Ancient Medieval History

Instructor: Gail Efting

Rome to Renaissance and Reformation – Medieval World History (200 BC to 1700 AD)

Type of Class: Group and Online supported

Class Class Fee: $80 per month per person – tuition and fees payable directly to: Gail Efting. Online Program Fee: $20.00 per student

Questions: Contact Gail Efting at

Minimum & Maximum Class size: minimum – 5 maximum – 25 students

Credit: Junior High or High School History, High School Composition, or Honors Western Civilization II. This class is the second in a progressive four year cycle, covering history across the ages. These classes may be completed in any order. Other history classes include: Ancient History (through the Greeks), Modern World History, and American History in the World.

This course is designed to coordinate well with On Writing Well, and Philosophy/Apologetics.

Course Description: High School History classes are a multi-level program of extensive interaction between the teacher and a group of students. Students who participate develop a clear understanding of the flow of history, including chronological relationships, geographical relationships and the consequences of ideas. Students are exposed to the great writings of the era they are studying. They have opportunities to think critically and to interact personally with each age through discussion, presentation, activities and respectful debate. Instructor will hold student’s work to either High School or Honors standards, as requested by the student. Students’ thoughtful involvement in discussions, both in class and at home, is central to the learning process. Instructor will use Pauline and Socratic discussion and experiential learning to stimulate analytical thinking. Questions for discussion at home will be assigned frequently. This course will use critical thinking skills to examine ideas and their consequences from Ancient Roman through Medieval History. Medieval Literature, original sources, living books and history texts will be absorbed and discussed. Projects and presentations will be a regular part of the work. An extensive list of resources will be used throughout the course. Reading lists will be available in advance. Honors credit: Honors credit can be available for this class. Honors courses are generally valued more highly in transcript GPA calculations because they are more demanding. If your student completes work at honors levels Mrs. E can help you with your assessment and grade calculations. Students who request honors work will be held to a higher standard, both in terms of the level of effort in class and the depth of thoughtful analysis in commentaries and other submissions. As the teacher of record, the parent can expect to discuss the ideas and materials we cover in class, with your student at home. Please let Mrs. Efting know immediately, if you will be doing honors work. Honors course work is at college level and includes additional criteria for research, analysis and presentation.

Course Content: This course will focus on understanding history from the late Roman Empire through the High Middle Ages. Students are also encouraged to develop strong patterns of seeking Godly counsel from parents through topic discussion. If your student is not yet in Junior High school, this class might still be appropriate for him/her, since this class is reading, thinking, and discussion based. Also, if HS level analysis is completed, HS credit may be awarded to younger students. Contact Mrs. E for more information.

Assessment: I will be available to parents as needed to answer questions or simply to be a sounding board for discussion. This is a student centered, experiential learning class, and each student will be expected to participate in some way, as is appropriate to their own design. However, students will not be compared to each other, nor to a “norm”. Each person will be encouraged to excel in their own way. Please talk with me as often as you like. You are welcome to sit in on the class on a regular basis, even all year if you like. I want to do everything I can to assist you in this important process of training students to think accurately and wisely about history, and to apply logical and Biblically effective historical skills in all aspects of their lives. Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. (Burke)

Course Requirements: My commitment is to provide opportunities, instruction and encouragement in observation, discernment and critical thinking about historical ideas and constructs, and practice with communication, both written and verbal. I will provide material and training which will be beneficial long term and practically useful. The commitment requested of each student is to be in class ready to start on time for every session, to submit required postings on time, to complete assignments appropriately, prepared to observe, listen, learn, think, participate, and contribute at his/her best “as unto the Lord”. This class requires extensive thought and work. Students will get out of the class what they put in, no less, no more. Every week, students are required to submit a commentary, within 24 hours of class adjournment. This required commentary includes; 1. What happened in the class, 2. what the student learned in class, 3. how the student felt or what the student thought about what s/he learned or experienced in class, and 4. an overview of the assignments for the coming week. This commentary will also function as a communication device for you, to clarify your weekly work process and help you focus on some of the issues we are discussing in class. This commentary is designed to provide your student with an opportunity for review and reflection, which are important aspects of conversion from transactional learning to transformational learning. If completed correctly, it will also provide the parent, as teacher of record, with the information necessary to complete any accomplishment descriptions throughout the year. I strongly recommend that you require your students to retain copies of the weekly commentaries they are supposed to be sending to me, for your records. The commitment requested of each “coach” (or Godly counsel) is to help your student be accountable for the requirements of the class, starting on time, submitting work as instructed, participation, doing their best “as unto the Lord”. Please, do not do the work FOR your student, or give them the answers to thought questions, but encourage them to persevere (sometimes in the face of frustration) to their goals.

Attendance: Class learning is often experiential and interactive, and cannot be easily repeated outside of the group experience, so consistent attendance within each topic block (both in class and on line) is extremely important. There is new material given almost every week, which students may not obtain easily if they miss a class or a weekly posting. Additionally, it is often difficult for students to complete ‘homework assignments’ when they have not participated in the preceding class. However, because of the “blocking” nature of the coursework, a topic is reviewed and combined with new information each week through the progression of the block. Also, if necessary, a block could be missed in its entirety without too seriously damaging the learning process during the rest of the year. And, of course, students are always welcome to gather some of the information they missed during the following class, or during that block the following cycle. This does give you the flexibility which is so important to the homeschool experience. If you have scheduled to miss classes for any reason, please let me know as soon as YOU know, so that I can adjust as necessary, to make the learning process easier. Courtesy mandates communication.

Classroom Expectations: Real learning is exciting, stimulating and tremendously interesting. It has intrinsic rewards of discovery, growth and realization. Every student should feel free, and safe, to embrace the joy of learning without distraction. In this class, students are encouraged to put in the effort to take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ, ready to give an answer with gentleness and respect, considering one another ahead of themselves. Nothing will be permitted in the classroom which distracts students from the thrilling process of learning. All students should come to class and/or post online, attentive, courteous, interactive, and teachable.

Assignment Criteria: Assignments are often are activity or interview oriented. Topic blocks range from 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the subject matter being studied, with submission of online posts and a project (which requires several weeks to complete) due during each block. Students are STRONGLY encouraged to seek Godly counsel between sessions, and often have interview assignments. Parents are encouraged to attend class to observe if they desire, so that they are familiar with the processes experienced by their students. Many do so. Growth in life is based, to a large degree, on perseverance. Because of the nature of student centered teaching, students will get just as much benefit (guidance, feedback, help and growth) as they contribute of their own effort to the learning process. It’s that simple. For example, if you want to change an attitude, gain knowledge or develop a skill, and are willing to participate in the class learning experiences and do your best with the block projects, I will is to be in class ready to start on time for every session, to submit required postings on time, to complete assignments appropriately, prepared to observe, listen, learn, think, participate, and contribute at his/her best “as unto the Lord”. This class requires extensive thought and work. Students will get out of the class what they put in, no less, no more. Your questions and comments are encouraged, and I will respond respectfully and thoughtfully to any question you ask. Please make sure you send the email to and put “HEART Medieval History” in the subject line.

Additionally, I am available for questions, additional discussion or assistance in Biblical research or other projects, at the BALM Library at Silicon Valley Christian Assembly in Santa Clara, by appointment.

Materials: MEDIEVAL HISTORY NOTE BOOK or electronic equivalent (please bring every week) must include; Place this class description in the Binder. Put your Medieval History Notebook together before the first class. Make sure that you have ALL of the required texts, ready to go. Bring all of these books with you to the first class. Read introduction of the KONOS material.

Workload: All classes taught by Gail Efting are student and family centered. You, as teacher of record, will be evaluating whether your student will be working at middle, high school, or honors levels (Gail K. Efting can help you with that). There are several ways to determine workload, based on how you plan to evaluate course credit. Determination before the class begins, of the method to be used, makes the workload planning and record keeping process much easier. Two common methods of valuation are by time (based on the number of hours of coursework completed in the year) and by competency (based on the actual performance of the student in the area of study). Time based methods (often called Carnegie hours) are used by most school systems, as the time spent is easy to track. But I recommend the competency method, because this method is actually more student centered. Competency measurements allow the student to interact with the content and process as long (or as little) as is necessary for acceptable performance in each area of study. This gives the student the opportunity to learn how to become a self-directed, life-long learner. Competency based measures are more effective in allowing students to work to mastery in areas of interest, by stimulating learning autonomy (a very important capacity, if they intend to go to college or get a job). Honors work requires more time and effort, of course, but in an area of passion, it is well worth while to allow time and energy for work to this level. The online system will keep track of assignments and commentaries completed, records of posts, and any other project materials the student chooses to store there. Please contact Gail K Efting if you would like to discuss any of this further.

Curriculum: Konos, History of the World, Medieval The Consequences of Ideas, Sproul Original works or living history materials, as assigned Honors Texts: Additional original works or living history materials, as assigned Optional: Veritas Press Omnibus (Medieval) About Your Instructor: please find her bio at the end of this document.

Contacting the Teacher: If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to send Gail Efting an e-mail at Please make sure you put, “HEART MEDIEVAL HISTORY”, your name, and your topic in the subject line of your note.

Teacher Assistant Position Available: One TA position is currently available for this class. If you would like to enjoy some lively discussions with curious and insightful students, or can support the class in a more “behind the scenes” way, please send Gail Efting an e-mail immediately. Tuition discounts are available for TAs.

Assignments before classes begin: As soon as you read through this Info Sheet, send Gail K. Efting an e-mail at In the subject line enter “HEART MEDIEVAL HISTORY” and your name. As soon as confirmation of your registration for this class has been received, you will receive a student ID and password by email, from BALMpathwright. Please go online, to the URL given, and begin the intro process for this course. You will be asked to complete sign up and answer several questions before class begins. Please make sure you have set up your student account online no later than Aug. 25th, 2019.