Rome to the Reformation -- Share Your Experiences

If you have used My Father's World curriculum, please share some of your experiences with us. We would all love to hear your stories -- and it will be especially helpful for new people who are trying to determine if MFW is right for their family or school situation.
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Posts: 417
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:30 pm

Rome to the Reformation -- Share Your Experiences

Unread post by Marie »

If you have used Rome to the Reformation, please share some of your experiences with us. We would all love to hear your stories -- and it will be especially helpful for new people who are trying to determine if MFW is right for their family or school situation.

Unread post by Guest »

I am entering my 3rd year of MFW. We started with ECC, then did CTG, and are now beginning RTR (Rome to the Reformation). I love this curriculum. I have 2 older children and 2 younger. The laid out teacher's manual was an answer to prayer for me. I was having a hard time with planning and this curriculum does it for me.

The chronological Biblical history has also been great. We have our timeline on the wall as a visual reminder. The timeline pieces are also an added bonus.

I can't say enough about MFW. I tell people about it all the time.

Thanks for all your hard work!


Unread post by cbollin »

Just wanted to say RtR has all the great elements of the other years. I've been especially impressed with this particular week (number 18).

It is great the way we started reading Door in the Wall and how it connects with the herb garden activity, and with the Latin roots being studied, and connecting the God and the History of Art lessons. Of course we aren't able to start the herb garden at this time of year (October) but our neighbor is letting us have lots of field trips to her garden.

thanks for doing the work!



Unread post by Guest »

This is a summary of our year in RTR. Our family completed RTR last year. As we read through Augustus Caesar, would use the library to find, books on tape, videos, music CD's add to our lessons. This really helped the reading come to life for us! Because of the time in History to Rome and the Reformation, there were many wars happening. We introduced our children to; the movie "Gladiators", to drama videos that related back to the time of Bach, and Cleopatra. We discovered that reformation had many mixed emotions from happy to sad. We enjoyed the study of castles and my children have become quite competitive in chess. If chess sets were not so expensive, we have considered collecting them. I say this only because when learning a new activity, we naturally become attractive to it. We are now regularly noticing all the different types of chess sets. Even LEGO has its own chess set!

Have a great year in RTR! As with every year with MFW we had another GREAT YEAR!

Shelly Best
wife to Mike; mother of Hannah(11), Michael Jr (10) and Thomas(7)
Debbie M.

Rome to the Reformation

Unread post by Debbie M. »

We are really enjoying Rome to the Reformation (just like we did CTG and ECC). We just finished the thirteen weeks of the Roman Empire with the Roman Feast. It was so fun to shop as a family for the ingredients, prepare the various foods together and eat and dress like the Romans. The directions were easy to follow, and the whole family will always remember the Roman period of history. It is especially great how the book, " The Bronze Bow" brought to life how Jesus lived on earth during the Roman period. The various pages you can copy and color from "Augustus Caesar's World", were interesting to do while the lesson was being read.
I also really like how the "God and the History of Art" ties in with the history subjects. It really helps to see how art progressed and changed over the various time periods.
Also, the "Body Book" along with "The Human Body for Every Kid", has given us great hands-on learning of the human body.
"My Father's World" curriculum is the only one that has kept us so interested in learning. The various hands-on activities through-out are so informative while being easy to do.
THANK YOU to the Hazell's and everyone who helped with this superb curriculum!
Carol Skinner
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:54 am

Roman Feast

Unread post by Carol Skinner »

My girls had a great time planning, preparing and serving the Roman Feast. The ideas in the TM are very helpful. We made each of my 5 a stolla out of old sheets. We were a little shy about sharing with another family, but maybe another time.

The girls decided to pretend Daddy was Caesar Augustus (I was Livia, of course) so that when he came in the door from his long day at the office, he was greeted with, "Hail Caesar" and faces to the ground (except Rebekah, who giggled instead).

We had grape juice with the meal in wine glasses. We made meatball "dormice", salad, artichokes. Apples and honey were the dessert. All on our best dishes. It was funny trying to remember to eat with your fingers and stay reclining.

After the meal, the girls sang "Adeste Fideles" in Latin. I had tears in my eyes. These are the memories that make the days of struggle worth every minute!

Carol Skinner
Wife of David for 11 years, mother of Courtney(10), Hannah(9), Rachel(7), Mary(4), Rebekah(2),and one on the way!!;MFW RtR this year
Julie in MN
Posts: 2906
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN »

We finished weeks 1-18 of RTR this year and I wanted to share our wonderful experience with those considering RTR for next year.

I was committed to study history chronologically, but I must admit -- Roman gladiators, knights with swords -- I didn't expect it to be a lady's cup of tea. But of course I knew that my 5th grade ds would enjoy it!

My oldest daughter had previously studied middle history and I had spent mountains of time researching -- I so wanted to add in some of the events of the Bible and the amazing early Christians (now that excites me!). With her, it took me days to locate all the Roman leaders mentioned in the Bible and identify who each of them was. But it was worth it to see how the Bible history was an accurate telling of world history at the time.

Imagine my delight to find that RTR ties in all the Biblical history right where it belongs. You study How the Bible Came to Us (a book I've had for a long time but never known how to use), the conversion and travels of Paul (right from the Bible, not a retelling), the early Christian martyrs & heroes (Trial & Triumph), alongside a look at the world leaders and culture that Jesus lived in. So much of this history is often just erased from history books today.

RTR also covers the rest of the world very thoroughly, including detailing how Islam developed and what Muslim beliefs are, all the while praying specifically for their needs (using Voices of the Martyrs materials). What an essential study for the world ds is growing up in! As I look ahead in my teacher's manual, I see that later in RTR, we will re-visit other major world religions and how they existed alongside a growing Christianity -- resolving any questions about other religions before they are even asked.

We always enjoy the variety of books in MFW, ranging from textbook to Usborne book, and RTR has been no exception. The Genevieve Foster books, taking a sweeping look all around the world, have always seemed a good idea. The first chapters of The World of Augustus Caesar I admit we did skim a bit (battle details), but after that we were fully into the life of Octavian. Ds now knows the history of the Roman empire inside & out, and lately notices things in our modern culture which have roots in the past. After Caesar, we found Story of the World a breezy change of pace. Galen was a very *readable* biography of a scientist, which even mother-in-law enjoyed reading :o) And as someone else already mentioned, God and the History of Art gave a lot of cultural detail to flesh out our "picture" of history.

Ds loves the RTR read-alouds so far -- Bronze Bow, set at the time of Jesus, and Twice Freed, at the time of Paul. At the end of Twice Freed, we took the extra step & read the complete (short) book of Philemon in the Bible; we will never overlook the book of Philemon again!

Our science study of the human body was something that *mom* felt was very educational & important, especially with medical issues in the family this year. And the "facts of life" portion at the end was perfect. What a thorough and well-rounded science study using all the different books! We look forward to starting the Astronomy study next.

Finally, I wanted to mention that this year I realized how much hands-on makes a difference in retention. As I posted earlier, we made the little matchbox bookshelf ( ... 364#p12364 ) and ds totally changed from never remembering the sections of the Bible, to knowing them out-of-hand. He enjoyed easy, little things like the arch experiment with pennies and the Roman feast (which we did in an absolutely simple, basic fashion). And it has all been totally do-able even during a hectic year for our family. I love how the teacher's manual always has ideas for simplifying, if need be. And the grid points out each segment necessary in a well-rounded education, so I don't neglect pieces here or there.

I will have to add more when we are finished with RTR, but the first 18 weeks have been rich!
Last edited by Julie in MN on Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Unread post by Denise »

We are in our 3rd year of MFW and we love it! We just had the Roman feast last Sat night and my husband and I were the slaves. The kids really enjoyed lounging around and giving us orders. The most fun part of the meal was our meat loaf boar's head. (grapes for eyes, celery tusks, and bread ears) We inverted a cereal bowl and formed the biggest part of the head over that.

We have enjoyed several movies: Ben Hur, The Robe, Demetrius and the Gladiaters, Shakespear's Julius Caesar.

I thought history was dry and BORING when I was in school, and therefore, learned very little. I have been so pleased to find that my kids are enjoying history and learning so much more than I did. They love it when I stop in the middle of my reading and exclaim, "I didn't know that!"

I can't say enough about how good this has been for my family.

Have a blessed day,
Denise in OK
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:00 pm

Unread post by Tina »

Well, it has been a couple of months since we’ve finished our Rome to the Reformation study but it has also been a very busy season too so I’ve delayed in my final note about our experiences this year.

This was yet again another great year in My Father’s World. We continued on with our timeline that Jim made, which is a tri-fold board. It is neat to see how it just flows with last year’s history. We also chose to continue our history notebooks from last year and not separating them. This is also a neat way to see the history studied and also see how much both children have improved in their writing abilities. I love the history notebook.

The bible memory was special to us as a family. We have in the past memorized the Romans verses and also the books of the bible so that was excellent review. The verses from Romans 12:1-6a has been life verses for my husband and me for many years. We love this portion of scripture and it has been an inspiration for us as a way to live for a long time. It was inspiring to then teach them to my children. The love chapter and verses in Philippians challenged all of us to be more self-sacrificing and to watch how we respond to others, more specifically, to each other here in the home; great spiritual lessons this year through the memory verses. I really love the reading recommendations at the end of each teacher’s manual. The book, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey was very encouraging for me. I did not read this to the children but read it myself and it was good food for my spirit. What a God-given knowledge for this author to be able to use how the body functions and correlate it to how the body of Christ functions. During my reading of this book, my family and I were searching for a new church as we had moved not too long before. I really felt as if God’s spirit was showing me and teaching me how we, as a family could be a vital and important part of His body wherever He led us to worship. It was a neat experience also as a family, we were learning about the human body and all its unique and important parts. God is so good to always meet us where we are and teach us through our homeschool. My Father’s World has been a part of this every year!

We enjoyed many of the book basket books as well as the videos. All of the Ancient Civilizations for Children and other Schlessinger videos were liked. The books on illuminations were beautiful and we enjoyed the many books and projects on art this year, creating our own coat of arms, mosaics and our Christmas gifts were made from projects that came out of the Middle Ages! Fun. My son loved all books on castles and knights. We all found them interesting, even the four year old. David Macaulay’s books were a regular part of the basket as well and we got to know his works this year. We enjoyed a tape version of Knights of the Roundtable by Jim Weiss. Seymour Simon planet books were great to look at with interesting pictures and also a regular part of our basket. My daughter really enjoyed the series by Lois Burdett, “Shakespeare Can be Fun!” This series focuses on one play per book. It gives good introductions to his work from a kid’s perspective. I must also mention the “Beethoven Lives Upstairs” video and book. My kids enjoyed this too!

It was enlightening to us as a family to study Islam and its origin. We were informed by studying this religion along with 1 Corinthians 13 and also reviewing the Romans verses. It was neat to study and memorize how we must love others while we learn about another influential, growing religion and pray for God’s spirit to open their spiritual eyes. I also thought it special to memorize and learn Philippians 2:3-16 while learning about how Martin Luther brought change to the church. Keeping our focus on Christ is key while studying this part of history.

Our science was fun! We had skeletons on our walls all year long. Both kids enjoyed adding “pieces” to it. Some of the internet-linked Usborne material was fun too. We did many of the hands-on projects for science. The Astronomy book was one of our favorite. It has lots of information, but so rich with Christian view! We made ice-cream, built a Mars space station, made costumes (space suits) for our Mars space station, put a model of the solar system up (it was the paper one in the teacher’s manual); the kids wrote a play about Uranus and who discovered it; we made clouds; launched rockets; had a hurricane tube and built a volcano. Both kids also created their own newspaper on the planet Jupiter which was creative and fun to read.

There was plenty of celebrating with another family, too. We had a Roman Feast with friends. We all dressed in Roman attire. My daughter was Cleopatra, hair braided and all! Unfortunately for Nana, she was Cleopatra’s slave and often fed Cleopatra grapes and held up her dress as she walked. However, when we arrived at the house where the feast was being held, the Dad of the house said, “Every person is free in Christ here!” It was a lot of fun. We had boys dressed up as Roman Soldiers and one as Julius Caesar. We ate with our hands and drank soup from a bowl! We experienced “dormice” and other tasty food. We also got together for a medieval feast. We had knights, a king, Robin Hood, many fine ladies and I dressed as a monk. We ate our food on “trenchers” but told our fine diners that they were not allowed to throw leftovers onto the floor! We played medieval games and we were able to watch a play that two of my children were involved in last year, Robin Hood, which was great timing and fun with friends. Our family also did the silent monk lunch. There was lots of laughter present and the bean soup was eaten but not a favorite. Dad made the Russian Borsch, with advice from a young lady who spent some time in Russia, and it came out great! We made resurrection cookies and it can be done with chocolate chips or raisins! We enjoyed Lefse and Chapatis. We cooked Chinese fried rice. There were lots of cultural food experiences and we always enjoy them.

We had yet again another successful homeschool year with Rome to the Reformation. We are so grateful for this multi-generational teaching, because I am learning right along with my children. I didn’t know much about church history and now I am able to understand more about HIS story the more I study it with my children. This is multi-generational teaching at its best. My mother is also learning right along with us, so not only are the generations that come forth from my husband and I being affected by the teachings given, so are the generations before me! How good is God to educate, change, and bless us! God’s ever present Hand throughout HIS story is brought out so wonderfully while using this curriculum. I appreciate that my children can see HIS story through a Godly view. This gives them, and now me, a strong foundation in WHO is in control, WHO is sovereign and WHO will reign for eternity, regardless of the plans of men. A man can make many plans, but it is GOD’S purposes that will prevail. This is the heart of why we use this curriculum. I am so excited for my children’s future, because I know with this foundation, they will remember it their whole lives and desire to pass it on to the next generation to give a Godly heritage.
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT
Tracey in ME
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:27 pm
Location: Litchfield, Maine

Unread post by Tracey in ME »

We are doing Rome To The Reformation for 2008-2009 and I am blogging about it, if anyone wants to read.

Just click on my signature blog below. :o)
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog:
jan in nc
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: Rome to the Reformation -- Share Your Experiences

Unread post by jan in nc »

We are finished RTR this week and have loved the year. I have taken one or more children through K, 1st, Adventures, ECC, and CTG.

In RTR I loved the Astronomy unit at the last part of the year. My oldest has always loved space and the stars, and I think he began the unit thinking that he already knew it all :) This could be his age (12). However, on several days he said "Thanks, mom. I learned something new today." We have never used a "text-book" written with a God-centered focus before. Usually, I have to amend books we have read on science subjects. This was a wonderful way to ground my children in God's world.

Overall, I appreciate having a curriculum that folds everyone into our studies. We can accomplish everything and do it well. We have room to explore the topics we love best.
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm


Unread post by MelissaB »

What a wonderful day. This first day of school, the girls came to the breakfast table to find their new school supplies in small gift bags on the table and colorful signs welcoming them back to school. They eagerly began the day preparing binders, getting school supplies ready, tracing their bodies on large white paper to glue organs to this year during anatomy :)...

The Roman dinner was the highlight! The electricity went out tonight( :-) !), so wearing sheets draped around us and leaning on pillows, we ate cold grilled barbecue chicken, sliced cucumbers with ranch dressing, a slice of watermelon (did the Romans have watermelon? Oh, well, it's what we had.), crackers and sliced cheese. It was so much fun attempting to discuss Roman political issues as if we were in actual Roman times.

MFW: thanks for the fun, wonderful beginning to great year. Our girls are already looking forward to making a cell out of lemon jello, and are ready for our next day of school!
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

A Game of Chess

Unread post by MelissaB »

We just finished Week 18. It's a Sunday afternoon, and our 11 yr. old daughter and I just finished a wonderful game of chess. Not only has she learned a lot about how to play chess from this wonderful little book, Starting Chess, but my dh and I have learned more about the game, too. As we enjoyed the quiet, thoughtful game this beautiful fall afternoon, I couldn't help but be reminded how thankful I am that the Lord led us to use MFW. Lots of wonderful memories with this curriculum.
And the girls are learning more indepth history, science, and Bible than I ever imagined.
Thanks, MFW.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:28 am

Re: Rome to the Reformation -- Share Your Experiences

Unread post by shannon21 »

Im a veteran MFW mom, but I have to say RTR is way too much reading for me. The rich, living books are a blessing though. I didnt have to read much for 1 st and 2 nd grades. We did CLassical Conversations last year which more than covered the geography part of ECC, and we are still finishing some parts of CTG books from last year. I failed at CTG last year too. I guess I wasnt meant to group homeschool. Plus, Im crazy tired by 2PM. That is when I find myself reading to the kids. I make them read when I begin to bob my head sleeping.

To sum up, thanks for introducing us to the books, but reading aloud for up to close to an hour is exhausting.
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