We have had the privilege to listen to the newest audio drama by Heirloom Audio Productions called In the Reign of Terror. We started our homeschool days with parts of this wonderful audio story and that really was a great way to start our days. It was easy to listen to and it kept their attention. That's hard to do with a 3rd grader and an 8th grader!
Heirloom Audio Productions don't just put out books read aloud on audio. No boring audio books here. These are full-blown productions. There are background sounds, actors playing the parts (with their voices), sound effects, and music. It is as though you are actually there. They really pull you into the story with everything that's going on. You really do fall in love with these characters. I really felt as though I was truly there in the story. I remember the first time that we had listened to one of the Heirloom Audio Productions, my 3rd grader (then 1st grade) kept looking at the screen of the computer waiting for the movie to start. It was that real! It's like watching a movie in your mind! They could each create what they thought the characters looked like and what the scenery was like. I love that!
To go along with the audio, there is a study guide as well. That's right, it's not just the audio. They give you a study guide to go right along with each and every portion of the audio. There are questions called the "Listening Well" section. These questions were great for our 3rd grader to review what happened in the story.
It doesn't stop there, though. They move on to the "Thinking Further" section. These really helped us dig deeper into the events and people that we were listening to, but also diving into some Biblical references and history that helped us understand that time period. This section led us to look up Arlington National Cemetery. I really didn't think that they would get into this at all. Boy, was I wrong. Our 8th grader really took a shine to finding out more and more about it. He even went as far as looking up to see if any of our relatives were buried there. Guess what? There were!
He was able to look up each one of them, see their tombstone, and find out how they served our country. This was so great! This really made this so personal for him!
After the "Thinking Further" questions, they have included "Defining Words". These are vocabulary that you can use with your children. They have really thought of everything! But, they don't even stop there with the study guide. If those things weren't enough, they have added in "Expand Your Learning" portions every so often throughout the whole study guide. Our 8th grader liked these parts because it brought it more to life for him. He was able to learn bits and pieces of French history that made the story even more meaningful and lifelike. They have even added Bible studies to the end of the study guide!
Here is a short summary of In the Reign of Terror:
It starts with a 15 year old boy, named Harry, who lives in England. His father sends him to France to teach English to a nobelman's children. While he is there, the French Revolution begins. Yikes! At first, it doesn't reach them where they are, but cannot escape it. They have to run for their lives and live in disguise as to not be captured, sent to prison, and killed. There is anger as neighbors betray neighbor. There is warmth and love as a couple stays together in times of trouble and while strangers help each other. There is sadness as friends and family are killed. Who will survive? What will happen next? This story really keeps you on the edge of your seat to see what is going to happen next!
"It was good - that's for sure.
My favorite part was when Harry killed the bloodwolf because he defeated it.
It had killed a few hundred people, well, at least 80."
- a quote from our 3rd grader
"It's a good book. I hate the the French Revolution because there was no point. It was just death. I never knew that the guillotine stayed in motion until 1981. If you were in France and broke some sort of law, you'd be dead. I learned that the French Revolution wasn't just."
- a quote from our 8th grader
Heirloom Audio Productions also has an online community called "Live the Adventure". On there, you can look up the study guides, listen to your cd online, purchase other adventures, and visit with other people who love Heirloom Audio Productions. They also have included various articles that will help with your family. It's really a great addition and you really need to go check it out!
It's getting harder and harder to be able to do school together with such a difference in grades. Not so with In the Reign of Terror by Heirloom Audio Productions! Both of the boys were able to get so much out of the story, but at their own levels.
You have got to go read all of the other wonderful reviews from the other members of the Homeschool Review Crew! Click the picture below!
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