work.) As far as who would read it, it depends on the reading ability of your child(ren). Normally, I refer to "readers" as those that I child would be able to read, but in this case I'm referring to the fact that it is illustrated. I'll go back and edit my wording to reflect that! :)

      You should be able to use the Veritas Press cards correlation from the other post, as very little has changed at all (3rd to 4th edition) with the Cycle 3 history sentences!

      Thanks for your questions!

    31. Can you help me? Earlier I saw a pdf matching up the Veritas Timeline Cards to the reading selections for cycle 3. I believe it was your 2011 plan. I have and plan to use the veritas card but now can't find the plan. Could you point me to it or share it with me? Many thanks in advance!

      Blessings! Wendy

    32. Hi Wendy! I just updated the post you commented on: with the Veritas Press correlations. (I do not currently have it in pdf format, but perhaps this will help in the meantime!