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5 Reasons We Recommend Heirloom Audio Dramas

We are so excited to have Heirloom Audio as a sponsor of Homeschool Creations. Be sure to read through for some special savings just for readers of our site! Reasons we love and recommend Heirloom Audio dramas - a review from Homeschool Creations

Confession. Audio books and drama weren’t always high on my list of homeschool priorities. There was a time early on in our homeschool journey (until the last 3 years or so), that I considered it something akin to cheating if we listened to an audio book instead of reading the book. Then our family was introduced to Heirloom Audio and our perspective completely changed. We have grown to love a good audio book, and so far nothing can compare to the audio dramas from Heirloom Audio. I’d love to share five reasons we recommend that your family drop everything and pick up one (or more) of their audiobooks. 

5 Reasons to LOVE Heirloom Audio Dramas

Have a few minutes? (Hang in until the end of this post too, since I have a great coupon code for you to use when ordering! Email subscribers can view the video clip using this link.) 

1. The entire family will enjoy them. The productions from Heirloom Audio are something the entire family will enjoy – from younger children (ages 7 through adults), they are something to listen to and get caught up in, no matter what your age. 

2. They are incredibly well-produced. Unlike boring narrators and ho-hum story plots, Heirloom Audio productions will pull you in from the first few moments of listening with their full cast (a different actor for each character), music score, and stories that follow G.A. Henty books. From the actor voices of Kirk Cameron to Helen George (Call the Midwife), the directors have worked hard to provide a quality cast and drama you will want to listen to over and over again. 

3. Car trips become enjoyable and quiet. While this may seem like a silly reason, if you have loud kids and/or a lot of them, you’ll fully understand the wonderful thing that happens when children become enraptured in an audio drama. Squabbling stops and quiet reigns as everyone focuses on something they love!

4. History comes ALIVE (and you’ll learn a lot!). Aside from quality production, the audio drama Swords clash. Music soars. And listeners are drawn into the historical period and feel a part of the scenes. Each drama will teach your family little nuggets of history in a memorable way. These are perfect for auditory learners!

5. Each audio drama includes a full teacher’s guide. Expand your listening adventure with the discussion questions, activities, Bible study, and more that come along with each of the different adventures from Heirloom Audio. There is enough included to use the guide as a curriculum guide and talk with your children on how the lessons learned apply to their lives today – and the best part is, they’ve done all the hard work for you. 

 Latest Audio Drama from Heirloom Audio

Heirloom Audio Beric the Briton-6-2

As I mentioned in the video, there are five audio dramas available from Heirloom Audio, including their most recent addition, Beric the Briton

  • Under Drake’s Flag
  • In Freedom’s Cause
  • With Lee in Virginia
  • The Dragon and the Raven
  • Beric the Briton

IMG_7295

Our kids were ALL thrilled to see a new adventure arrive from Heirloom Audio (there may have been a literal squeal from McKenna when she saw it sitting on the counter). The only problem for our family is finding a time that everyone in the house can listen together. There is MUCH discussion on how the audio book may not, under any circumstances, move one iota of a second because a family member may miss crucial information. Thank.you.very.much. That family member may at times even be a parent. 

Personally, Beric the Briton has been my favorite of all the CDs we’ve listened to so far (granted, I’ve loved all of them). Beric takes place during the spread of the Roman Empire into Britannia and follows Beric and his friend as they are put in service to Nero and still long for the freedom of their own country.

“This tale of the Roman invasion of ancient Britannia remains one of G.A. Henty’s most popular novels of all time. Join Beric and his best friend Bodouc as they live the adventure of a lifetime – captured by the Romans, trained as gladiators, and placed in the service of Emperor Nero himself! When the story of a mysterious “Christus” begins to circulate the Roman Empire, Beric and Bodouc are forced to confront their pagan past. Will the two young prisoners be able to overcome their thirst for revenge and discover the source of true forgiveness?”

Adapted from the book, Beric The Briton, by G.A. Henty

One of the things most interesting to me in this story was the battle formations and the differences between the Romans and the Britons. Beric studied and learned from their battles, understanding that his tribe needed to change their methods in order to see different results. The kids and I talked about how battles have evolved over the years – different weapons, materials, and strategies – and it was a great jumping off point for more discussion!

Introduce Your Family to Heirloom Audio

Heirloom Audio Stories

Each CD set is normally $29.97 and available for individual purchase, but different specials are available including this special offer for my readers. If you are at ALL interested in these audio adventures, you’ll want to CLICK HERE  and view the special (includes eight total audio books – 2 of each, one to keep and one to share, at $10 each CD set). Note: Be sure to put “2” in the quantity field when you checkout to receive the discounted price.

 

Has your family listened to any of the Heirloom Audio adventures before? I’d love to hear your thoughts as well and what you most enjoy! 

 

We received Beric the Briton at no cost from Heirloom Audio to review. All opinions expressed in this post are our honest thoughts and feelings.

Teaching History Through Audio Drama

Our family loves audio books, but audio drama adds an extra element to a story that can’t be matched. Rather than a narrator reading a story with little added in, audio drama brings the story to life adding music, real-life sounds, and actors to portray different characters. These keep our kids on the edge of their seats (maybe the adults too) because they are filled with so much adventure and excitement. 

Our kids have grown up with Adventures of Odyssey and other amazing audio drama and over the last several years we have listened to all of the releases from Heirloom Audio. From car trips to time at home, the audio adventures remaining on our shelves are those that have the added element of audio drama, especially those from Heirloom Audio Productions. 

The Dragon and The Raven audio adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions

Last month we received The Dragon and The Raven, their newest adventure, and immediately had it playing in our van as we traveled. Based on the book The Dragon and The Raven by G.A. Henty, we followed the story of the Danes (Vikings) as they conquer kingdoms in England, and the Saxons try to hold them back. Set in medieval England, this is a story that reaches far beyond the battlegrounds, spilling over into family, royalty, defending your land, and men learning the importance of forgiveness. 

Hearing different battle formations explained and more deeply understanding the ongoing war between the Vikings and the Saxons, as well as ‘meeting’ King Alfred of Wessex. Over the course of two and a half hours our family was completely engaged in the entire story. The van was quiet and we all were learning as we listened. I LOVE that history comes to life through the ‘animated’ word and our family is learning while listening. What better way is there to remember great kings, battles, and the adventures of so long ago?  

Although we haven’t used it yet, there is also a go-along study guide to help children understand the storyline, vocabulary, and more about the author G.A. Henty and King Alfred the Great. We have used the companion study guide for Under Drake’s Flag and they are well-laid out and full of information for families! The inclusion of the study guides are a huge resource for families. 

Recommended: Ages 6 and up

Find Out More and Purchase for Your Family

Heirloom Audio dramas

If you are at ALL interested in these audio adventures, Heirloom Audio has a great special that includes their four audio dramas to date at huge savings. CLICK HERE to view the special and find out more (includes eight total audio books – 2 of each, one to keep and one to share, at $10 each CD set). 

Each CD set is normally $29.97, but different specials are available, including the special offer for my readers

Win a Copy 

Heirloom Audio would love to put a copy of The Dragon and The Raven audio adventure into the hands of one my readers! Would you love to start listening? Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below and enter! :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

We received this CD at no cost from Heirloom Audio to review. All opinions expressed in this review are our honest thoughts and feelings.

Audiobooks We’re Enjoying – Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

When you all are driving around town and have a van full of kids, does silence seem to disappear? Our kids are rather boisterous (I’ll admit it), and we have two kiddos that tend to find every little reason to pick at each other. It can drive one crazy. Audiobooks have become a great way for us to all relax and enjoy something together, especially since we’ve been in the car a lot lately with swim meets and nightly practices.

In the next few weeks I’m hoping to share a list of our favorite book series, but in the meantime, there is a new set of books that we are getting hooked on. When I say hooked – I mean, absolute golden silence abounds as everyone in the vehicle listens to catch every single word from the narrator. Blessed moments. For the record, I won’t take phone calls, and I’m as equally enthralled when we really get into a book and the CD player is running. It’s a family venture, these audiobooks!

While I love reading out loud with the kids (and we do that together too), in the last bit audiobooks have been a huge blessing with late night practices (no time for read-alouds once the kids get home) and quick turn around times to be out the door for things. Part of me misses the cuddles on the couch and the opportunity to read together in the traditional sense, but for the stage of life we are currently in, I love that I can listen and enjoy it as well, and we’re getting other things done too.

Found - The Missing series by Margaret Haddix

A few weeks ago we picked up Found (aff link), the first book in The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix (aff link).  Our oldest read the first book several years ago and it was one she wanted to continue with, so we borrowed the audiobook from the library.

The Quick Summary:

One night a plane appeared out of nowhere, the only passengers aboard: thirty-six babies. As soon as they were taken off the plane, it vanished. Now, thirteen years later, two of those children are receiving sinister messages, and they begin to investigate their past. Their quest to discover where they really came from leads them to a conspiracy that reaches from the far past to the distant future—and will take them hurtling through time. (via Amazon description)

Recommended grades: 4-8

What We’re Loving

The kids have enjoyed the twist of future/past time travel and the different ideas presented in Found (aff link), along with the plot twists and mystery that surrounds the children on the plane. It is full of suspense, trying to decide who can be trusted and figuring out exactly what is happening. The end of the book left the kids hanging – literally – in time.

While the first book is set in modern time and begins to explain the time travel possibility and a peek into who the children really are, the second book begins in the 15th century, and future books involve different time eras as well. I’m interested to hear how historical figures and such are handled, especially when some different names were mentioned and the kids are trying to ‘fix’ some of the problems created by several people that messed with time.

There are a total of eight books in The Missing (aff link) series, but we are obviously enjoying these so far. While Kaleb (almost 9) needs a few things explained to him and doesn’t always grasp all the time travel explanations, he is still enjoying them as well. Have you listened to them or read The Missing series? I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

What are YOU reading or listening together right now?

 

Books We’ve Previously Read (or Listened to) Together

Here are a few other books & series that we’ve read together and blogged about. Click over to see our thoughts on them!

Audiobooks for Families to enjoy

Audiobooks We’re Enjoying (July 2015)

The back and forth to swim practice or long road trips have meant extended listening time the last few weeks. We’ve managed to wrap up several great audiobooks and would love to share them with you all, especially if you have some time to fill!

With Lee in Virginia

with lee in virginia

With Lee in Virginia another audio adventure from Heirloom Audio (we’ve previously enjoyed Under Drake’s Flag and In Freedom’s Cause from them). With Lee in Virginia didn’t disappoint at all! They feature several familiar ‘faces and voices’ of Sean Astin and Kirk Cameron. The storytelling is wonderful and all of our kids (ages 8 through 14) enjoyed listening to it, as did the adults. Great for learning a little more Civil War era history and also a well-produced audiobook.

Recommended ages: 6 and up

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lemony Snicket audiobook series

Last month I shared about the audiobook series we are hooked on. That hasn’t changed at all. We are *this* close to finishing up the last book in the Lemony Snicket series, appropriately titled “The End” and are less than 2 hours from completing the series. Phew!

Some answers are finally appearing, but we definitely can’t wait to see what is ‘revealed’ in the next little bit. The kids have enjoyed this enough that when we found the books for just a few dollars apiece at a book sale, they asked if we could get all of them. I’m definitely all for something that they want to sit down and read again!

This last month we’ve listened to:

A Cry From Egypt

cry from egypt audiobook

Another audiobook that has been traveling around town is A Cry from Egypt (written by a homeschool student). Raising Real Men put together a radio theatre version of the story. If you have listened to any of the Jonathan Park adventures, this is along the same lines, but set in ancient Egypt and depicts the life of an Israelite slave. Find out more here.

 

What are YOU reading or listening together right now?

 

 

Previously Read (or Listened to) Together

Here are a few other books that we’ve read together and blogged about. Click over to see our thoughts on them!

The Audiobooks That Have Us Hooked

Lemony Snicket audiobook series

Have you ever popped in an audiobook for your kids to listen to, and then realized HOURS later that you have been pulled into the story just as much as they have? To give you an idea, we recently had a long car ride (seven hours there and seven hours back) and almost five hours of each leg was spent listening to an audio book. I had a book along to read – and ZERO pages were turned because I didn’t want to miss anything!

On a whim last month, we picked up the first book in the Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events at the library. To give you an idea of how much we enjoyed it – we just finished the seventh book in the series (incidentally, there are THIRTEEN total). Yeah. We’re hooked.

The Quick Summary

The series follows the Baudelaire orphans and, well, the unfortunate events that seem to surround them. After the death of their parents, they are sent to live with a relative, Count Olaf, who is only intent on getting their fortune – and is a very evil and unkind man. The three children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are all wonderful children, but left in an unhappy and unfortunate situation – all the time. They escape from one dastardly event only to have misfortune follow them again and again. The fact that the entire series is called The Complete Wreck should give you a fairly good understanding of the nature of the books.

I will put in a brief disclaimer here to say that I do not feel this is a series for younger children because of some of the content in the stories. Our youngest is eight and we are comfortable with him listening, but you may want to do a little looking at the original book in the series and see if it is a good fit for your family.

What We Love (and groan over)

The first two books are read by Tim Curry (who does an amazing job). Books three through five are then read by the author (whom we don’t like as much). Fortunately Tim Curry returns in book six – and all is well again. Curry changes character voices, adds in extra sound effects, and just overall makes the stories even more enjoyable.

So far we’ve listened to…

We love the sidenotes that the author, Lemony Snicket, goes off on. There are constant explanations of what a difficult vocabulary word means (which are hilarious and to the point), the quick wit of the children, and the overall humor – we are always laughing at something.

Our favorite quote from the books so far:

“If one is allergic to something, one should never put that thing in one’s mouth. Especially if that thing is a cat.”

Throughout the book the author is constantly saying, “I wish I could tell you that things became better for the Baudelaire orphans, but they don’t.” Or, “If you are looking for a story with a happy ending, you may want to put this book down right now and find another story.” There are constant groans from the backseat as the kids listen along.

We still have five more books to run back to the library and listen grab, but we are obviously enjoying these. Have you listened to them or read them? I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

What are YOU reading or listening together right now?

Books We’ve Previously Read (or Listened to) Together

Here are a few other books that we’ve read together and blogged about. Click over to see our thoughts on them!

Audiobooks for Families to enjoy

The Hiding Place – Our Current Read Aloud and Audiobook

The Hiding Place audiobook

During our history time we are easing out of World War 2 and moving into the cold war era, but while in the thick of German invasions and concentration camps we pulled out The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.

While the holocaust can be a very heavy topic with kids, it’s one that we want our kids to understand – and not gloss over. The Hiding Place audio drama version can be a bit deep (especially for younger kids – our youngest is 8 and I felt comfortable letting him listen to it), but it really brings to life scenes from the life of the ten Boom family and what they, and many others, endured while helping Jewish families escape during World War 2.

Corrie ten Boom

Netherlands with Corrie ten Boom, 1974

The Hiding Place holds a very special place in the hearts of my family. While I don’t remember the above picture, there was a time many years ago that I met her (grins). My mother worked for Corrie ten Boom as one of her secretaries before she and my father were married, and both Corrie and Brother Andrew (God’s Smuggler) were part of my parent’s marriage ceremony. When the audiobook opened with Brother Andrew introducing the life of Corrie ten Boom, I have to admit to tearing up – it’s so neat to hear the hearts of people that poured and were a central part of my parents life.

Reading The Hiding Place together has reminded me again and again how important it is to talk to our kids about history and how it impacts and affects us over the years. Corrie is one of the ‘heroes’ of Christian faith that I have admired over the years, and listening and hearing her heart and desire to honor and serve God – even in the midst of pain, sorrow, and not understanding – truly makes me want to be and do more in my faith.

Another great book for kids to read and learn about Corrie ten Boom is Corrie ten Boom: Keeper of the Angel’s Den.

What are YOU reading or listening together right now?

 

Books We’ve Previously Read Together

Here are a few other books that we’ve read together and blogged about. Click over to see our thoughts on them!

Audiobooks for Families to enjoy