Seals and Trumpets: The Middle Ages (Year 3) is a study of the middle ages, beginning in the first century AD and continuing until just before the invention of the printing press in the 1500s. Students will learn about the expansion of Christianity (with its pros and cons) throughout the Western and Eastern Roman Empires, as well as the “Barbarian” nations surrounding Rome and the growth of Islam. Because we emphasize the history of the middle ages as given in the Scriptures, we do emphasize Western Civilization, with discussion of how the West influenced and was influenced by the rest of the world.
We offer a 4-year plan to studying world history. This is Year 3. Lesson plans each include 36 weeks (180 days).
“When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate otherwise.” ~ D.L. Cooper
“The purpose of prophecy is not to give Christians a crystal ball into future events. Its purpose, once what is prophesied has clearly been seen to come to pass, is to produce the conviction that the God of the Bible is God, thus inspiring repentance, and faith.” ~ Christine Miller
Using the Book of Revelation to Teach History
There are many good history curriculum available to homeschoolers today. Why write another one? One reason is that we want to use Scripture as our primary textbook when homeschooling our children. We believe that the Bible is 100% accurate and was written by our Creator; therefore, it contains the most important information that our Creator wants us to know.
History is Scripture’s record is accurate and true.
Many curriculum use Scripture to teach from Creation until the Roman Empire. The problem comes when we must then teach the rest of time, from the Roman Empire to modern times. There are so many things to teach our children that it becomes difficult to know which historical facts are the most important.
Several years ago, we were first introduced to a view of the book of Revelation called the “historicist” view, which simply means that the events foretold in the book would be revealed over the remaining periods of history, from the writing of the book by John (approximately AD 96) until Yeshua returns to set up His heavenly kingdom at the end of time.
We had always been taught a “futurist” view of Revelation, that all of the prophecies it contains will be fulfilled in a yet-future time.
We are not arguing one way or the other. We believe that God is big enough and wise enough to be able to do both. There are many examples of prophecies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled during the lifetime of the prophet and yet had another fulfillment that pointed to Yeshua, the Messiah. (See, for instance, Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23.) In our minds, the book of Revelation could easily be interpreted from both an historical and a futurist viewpoint.
Isaac Newton, who was a staunch defender of the historicist view of Revelation, wrote the following:
“The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things by this Prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt.” (Isaac Newton, Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John, p. 251.)
When we see how God wrote down the history of the modern world in the book of Revelation, and how it has been fulfilled accurately and completely, all the way up until our current times, our faith in the providence and wisdom of God is greatly strengthened.
“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of YHWH is tried [proven]: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him” (Psalm 18:30, KJV).
“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:4-6, KJV).
One very nice feature of using Scripture to tell history is that, especially when Scripture is committed to memory, our children are provided with a mental timeline. They will be able to put all other historical and current events into their proper perspective, always seen from YHWH’s viewpoint.
Our prayer is that, by telling all of history (from creation to modern times) from God’s perspective as written in the book of Revelation, we will cover the most important details, the things that God most wants our children to know and understand. We hope you’ll enjoy the journey!
Before You Begin:
- If you did not use our World History curriculum (Year 2) — Daniel’s Statue: Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, please read Revelation Revealed, pp. 297-328. (This book is a required text for this year.)
- All parents should read Revelation Revealed, pp. 1-14, 289-296, before beginning this curriculum.
Note on Catholicism:
This curriculum often refers to the Catholic church as simply the “Church” or “Christianity.” We do not believe that all members of the historic Catholic church were true believers; not do we believe that all of them were unbelievers. We agree with Matthew 7:15-23, in which Yeshua states:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Our Teaching Methods
Note: This history curriculum uses our “Hear, Learn, Keep, Do” method of teaching. You should take the time to read about it here.
How to Use This Curriculum
Each “week” of lesson plans is set up so that 3 days will be spent reading aloud from the main textbooks with Mom, then 2 more days of study, projects, and review can be done relatively independently. Our goal was to allow Mom several days a week of intense study with her children, yet also give Mom a few days to accomplish housework, errands, and other responsibilities. You are always welcome to do more than the curriculum suggests.
Three days each week, this curriculum schedules a passage for Mom to read aloud to her children. You may also choose to occasionally have the students read the passage aloud.
We have also scheduled topics of discussion to go with each reading. However, don’t feel that you must limit the discussion to only these things! Mom should feel free to stop the reading at any point, to discuss things that she knows are important to her family. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you learn together.
- You can download a list of all required and optional books here.
- Book report form
- Form to track books read
Please note: Most, if not all, of these books contain things such as Catholicism, references to mythology, references to pagan holidays such as Christmas and Easter, and more. This is the nature of the Middle Ages! We urge you to read these books as a family or to at least discuss the books thoroughly!
Memorization is an important part of our curriculum, so that students will have a mental “handle” on which they can hang all of the other things they learn. We will be learning passages of Scripture, important dates, and a summary of portions of the book of Revelation. We usually introduce new memory work on read-aloud days, and we review extensively, especially on the third day of each “week.”
Christian and educational expert Don Potter advises using the “Hoffman Universal Memory System” to memorize Scripture (or anything else). You can read more about this method here.
You can download a list of all the Memory Work for the year, which is handy for Mom to bookmark and refer to often.
During all four years of this history curriculum, we will be constructing a timeline. We use dates that agree with biblical history, whether or not they agree with modern historians.
In our home, we printed the Book of Centuries, by Debra Reed, and inserted it into a 3-ring binder. We then purchased History Through the Ages: Timeline Figures, by Amy Pak, to paste into our binder. Because Amy Pak includes different historical figures in her set than we include in our curriculum, we enjoy adding some of her extra figures at the appropriate time in history and sometimes scheduling one of our children to research these people or events on their own, to report back to us the following week.
In our curriculum, we have bolded any dates that we suggest you memorize. All other dates are written in regular fonts and do not need to be memorized.
We use and love Map Trek: The Complete Collection, by Terri Johnson, for map studies, as well as maps that appear in the scheduled daily readings.
While Map Trek includes a CD you can use to print out maps, we personally recommend that you have your children trace the maps for themselves. Tracing helps children learn the boundaries of maps very well. No matter which option you choose, encourage your students to color the maps and to be very neat in their creation of maps.
Use a 3-ring binder to save the maps they make, then show them off to friends and relatives, since map-making is a lot of hard work!
Once each week, we schedule a “notebooking” activity that your children can mostly do independently. Provide them with supplies, such as colored pencils, markers, pretty papers, glue, and special scissors. Younger children might want to dictate a paragraph to Mom, which she could then type and print out, to be included in their notebooks.
Some families like to have their children notebook several times a day. Other families skip notebooking altogether, just having their children “tell back” (narrate) to them what they have learned.
Some activities are simply listed as research projects, such as “Visit a public library or do research online on ancient weapons.” These could be used as notebooking activities, as writing assignments, or as parts of larger reports or projects. Do what works best for your family!
This curriculum is intended primarily for grades 4-8, but it can easily be adapted for all ages. Younger children enjoy just listening, and believe me, they pick up much more than we realize! They also enjoy memorizing, coloring maps, and making simple notebooking pages. We recommend that you make use of your local library, getting picture books that will supplement what you’re learning. (We must admit, though, that picture books for some of these topics are difficult to find!)
High school students are ready to discuss and interact with many of these topics on a much deeper level than younger students. We recommend that you take many of the weekly notebooking topics and require 2-3 pages of essays from your high school students. You may wish to pose controversial questions of your students and ask them to defend their positions.
We have included additional reading assignments for high school students. Some of these are more difficult than others, so use your discretion in what you require of your own students. Most are available for free online, but if your budget allows, consider purchasing hard-copy books, since it will be easier for your student to read, to highlight, and to take notes.
Even adults will love this curriculum – we know we did! Take every opportunity to discuss these topics throughout your days and alongside your activities. As adults, stick some of the additional books beside your bed, so you can be reading them, too. You’ll start seeing God’s hand everywhere!
Copywork of the memory work is included once each week. You can download traditional handwriting examples of the memory work and a few additional things by clicking here. You may wish to print a copy of these to include in your student’s notebooks, to be referred to as they copy them.
Throughout this curriculum, we recommend various websites to study topics in further depth. If you don’t have access to the Internet, a local library should be able to provide you with many similar resources.
Please use discretion when using any website, including the ones we recommend, and always supervise your children when using the Internet.
Please contact us if any link does not work so that we may update it.
About Seals and Trumpets: The Middle Ages
Seals and Trumpets: The Middle Ages is copyright 2017 by Anne Elliott. The first edition of this curriculum was originally published in 2013.
All rights reserved. No part of this curriculum may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. You do have permission to photocopy the curriculum for your own personal use. You may select individual pages to copy, or you may copy the entire curriculum! It is up to you how much of the information you want to copy and for how many children in your family you want to use it. You can copy this curriculum for use in your immediate family only; redistributing the book to other families is strictly prohibited.
Scripture taken from the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.
Some selections of Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Some selections of Scripture taken from the English Standard Version (ESV), adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
Published by Foundations Press