About Heirloom Audio Productions
Heirloom Audio Productions is a company with a Christian foundation that offers high quality, epic, and memorable historical fiction radio drama about Christian heroes. It seems they put a lot of thought and heart into their offerings, attempting to not just tell a story but really bring it to life for their listeners. To this end, they research the story's details, bring in a skilled vocal cast to play out the characters roles, and complete the experience with professional level music and sound effects.
They offer a number of audio adventures, including In the Reign of Terror (which I'm reviewing here) and two others that we've reviewed in the past: The Dragon & The Raven and Beric the Briton. Plus more to which we've not yet had the pleasure of listening: The Cat of Bubastes (a story set in ancient Egypt), With Lee in Virginia (about a soldier's experience with The Confederate Army), In Freedom's Cause (about William Wallace and Scotland), and Under Drake's Flag (about Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Inquisition)... and more to come!
In addition to all of the radio dramas, Heirloom Audio Productions also offers their Live the Adventure Club, which is a website with subscription access that provides a lot of resources, activities, movie reviews, and special bonus material. (Note: at the time of writing this blog post, they are offering a 3-month trial to the Live the Adventure Club so you can check out everything they have to offer.)
Some of the bonus material we had access to included a downloadable study guide (which I'll explain more below), e-book, MP3 version, soundtrack, the official script, wallpaper, and a printable poster that sports a verse and quote from the story: "What man intends for evil, God intends for good", plus other extras.
Upon receipt of our package in the mail, we opened it right away. I noticed the great cover artwork that piques ones interest and sets the tone for the story. We put our new CDs in the van so they'd be ready to listen to next time we were on the road... but we had a hard time waiting to get started. As I've mentioned before, audio books are a big part of our lives, both homeschool and just for fun. We play them at various times and in different places, but we go through the most books while traveling to and from various activities. We listened to hours upon hours of books during our road trips too!
The study guide breaks down the story into small chunks of time and then has a page for each section. Each page consists mainly of three parts: "Listening Well" points, "Thinking Further" questions, and a "Defining Words" section, all of which are designed to help listeners and homeschool families get the most out of their experience. The "listening well" questions guide the child (and parent) through the story and bring attention to points of interest, as well as help gauge comprehension and memory of what was heard. The "thinking further" section is an opportunity to delve ever further into the time period, the characters, and/or the lessons learned from the story. They involve things like looking a place up on a map, talking about intentions or inferences, and critically examining actions or events. And the "defining words" part is essentially a vocabulary list (without definitions). I did not see the answers to the questions anywhere, so it is might be best used if the parent is also listening to the story and as a basis for discussion, but it could also be used as an assignment for older children to write their responses, if you prefer.
The beginning of the study guide has also has a paragraph about G.A. Henty (the story's author), a brief, one-page biography about Maximilien Robespierre (a key player in the French Revolution), and another page about Marie Antoinette. There are boxes throughout the guide titled "Expand Your Learning" that offer brief explanations or background and supplemental information about various topics. Near the end of the study guide, you'll find a list of references for more about the French Revolution, three pages of related Bible studies, and a two pages of "Some Historical Background for The Reign of Terror", including a simple chart comparing The War for Independence and The French Revolution. So, as you can see, this guide is a truly valuable resource for someone looking to do more with this than just listen to the story! At least, it was for us.
In the Reign of Terror is based on the book by G.A. Henty (an author born in 1832). It tells the story of Harry, a young Englishman who lived during the time of the French Revolution. He goes to work with a French noble family and while he has a rough time getting settled, he eventually becomes almost part of the family. He is treated with respect due to his displays of bravery, loyalty, and good character. However, things take a downturn as violence runs rampant and the common people in France begin to bloody and hatred-filled revolt against noblemen - putting them and their families (including children) to death simply for being guilty of holding that station and bloodline. A mob comes for the family Harry works for, so they must split up. Harry promises to help the girls and the story continues as he repeatedly goes to great lengths to protect them. In doing so, Harry finds himself accepting shelter from others, help from strangers, and even a role working for Maximilien Robespierre - someone he'd perhaps rather have killed for his role in the violence, then encountering more challenges and obstacles as they go. I don't want to reveal to much or give too many spoilers, so I'll stop here and let you listen to hear the details and find out the rest!
The website says that this story is intended for kids 6-16. In my experience, some children at the younger end of that range might not be quite ready for the references to death, violence, and hate expressed or referenced in the story. These things are all part of history and The French Revolution, of course, and are usually handled well and not in great detail in the audio drama, but it's something to consider if a younger child is more sensitive and not already aware of what happened in this revolution. Perhaps this would be a time for the parent to listen alongside the child and be open for discussion and making it a learning opportunity. Additionally, the French accent and words made the story slightly harder to follow for Lil' Sis (age 7) than other audio books we've listened to as a family. We took it as a chance to learn more about common French terms, culture, and new vocabulary. I also appreciated the more authentic sounding actors and exposure to diverse voices, instead of just one narrator reading a book to us.
We liked In the Reign of Terror. It was well worth listening to for our family and Big Sis was asking to continue listening every time we had the chance. If we were rating audio books according to our favorite, it would rank third among the three we've enjoyed from Heirloom Audio Productions, but still above many other titles from other authors and companies.
Click on the Homeschool Review Crew banner below if you'd like to read what other homeschool families think about In the Reign of Terror. You can also find more titles and other information about Heirloom Audio Productions at their website and on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and on Instagram (@HeirloomAudioOfficial).
Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation offers a wide variety of extra curricular classes and programs for all ages throughout the island! Everything from arts and crafts to swimming lessons to dance, archery, sports and more!
Online registration for Fall 2017 Program Activities (free classes only) starts on August 7, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. (HST) and ends on August 11, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. (HST). Depending on the class, they often fill FAST so be sure to create an account and check out your options ahead of time and then get signed up as soon as possible after they open up registration!
Walk-in registration happens differently. See their website (linked below) for details on dates and time according to location, but it appears to be between August 21st-24th. Be sure to confirm by checking the listing or calling the location you're interested in though, because it looks like there are exceptions and differences from place to place.
Please call the respective park/pool where the classes are being held at for more information. Fall 2017 Program classes start the week of September 5, 2017 unless otherwise noted.
Create an account & register here: http://parks.honolulu.gov/sdi/home.html
NOTE: I am NOT affiliated or associated with the Department of Parks & Rec and this is NOT a sponsored post or paid advertisement. I am simply passing on info that some of my readers might find useful or interesting.
You’re invited to attend a special presentation ("Lessons of an Accidental Engineer") on August 8, 10 – 11 am, at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. FREE and open to the public.
Stephanie Hill, an executive with Lockheed Martin, will share the story of her unexpected and exciting journey to become an engineer. She’ll talk about the interesting work that engineers do every day, and encourage young people of all backgrounds to get energized about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Stephanie Hill is VP & General Manager, Lockheed Martin Rotary & Mission Systems, Cyber, Ships & Advanced Technologies. Ms. Hill began her career with Lockheed Martin as a software engineer, and has distinguished herself as a leader in the field of technology solutions for military and civilian applications. She oversees strategy and execution of all Cyber, Ships & Advanced Technologies.
Born in Baltimore, MD, Ms. Hill graduated with high honors from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Economics.
Sign-up for this event on their website (note that the RSVP deadline is July 31st if you need base access): http://220.127.116.11/machform/view.php?id=51177
Note: I am NOT affiliated or associated with the Pacific Aviation Museum. This is NOT a sponsored post or paid advertisement. I am simply passing on the information that I came across in case others might be interested. Be sure to contact the museum or event organizer with any questions or for more information.
The Board of Water Supply's Halawa Xeriscape Garden "isplays a series of xeric (dry) plants in a residential-scale setting to demonstrate species capable of providing a visually attractive garden, while using less water than most currently popular plants". They demonstrate four main types of gardens: the Hawaiian garden, the international garden, the bromeliad garden, and the tree garden.
The Garden hosts workshops with instruction on things like "how to xeriscape, efficient irrigation, propagating native plants that save water, soil improvement/mulching, lei-making with xeriscape plants, and wreath-making with xeriscape plants, among others. Sponsored by the Friends of Halawa Xeriscape Garden, these workshops are generally scheduled on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays."
They have an open house event on Saturday, August 5th at 9am-3pm. And it's FREE!
Here are the event details, from their event page: "Bring the whole family to the 29th Annual Halawa Xeriscape Garden Open House and Unthirsty Plant Sale!
Presented by the Board of Water Supply (BWS) and Friends of Halawa Xeriscape Garden (FOXHG) the Plant Sale is a great opportunity for the public to enjoy a fun day for the whole family while learning how to beat the summer heat and conserve water outdoors. All of the activities at the Plant Sale will be focused on xeriscaping—an innovative way to conserve water through efficient landscaping.
There will be a large variety of beautiful and drought tolerant plants, xeriscape and outdoor water conservation workshops, Cactus and Succulent Society of Hawaii Show, education booths, Plant Doctors, keiki activities, rain barrels, delicious food, and much more!"
About Crafty Classroom
The Crafty Classroom is an online resource for materials for homeschool families. They offer a variety of both free and premium homeschool materials, including faith-based products and some that could be used by secular families as well. Their free level membership offers things like freebies & printables (like file folder games, lapbook lessons, Bible Stories, Christian preschool printables, and workbooks - many of which are 50-100 pages!), special sponsor offers, giveaways, curriculum/product reviews, resource links, and teaching tips.
Their premium products include a lot of preschool and kindergarten level materials, such as:
Alphabet Curriculum Notebook, or
Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook (26-week curriculum for preschool), and
Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook (36-week Curriculum), and
R.E.A.D. Review Pack (28 Early Readers that Correspond with R.E.A.D. Notebook).
They also have things for slightly older kids, like:
USA Activity Bundle (which we used and are reviewing here), and
How to Write a Paragraph (12 week program for K-2), or the
Writing Bundle Pack (grades 2-4; writing a biography, research paper, poetry, and instructions).
The heart behind the Home School in the Woods company is the Pak family. (Hey! That must be why some of the products are spelled "Pak" versus "pack"!) They started simply with a set of timeline figures created by Amy Pak herself, but expanded with more materials over time. They now have a huge array of products (primarily history related) that focus on hands-on activities, research, and projects.
They have multiple product lines, including things like:
- Activity-Paks - with topics such as The Old Testament, New Testament, Composers, and Artists, as well as the Make-a-State Activity product. (Note: while there are faith-based products, the "Paks" we've done have not had a heavy faith influence, so aside from Bible study materials, I think these products could be equally well used and enjoyed by both faith-based and secular families.)
- Time Travelers American History - with topics like New World Explorers, The Civil War, World War II, Colonial Life, and more.
- Lap-Paks - with topics like U.S. Elections, Wonders of the World, Knights, and more! (We've done the one on U.S. Elections in the past and not only enjoyed but my daughter still remembers a lot from and looks back on often, with pride in her accomplishment and to refresh her memory!)
- They also have a new "À La Carte Projects" option with all kids of different topics for smaller, less involved projects instead of full units. Stick with me to the end of the review for a coupon code to get a free project!
About the Make-a-State Activity Pak
Project topics include: key state facts, origin of the state name, state motto, symbols, song, industry/agriculture and climate, wildlife, geography, government, seal & flag, history, landmarks, quarter, sports teams, vocabulary, and timeline, recipes, native tribes, famous people, and regions.
Also included in the Make-a-State Activity CD or downloaded files are two bonus materials:
1) "State pages" - files for each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. which consist of a single page loaded with basic information about the state, including key facts, dates, and a super brief overview of history. This is meant to get a student started, but they will still require books and/or online resources to fully complete the projects. Thankfully, there are some suggested resources if you're not sure where to look for information.
2) "Name that State!" File Folder Game: a printable game that can be assembled in a file folder and used to practice state and capital knowledge and recognition in a fun way.
I wanted all the materials ready ahead of time so we wouldn't need to spend time looking up a project and printing it later on, but this means I had to go through more than 20 links and compare it to printing directions. There is a mixture of regular printer paper, colored paper, and white and colored cardstock. Several items also required printing on both sides but duplex or two-sided printing was not an option, so I had to manually take the paper out and flip it over than return it to the printer tray. Not a big deal, and I imagine this is so that all types of printers can be accommodated, but still a hassle when I have a baby tugging on my leg impatiently. I also made several errors while printing, but while this was mostly my fault for not reading the directions as carefully as I could, I felt the multiple steps required to print or assemble something also made for more opportunities for me to mess it up. So if you use a lap book product such as this, I highly recommend reading through everything carefully and double-checking things as you go along.
Once I finally got everything printed up, the directions were comprehensive and easy to follow and the completion of projects (and later the lap book assembly) went smoothly.
We chose to focus on Alaska for this lap book and we were excited to get started! After the initial printing and prep, we spent some time on this nearly every weekday.
The projects varied greatly in the amount of time it took for us to complete them. If you plan to schedule this lap book's activities into your school routine/schedule and want consistency, I would recommend devoting a certain block of time to it (such as 20 or 30 minutes a day, for example) vs. planning to do one of the twenty projects each day. Since it is summer and we don't have a busy schedule right now, my daughter just worked on this at her own pace.
Big Sis enjoyed this product and said that she wants to do one for all of the states that we have been to thus far. I will share her own review with you here now, per her request.
"They make it really fun by using a lot of different activities in the projects, like reading, writing, research, pasting, cutting, and putting it all together into a colorful lapbook that you can look back on later and be proud of. It's not just one thing. It's not monotonous so you don't get bored of doing the same thing for a long time - like only writing. I also like that you can make it colorful and that they have things like pouches in the lap book that you put things in. There was a lot of drawing. Personally, I love drawing! Some people may not like that though, so maybe they could find pictures to print or cut-out from a magazine instead. That's what I did for the state symbols project in our lap book. My favorite projects for this lap book were the 'my name is Alaska' one, the newspaper, and the tourist brochure. My least favorite thing was all the cutting that was necessary, but that's because we cut out all twenty project materials (to prepare in advance), so I would suggest that you cut out one project at a time when you go to work on it each day."
You can also find Home School in the Woods at their website to explore their wide variety of product offerings and learn more about the company, or visit them on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube!
They also have new co-ed Homeschool Classes beginning in August! Looks like they are currently scheduled for Tuesdays at 10am for kids 8-13 and Wednesdays at 11:30 for ages 5-9.
Plus, for younger kiddos, they have a Morning Fun Group. See the image below for more info on that.
To be held at: McKinley High School Cafeteria
1039 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96814
Hours & Info:
July 13th - Preview Sale for Friends of the Library of Hawai'i, 5-9pm
July 14th - Preview Sale for HSFCU & FLH members, 5-9pm
July 15th - Opening Day! - 9am-9pm
July 16th - 9am-6pm
July 17th-20th - 11am-7pm + 25% off in the overstock tent
July 21st - 11am-8pm + 25% off in the overstock tent,
July 22nd - 9am-8pm + 50% off everything
July 23rd - 9am-2pm, everything is 50 cents
From their website:
"The Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i (FLH) is pleased to announce the 70th Annual Booksale, sponsored by Hawai‘i State Federal Credit Union (HSFCU), from July 15 - July 23, 2017 at the McKinley High School Cafeteria. At Hawai‘i’s largest used booksale, you can choose from over 150,000 books in every category imaginable!
Since 1947, the FLH Annual Sale has invited Hawai‘i residents to browse selections of new and used, out-of-print and bestselling books and media. After 70 years, the sale is an island tradition and each summer thousands readers of all ages and backgrounds converge on the McKinley High School cafeteria for 11 days of bargains and a selection of titles to rival any bookstore.
Encompassing much more than books, the booksale will feature a selection of CDs, DVDs, comics and manga, and many more hard-to-find items. A popular section of the sale is the eclectic selection of donated ART. There is modern art, prints from local artists, lithographs, and sculpture.
A catalogue of FLH’s rare and collectible books will be open for inspection at the sale. All books in the catalogue are available for purchase, including rare Hawaiiana titles.
On opening weekend, Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19, look for authors from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in the grey tent in front of the cafeteria. They will be selling and signing their brand new children’s books, with a portion of sales going to support Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i."
Hosted by Former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver, Steve Smith, Sr.
2-Day Clinic: July 19 & 20th, 2017 @ Ward Field
Camp runs 4-7pm, with sign-in starting at 3pm.
Open to the first 200 youth, ages 6-13, to register
Pizza will be served for dinner both days (for kids & parents!)
Registration available at www.greatlifehawaii.com or 808-473-0789.
Walk-ins will NOT be accepted.
I'm a homeschooling mom of three, enjoying our time in Hawaii and hoping to share some of that experience with you, including ideas, reviews, resources, and information.