Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Top 12 Things We Are Loving on CC Connected Right Now

If you’ve been participating in Classical Conversations for any length of time, I’m sure that you’ve heard the term “CC Connected” thrown around. CC Connected is a wonderful resource where fellow parents can upload resources they have created and share with others.

(And I will confess, it’s not the easiest thing to first figure out. Check out my popular tutorial on how to navigate CC Connected, as well as tips on how to organize the files you download.)

It feels like there are bazillions of files on CC Connected… and not every item on there is necessarily the best fit for your family. Personally, we love CC’s Stick in the Sand philosophy: keep it simple. And even with a simple-motto, there are glorious gems to be found.

  • BTW – for legality purposes, I cannot provide links to the files themselves, but I can share a few photos and I will underline all usernames so you can retrieve the files for yourself.
  •  Most of the items I am highlighting can be found across multiple cycles. When I wrote this post, I was originally focusing on Cycle 1.

Here are the Top 10 Favorite Things we are loving from CC Connected right now: 

1. Songs. This is perhaps the best-known feature on CC Connected. You can find some FANTASTIC songs centered around the memory work. After awhile, you’ll figure out which usernames are your “golden standards” and favorites. Right now, we are loving anything by marykbry (especially all her science songs and second-semester math songs) and lbbcyouthpastor. Additionally, we use the same songs campus-wide for English.
            -Prepositions: tbrowne
            -Helping Verbs: sing4jy
            -Linking Verbs: thjonkers

You can no longer find official CC songs on CC Connected for download, but you can purchase the CDs for your own personal use. Latin, History, and Timeline all have songs on the Cycle CD.
CC Username: melodystroud
2. Memory Work Flip Books. These flip books by melodystroud and keppel are literally my salvation. I keep one in my car, one in my tutor bag, and one with our homeschool collection. All the memory work for the whole year is formatted beautifully into a single 4x6 page that you can print and stick in a 4x6 album, like found at the Dollar Tree. My kids love flipping through them and they are my #1 indispensable tutoring tool, making review time a snap.
CC Username: TierneyTribe
3. Geography Flip Books. Of course, no memory work is complete without geography. Thankfully, tierneytribe has completed some GORGEOUS maps that are both easy-to-read and wonderful for geography. She does a great job zooming in on difficult places so you can see exactly what you are supposed to find. And, yep. These are designed to fit in your 4x6 memory books. LOVE THEM!

4. Geography Hand Outs. Well, tierneytribe really is my geography hero. In addition to her 4x6 flipbook maps, she has some excellent 8.5x11 maps that you can print in either color OR black and white and have your student color them in. Love. Them. So. Much. Don’t forget, you can also print the official CC maps, too. Look for uploads by fmoderator1.
CC Username: tara504
5. Science Pictures. Although CC makes their own science flash cards, I find the pictures to be… not very helpful. However, tara504 has created some beautiful handouts that you can use to help explain each item on the science memory work. In some cycles, she even gives a small explanation as to what each item is. One can simply look at the page, or write in an answer, or cut and paste. Lots of options.

6. Science Snippets. If you haven’t seen the back of science flash cards produced by CC, you should check them out. They are extremely helpful. Or you can find them uploaded by fmoderator1 in an easy-to-print document.

7. History Highlights. Similar to the Science Snippets, you can find a full page explanation of each weekly history sentence uploaded by fmoderator1. This Wikipedia-style document may be over the head of some younger kids, but it is great for explaining more detail to parents.

8. History Strips. If you’re looking for a way to shake up the (very long) history sentences, TammyOostdyk has some history strips that are just brilliant. Print the document, cut into strips, and have your kids arrange in proper order. I love that this requires very little printer ink.

9. Timeline Hand Motions. While I studied American Sign Language in high school, understanding the CC Hand Motions is a little beyond me – especially because not every sign is actual ASL. If you want step-by-step instruction broken down weekly, rafikipaka is your gal. She demonstrates and explains in wonderful videos. NOTE: Hand motions are NOT mandated by CC, nor do they have to be standard. If your community does something different, great. Hand motions are purely optional. NOTE: CC Connected Moderators have since removed rafikipaka's videos, which makes me very very sad. You can find a printable description of the timeline hand motions under fmoderator1.

10. Timeline Tidbits. Well, this may be at the risk of tooting my own horn. On the back of the Timeline cards is a whole host of information about each fact. But I found my young kids’ eyes glossing over when I read it to them. Using my background and degree in history, I used the Timeline Cards (and several other sources) to write simple explanations of the Timeline Cards for younger students. Look for my Timeline Tidbits under my username, bentkitchen.

(Looking for a way to create your own portable Timeline Cards? Check out my tutorial.)

11. Printable Posters and Placemats. If you’re a visually-based person, there are all sorts of gorgeous printables people have made. Perhaps my most favorite are the ones by otanna, who puts all the science (or history, or geography) for the semester on one large document that you can make into a poster or placemat. Granted, we have yet to actually print ours. But I think it is a really cool idea. :)
CC Username: SherriEllis

12. Notebooking Pages. Okay, I just have to confess something. THESE PAGES ARE ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. And they are free (with CC Connected membership, of course). SherriEllis has done the CC community an amazing service in creating these notebooking pages. You can find more explanation on her blog. She has each notebooking project broken down by subject (history, English, science, etc) and then divided into skill-appropriate categories based on your needs. There is literally something for everyone here. 

We printed off a large binder before the year began, and you should see how awesome it is. If you can only get TWO things from CC Connected, I would get the flipbooks and these notebooking pages. Because they are. that. awesome.

Got any other favorites from CC Connected? Share them in the comments below!


  1. WOW! Thank you so much for featuring my notebook pages! You are awesome too! Your tutorial has helped a LOT of people.

    1. Thank you for those kind words! I have been seriously blessed by your pages and hard work. I'm humbled and honored to know that my blog has been able to helpful in some small way.

  2. This was great! I also appreciate the gal who puts the Latin pronunciations with visuals like a moose for "us" etc. Off to print some Geography flip books...

  3. I am hoping to see Timeline Tidbits for weeks 13-24 some day soon! I love these. Such a great idea for explaining timeline events just a little simpler.

    1. Thanks, Deanne! I am hoping to get to them this summer! :)

    2. Hooray! I actually "stalked" you from cc connected, and was going to ask about the tidbits. Our household loves them and can't wait for 13-24. Thank you for the work that goes into making them. I'll check back throughout the summer! Also, I loved this post. We're new this year to cc, and while I had found some of these gems, I also have some more to go look up. Thanks for the great list!

  4. Did you finish your tidbits for weeks 13-24? We love the Tidbits!

  5. Did you know that rafikipaka's timeline videos are on cc connected now?! Under "learning center" go to "weekly timeline videos" and they have her videos!

    1. Thank you so much! Her videos are extremely helpful.

  6. I absolutely love your timeline tidbits; they have been so helpful for tutoring. Do you have the next 12 weeks available?