TOS Review: Heirloom Audio Productions – In Freedom’s Cause

In Freedom's Cause Audio CD Review

Like many homeschoolers, we spend a lot of time in the car. I try to make long drives as interesting as possible, and so I was really excited to get to check out In Freedom’s Cause a new audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions for this review. I was fortunate enough to get to try Under Drake’s Flag last year during a trip to the Keys, and my whole family loved it, so when my son found out I was getting another one, he couldn’t wait.

This drama tells the story of William Wallace and the fight for Scottish independence. Based on the book by GA Henty, the story teaches true moral values as it weaves an exciting tale that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This drama is appropriate for all ages and provides about two hours of listening time. It also comes with some great extras.

The thing we like most about Heirloom Audio products is that they are a true dramatization of the story, complete with well-known actors from television and movies. They make you really connect with the characters. Excellent sound effects set the scene and draw you into the story. It tells of Wallace’s ill-fated marriage and his devotion to the Lord. The story also talks about his execution and how Robert the Bruce took up the cause and eventually won freedom for Scotland.

The two-disc set has clear starting and stopping points, making it great for road trips (we listened to ours on the way to North Carolina) because you can easily find your place again. In addition, you get access to a download of the In Freedom’s Cause study guide, soundtrack, and a copy of The Prayer of William Wallace.

I found the study guide to be a huge help when listening to the audio drama. It starts off with some basic historical information about Wallace and Bruce, and then has a section that corresponds with each chapter of the drama. These sections include vocabulary, basic comprehension questions that recall how well you were listening, and questions that ask you to go a bit further and think about the subtle messages in the drama. For older students you could certainly print the guide out and have the students answer questions on paper, or you could just use them for discussion.

The guide concludes with an excellent Bible study that focuses on the major themes in the story, including freedom, forgiveness, and fear. We did the Bible study together after we finished the drama. There is also some additional information about the history of Scotland and suggestions for further study.

When we stared this story on our trip, my youngest son was the most excited. However, the whole family ended up loving it. My hubby is a HUGE Braveheart fan (seriously, he’s seen the movie at least 10 times) and he told me he felt like this audio drama was just as exciting. My older son started our journey with his headphones on, listening to music, but after a short while he too was caught up in the excitement. Heirloom Audio Productions products are honestly, some of our absolute favorites (and my son is hoping we will get to check out more of them!). In Freedom’s Cause costs $29.97 for the single pack, with other packages available. It’s definitely worth it.

To find out more connect with Heirloom Audio Productions here:
In Freedom’s Cause on Facebook
In Freedom’s Cause on Twitter
In Freedom’s Cause on Google+
In Freedom’s Cause on Pinterest

To see what other members of the Crew had to say about this product, click here:
In Freedom's Cause Review

Crew Disclaimer

TOS Review: Great Commission Films – IndoctriNation Movie

IndoctriNation DVD Review

For this review, I got to watch the movie IndoctriNation from Great Commission Films. The documentary follows Colin Gunn and his family as they tour the country interviewing teachers, administrators, pastors, and others about the state of Christianity in our public schools. My hubby and I watched this movie together as it is definitely aimed at parents and other adults. Before I begin my review, I want to give you some background on how my family started homeschooling.

I started homeschooling my children mainly because I felt that I was not getting enough time with them when they were in school. Even though I was a teacher, I spent my time with my own students, and I felt like my kids got more quality time with their own teachers than they did with me. Also, towards the end of my 12 year career, I began to feel fed up with the fact that the instruction that happened in my classroom seemed to be mandated more and more by the state and national governments. I was frustrated by the fact that I no longer had the control to give the students what I could see they needed, because I was told to focus on specific standards, with specific curriculum, to prepare for specific tests. However, I have never felt like our schools themselves were “bad” or anything like that, and for the most part, I still believe this to be true.

After watching the film, my hubby and I thought that Gunn definitely brought up some good points. First off all, the documentary touches on our current style of “one-size fits all” education, which many people are aware does not work. He also talks about how originally, control of education was meant to be in the hands of states and local districts, not the federal government. Through his interviews, he touches on other topics, such as how other faiths and ideas are allowed in many curriculums, but Christianity, specifically is ignored. The documentary uses a lot of Bible-based quotations to drive home the point.

In one case, the documentary focuses on a particular young teacher who actually left the profession because she felt she was asked to deny her faith. Well-known authors and critics of the public school system, such as John Taylor Gatto, are also included in the film.

By the end of the movie, my hubby and I felt we had a lot to talk about. While we both agreed the movie brought up some things about our school system that did concern us, we also felt like there wasn’t much balance to the film. Whenever I read/watch/listen to information about a controversial topic, I like to see both sides represented so that I can compare the two and decide for myself which one I agree with. I felt like all of the people featured in the film were basically against public schools.

Nonetheless, the movie focuses on a very important topic for Christian parents. A lot of research cited in the film makes it clear that many students leave the church by the time they are out of high school. Obviously, there is something going on that is causing these young Christians to lose their faith, and it is really important that the Christian community talk about it, and try to find out why. I think this movie would be great for a discussion group at a church or an adult Bible study because the only way to come up with solutions is to have conversations about (sometimes uncomfortable) topics. Indoctrination costs $19.95.

To find out more about Indoctrination, connect with them on social media here:
IndoctriNation on Facebook
IndoctriNation on Twitter
IndoctriNation on YouTube

To see what other members of the crew thought of IndoctriNation, click here:
IndoctriNation DVD Review

Crew Disclaimer

Cabernet Mushroom Sauce

I love mushrooms! Seriously, I get mushrooms on my pizza, I love mushroom soup, and I eat them grilled, raw, anyway at all. This sauce is great because it goes well with steak or pork, and you could probably even add it to chicken if you wanted.

Ingredients:
2 cups Cabernet (nothing fancy, I just bought the cheapest one at the grocery store)
1 stick butter
1 bunch green onions
1/2 bunch parsley
1 1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
4 cloves garlic

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a skillet.
2. Slice the onions and dice the garlic.
3. Add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic to the skillet and cook 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are brown and tender.

4. Pour in the wine and cook until sauce reduces by half, stirring occasionally.

5. Add the parsley and stir, then serve over meat.
You can always add more wine/butter if needed.

This is so yummy and delicious and is a really simple way to dress up any meal! Thanks for stopping by. Check out more recipes at the link up here:

Fun Free Printables

Lets face it, curriculum is expensive. As a frugal homeschool mom, I am always on the lookout for freebies I can incorporate into our schooling. Fortunately, the internet makes it possible to find all kinds of printables you can use for free. These are some of the best places I have found for specific subjects so far:

Science Printables
At Education.com you can find word searches, diagrams, coloring pages and more for middle schoolers and above on topics like the ecosystem, cells, anatomy, and more.

ABCTeach has charts, biographies, lab worksheets, report forms, and more on a range of topics from electricity to weather.

The Teacher’s Cafe has links to free resources and worksheets on Earth Science, Chemistry, and other topics.

Math Printables
Math Drills has some great worksheets for Algebra.

At Math Worksheets 4 Kids you can find a number of printables for all grade levels.

Homeschool Math has printable worksheets for grades K-8.

At Helping With Math you can search for printables by subject or grade level.

Poetry Printables
Teacher Vision offers a wide range of printables and poetry lessons for all ages.

Find printables for acrostic poems, haiku, and more at Education.com.

In addition to printables, Laura Candler offers a variety of other resources for teaching poetry.

Scholastic offers printables to teach concepts like alliteration as well as other common poetry elements.

Geography Printables
Find country flag cards, passports, and notebooking pages at Homeschool Creations.

TLS Books offers map printables, state printables, and more.

Jumpstart has a plethora of geography and science printables including information about country holidays, traditions, and continents.

These are the pages I use most frequently when I need something for our homeschool. The best thing about having printables available is that you can use them with books from the library to create your own unit studies!!

For even more awesome printables, check out the crew round-up here: (goes live 2/25/15)

Free Printables Round-Upl

Menu Plan Monday 2/23/15

As February comes to an end I know that I have lots of friends and family up north looking forward to spring! We actually had our first freeze of the year last week, and when I was sharing pictures of myself all bundled up my relatives were laughing at me! At any rate, with spring right around the corner I have loads of new, fun recipes to try out. This week, I am going with some favorites.

Monday: Rosemary baked chicken

Tuesday: Stuffed Pork Chops

Wednesday: Burgers on the grill

Thursday: Chicken Caprese

Friday: Spaghetti

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! See you next week.

Menu Plan Monday 2/16/15

Welcome to Menu Plan Monday! I hope you all had a nice Valentine’s Day. We went to a wedding, which was absolutely beautiful. According to the news, Florida is going to have a bit of a cold snap this week, so I have planned my menu accordingly.

Monday: Parmesan Tilapia

Tuesday: Tequila Lime Chicken

Wednesday: Taco Stuffed Shells

Thursday: White Chicken Chili

Friday: Chicken Caesar Salad

I hope you guys have a great week, wherever you are! Stay warm!

Menu Plan Monday 2/9/15

 

Since my hubby and I have a wedding to go to for Valentine’s Day, he is taking me out for dinner and drinks on Wednesday this week, giving me a night off from cooking! We have a local place we go to that offers fabulous weeknight specials. I am very excited! We will order the boys a pizza and then head out while they go to youth. So this is my abbreviated menu for the week:

Monday : Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Tuesday: Red Wine Pork Chops

Wednesday: Night Out 🙂

Thursday: Chicken Parm Casserole

Friday: Lasagna Soup

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! See you next week.