GREAT BOOKS CHALLENGE FOR PARENTS
Complete the challenge to earn curriculum or Roman Roads Press store credit.
Welcome to the Great Books Challenge for Parents (and adults)!
This year’s challenge will highlight Christendom: The Medieval Mind, and Dante’s Divine Comedy in particular. We are joined by a very special co-host this year! Joe Carlson is in the process of translating the Divine Comedy, having finished Inferno. Participating in this challenge will give you a behind-the-scenes look at his translation efforts, commentary, advance view of the translation itself, as well as access to selections from the accompanying Reader’s Guide.
HOW DOES THE CHALLENGE WORK?
Why the Great Books Challenge for Parents (and adults)?
Parents love Old Western Culture because they see their children coming to the dinner table full of stories, and thirsty for knowledge and wisdom. But Old Western Culture is not just for students! Over 1,000 parents joined us last year to read through Homer, and hundreds of parents, teachers, and even grand-parents have told us they have used Old Western Culture to, as they often put it, “catch up on the classical education I never received.” Make this the year you dive into the great books yourself, and earn free curriculum in the process!
NOTE: Registering for the challenge does not obligate you to participate or finish the challenge in order to have access to the challenge resources.
READ, WATCH, EARN FREE CURRICULUM
Parents who complete the Challenge will receive any one unit of Old Western Culture (complete digital access, including the main video lectures, workbook, reader, and exams – $49.75 value), or $49.75 in Roman Roads Press store credit.
REGISTER FOR THE CHALLENGE
Have you completed the Challenge?
Note: Link not yet active.
RULES, FAQ, and ABOUT
- Who is this for? Any parent or adult who is no longer a k-12 student. However, we warmly encourage parents to do the challenge with children!
- What must I complete? You must register which unit you have chosen to complete, and read the assigned reading of that unit, and watch the 12 lectures associated with it. You do not need to complete written workbook assignments or exams. Completion is on the honor system.
Note: Aquinas reading not required for The Medieval Mind in order to leave more time for Dante.
- What materials do I need to complete the challenge? If you chose to do one of our two featured units, no purchase is necessary. We will provide the videos from that unit when they are due via email. You will need a copy of the great works themselves in any translation. We recommend Joe Carlson’s new translation of the Divine Comedy for The Medieval Mind, as this will be the version referenced in the extra videos and material, and Wes Callihan’s Iliad and Odyssey (forthcoming) for The Epics.
- Is there a deadline? Yes! The deadline for this challenge is August 1st, 2023. It will culminate in a reading aloud (streamed online) of the entire Divine Comedy!
- “What if I already read the associated great books? Does that count?” Part of what places a book in the canon of the “great books” is that it is worth reading and re-reading many times. For this challenge, you must read the book(s) and watch the associated lectures from the unit you chose between August 1st, 2022 and August 1st, 2023.
Most Common Question: Can I jump in mid-year?
YES! The challenge is set to a very leisurely pace, so while the deadline is set at August 1st, 2023 for completion of the unit, it is very easy to jump in and catch up at almost any time.
“Why are you giving away free curriculum?”
We are convinced that parents who use Old Western Culture will LOVE it. And when a parent loves a curriculum, they tell their friends. And word-of-mouth is the BEST way to let people know about this curriculum. We’re spending most of our time making this the best literature curriculum available, and we need help spreading the word. So help us by USING it, and telling your friends!
“Are you REALLY going to live-stream a read-aloud of the entire Divine Comedy at the end?!”
Yes! In fact, we already did this with the Homer’s Iliad, Vergil’s Aeneid, and Milton’s Paradise Lost! We will record each canto throughout the year, stitch them all together in one video we estimate will be 18+ hours long, and live-stream it on August 1st, 2023 on Roman Roads FB and YouTube page. We would love for some of the books to be read by participants in this Challenge! If you have access to quality audio recording, send a sample recording to GreatBooksChallenge@romanroadspress.com to be considered as a reader.
“I already own all of Old Western Culture!“
You are a Great Books Warrior, or at least on the way! If you own all four years of Old Western Culture, then if you complete the Challenge you will be able to choose $49.75 in store credit.
A Few Testimonials from Previous Challenges
“My high school son and I watched the lectures together and deeply enjoyed them. We learned so much.”
– Saran M
“The background information certainly helped demystify the works, and having the lectures and emails made reading these translated works more accessible. Even with a household of toddlers, the schedule made staying on track easy, for a work I otherwise might not attempt in this phase of life. I’m really looking forward to going through the great books with my children, and am excited to see what Roman Roads produces in the coming years.”
– Amanda B.
“As a college graduate from a major university in 1990, with nearly straight A’s, I realized with a heavy heart that I was uneducated. Homeschooling my own children beginning in the late ‘90’s began the education that I had always longed for, but didn’t know how to pursue. Old Western Culture is becoming my favorite “mid-life” “empty-nesting” resource, though it’s intended for high schoolers. The parent challenge for 2021-22 was the invitation I didn’t know I needed to become more deliberate and less happenstance about this expansive and joyful endeavor. Thank you for your mighty work! It blesses not only me, but all in my circle of influence. Unexpectedly, I’m closer to God because of participating in this challenge, and HE is the needful thing that makes all the difference.”
– Jill L.
I wanted to let you know that I have completed the Great Books Challenge using the Aeneid. Actually, my husband and I did it together after we put the kids to bed (they are in elementary grades) and called it a weekly ‘date night’. 😉
Being publicly educated, we didn’t have the education that we hope to give our children and had very little exposure to most of the ‘greats’ (both books and individuals). I suggested we begin to learn these things now, though our children are younger, so we will know a bit about what we will be teaching when the time comes. Your great books challenge was just the impetus we needed to dive in- and we are so glad we did!
We were both amazed at the vast knowledge that just seeps out of Wes Callihan–it is clear he is not reading from a script but teaching through conversation…a style we both loved. And he teaches in such a way that even huge spans of history or daunting subjects can be made both understandable, fascinating and downright pleasant to discover.
We are very excited for this incredible resource for ourselves presently and for our children in the future!
– Rebecca and Matt