I’ve been in CC a long time and believe me, if you need some ideas for Foundations or Essentials all you have to do is Google it!  Between what’s out on the websites, blogs, and Pinterest, you’ll have WAY more information than you’ll ever want or need.  But what about Challenge A?

Challenge A Student Notebook

So when I started preparing for Challenge A this summer, I looked to the internet to get some inspiration.  Sadly, I found very little.  There just wasn’t a lot out there that talked specifically about Challenge.  Since I’m an organizer, I wanted to have time to sit down with my son and work on how to organize his work in a way that would work for him and encourage him to take ownership of his work.  We always do binders/notebooks, but because I was brand new to Challenge, I didn’t know if the regular type layout would be good, or if he’d need something else.

I also wanted to put items in his notebook that he’d need to see every day.  The Challenge Guide is full of information and the weekly assignment sheets that they need to see daily.

After my Director held her parent meeting, I felt much better prepared and was able to go home and organize our school supplies. Here is what I came up with:

#1: Student Notebook that held all subjects except Latin

#2 Student Planner (you can download here)

#3 Latin Notebook with tabs for Latin assignments

Set Up

I decided that I didn’t want to just give him the Challenge Guide.  While it had a lot of great info, I felt it would be better for me to keep the guide and make copies of all the pages that would be important to him.  We also placed those pages strategically in his notebook so we could best use them.

Here is how we set up our Student Notebook for our Challenge A student.  This is just an idea.  The most important thing is to figure out what works for your child and to help them take ownership of their work.

All page numbers refer to pages in the Challenge A Guide that you get from your Director

What you need:

  • 2 or 3 inch binder (mine has zipper)
  • 1-15 Tabs
  • Subject tabs (5 tabs total)
  • Inside pocket holds tracing paper pad
  • 3-hole zippered pencil pouch holds pens, pencils, good eraser, highlighters and sticky tabs
  • Student planner with monthly calendars and note pages (also has weekly planner pages that can be put here, see * note at bottom)
  • Notebook paper
  • Copy paper
  • Challenge A Guide from CC Director

Tab #1: Science

  • Natural Science Course Description (pg. 25)
  • “Challenge A – Science Sketch Notebook Format” from CC Connected (helpful document explains where and how to write in your sketch notebook)
  • Could also three-hole punch the sketch notebook and place here
  • If not using CC Sketch notebook, you could put paper here for Science reports (blank at top, lines on bottom)

Tab #2: Geography

  • Geography Course Description (pg. 24)
  • Geography maps and terms (pg. 95-120)
  • Could also place drawing paper/tracing paper or any other maps you find useful

Tab #3: Literature

  • Exposition and Composition Course Description (pg. 22)
  • Course Description and Goals continued (pg. 23)
  • Lost Tools of Writing Assessment pages (pg. 81-85)
  • Writing a Bibliography: MLA Format (I got this from my Director)
  • Book Summary pages (I got this from my Director)

Tab #4: Rhetoric

  • Rhetoric Course Description (pg. 26)
  • Rhetoric Catechism Questions (pg. 87-89)
  • Rhetoric It Couldn’t Just Happen Chapter Summary pages (pg. 90-91).  Copy 20 of these so you’ll have one (front/back) for each chapter

Tab #5: Math

  • Math Course Description (pg. 27)
  • I do not use Saxon, so I just put things that were specific to my curriculum in this tab.  One thing I find useful in pre-algebra and algebra is a Divisibility Rules sheet.  If your curriculum uses worksheets or special graph paper, this would be the place for that.

binder tabs

After the subject tabs, I have numbered tabs 1-15 for the 15 weeks of each seminar.  I thought about 1-30 tabs, but then realized that the Student guide and weekly assignment sheets don’t go past 15.  Once second semester starts, week 16 is then referred to as week 1 again.

Inside each week you will find the following:

  • Weekly assignment pages (for week 1, you’d have pg. 34)
  • Week at-a-glance student planner pages for your student to write out their assignments thorugh the week.  This is where they take the weekly assignment page with the list of all items due and figure out how to spread out the work over the week into daily tasks.
  • You could also use the weekly tabs to place all their work for class day.  Then in one place they would have all their assigned work for their Director to check.



*The week-at-a-glance planner pages could also be placed together in the front with the monthly calendar to create a student planner all in one place.  That was my original idea, but my son preferred placing the weekly planner sheets with the weekly assignment pages so he could easily see each week with the tabs.  Makes sense so we went with that.  It’s totally up to you.

For a PDF version of the instructions, please download here:

Challenge A Student Notebook Directions

7 Thoughts on “HELP: Challenge A Student Notebook”

  • Thanks for this! I will be including it in the CC Blog Carnival which will be out tomorrow on my blog!

    You are right — there isn’t a lot of Challenge A specific stuff out there. I just wrote a post about our experience in Ch A because I saw there was a need.

    This is such great information you share, so thank you!

  • As always you are amazing. I wish I would had seen this before so I could buy your student planner, sadly I have already set colors for each seminar and they are not the same. I will share this with our group so many people will get excited about your products. Have an awesome school year.

  • Did you put the actual Guide pages in your son’s notebook, split out by the tabs, or did you make copies so that you still had a complete copy of the guide? I’m feeling a little twitchy about separating it out, never to have it come together again!

I'd love to hear from you...tell me what you think!