Fast Moving Action {Homeschool Review Crew}

Fast Moving Action

Homeschool Review Crew

Brinkman Adventures
As part of the Homeschool Review Crew we have been listening to some fast moving action drama lately!  Brinkman Adventures has done it again with Brinkman Adventures Season 4.  We have listened to a few of their other seasons and could not wait to see where their adventures would take them this time! We received the physical CD set for this.  A download copy was also offered for review but I really do prefer the physical CD’s for our family.


You can purchase the audio CD set for $31.99 or the download for $25.99 at this time.  That’s over five hours of fast action packed listening pleasure!

This season brings us twelve new episodes with each being roughly half an hour in length.  The perfect length to listen to one or two on our way to dance or to get groceries.  We really love listening to audio dramas when we drive especially the fast moving action type that make those drives seem so much quicker.

The Brinkmans are modern day missioinaries and these are based on their actual adventures.  Knowing this stuff is real puts a whole different spin on things!  Names of course have been changed to protect them but the events actually happened.  That’s a great teaching tool.

If you’re interested in what parts are truth and what are fiction of these great stories check out THIS SITE which gives you a more in depth look at what they’ve made up and what was actually experienced. 


Brinkman Adventures

Our Thoughts

We love listening to audio dramas.  Recently we’ve added in audio books too but they’re not as attention holding.  Because they’re read by one person instead of multiple and it really is just like someone reading the book.  My kids like that fast moving action.  They love hearing the voices changing like in a play.  It helps to keep the attention of even the younger ones.

All of my kids listened to these.  So we had ages 16 months up to age 12.  Really the baby didn’t listen to much though.  He plays with his trucks, looks at his truck books, and kicks his sister.  The youngest who was actually listening is four.  She didn’t listen the entire time though.  In fact, the other kids would often yell at her to stop singing or such.  She’s a bit of a free spirit.

My older kids love these!  By older we’re meaning almost seven years up to the twelve year old.  

Our favorite episode was Aisha’s Fear.  We really enjoyed this episode and it gave us so so many talking points.  Living in the United States we aren’t persecuted for our faith.  Jail is not a place we go for talking about God and Jesus.  This whole episode was so different than what my children experience on a daily basis that it is the perfect one to focus on. 

We’ve gone back and listened and relistened to help us better understand the thoughts and feelings.  Lots of questions can be asked.  Like what would you do if you were in a dark cellar with all kinds of bugs and varmints?  Most of my kids agree they’d scream and try to break down the door.  None of them said they’d sing praises to God.  Oh the discussions on giving God the glory and praise even during the dark times.  This lesson was as much for me as it was the kids!

Learn More

Want to learn more about Brinkman Adventures of the latest fast moving action packed season?  Check out all the reviewers who have linked up their reviews over on the Main blog.  You can also find them on facebook


Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Bringing Henty Back {Homeschool Review Crew}

Bringing Henty Back

Homeschool Review Crew

I’ve long been a fan of the G. A. Henty Books and love that the Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back in the form of audio dramas.  Their latest release is in our home and already well loved!  We’ve been listening to Captain Bayley’s Heir and can’t get enough!!

We received a physical CD in the mail.  With our CD we also received online access to the digital components.  This is a study guide and Live The Adventure site.  You can receive access to all these fun digital bonuses by being a member of the Live the Adventure club.  The CD can still be purchased without a membership but the bonuses won’t be accessible.  Along with the study guide and discussion starter you will also find online quizzes and even a way to listen to the audio from your account.  

The online version of the audio drama also comes with a script that you can read and follow along with.  This is very neat and would be amazing if you have a child who learns best by reading or more than one learning style.  An ebook copy of the original book can also be downloaded and read from the Live The Adventure Club.  Other extra include the soundtrack, cast poster, inspirational poster, and desktop wallpaper.  Lots of great items to be had from their online account!

Being out in the middle of nowhere(at least away from big cities) is amazing at times.  Other times it’s not the best.  Like when you have an hour trip to get to a big grocery store or dance etc etc.  That’s our story!  We love audio dramas for this reason.  They make our journey shorter or at least seem that way.  When that CD starts playing we all become engrossed in the story and boom here we are and no one wants to turn it off!

About the Story

Bringing Henty Back


G. A. Henty wrote Captain Bayley’s Heir in 1889.  I love that old books can still be relevant today and I love that Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back for a new generation to enjoy in a new form.  While I still try to find the books in hard format so we can read them as well having them on a CD to listen to is amazing.

This story follows Frank as he leaves England to come to America during the gold rush.  Not only does he sail across the Atlantic Ocean but he also crosses the continent of America to get to California for the gold rush.  His story is woven through great writing on G A Henty’s part but also by great voice acting from the cast.  They’re amazing and really make you feel like you’re there with Frank as he faces great challenges.  There are also “flashback” type scenes where you get to go and see what is happening in England while he is away.

I love the voice of Brian Blessed as Henty.  He adds so much depth to the story just with his voice.  It’s amazing.  As he narrates the story and helps bring the characters to life we learn lessons that we won’t soon forget.

I love the story line. How many of us can say we’ve never been accused of doing something wrong?  Poor Frank can’t.  He was accused of stealing money.  Rather than face the accusations and humiliation, because yes we can all agree this would be so utterly humiliating, he runs off to America.  That alone is a great place to talk with my kids about what to do when someone accuses us falsely of something.  

Frank is foolish to run off and not tell his Uncle or friends where he is off to.  I used this as a chatting point with my children of how worried I would be if they ever did this and how people would definitely be sad and distraught.  We talked about how Uncle(Captain Bayley) must have felt and how Alice probably felt betrayed.  

Frank is a kind hearted boy who is very willing to help others.  Even though he makes mistakes he tries his best to do what is right and just.  After helping a fellow Englishman and his son Frank sends them with a message for his Uncle and Alice.  Although it takes them a long time to receive the message they are overjoyed and off quickly to find Frank.  They of course arrive just in the nick of time as Frank was wounded in a fight(yes there is violence).

Plot twist!  Captain Bayley has an heir.  Of course you knew that right from the title?  His heir is his daughter who married a man he didn’t approve of and all contact was lost.  Realizing that he was wrong to forbid her having her love and that he wants to make amends Captain Bayley sets off to find her with the help of Alice.  This is why it took so long for them to get Frank’s message.  It’s too late for Captain Bayley to make amends with his daughter as she has passed away but she had a son who he can now connect with.  

Happy endings all around.  Well.  Not fairy tale happy but real life stuff happens and life is messy type endings.  

Our Thoughts

As always we loved the cast!  One reason of course is that my whole family are suckers for a good accent!  We love them!  When my cousins come over from England my kids are all talking like little British kiddos for about a month after they leave.  It’s easy to pick up.  So of course we love hearing the accents on the audio dramas as Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back into circulation.

I have always loved the Henty books and am so glad that Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back for my children to enjoy.  Not all of children love reading old classics like I do.  The material is a little harder to get into than modern day fiction.  I understand this but really want them to know and love the classics.  So we use them as read alouds.  But there is something so much more magical about listening to them on an audio drama versus mom reading them. 

I highly recommend this audio drama as well as all of the others from Heirloom Audio Productions.  Other audio dramas that we’ve reviewed and that you should check out are The Dragon and the Raven, With Lee in Virginia, The Cat of Bubastes, and Beric the Briton

Learn More

Make sure to click over to the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog and read the linked up blog posts.  You can also find Heirloom Audio Productions and all their audio dramas bringing Henty back on facebook, twitter, instagram, and google +.


Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Ancient Egypt {Homeschool Review Crew}

Ancient Egypt

Homeschool Review Crew

Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes
Have you ever studied Ancient Egypt in your homeschool?  We actually are there in one of our history courses this year so I was very excited to see that The Cat of Bubastes was the newest release and Crew Review from Heirloom Audio Productions!  I of course applied gushing about how we’d love this one.  And I was so excited when we got it!!

We had already read the book as part of our study of ancient Egypt so receiving the audio drama of The Cat of Bubastes was a treat for us!  I have always found ancient Egypt fun and exciting.  Believe it or not, I had never read The Cat of Bubastes though.  It wasn’t until I became a mother and a homeschool mom that I found out about the works of G A Henty.  I also came into contact with Heirloom Audio Productions as a homeschool mom and that makes me very happy!  We’ve been blessed to review many of their works as members of the Homeschool Review Crew.


Ancient Egypt {Homeschool Review Crew}


Each time we receive an audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions we also receive access to a ton of other great resources through their Study Guide.  This time we received:

  • access to a downloadable 47 page study guide
  • mp3 version of the soundtrack
  • colorful illustrated ebook of the G A Henty classic
  • printable copy of the inspirational verse featured
  • cast poster in printable form
  • access to the behind the scenes documentary(am I the only one who loves these??)
  • Live the Adventure Letter E-newsletter access

More of What We Love

The CD itself is a 2 disc set.  With all the extras we received it’s very easy to plan and make this a full unit study to help homeschoolers learn about ancient Egypt and a spiritual lesson too.  This audio drama focuses on perseverance, responsibility, and God’s providence.  

The cast for The Cat of Bubastes features Brian Blessed, Anthony Daniels, Sylvester McCoy, and John Rhys-Davies.  Am I the only one that hears the voice of John Rhys-Davies and immediately can see his face as being a bad guy in some movie?  Maybe?  He’s really good at that role and his voice is wonderful.  I love listening to him.


Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

One of the things that I love about the study guides that Heirloom Audio Production gives us access to with their audio dramas is that it includes historical and biblical content.  They give me a starting point for helping my children dig deeper into the lessons that they can learn from the story. Let’s face it, I don’t have the time to find all that information on my own.  And I certainly don’t have the time to make a study guide of my own with ten kids and a farm/house to run!  I’m forever grateful to the people who do have the time and allow us to use their knowledge and expertise.

Interested in learning more about The Cat of Bubastes and Ancient Egypt?  Check out their facebook, twitter, google +, and instagram!  Also head on over to the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog page and find all the reviews linked up to read and enjoy!


Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Beric the Briton {TOS Crew Review}

Beric the Briton

Heirloom Audio Productions

Reading books is so important to our family, but listening to good literature is as well.  That’s why we love Heirloom Audio Productions.  They produce wonderful pieces to listen to that captivate our whole family.  Recently as part of the TOS Crew we received a copy of Beric the Briton on CD to listen to.  

Beric the Briton takes you back in history to a time long ago.  Journey back to pagan England where the Romans are attacking.  It’s a wonderful tale that is going to captivate you.  Activate your imagination while listening to this wonderful tale of history and Bible all weaved together into a lesson on character as well. 


Beric the Briton {TOS Crew Review}


At least, that’s what it does to our family when we listen to Beric the Briton.  Like all the other G. A. Henty adventures, this audio drama focuses on one person in a difficult time making difficult decisions and actions.  From that main character we can then learn a character trait or another great lesson.  It’s not just all fluff and fun.  The G. A. Henty books are definitely not twaddle and neither are their audio dramas.

The CD we received is a physical 2 CD set.  Our set also came with access to a digital downloadable study guide.  While we have used the study guides for all the other audio dramas we’ve received, we did not get to use this one.  I do plan on incorporating it into our school year as we study this period in history though.  A little that you can expect with the study guide are wonderful discussion questions and comprehension questions.  It also has helpful hints and fun activities to use to increase your learning as well as Bible studies.  Using the study guide you can easily use the Beric the Briton CD as a unit study.  We also received an MP3 soundtrack with our 2 CD set and a printable poster with a quote from Julius in the audio drama “I will gladly die for him who died for me”.

Other fun things that we received to go with this review are a downloadable behind-the-scenes video, an e-book of the G. A. Henty novel(highly recommend that the novel be read with the audio drama—- we read the book first as any good reader would do), mp3 version of the audio drama production, and a cast poster.  The cast of this audio drama included Brian Blessed, Brian Cox, Tom Baker, Honeysuckle Weeks, Cathy Sara, and John Rhys-Davies.


Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions Review

I have to share that my children saw the CD arrive in the mail.  When I opened it they immediately though the lion on the cover was Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia.  That led to a wonderful discussion of how a lion has been used in crests and as a symbol throughout all of history and what the lion stands for.  Great discussion and we hadn’t even taken the plastic wrap off the CD yet!

The suggested age range for this audio drama is ages 6 and up.  My three-year old and my five-year old listened to this with the rest of the family though they did not understand all that was happening and definitely were not as engaged as the rest of the family.

In this audio drama you’re going to follow the life of Beric.  Beric is from ancient Britannia but is captured by the Romans.  He’s trained as a gladiator and some great names are mentioned around him like Nero and Christus(Jesus Christ).  This is a history lesson, a Bible lesson, and so much more.  Our hero is young and must make tough choices and decisions that will not only affect him but his country as well.  

G. A. Henty is the author of the book that the audio drama based off of.  We here in our home love G. A. Henty books and I’m loving having some of them available as audio dramas through Heirloom Audio Productions now.  We love to listen to them on long car rides or on those stormy rainy days that I don’t want full of movies.  You see, our house is small.  My children love to go outside and play so the size of our home isn’t much of an issue until it’s nasty out and they can’t go out and play.  For those days we have games to play and books to read, or we have The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty to listen to!


Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions Review

If you’re interested in how others used this CD and study guide and what they thought of Beric the Briton please head on over to the Main TOS Crew blog page where all the reviews are linked up.  You can find Heirloom Audio Productions on facebook, twitter, google +, and instagram.   Find The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty on facebook.  Find Beric the Briton on facebook.  


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Heirloom Audio Productions {TOS Crew Review}

We love audio dramas here at our house.  It’s like walking a movie with your mind and something I encourage my children to do.  I feel it helps build an imagination.  Recently we’ve been listening to The Dragon and the Raven from Heirloom Audio Productions thanks to the TOS Review Crew.  


The Dragon and the Raven {Heirloom Audio Productions Review}
We received a physical copy of the CD from Heirloom Audio Productions to facilitate our review.  Also available online for our use is an online study guide.  The study guide is 48 pages.  There are two cd’s in the case as well.  It’s over 2 hours of fun for the family!  It’s action packed, the voices are splendid.  You’re going to be riveted and not want to pause for breaks!

As we listened to our newest title from Heirloom Audio Productions(we’ve reviewed with them before) we focused on the theme of duty.  We researched duty.  We studied duty.  We looked up Bible verses related to duty and doing our duty.  We also did use the digital downloads that go with this CD.  

Have you heard of G. A. Henty?  Well this newest production from Heirloom Audio Productions is the fourth installation in The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty.  In this story of The Dragon and the Raven you’re going to venture back to the Middle Ages.  Follow King Alfred the Great of England as he fights off the invading Danes while trying to lead his kingdom.  He has a duty and determination to follow through.  


Heirloom Audio Productions {TOS Crew Review}


Some well known actors lend their voices to this audio drama.  Brian Blessed is back as G. A. Henty.  Others include Sylvester McCoy, Helen George, and John Rhys-Davies.  I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with any other than Brian Blessed from previous Heirloom Audio Productions stories.  But they all did an excellent job!!  The music is wonderful as well!  I’m a sucker for a good soundtrack and if necessary the music could carry the whole production!  It doesn’t of course because it’s not needed.  

Let’s talk about where you listen to your audio dramas.  We normally listen to ours in the van when we’re travelling. It’s an hour drive for us to go to the Dr or get groceries(unless we go to the BIG city which is two hours away).  Unfortunately, our CD player in the van has decided it doesn’t want to work correctly and won’t release the kids praise cd that is in there!  Because of that I had to find a new location for us to listen to our audio drama this time.

I don’t have any portable CD players anymore so I knew I had to use either the computer or the BluRay player to listen to this.  I was a bit worried that my kids wouldn’t be quite as captive of an audience considering they would no longer be strapped into carseats!  I was worried for nothing.  I decided that I’d have toys out to play with and we’d listen to the CD on our BluRay player in the living room while playing with the wooden train tracks and Lincoln Logs for older kids.  My youngest three were playing with Duplo.  


The Dragon and the Raven {Heirloom Audio Productions Review}
You’re not going to believe it, but my kids quit playing!!  They were so engrossed in the story that they no longer could focus on it and playing.  They made the choice to stop playing so they could listen!  I did break up the CD into five sittings considering it’s over 2 hours long(2-1/2 to be precise) and my kids range in age from 11 down to 2.  

I know some people do worry about appropriate ages for listening to audio dramas.  Heck, I’m one of them.  This is recommended for ages 6 through adult.  I do have three children younger than this age range.  They do get scared at movies and such so I wasn’t quite sure how they were going to handle this.  For the most part they loved the story and were not scared.  Occasionally they decided to go into the other room and play instead of listen if they got scared or bored. This was perfectly fine with me.  When we discussed what we had learned from listening they were still able to offer input and had picked up several good tidbits and life lessons.  

Make sure you pop over to the Main TOS Crew blog to read the rest of the reviewers thoughts on this latest release from Heirloom Audio Productions.  You can also learn more about Heirloom Audio Productions by visiting them on facebook, twitter, and google +.  The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty also has their own facebook page as well as  a page dedicated to The Dragon and the Raven.  



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Audio Drama in our Homeschool {TOS Crew Review}

Do you do a lot of driving?  These past three weeks we’ve been driving two hours on Monday and Tuesday to get back and forth from dance class.  I knew I had to find something to use up that time so the kids weren’t just sitting in their car-seats fighting and fussing with each other.  Most of my kids really don’t like sitting in their car-seats.  So, I was so glad when we received With Lee in Virginia from Heirloom Audio Productions!  Of course, being Civil War reenactors we were super excited to listen to this!


How we Use Audio Drama in our Homeschool.


I’ve used audio drama in our homeschool before.  In fact, we reviewed from In Freedom’s Cause from Heirloom Audio Productions before and LOVED it!  Most of the time when we’re driving in the van we listen to Christian music or a book on cd.  This is more than a book on CD.  This is not just one person reading  a script.  This is an audio drama. It’s like watching a movie but the screen is in your head and the only limits are your imagination!

We received a physical copy of the cd plus a link to download a study guide and a soundtrack.  If you’ve read around on my blog you’ll know that I really love using study guides to help make sure my children are picking out the important pieces and retaining them.  And well the soundtrack is just gorgeous so of course you’ll want to download that too.

The study guide is 52 pages in length and includes questions and interactions for each chapter.  As I’ve mentioned above I’m a huge proponent of always getting the study guides to go with things.  This one will help listening skills for younger children and increase comprehension and retention in the older children.  It also helps them to think about what they’ve heard and not just let it be ear pleasing going in one ear and out the other.  I did enjoy that there was a short Bible study included in the study guide as well as a list of books to help you explore further.

This is the third production from Heirloom Audio Productions and is based on a novel by George Alfred Henty.  The book is part of the series titled The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty.

When using this audio drama in our homeschool it was good to note that it is geared for ages 6 through adult.  However, all of my kids were in the van listening to this.  So that’s ages 2 up to 10 and then me(I’m not stating my age).  My two year old fell asleep most of the time so I can’t tell you whether there were parts that she didn’t like or not.  There were a few spots that my four year old was a bit worried about but we’d pause and talk and then go on with the audio drama.  Having studied the Civil War extensively as well as reenacting it, my children were familiar with most of the things going on.

This two cd set has two and one half hours of listening pleasure.  When using any audio drama in our homeschool I always like to note the length so we’re not listening to all but say the last twenty minutes in any given day.  So we listened to this on the way to dance one night and then on the way down the next night finishing the recording on the way back.  We actually listened to this all three weeks so we’ve gone through it three times already!

Some fun things to note.  We loved this soundtrack.  It was so gorgeous.  I finally figured out why.  The soundtrack is done by Emmy award winning composer John Campbell.  If that name is not familiar then you have not watched the acclaimed Narnia movies!!  This audio drama was written by Robert Liparulo.  Some noted actors also lend their voice to the latest audio drama in our homeschool including Kirk Cameron, Sean Astin, Jim Weiss, and Chris Anthony.

Now just a bit about the story line.  The story follows Vincent Wingfield, a 15 year old boy, who joins the Army of Virginia during the Civil War.  He is part of the Cavalry.  That right there was enough to capture my kids attention.  They kept adding things and asking questions while we were listening.   you see their daddy is a Cavalry officer when we reenact.  He rides his horse off into battle, so they know exactly what’s happening!

If you’re looking to learn more about With Lee in Virginia please check out the rest of the reviews on the Main TOS Blog Page.  We all received the same CD to review this time so you’ll get lots of opinions!  You can also connect with Heirloom Audio Productions on facebook, or the audio drama facebook page, twitter, and google +



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