Preparing and Using MFW 'Rome to the Reformation'

I love box day when the delivery guy rolls up and hands me a box of books. Cracking it open for the first time is like Christmas to me, and I’m sure it is to most homeschool moms ordering new curriculum.

My Father’s World’s “Rome to the Reformation” (RTR) is the 3rd Level in the Multi-age Family Learning Cycle for grades 2nd to 8th in their chronological history-based study. Beginning with the Romans, then the birth of Jesus, to the development of the church, on through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation. It is a complete curriculum for history, Bible, science, (and with the deluxe set) art, and music.

Preparing to Use

I prepared the contents of the box by reading through the first few pages of the teacher’s manual and making sure all of the books arrived. Reading especially the “Preparation” pages. After I get the feel for the curriculum itself, I start organizing.

Plastic Page Protectors in the Teacher’s Manual
I went a little overboard this year with my teacher’s manual. I really can’t justify writing in books but I have an overwhelming need to “check the boxes” in my teacher’s manual. So for all the grid pages I cut off the 3-hole side of a page protector and slid the grid page in horizontally. (For added security, I put a piece of tape at the top edge to hold it on.) Now I can take a dry erase or wet erase marker and cross off the things we’ve completed. Love it! At the end of the week I can wipe it all off. Just like magic!

Also, I am missing a book (that were included in the previous year, but we skipped it.) So I was able to temporarily cross out anything from The Roman Empire book.

After all my grids have been protected, I get the books in order. During my school year I hate searching for the books I need. I flipped through the teacher’s manual and found when I will need each book. I wrote that week on a sticky note and insert it into that book (sticking out the top like a bookmark.) It ends up being my bookmark when we read it too. After all the books are labeled by the week, I put them in order and load them into 3 or 4 magazine holders for storage.

For each Child
I do as the teacher’s manual suggests and supply my students with a 3-ring binder. I insert the pretty cover photo from RTR in the clear front and add dividers for each subject I am including: Bible, history and science.

My Lesson Box

Next, I set up my Lesson Box. (My favorite part!) When I started the year, all of this was in a crate that I moved around and lifted and tugged. It got rather irritating. Then half way through the year I realized this drawer could be used for all the current books we are reading. Genius!

I have a hanging file folder for each subject, partly for inserting the student sheets, but mostly for dividing out the books. This keeps my desk from looking like a bomb went off (which it always did last year!) After I read each subject I put them back, like a good girl.

Bible is always first, so the books we use for Bible class go first. I selected an NIrV Bible (it is a reader Bible.) It is a decent translation and easy enough for all my different leveled readers to read aloud. I try to get each of my children to read something out loud each day. Sometimes the Bible, sometimes history.

I have 3 students doing RTR this year, so I un-collate the student sheets so that all the page ones are together and the page twos are together, etc. That way I don’t have to dig for each page in 3 different piles. I keep them together in a folder in the history section as well as blank notebooking pages and the timeline pieces. Everything they will use for history notebooking. The history books all slide in behind that hanging file too.
RTR includes English From the Roots Up. This book fits perfectly in the hanging file by itself.

This year we are learning about the human body. The Body Book requires a lot of photocopying. I chose to do this all at the beginning of the year, because I hate not being prepared and having to stop to copy something.

I have 4 kids doing science and made 5 copies so that I have one extra set of copies. I will be revisiting RTR in 5 years so all I will have to do is send the extra set of copies through the copier to make more, instead of copying page-by-page. (Tedious!)

Anyway, I made a folder for each of the units and separated out all the copies from The Body Book. I just pull out that file during the week we will be using it and pass out the sheets. (We are not doing Astronomy.)

Not included in MFW is my spelling section where I just keep my teacher’s manuals. (Love All About Spelling!)

The CDs we will be using go in the next hanging file. Also I have coloring pages with musical instruments on them if they desire to use them.

Portfolio File
The last file is where I “dump” those random projects that don’t go into each child’s MFW binder. I always make sure to write the child’s name and the date on the back. Then at the end of the school year, I can go back through the file and remember things they wrote and projects they had made. I can decide what to throw away and what to add to their portfolios about our year in RTR.

Will I use RTR again?

Heck yeah, I will! In 5 years my last three children will be in 5th, 6th, and 8th grade. I will definitely be using this program again. I feel like a real pro with RTR now that we are in week 29. I am finding things that I “could have used” but found too late. (Like videos on YouTube, extra craft projects, etc. My kids love crafts.) So I’m leaving sticky notes behind to remind me of those cool extras. Only one of my kids will be repeating it (Sir Handsome, who is currently in 3rd grade will be in 8th. So he will be going more into depth next time.)

Why I love MFW

I love how Biblically based My Father’s World is. I read the other day that with some curricula you can omit the Bible section and still have a curriculum, but if you removed the Bible learning from MFW there would be NO curriculum. I love that about MFW. My kids are eating up the Bible learning and I love how RTR presents history in context with Jesus’ life. I never learned this. There was always a disconnect for me. I loved hearing how God planned the absolute perfect time for Jesus to be born and grow. God chose Augustus Caesar to spearhead a time of peace to make it safe enough for Jesus to do his ministry. Thanks My Father's World!

The MFW Community

If you are using My Father's World or will be soon here is a list of MFW links to others who use the curriculum and have FANTASTIC ideas and advice.
MFW Message Boards:

Community led, not created by MFW itself:

MFW Families Yahoo Group:
MFW Rome to Ref Yahoo Group:
MFW Rome to Ref Facebook Page:

My Father's World Blog Roll (To find other bloggers using MFW)

Are you looking into using MFW? Are you currently using it? What are your thoughts or questions about RTR?