And I love making it come alive for my kids.
And one way that I can do that is with some help from Heirloom Audio Productions and their audio theater In Freedom's Cause Single Package.
What It Is:
I received 4 things in this package:
- In Freedom's Cause CD set
- In Freedom's Cause Study Guide
- In Freedom's Cause Soundtrack
- A printable copy of The Prayer Of William Wallace
This 2 CD set runs for approximately 2 1/2 hours. This is audio theater at its best, and is the dramatized story of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Wallace and Bruce were leaders that fought bravely in the Wars of Scottish Independence against the might of the English army and King Edward in the early 1300's.
The cast is impressive as well. There are a few well known actors that give their talents to this dramatization: Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings), Skandar Keynes (Chronicles of Narnia), and James Cosmo (Braveheart) to name a few. The production is quite impressive; it really felt like we were sitting there watching this story unfold in front of us. The sound quality was excellent; there were appropriate background noises and the entire story was well told. And the Scottish accents were so lovely to listen to! My kids have been walking around the house the last few weeks, trying out their best Scottish brogue.
This story is based on G.A. Henty's novel In Freedom's Cause. If you are unfamiliar with G. A. Henty, he was a writer who wrote historical novels in the late 19th century. His books are adventure stories, each book being based on a different historical event. As a homeschooling mom who loves making school come alive for my children, I really appreciate these books. And having this wonderful book dramatized by Heirloom Audio is such a lovely addition to our library.
What You Get:
The In Freedom's Cause CD set is high quality and comes in a sturdy case that unfolds to reveal both discs. The case has lovely artwork on it, depicting Scotland in the Middle Ages.
The In Freedom's Cause Study Guide came as a digital, downloadable, Adobe document. It is 49 pages long and is meant for all ages. Each section of the guide corresponds with a chapter on the CD. There are three types of questions asked
- Listening Well - simple listening comprehension questions.
- Thinking Further - these are questions that dive deeper into the content and meaning of the story.
- Defining Words - this is a short list of words to define. These words include intriguing, monophonic, glade, melee, and envoy. There are between two and eight words listed per section.
And finally I received a digital download of The Prayer Of William Wallace to print out. This beautifully written prayer is taken from Psalm 23 and is recited on the CD.
How We Used This and What I Thought:
When I first got the CD, we sat down one afternoon and put it on. The girls were either drawing or crocheting, and we became so captivated with the story that we sat and listened to the whole first CD together! The next day I began to explore the Study Guide and realized we could move at a slower pace and discuss the storyline. Listening to it a second time was very helpful and we understood the story even better. I verbally asked the questions and we discussed the vocabulary words; you could very easily turn some of the questions into a short writing assignment for older children.
I really liked the discussion that came out of the questions in the Study Guide. We sat and talked about how Wallace's words caused other to follow him, and how we can influence others. We discussed the different battles, and how things would have changed with a different outcome.
Some of the questions dealt with Wallace's faith, and his trusting in God. He does quote scripture throughout the CD and the study guide does draw out his faith.Other questions are more historical, such as asking what a drawbridge is, or why Wallace used certain techniques in his fighting.
I liked some of the questions and did adapt them for my older children; in one of the chapters it mentions 'Caledonia'. The study guide explains that this is another name for Scotland and asks the student to research why this is.This was a perfect one-paragraph writing assignment!
One thing I did notice is that the chapters seamlessly change on the CD and are not obvious; since we went through this chapter by chapter using the guide, I did need to watch the CD player to see when we should to stop the story and discuss it.
If you know the story of Wallace you know that he is tortured to his death. This audio drama does a great job of showing his death in a way that is appropriate for younger children. It is very sad, but you see Wallace's faith especially during this part; he recites Psalm 23 as he is dying.
I really enjoyed this product. My kids love dramatizations, and while there are many fictitious books that are dramatized, few historically based ones are. And in our co op we are studying the Middle Ages this year, and just finished up the Crusades so the timing of this CD set was perfect. I can see us listening to this CD set over and over; the story is a classic one and should be heard many times.
And just last week I found out that Heirloom Audio Productions is set to release another G.A.Henty book With Lee in Virginia. My children really enjoyed reading that book and so I would love to get the audio version of it as well!
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Check out what other Crew members though about In Freedom's Cause by clicking below!