TOS Review: Heirloom Audio Productions

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review

Sometimes you just want to sit back and be entertained, and forget that you are learning. That’s why I was excited to review With Lee in Virginia from Heirloom Audio Productions. The audio drama features an all star cast that includes the likes of Kirk Cameron, Sean Astin, Brian Blessed, Chris Anthony, and more. Set during the Civil War, the story focuses on teenager Vincent Wingfield, a Southerner who joins the cavalry of Northern Virginia and finds himself fighting alongside well-known generals like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

I have reviewed other audio dramas from Heirloom, and I have always been impressed at their first-rate productions. With Lee in Virginia is no exception! We listened to the CD during our family trip to North Carolina, and my whole family was soon caught up in the drama. First of all, this is one review my husband always looks forward to. My family loves history, and Heirloom makes it so exciting. The actors make the characters absolutely come alive, and the story, script, and sound effects get you so caught up in the action, you feel like you are actually there in the story!

We felt like we were fighting along with Vincent during the battles, and we felt for him when he lost his friends. We sympathized with him when he got caught and sent to a prisoner camp in the North, and cheered when his faithful servant came to rescue him. A faith-filled and righteous young man, Vincent got in trouble for coming to the aid of a slave who was being mistreated by a neighboring plantation owner, but Vincent even went so far as to help the slave escape from his master, even though he was risking his own life, reputation, and home to do so. Throughout the story, you see Vincent struggle with the idea of slavery, and what he reads in the Bible, and through everything he faces, Vincent works hard to stay true to what he believes.

I don’t want to give away the whole plot, but I will tell you that this is one exciting adventure that will make a great addition to any Civil War unit study and is fantastic for the whole family. In addition to the CDs (which ran around two hours of listening time) you get downloads of a study guide, soundtrack, poster, MP3 version of the audiobook, a printable copy of a quote from Robert E. Lee, and a beautiful color version of the GA Henty novel in eBook form.

The study guide includes background information on GA Henty as well as info on Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. There is also a map that shows the division of the states during the war, the location of major battles, and other places of importance in the story. The audio drama itself is divided into sections, or chapters, and the study guide follows these chapters. Each section has questions that ask listeners to recall events from the story, and then questions that challenge them to go deeper and think about things like character’s motives and the consequences of their actions. Sometimes students are instructed to look up verses in the Bible and apply them to a situation in the story as well. There are also vocabulary words related to the story. The study guide ends with a Bible study that we did as a family.

I found the study guide to be very helpful for the story. If you have younger children, you could do all of this orally. For older students, you could certainly assign some of the questions as written work.

The cost of the 2CD set for With Lee in Virginia is $29.97, or you can get the MP3 download version for just $20.00. I continue to be impressed by Heirloom Audio Productions, and I look forward to what they release in the future. To learn more about this adventure, connect with them on social media here:

With Lee in Virginia on Facebook

Heirloom Audio Productions on Facebook

Heirloom Audio Productions on Twitter

Heirloom Audio Productions on Google+

To see what other members of the Crew thought of this product, click here:
With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review

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TOS Review: Lord Heritage : HomeSchool Office

HomeSchool Office Review

 

Are you a planner by nature? Do you love looking at a color-coded calendar that helps you keep track of all those appointments, co-ops, baseball practices and church activities? Do you enjoy handing your kids a printed schedule of their activities for the day including their chores? I admit, I am a “planner mom”. Its just in my nature. So, I was excited to give the HomeSchool Office program from Lord Heritage a try for this review. It’s an online program that allows homeschool moms to do all of that and more!

The program is based on the POWER strategy which stands for:
Plan
Order
Work
Evaluate
Report

Once you log into your home page, these words work as tabs on the top of the screen, enabling you to move through each step. Once you set up your homeschool and student information, you move on to the planning. Here you set up your master schedule, subjects, goals and objectives, and even create a homeschool budget! You use the information you create here to choose and select activities in the other sections of the program.

In the Order you section you get to set up your calendar, but not just for homeschool activities. You can also add doctor’s appointments, group meetings, church activities and anything else you need. I really liked this portion of the program because each type of activity receives its own color. This made it very easy for me (as a visual person) to look at our calendar and know exactly what we had going on that week. You can choose to view the calendar on a monthly, weekly, or daily set up. Parents also have the ability to create custom lists like chore charts etc.

The Work section is where the daily schedules come into play. Students can access this part of the program to see their schedule for the day, or you can print out their schedule for them. I chose to print the schedules and put them in a binder for each child. This way they could just check things off as they went. At the end of the day, I compared what they did to the master list to confirm that all of their work was done. You can also access to-do lists and other lists here as well.

In the Evaluate section, parents enter grades based on the grading scale they choose. You can even adjust the weighting if you want. Now I know that many homeschool parents do not give grades at all, and that is fine. I think you could still use the other parts of this program and just skip the grading part. But for those of you who live in states where you do have to track attendance or keep information regarding grades for compliance, this part comes in particularly handy. You have a digital record of all of your assignments, student progress, and attendance at your fingertips!

Finally, the report section allows you to run reports based on your child’s performance. These are similar to the regular report cards they receive in school. For high school students, they offer the added benefit of generating a transcript, saving parents the headache of having to make one themselves.

In general, I found HomeSchool Office to be pretty helpful. While I found the interface a little confusing at first, once I figured out how everything worked it was pretty easy to navigate. They also have support for those who need it. I loved the calendar option and the grade reporting/transcripts. The program costs $79 per year, but that is for an entire family and offers free updates and as much support as necessary!

To find out what other members of the crew thought of Lord Heritage, click here:
HomeSchool Office Review

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