The 2021-2022 Great Books Challenge is now complete. Thank you to all those who participated! Stay tuned for information about the 2022-2023 Challenge, which will start September 1st, and focus on Dante’s Divine Comedy (Old Western Culture: The Medieval Mind), and include some special guests, and hopefully another debate.

Quick Stats on 2021-2022 Challenge:
1,150 parents signed up for the Challenge
118 finished the entire Iliad and Odyssey, and The Epics lectures by August 1st!
One Great Debate
Three Great Mugs
– Countless hours of epic reading

Welcome to the 2021/2022 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 – 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, like the Achilles Vs Hector debate. 

Watch the video


1. Register

Register for the Great Books Challenge for Parents. No purchase necessary to enter the challenge, but you will need access to the unit of OWC you chose for the challenge, except unit 1 (The Epics) which is included during the challenge via private email links.

2. Read and Watch!

Enjoy reading the Great Books from the unit you chose, and watching the lectures from Old Western Culture! The Challenge is focused on The Epics this year, and will include extra resources, including a 40-week suggested schedule, and audio reading of all 24 books of the Iliad and Odyssey! 

Extra: Join the Challenge Facebook Group. Follow Roman Roads Media page for extra resources.

3. Get Free Unit

Did you complete the challenge? CONGRATULATIONS! Fill out this form (FORM NO LONG ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR 2021-2022 Challenge), and the unit of your choice will be on the way!

Free unit details: 1 unit of Old Western Culture (physical DVD or streaming) + Reader (PDF), and workbook (PDF) + Exam Pack (PDF). $56 value. You may choose Roman Roads store credit for yourself or to give away instead of a free unit. 

More about the Challenge

“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 Odyssey 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 book, one-by-one, throughout the year, stitch them all together in one video we estimate will be 18+ hours long, and live-stream it on August 1st, 2022 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@romanroadsmedia.com to be considered as a reader of one book of the Odyssey.

“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 we match the price ($56) in store credit!

The Rules

Testimonials from Previous Challenges

I’m including a few comments from parents who finished previous Great Books Challenge for Parents (which was focused on The Aeneid).

Hi, I finished the parent Aeneid challenge yesterday and I am so very happy I did it. Not only am I much more prepared to help my children learn the material in a few years when they reach high school age, but I absolutely loved reading the books! I was a science major in college and never really “got” the excitement for literature and history. Now I realize that literature and history are foundational to our western society. They have become the subjects central to our little homeschooling effort.
– Kirsten

I have now finished the Aeneid Challenge and much to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed and understood it all. I was terribly intimidated before I began but within the first lesson my apprehension evaporated and I couldn’t wait to move on to the next section! Thanks so much for issuing the challenge as I can’t wait to begin with my daughter in a few months!
– Sarah

Hi there, I took up the Aeneid challenge this year and wanted to let you know that I completed it! The Aeneid was the first “Great book” I have ever read and I am amazed at how much I have learnt.
– Cindy

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