Review: Heirloom Audio Productions – With Lee in Virginia

A few months ago I shared a review of a great audio drama based on a G. A. Henty novel that we were asked to review, In Freedom’s Cause. I mentioned in the review that the same production company would be releasing more material soon. We recently received the latest installment from Heirloom Audio ProductionsWith Lee in VirginiaTo say it was worth the wait would be an understatement! My review will follow, but if you’d like to read more Crew reviews, you can click HERE or on the banner below.

 

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review 

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review
How does it work?

For this review I was provided a physical copy of the audio drama, With Lee in Virginia as well as access to the With Lee in Virginia Special Bonuses. My kids and I LOVE audio dramas, and books on audio, so we wanted to jump on this as soon as possible. At our earliest convenience (a family road trip!) we broke out the cd. We listened to the first half of the book on the way there, and the second n the return trip. The whole audio was a couple of hours long. We all thoroughly enjoyed it! Now, this  is a pretty big deal. A few years ago the book With Lee in Virginia was assigned and my kids hated it. It was the only book we dropped from our reading list that year. Actually, I made them do a 2-for-1 swap (you know, I’ll drop one book if you read 2 deals), which they willing took because they disliked With Lee so much. So, I was a little trepidatcious in doing this as an audio book. I’m so glad we did it! We all really enjoyed the book, the story (a  ale retold to two teen boys – about two teen boys and their tales of fighting in the Civil War), the drama… basically the whole package. We really, really enjoyed it!

 

Observations:

My overall observation – this is a FIRST CLASS audio drama. The actors are seasoned veterans with amazing resumes. Kirk Cameron (you know, old school in Growing Pains, and more recently amazing in Fireproof), Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, but my favorite in Rudy). and Jim Weiss (Greathall Productions) round out an amazing cast with loads of other talented actors and actresses. The audio quality is also absolutely fabulous. Emmy award winner John Campbell wrote the score – which is fabulous. Without a doubt, the production value of this work is fabulous.

In addition to loving the actual audio drama, the quality of the “Special Bonuses” are FIRST RATE. Included is the digital version of With Lee in Virginia. We love to be able to skip the cd and go digital, so including this is awesome for our family! Another great bonus is a complete ebook of With Lee in Virginia. This copy has been digitally enhanced and the graphics are all updated – so this is a nice, smooth, professional copy. When your kids get excited about the book, and want to move on to read the story again, you’ll be set! In addition to the digital With Lee in Virginia, and ebook, you can download the soundtrack, a cast poster.

My favorite bonus that’s included in the set is the Study Guide and Discussion Starter. This is a GREAT discussion guide. It’s fabulously organized (with track numbers that correlate to the appropriate discussion topic) and super thorough. It contains maps, comprehension questions, vocabulary and more. You could use this with both the audio drama, and as a comprehension guide for the ebook. It’s really, really well done. One thing I love is that it’s accessible online, so no need to print or download it. I find that super helpful! We went through the audio so quickly that we didn’t use the discussion guide during the book, but even asking questions after the fact – the kids remembered the story line and details, so I think that’s a successful learning experience!

 

Any bad parts?

This may be a first for me… but NO I have no bad parts. None.

Summary:

With three purchase options ($19.97 for digital download, $29.97 for a single cd and some extras, 0r $99.97 for a four pack of cds with loads of extras) and a 90 day money back guarantee, there is an option for every family and budget. This is a first rate, professionally acted and produced audio drama. This is a great story and a great production. I highly recommend it!!

 

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WithLeeInVirginia
https://www.facebook.com/heirloomaudio

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeirloomStories

Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/114534826166314080647/114534826166314080647/posts

 

 

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Review: Home School in the Woods – Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages

One of the fun things about being on The Schoolhouse Review Crew is having the chance to try out some products that aren’t normally ones I’d gravitate to. This review is for one of those products. I’m please to share with you our experiences of using the Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages brought to us by Home School in the Woods. If you’d like to read more Crew reviews, you can click HERE or on the banner below.

Home School in the Woods Review

Home School in the Woods Review

 

How does it work?

For this review I was provided a free download of the product,   Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages. Normally the download version is $33.95 (the cd version is available for $34.95). Basically, the passport is a fun, hands on activity book to accompany learning about the Middle Ages. (The producer, Home School in the Woods  also has other subjects available on their website.) Readings for each “stop” on the trip are provided, as well as journaling activities, coloring projects, crafts, and cooking projects. At the end of the journey, the kids will have a completed project book. You can make the book any way you’d like, though clear directions are provided for a lapbook or for a scrapbook type journal.

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After making the initial download I was able to use links to each of the printables and teacher notes. The download system ran perfectly – and is an absolutely excellent interface system. I was extremely impressed. 

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Observations:

After my initial download, I started printing. And printing. And printing. . My initial plan was to make 2 journals – one for each kid. I would estimate that I spent about 5 hours printing, cutting, and assembling the first 5 lessons. It was a little overwhelming for me, though the results were spectacular. I did try to make sure the papers were the correct kind and color, and I think that made a huge difference in the final product.

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After assembling the product (which I did myself to save time – having my kids do their own would have taken even longer) we set to work. My kids really enjoyed the readings and the newspaper. I found having them journal in short bursts was great – they wrote well, had fun, and there was no complaining. My kids are older (12 and 14), and didn’t warm much to the passport and other fun items. They really balked at the coloring, but I think that’s an age issue. If I had done this a few years earlier – they would have love it! Despite their misgivings, the readings did inspire them to break out some of our Middle Ages readers, and to watch a number of Horrible Histories episodes to brush up on their knowledge of the Middle Ages! It may not have been the intended path – but the Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages definitely inspired some great learning.

 

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One of our Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages highlights was Middle Ages night. The kids were totally intrigued by the menu and recipes, so we had a whole Middle Ages dinner. We made the herb bread (awesome!!), roast chicken, roasted vegetables and potatoes, carrots, and a few non-traditional items – mainly cranberry sauce and Stove Top. The kids spent a couple of days researching and planning, and we all had a blast.

 

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I’m not sure if carrots were appropriate to the Middle Ages, but they compliments Middle Ages Feast Night very well!

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We roasted up a chicken for Middle Ages night!

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The herb bread recipe from the Middle Ages menu booklet – AWESOME!!! A keeper!

Any bad parts?

While the interface for the download was perfect, I cannot say that I enjoyed the printing and assembling of this product. It was very time consuming for me (though I will readily admit my printer is pretty slow – and I don’t think that helped). Even with a trip to the copy store, I’d still have to cut and assemble everything. For my kid’s ages, and as fast as they ran through the stops in less time than it took for me to assemble most of the materials, so the prep time wasn’t worth it for me. Had I done this when they were younger – again – it would have been HUGE. They would have LOVED it. I would have LOVED it. With that in mind, I would  heartily recommend this for kids up to about Grade 6, or older if they love hands on things and put it together themselves.

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Summary:

This is an EXCEPTIONALLY well designed product. If you like lapbooks, and hands on products, and don’t mind taking the time to assemble them, then this would be a great fit for your kids. Sadly, my kids are now in the “learn it and move on” age, and weren’t wowed by the fun of the passport. Despite their misgivings, we did make some great memories with Middle Ages food night, and I’m grateful to have a chance to try a new way of learning and see if it might be a good fit for us! If you’re on the fence about notebooking or lapbooks – give Home School in the Woods products a try. I don’t think you’ll regret it!

 

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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hsinthewoods/
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July Blogging Challenge – July 18 – INDULGENCE

I’m joining in with a super fun blogging challenge with (hopefully!) blogging daily in July. I’m super excited to see what the month has in store.

 

For Day 18 – we’re to answer – INDULGENCE

 

Yes, a regular cooking pot would work… but the fire engine red Le Creuset is AMAZING. And indulgent. And just beautiful.

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There are indugent cookies, and then there are Border Biscuits Dark Chocolate Gingers. Seriously. Insane. The best biscuit ever.

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Coffee. Yum. Cold brew… real New Orleans cold brew… INDULGENT.

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Want to meet lots of awesome bloggers? Check out the links to the 31 days of blogging sponsored by Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life and Lynn at This Day Has Great Potential.

July Blogging Challenge

July Blogging Challenge – July 20 – FOOD

I’m joining in with a super fun blogging challenge with (hopefully!) blogging daily in July. I’m super excited to see what the month has in store.

 

For Day 20 – we’re to answer – FOOD

 

A short tour of Key West yums….

Bien Caribbean….

The corn is worth the trip…

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Roast pork, rice, beans, grilled onions, cabbage slaw…

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The crepe place (Le Creperie?)…

#43…buck wheat crepe, strawberries, raspberry coulli, ice cream, custard, almonds…

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Little’s pick…crepe, nutella, banana…

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Big’s pick… Panini…chicken, pesto, mozzarella…

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El Siboney…. Pork, yellow rice, beans, onions, plantains…
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…in short, Key West has AWESOME food!!!

 

 

Want to meet lots of awesome bloggers? Check out the links to the 31 days of blogging sponsored by Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life and Lynn at This Day Has Great Potential.

July Blogging Challenge

July Blogging Challenge – July 19 – DOWNTIME

I’m joining in with a super fun blogging challenge with (hopefully!) blogging daily in July. I’m super excited to see what the month has in store.

 

For Day 19 – we’re to answer – DOWNTIME

 

I’m feeling good about this kind of downtime….

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Because, if it’s going to be 100, it’s cooler on the beach. 🙂

 

 

Want to meet lots of awesome bloggers? Check out the links to the 31 days of blogging sponsored by Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life and Lynn at This Day Has Great Potential.

July Blogging Challenge

July Blogging Challenge – July 15-17 CAMERA, WAY BACK, READING

I’m joining in with a super fun blogging challenge with (hopefully!) blogging daily in July. I’m super excited to see what the month has in store.

 

For Day 15 – we’re to answer – CAMERA

For Day 16 – we’re to answer – WAY BACK

For Day 17 – we’re to answer – READING

AND, since I’m a terrible slacker I combined them all…

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My D90, Tony. He replaced my D70, Gibbs. 🙂 Mostly I use my phone. It’s easier to upload. 🙂

My book list, minus Til We Have Faces. I’ve started the Zentangle book…and TWHF. I LOVE the original QBQ book, and have had my kids read it, so I’m looking forward to this one.

The photo…old school…a little creepy…sweet pants… Santa.

Three days. One photo. Now top get back on track!!

 

Thanks for visiting! I hope you come back tomorrow!

 

 

 

Want to meet lots of awesome bloggers? Check out the links to the 31 days of blogging sponsored by Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life and Lynn at This Day Has Great Potential.

July Blogging Challenge

July Blogging Challenge – July 14 – FAVORITE THINGS

I’m joining in with a super fun blogging challenge with (hopefully!) blogging daily in July. I’m super excited to see what the month has in store.

 

For Day 14 – we’re to answer – FAVORITE THINGS

This is a hard one for me…

1. Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit!

2. My family. My DH and kids are the best ever. (Sorry everyone else!!)

3. My dogs. They rock.

4. Other stuff: traveling with my crew, researching traveling with my crew (LOL!), homeschooling, board games, when the house is clean, smelly stuff, iced coffee, crosswords with DH, reality tv, Boston Red Sox, Twirl bars, short lines, not having to go to the post office, mail that’s not bills, no traffic, Costco, my son’s birthday cake, going swimming, Boston, office supplies, crafting, baking,  a good nap, volunteering, air conditioning, screened porches, great pizza, The Bible Bee, making caramel with DH, my siblings, when everything is unpacked and put away from a trip, photography, and…. lots of other stuff. I’m very blessed.

 

 

Want to meet lots of awesome bloggers? Check out the links to the 31 days of blogging sponsored by Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life and Lynn at This Day Has Great Potential.

July Blogging Challenge