Tag Archives: audio

The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury ~ a TOS review

christmas-treasury-review

Funny . . . silly . . . full of fun. The The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury – Audio Collection will cheer your family this holiday season while ushering in the spirit of family fun. Brought to you by The Familyman, Todd Wilson, this collection of holiday tales will brings gales of laughter to the entire family.

The Christmas Treasury is a set of 6 holiday tales written by The Familyman himself. Available either on CD or as Digital Downloads, these tales will thrill the listeners as they giggle at the man in town who sits in trees and chats with squirrels, live through memories of Christmases past, quake at the sound of a knock at the door, or become a super hero who changes the world, and not for the better.

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews

The Familyman, Todd Wilson, is a well-known name. Focusing on the mission “to remind dads of what’s most important” is what The Familyman does. Whether it is through speaking, audio, or writing, Mr. Wilson’s humor, experience, and straight forward talk makes him a favorite. He has written books such as Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom and appears as a guest with Focus on the Family. His wit and humor come through clearly in The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury.

The Treasury tales are Captain Chaos and The Manger Blaster, Cootie McKay’s Nativity, The Stranger, The Bishop’s Dream, Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest, and Gladys Remembers Christmas. We also received It’s Called Christmas and The Secret of Snow Village. We received all of these as digital downloads and also Cootie McKay on CD.

Captain Chaos is a story of what you probably expect from the title: a superhero who is not so super and creates chaos for the young boy of the story at Christmas time. The story was fun and we laughed a bit, though it is certain to be appreciated more by boys than by my giggly girls. This story was quite a discussion starter and gave us a chance to talk about biblical salvation. We also had the opportunity to talk about denominations vs what the Bible says.

Gladys Remembers Christmas was a sad but thoughtful reminder of our blessings. Gladys was cleaning out her childhood home when unexpected finds brought joy to her life once again. This story of traditions and memories was a sweet reminder of how one small thing can spark wonderful changes.

The Stranger challenged us to live by Jesus’ words and example. One by one, the members of the church turned away the stranger who came to them. A door was finally opened to him on Christmas Eve and that brought suprises, beautiful ones, to that family. Miss J said, with heartfelt enthusiasm and relief, “I’m glad someone finally let him come in!” It was a lovely story about entertaining angels.

familyman-cd

Cootie McKay’s Nativity was probably my very favorite. I listened to this hilarious story more than once and I laughed pretty hard each time. In this story, the town’s nativity needs replaced (the reason is hilarious so I’ll leave that for you to listen to) and Cootie McKay is the one to do it. What starts as a way to let Cootie know what is needed for the nativity turns into a study of the Biblical account of the nativity and a study that touches the heart. This story had several meanings for me: people rise to meet a challenge, there is great joy in God’s word, and do not underestimate the power of God’s word.

Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest was a beautiful story about how God touches our lives through others. When Harold Grubbs chooses to change his life and follow God, the whole town is surprised. His change touched everyone and his Christmas Vest became a yearly reminder of God’s ability to touch life. This was a very pleasant story and I enjoyed it very much. It is another opportunity to talk with our children about Biblical salvation.

These are wonderful family stories that will prompt laughter right alongside thoughtful discussions that will grow your family in God. Be prepared to discuss and correct Biblical teachings. There are references to various denominational churches and that salvation is received by “asking Jesus into your heart.” Because these are not Biblical teachings, we did not let the girls listen to these without a parent the first time so that we could guide and teach them according to God’s word.  These are teaching and learning moments so don’t let that keep you from considering the purchase of this collection of wonderful stories.

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews

The Familyman’s Christmas Treasure is a lot of fun; we have really enjoyed the stories and the laughter. This is a great product to bring your family some fun time together this holiday season.

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The Cat of Bubastes ~ a TOS review

 

cat-of-bubastes

Ancient Egypt has fascinated our family since Miss E was young. When she was about four, she was playing with heiroglyph stickers and learning about Egypt. When Heirloom Audio Productions announced their release of The Cat of Bubastes, I got really excited knowing how much fascination Egypt held. We were thrilled to get to be on the review of this one!

cat-of-bubastes-cover

Heirloom Audio always does a magnificent job of creating a theater quality production to listen to in the comfort of your own home or the convenience of any place you can take a CD or an MP3 file. Their production crew is able to create such a wonderful program that it makes the listener feel as though they are right in the middle of the action, the discussions, and the life of the characters. Each production Heirloom creates seems to be better than the last.

Heirloom Audio’s tagline is “The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty”. They are adapting Henty novels to audio productions that can be listened to and the productions focus on Christian values and aspects of history that are becoming lost in history books these days. Henty was a writer that lived from 1832-1902. He was a war correspondent and as such, traveled extensively, thus getting much of his knowledge of culture and lands. He wrote about many famous people and times in history but he told a much different story than many of the history books tell. Heirloom Audio has taken his writings and used them as the story lines for Christian audio adventures,taking to heart the quote by Frederick Douglas that states “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

As a part of this review we received:

  • a physical CD copy of the audio production
  • an MP3 file of the audio production
  • a PDF file of the study guide
  • a digital copy of the soundtrack
  • a digital copy of The Cat of Busbastes ebook by G.A. Henty
  • a PDF of the cast poster
  • a digital file of a behind-the-scenes documentary video
  • a PDF of an inspirational verse

These items all are part of the family four-pack purchase bonuses.

 

The Cat of Bubastes takes place several thousand years ago in Egypt. Many of the Rebu tribe have been captured in war and are transported as slaves to Egypt. Once in Thebes, Amuba and Jethro are placed as slaves in the house of Ameres, the high priest of Osiris. Amuba becomes friends with his master, Chebron, one of Ameres’ sons. As they learn together, they wonder about the ability of the gods and where truth comes from. In meeting an Israelite, they learn about the one true God the Israelites had worshipped in the past. Between the uncovering of a murder plot in the temple to the accidental killing of the sacred Cat of Bubastes, Amuba, Chebron, and Jethro are thrust into danger and adventure. The men experience the wonder, providence, and protection of the one true God.

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Enjoy The Story:

The CD is what we use most. It becomes almost permanently housed in Miss E’s room so she can listen to it over and over. (Well, until the next one comes out. . .) It is a 2 CD set and is done with very high quality sound. The production is approximately 2 hours long. It features the voices of Brian Blessed, Peter Moreton, Akintunde Esuruoso, Toby Baddeley, Anthony Daniels, Emily Woodward, and many others. With a score by award-winning John Campbell, the enjoyment of the story is non-stop from beginning to end. It is an easy listen and you hardly know that 2 hours has gone by when the story finally concludes.

We have used the MP3 files to place the audio production on our Kindles. This allows us to listen to the program while not at home. These have the same high quality as the CDs and are easily portable.

cat-of-bubastes-ebook-coverI have also placed the ebook of the original Henty novel on my Kindle. I have been able to read the book while waiting during dance classes or violin lessons. The ebook version is the original Henty novel but it has been redesigned for an ebook and has a few images added to help enhance the story. While it was slow to get started, I realized that there was a lot of information in the first part that really enhanced the story later on. Reading the ebook is something that is really quite important with this particular novel, I believe. Since the audio production is an adaptation, there is a lot of information that they are unable to include. I have learned a lot about Egypt, the society and culture, and the religion that just was unable to be added to the audio production. I highly recommend reading the original Henty novel.

The behind-the-scenes video is approximately 20 minutes long and is able to be watched on the computer.  This was a fascinating video as it discussed the many roles required to create these productions. The focus on interactions and how each role is important was quite interesting. It was refreshing to see the focus on God, from prayer before each work session, to the statement that this is all being done “within God’s will.” One of my favorite quotes from the video is “Each one of these stories we do has changed me . . . Each one imparts something in you. Our prayer is that as people listen, it imparts something of substance . . that it challenges you or changes you.” (John Fornof)

cat-of-bubastes-study-guide-coverThe study guide is a huge part of this package. The study guide contains tons of information and cat-of-bubastes-study-guide-excerptquestions to help you get more out of the story. Each track has its own section of the study guide that contains questions to help the reader focus on the story and comprehending it as well as questions that force the listener to think more deeply about the content and reasoning. There are also words to define that the listener might not know. Often, there is also an information box on the page that shares more about the culture, animals, traditions, and more of ancient Egypt. Each page of the study guide has not only the disc and track number but it also contains the time markings for that track if you are listening to it on MP3, which shows and elapsed time, rather than track numbers sometimes. The study additionally contains three Bible studies: God Meant It For Good, The Knowledge of God, and Idolatry and Tyranny. There is also some additional information on the cat of Bubastes.

I placed the study guide on my Kindle and we accessed it there. We used it to guide our out loud discussions about the story. The study guide definitely enriches the experience of Heirloom Audio Productions.

Our Thoughts:

Heirloom Audio has done it again and The Cat of Bubastes is a wonderful learning experience. It is fun and entertaining, while teaching a lot.

One thing with The Cat of Bubastes was that if you don’t know the story, it is hard to follow the first time you listen. Miss E remarked that she felt like she had missed a disc and actually took it out to check that it was the first disc and that it was starting on track 1. It would be good to get the background knowledge of the battle that begins the novel if possible before listening to the CDs.

And, as I mentioned when discussing the ebook, there is a lot of information about Egypt and its culture and beliefs that just cannot be included in the audio production, whether due to the difficulty of writing it into a conversational style or the time factor. You really don’t want to miss that information.

We enjoy Heirloom Audio Productions and get so much learning from each of their programs that I can’t help but share about them. We are grateful for the opportunity each time we are selected to be a part of a review for Heirloom. They truly are tremendous learning opportunities that are coupled with Christian values and beliefs.

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Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

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A Favorite

A favorite thing necessary to our homeschool? Just one?
Well, okay – I’ll pick:

Audiobooks

Yep, good ol’ audiobooks. The reason I specify audiobooks instead of just good literature and include audiobooks in it? Because the audio part can make a huge difference for some kids. Once audiobooks were discovered by my readers (and they LOVE to read), a bigger array of titles opened up to them because the thickness of the book or the tininess of the print was no longer intimidating. From Anne of Green Gables to folktales by native storytellers to major productions like The Dragon and The Raven by Heirloom Audio Productions, audios have made a huge impact on our homeschooling.

If you are looking for classics, you can get many of them for free online from sources like Librivox or your local public library site (using things like Overdrive).

If you are looking for children’s titles, check out your local public library or a interlibrary loan system. Miss J checks out Playaways with titles like Corduroy, Amelia Bedelia, and The Hungry Caterpillar. Miss E checks out Ella Enchanted and Anne of Green Gables and more.

If you are looking for more, you can pay and buy them online or in bookstores. (But don’t forget to look in used bookstores, too!)

We have used audio books to make our roadtrips much more productive. Whether it be a classic that we want to listen to or something new we have never experienced, we have found that roadtrips are the perfect time to try out audiobooks.

History is one area where audiobooks bring a whole lot of information to life for the listener. Especially if you use our very favorite resource: Heirloom Audio Productions.

We have reviewed several of their productions (and we just found out we get to review their newest one, as well: The Cat of Bubastes so look for that in October), including:
Beric The Briton,
Under Drakes Flag,
In Freedom’s Cause,
With Lee In Virginia, and
The Dragon and the Raven.

These will teach the listener history whether they want to hear it or not! They are amazing and fantastic and tons of fun. Just ask Miss E. She keeps them in her room and listens to them quite often. I would imagine she has listened to each of them several times.

So our favorite, can’t live without item: audios, be it audiobooks or audioproductions. Go find one to listen to and see if your family doesn’t fall in love with them, too.

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This is a part of the Review Crew Round-up, publishing the evening of August 26, 2016 (when this link will be live).

Favorite Homeschool Product 

The Dragon and the Raven ~ a TOS review

The Dragon and The Raven reviewTake some history that is well researched and extremely well acted, put it into an audio format, and you get Heirloom Audio Productions. (You also get a set of CDs that disappear into the bedroom of Miss E and Miss J and takes you weeks to ransom! Truly – they listened to it three times before I got my hands on it!)

We have been reviewing the newest production from Heirloom Audio titled The Dragon and the RavenIf you have not had the pleasure of experiencing, and it is an experience, any of these productions, you definitely need to! They are loved by my 7 year old and my 11 year old alike. Bringing history to life, allowing us to see the real people involved, and not even realizing that we are learning – this is truly exciting.inside of CD package

Heirloom Audio Productions fall into the category of audio theater. How are these different from audio books? Well, the stories are acted, not merely read. The actors truly make you see the action in your mind, complete with sound effects. If you think these sound somewhat like old-fashioned radio, you would probably be right but these are so much better! With an award-winning score by John Campbell, you are in for such a treat when you listen to Heirloom Audio.

Heirloom’s presentations of The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty catch and hold the student’s attention throughout. The productions are acted by extremely talented actors. The Dragon and the Raven features the talented voices of John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones), Helen George (Call the Midwife), Brian Blessed (Star Wars, Tarzan, King Lear), Stylvester McCoy (Doctor Who VII, The Hobbit), John Bell (The Hobbit), and Katherine Kellgren (award-winning narrator).

The Dragon and the Raven is the fourth G.A. Henty adaptation Heirloom Audio has created. The Dragon and the Raven is set in the Britain of King Alfred. Their land has been not merely invaded but overrun by the Danes and everything is being destroyed. The people are looking to their leader, their King, to lead them and help them stand up under this terrifying people. King Alfred is young but knows what is right. He knows his strength comes from the Lord and that is where he looks for his strength. Under his guidance and leadership, along with the friendship of Edmund, the country turns to the God they had left behind them and strive to save their country and lives.Proverbs 21_31

This is the setting for learning more about King Alfred than you ever didn’t know you didn’t know. Finding the Christian values and moral in history is a specialty of Living the Adventure with Heirloom Audio. Intensely researched and written, this audio theater teaches values such as standing up for the right, bravery under pressure, trusting in God, and having determination to do your duty at all cost. All these while being immersed in history. One of the slogans on their website is Christian Heroes for Christian Kids! That is something that I love and Heirloom does super well.

We recevied the two-disc set but we also received some additional files to download. These included:

  • eStudy Guide and Discussion Starter
  • full color printable poster file of the inspirational verse Proverbs 21:31 “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord.”
  • downloadable MP3 soundtrack
  • access to the Live The Adventure email newsletter
  • printable full color promotional poster
  • behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the cast, crew, and actors of The Dragon and the Raven
  • G.A. Henty’s book The Dragon and the Raven as an ebook

study guide cover

This is a huge amount of materials to assist in the joy of The Dragon and the Raven. I downloaded both the study guide and the ebook to Miss E’s Kindle. She has been reading the ebook and enjoying it, though she did say it is a bit hard since the audio drama is so exciting. This is the G.A. Henty book so it is what the audio theater is based on. I also put the ebook on my Kindle and enjoyed reading it a lot. I enjoying seeing where the story originated and how it was adapted to the audio drama.

We have also been using the eStudy Guide and Discussion Starter. I really like using a discussion guide because it gives structure to digging deeper into the story. It pushes Miss E to think more deeply and detailed about the characters, the action, and what is really going on. The excerpt from the study guidequestions and activities help us to focus more on the purposes of actions. With biographies and histories included, there is so much to learn in the guide.

 

There are some super nice features in the Discussion Guide. One of these features is that the track listing and time marks for the section is included on the top of the study guide pages. Another of the features I really like is the way the activities are broken down. There are three sections for each piece of the story: Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words. Additionally, there are three Bible studies included in the guide to help relate the Christian values and morals from the story to our lives today.

I have the guide on my Kindle and we do most of the questions and activities out loud. This allows it to be a family project and my 7 year old can participate well, since writing these types of answers is difficult for even a student who writes well. We tried to do all of the mapping activities and we had some interesting discussions about prejudices.

This type of a history study opens so many door and shows us so many paths. I do believe that our family will be exploring more of these as we continue with our studies and listen to The Dragon and the Raven again.

The Dragon and The Raven cover

Heirloom Audio Productions has given us the privilege of reviewing their previous productions, as well. We have reviewed Under Drake’s Flag, In Freedom’s Cause, and With Lee In Virginia. All of these have been amazingly fun, informational, and full of learning. From learning about Sir Francis Drake to learning Celtic culture and history to finding out a whole lot about Robert E. Lee and his true character, I cannot say enough good things about Heirloom Audio Productions and their series The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty.

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The Dragon and the Raven {Heirloom Audio Productions Review}

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Brinkman Adventures Season 3 ~ a TOS review

Our family has really fallen in love with audio, whether it be audio books or audio dramas. Brinkman Adventures falls under the audio drama category and it has been an interesting listen for us. The Brinkman Adventures: Season 3 continues the many adventures of the Brinkman family and shares stories of missionaries and Christian heroes to encourage and inspire. With 4 CDs, 12 episodes, and over 5 hours of audio, your family will be in for a real treat. You can also get it as an MP3 download.

Brinkman Adventures Season 3 Review

The Brinkman Adventures are based on the lives of real people experiencing God. While Season 3 continues some parts of a family story, it is not necessary to have listened to the previous seasons to be able to pick this one up and follow along with the Brinkman family. We had not listened to the previous season and we were drawn into the stories almost from the beginning.

Our family had heard a lot of praise about the Brinkman Adventures but were still somewhat unsure about whether we would enjoy the episodes. We have been enjoying them a lot. (A side note: I was not drawn into the episode that is on the website but have really, really enjoyed what we have listened to in season 3 so don’t let that one episode be your sole decision maker.) We have listened to the episodes as a family in the evening while sitting in the living room coloring or drawing or building something quietly. It has been a pleasant close to the evenings.

Brinkman Adventures Season 3Season 3 of the Brinkman Adventures introduces us to several missionary stories. These are what really drew our attention and made it hard to turn the CD off at the end of an episode. These stories are based on real people and their circumstances. These are people that have trusted God beyond ability to understand it and have been able to share The Word with others because of that trust. These stories draw you in and help you see a God that is so much bigger than our own world and experiences. It makes me want to go be a missionary myself. That, I think, is an example of how very good these stories are.

Something I have found very interesting and informative is that you can visit the Brinkman Adventures website and read more about these real life people whose lives inspire the episodes in Season 3, as well as the past seasons. Now, don’t go if you haven’t listened and don’t want the story climax spoiled. But do go at some point. You will be blessed by learning more about these servants of God who go when he calls them.

Whether you are looking for something to encourage you, something to inspire your children, or just something to listen to in the car, the Brinkman Adventures Season 3 is definitely worth looking into. Mission work takes heart to go and do but the more we know about it, the more we can see ways to support that work from wherever we may be at the time. That is why I see such value in this audio drama series. Following God through His plan can be difficult but the more often we are able to see and experience the blessing of following Him, the easier it is to follow Him.

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With Lee In Virginia – a TOS review

With Lee discs 2

Once again, we have been treated to an amazing learning experience through audio theater with our review of With Lee in Virginia. This is the newest audio drama to be produced by Heirloom Audio Productions. And it surpasses their previous two in quality and enjoyment. (You can read our reviews of Under Drake’s Flag and In Freedom’s Cause when you are done reading here, if you’d like.)

Heirloom Audio Productions is striving to bring history to life. The stories they tell are adapted from G.A. Henty novels. But they don’t just adapt the story. They research it. They travel to the places the characters will go and see the things the characters will see. So that they can get it right and make it even more interesting to the listener. And they search out Christian examples of God infusing lives. You can learn more on their website.

CD cover
As you might guess from the title, With Lee In Virginia is set in the Civil War. It is the story of Vincent Wingfield, his relationships, and his experiences in the war. After joining the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia, he serves under General Robert E Lee and General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Through interactions with Vincent and the men, we learn a lot about General Lee’s character and General Jackson’s character. All three men are Christians with a strong belief in God. Duty, prayer and love for your enemies is a strong theme throughout the story.

If you have never experienced an audio drama production, I highly recommend any of the tiles from Heirloom Audio. We have enjoyed all three of their productions so far and this one I think is our favorite. I don’t know if it is because it is a story about America but this has already gotten a lot of play. An audio drama is a story that is acted out, completely, except you do not have the visual acting. It is all audio. The voices are animated. The sound effects are spectacularly real and descriptive. The story is easy to follow. It is full-fledged acting with audio being all that is recorded. Amazing and enjoyable!

Robert E Lee quote

When we received this two-disc set, E snatched it the minute the box was open. She was free for the afternoon so she took the discs and went to her room. She didn’t come out until the story was over. Since then, she has listened to it at least four other times. The story is so engrossing, the sounds so effective, that she loves it. She has learned a lot and is absorbing more each time she listens.

One of the wonderful things that Heirloom Audio does is to create and include a study guide for the production. For this set, inside the paper insert, there is a link that you can go to on the computer to access the study guide. The study guide is a great asset for learning with the audio productions. It helps direct thinking and guide the listener to more specific ideas or topics that might be missed or need to explored more deeply.

With Lee discs and study guide

For our use, we printed the study guide and took it to have it bound. It cost about $4 to have it spiral bound. We will be able to use this in the future now, as well. There isn’t room in this study guide to do the writing so E used notebook paper and wrote the numbers and answers on blank notebook papers. Each page of the study guide is correlated to a track or a section of a track. This is a wonderful addition to the study guide this time! You can follow the track and then stop the disc and answer the questions. And, if you are struggling with an answer, it is easy to find where on the disc the answer should be and listen to it again.

Each track or section of a track has three parts to the questions: Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words. E had to answer all but one question each in Listening Well and Thinking Further. This was a compromise between us and allows her to skip questions she thinks are too easy or too hard. She did have to define all of the words, though. She just wrote them on notebook paper.

E working with study guide

J, age 6, loves the audio dramas, as well. She would find her way into the room anytime E would put on With Lee In Virginia. When it came time to work with the study guide, I had J answer some of the questions for Listening Well and Thinking Further out loud. We also discussed the Defining Words.

The study guide included a few other items of interest. There are two Bible studies – one a study of duty and the other titled Love Your Enemy. There was a short article on sectionalism and a page on Slavery in the Bible. There may have been a couple of additional items but these are what I printed off for the girls.

The track listings for the questions was my only complaint about the study guide previously. Now, I don’t think I have any. And, they have added some recommended reading lists for parents and older children. How awesome! One additional thing that I loved about the study guide was the images of historical pictures, advertisements, and documents on the pages. First source materials for the students to see – fantastic.

As part of our review we received a number of additional materials that are available to you, depending on the package you purchase. We received a copy of the G.A. Henty novel that has been made into an ebook with illustrations added by Heirloom Audio. There was a poster that could be printed with the quote from Robert E Lee. We were given mp3 versions of the production, as well as a copy of the soundtrack.

We highly recommend With Lee in Virginia and all of the Heirloom Audio Production titles.

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A TOS Review: In Freedom’s Cause

Hidden away in her room, the CD player went on and on. And I didn’t care one bit. Because she was listening to the newest audio theater production by Heirloom Audio Productions. It is titled In Freedom’s Cause: The Real Story of Wallace and Bruce. This is one of The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty. And E absolutely loves it.

History comes alive

When E, age 10, found out that we were going to be reviewing In Freedom’s Cause, she wanted to know exactly what came with it. We reviewed the In Freedom’s Cause Single Package.

This included:

  • 2 CD set of the audio theater production; and
  • MP3 download of the production.

It comes with several bonuses as well.

  • study guide and discussion starter
  • A copy of The Prayer Of William Wallace (Psalm 23 in the Latin Vulgate); and
  • In Freedom’s Cause Soundtrack MP3 download

Last year, we reviewed Under Drake’s Flag and we really enjoyed it. We couldn’t wait for this one to come out. As much as we enjoyed that production, Heirloom really outdid themselves here and this one is even better.

working a puzzleIn Freedom’s Cause, featuring the voices of a number of well known actors and actresses, introduces us to the true story of William Wallace and the fight of the Scots for freedom from England. Wallace is a brave Christian man who wants the best for his family but more so for his country. His faith and belief in God gives him the strength necessary to lead the peasants and merchants and regular folks of the country against the biggest, strongest army England could muster. Wallace’s faith, courage and conviction gave inspiration to the leader who eventually gained Scotland’s freedom, King Robert the Bruce.

One of our favorite activities to do while listening to an audio story at home is to do a puzzle. So I pulled out a new puzzle that we had and put on the CD. All of us became quickly captivated by the story and sat through the whole thing in a single sitting, even the giggly girl who DID NOT want to hear the story. (She actually ended up listening to it more than once, by choice.)

After listening to the story, I printed out the study guide and put it into a notebook. I gave this to E, who was begging to listen to the story again. I gave her instructions about answering a few questions in each section of the guide on each page and let her work independently. She worked through all that I asked her to in about two days and then went through it all again because she wanted to answer more of the questions. She would come in with a question once in a while but she worked independently on the entire guide, answering about 2/3 of the questions. These questions included:

  • defining words that are unique or unusual in their useage;
  • listening well questions which required listening to the story itself; and
  • thinking further questions which challenge the listener to think more deeply about the story, the characters, their motive, their beliefs and the action of the story.

video and study guideThe thinking further section also included activities such as looking up places on a map, visiting the British Museum online, looking up other important people, learning to research, and visiting the website for Westminster Abbey. The study guide also has some pages of information on Scotland, G.A. Henty, William Wallace, three short Bible studies, and some bibliographical information for further study.

We were given access to some amazing resources, in addition to the material that comes with the single package. We were given a link to a behind the scenes video about the making of the production. That was a wonderful video and led to a discussion about recording studios, how to study history and research it, and more. The Celtic knot came up more than once in the materials and recording. We did some research on that and made a necklace with a Celtic knot in it. Celtic knot necklaceAnother resource that we are just beginning to get involved in is the ebook of the G.A. Henty story, illustrated by Heirloom Audio Productions. It is beautiful!

E really enjoyed In Freedom’s Cause. And I let her listen to it over and over. She has probably listened to it 6 or 8 times. But really, it is wonderful for her to be learning the true story of a man who had such great faith in God that he called the word of God his most important fighting tool, more important than his sword. The reliance on God, in hard and trying times, was a key element to this story and I am more than happy to let E listen to that over and over, influencing her life as well.

coverHeirloom Productions brings history to life with audio theater. They have invested a lot of time and energy in researching the true history of some of the greatest heroes of the past. Using the stories written by master storyteller G.A. Henty, they have created a larger-than-life but historically acurate production that grabs you and pulls you right into the story, right into the action. We can hardly wait for their next one: With Lee In Virginia. It promises to be exciting. At Home.

 

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