Review of Heirloom Audio Production’s Wulf the Saxon

henty-wulf-saxon-finapproved-5x5

heirloom-audio-horizontal-version

Our family loves listening to audio dramas.  They are a marvelous way to pass the time – especially when taking long trips in a vehicle.  So I was thrilled for our family to have the opportunity to review another audio theater production by Heirloom Audio Productions.  Heirloom Audio Productions brings another G.A. Henty novel to life with Wulf the Saxon!  This drama thoroughly captured the imaginations of my husband, our 17-year-old son, and myself during a recent trip we took that was about two hours away from our home.  For this review, we received audio cd set, which includes two compact discs that we were able to listen to easily in our vehicle.

 

I love how Heirloom Audio Productions always begins with an interaction between the character of G.A. Henty and some other individuals.  Then because of something that happens – in this case, two young men start arguing and fighting with one another.  The character of G.A. Henty then begins to talk about a story he knows and begins to tell the story to them.  I love how Heirloom Audio Productions is able to easily transition from G.A. Henty telling the story to the actual audio drama.

The story centers around the character, Wulf the Saxon, who is a young Saxon landowner. He demonstrates courage, leadership, wisdom along with his faith throughout the story.  It chronicles his journeys, adventures, and experiences throughout England and Normandy during the intense fighting that resulted over individuals wanting to claim the throne of England.  Wulf finds himself in various situations including being held captive, making new friends including Agnes De Burg and her family, fighting battles, conveying messages, and even protecting the king.  He consistently exhibits a faith that is inspiring.  He shows himself to be a true friend.  There were times, I was concerned about what would come next.

Our heart broke for Harold when he and his love Lady Edith had to part ways for the sake of England and then again when Harold died on the battlefield.  One of my absolute favorite lines from this audio theater drama references the fact that those who are able to marry for love are truly fortunate.  Wulf is fortunate to be able to marry someone he loves. I found it fitting that this quote is included in the CD case.

img_1179

This audio drama is recommended for ages six to sixteen, but I believe all ages can enjoy the story.  Because it deals with the subject of war, parts of this drama are somewhat graphic and intense during several of the battle scenes.  So you may want to use discretion on who is allowed to listen to it alone.

This production displays excellent acting, wonderful sound effects and a brilliant musical score.  The original score for Wulf the Saxon is by John Campbell, who is an Emmy Award Winning composer.  With two sons in our local homeschool band and our other son and our only daughter participating in the Homeschool Strings program, I tend to really listen to the music in the background.  The music selected for this drama suits it perfectly and helps to perfectly set the stage for the drama.

img_1177

To go along with the audio dramas, Heirloom Audio Productions has introduced a club called the Live the Adventure Club that includes a wealth of resources.

This club includes many valuable resources including a study guide for the drama.  The study guide is available as a download on the Live the Adventure Club site from Heirloom Audio Productions. The study guide offers background information on what is included in the study guide, a background on G. A. Henty, information about Heirloom Audio Productions, a list of the members of the cast and crew, background information on important people during the time of the story.  Even though we did not receive the bonus materials as part of this review, I still highly recommend you investigate it for yourself.

Our family thoroughly enjoyed Wulf the Saxon from Heirloom Audio Productions and definitely recommend it.  You may also want to check out our family’s reviews of Captain Bayley’s Heir and In the Reign of Terror – two other audio dramas by Heirloom Audio Productions.

If you would like to check out reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

SaveSaveSaveSave

A New Beginning

img_1026

It is a new year with all the new possibilities and opportunities that go with that.  It is a matter of new activities to participate in for 2018.  My husband, daughter, and oldest son have begun participating in the Strings program associated with our homeschool band.  They had their first lesson on Monday.  My husband and daughter are playing the violin, while our son is playing the cello.

Then this summer the plan is for my youngest son to begin lessons for the viola while I begin to take lessons for the violin.  It was fun seeing our daughter be part of a music program.

In a Facebook group, I am part of, the person in charge asked about what instruments we had in our home.  We have 4 guitars, 2 violins, a cello, an alto saxophone, a trumpet, a baritone horn, a trombone (which is borrowed), a flute, a clarinet, a keyboard and a french horn. Our home is accumulating a large amount of musical knowledge and interest.

On the other hand, sometimes a new year, bring unwanted change or experiences. From Christmas Eve until now we have had some members of our family sick.  Most of the time more than one family member have had it at a time.  It is no fun.  I am ready for everyone to be well. Also in our case, we are facing the prospect of finding a place and moving in less than 30 days.  It was 30 days, but a couple of days have already passed.

On a lighter and more positive note, our daughter has been doing some new artwork, including two pieces requested by someone else.

Here are some samples of her recent work.

I am in prayer the new year brings better things for our family as the year progresses.

So what is going on in your wold for the new year?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read some other posts from members of the Home School Review Crew members to see what they are up to this week, click here or on the graphic below.

Homeschool-Weekly-Blog-Link-UP-new-2

A Look Back at 2017

A Look Back at 2017

A lot has happened in 2017.  First, our family became part of the Homeschool Review.  We have really enjoyed participating in the various reviews.

Our family also found a church home.  We have participated in a variety of activities.

We experienced our first evacuation from Hurricane Harvey (although our family went through numerous hurricanes while living in eastern North Carolina. And my husband and middle two children became part of the local homeschool band. With this participation, our oldest son, our youngest son, my husband and I served as adult leaders for the Christmas parade for the combined private school (2 of them combined) plus a few of our homeschool band members at our city’s Christmas parade.

I have to say, I pray that in some ways 2018 is a better year.

How was your 2017 and what are you looking forward to in 2018.

If you would like to read other posts by other members of the Homeschool Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

Homeschool-Weekly-Blog-Link-UP-new-2

 

 

Holiday Stress and Amazing Grace

Turning-Holiday-Stress-into-Amazing-Grace

Holidays bring a lot of different things along with the happiness and joy that should come with the time of the year. Celebrating our Savior’s birth brings along numerous events, activities, practices, performances and more.  Last week, we had play practice for our Christmas program at church, band rehearsal for our Homeschool Band concert on Thursday and then the actual band performance Saturday night.  Along with the concert itself, which my middle two children, myself, and my husband played in the band, I had to help coordinate the food for the reception afterward.  Afterall, if we wanted people to attend our concert, the moms felt the people should be fed afterward. All of this brings a certain amount of stress.

But, then something happens to remind us of the joy of the season.  As all the moms entered the church, a remarkable thing happened.  All of the moms and especially the five moms who were playing in the band showed up wearing red tops and black bottoms.  Prior to the event, none of us communicated with each other.  So it was truly divine intervention.  Then some levity also happens, such as us all agreeing on what the color combination should be for the spring concert.  Or when everyone who attended the concert said how much they enjoyed the concert.

Now this week, we had play practice this evening, dress-rehearsal Saturday morning and then the actual performance during the Christmas Eve evening service.  Y’all, we have six, count them, I said six members participating in the program.  This means four children plus the two parents, who need not only costumes but also to learn line positions and more.  Our youngest son is playing a Christmas cookie, our other three children are playing Christmas carolers while my husband and I are playing Mary and Joseph.  By the time Christmas morning gets here, I think we will all be glad to sit back and enjoy the quiet Christmas Day we have planned.

But this is the things Christmas memories are made of and I know next year we will look back fondly on them.  It does not matter if everything is perfect.  It matters that we spent time as a family, participated and remembered that Jesus Christ was born, lived and died to save us all from our sins.

So how does your family handle stress at the holidays?  I would love to hear from you.  If you would like to read more posts from other members of the Homeschool Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

Homeschool-Weekly-Blog-Link-UP-new-2

 

SaveSave

Our Holiday Traditions

04164d19-e5eb-4fc0-8054-3909704546d1

So our family is still getting ready for Christmas.  We have several traditions that we try to keep every year.  The first tradition is starting to decorate the day after Thanksgiving.  Usually, our tree goes up first.  Every year we try to buy the children a new ornament with significance to that particular year.  For example, this year I will be on the hunt for a saxophone for our youngest son and a baritone for our second son.  They have both started playing in our local homeschool band along with their father and me.

Another family tradition is going to a Candlelight Church service on Christmas Eve.  Being military, we have moved several times in the last eight years, so that does not necessarily work all the time.  Fortunately, this time last year, we found a new church that does have a Christmas Eve service.

Finally, another tradition our family enjoys is driving around to look at Christmas lights in the area where we live.  So of course, we have to put up Christmas lights outside ourselves.

What are some traditions your family enjoys at Christmas time?

This post is part of the Homeschool Review Crew’s look at our family traditions.  If you would like to check out some other posts, click here or on the graphic below.

holiday-traditions

Review of Writing with Sharon Watson’s Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis

writing20with20sharon20watson_zps1ksbue8s

cover-student-wwsw-232x300_zpsmlwcgdx4

For quite a while now, I have followed the blog for “Writing with Sharon Watson”, so I was thrilled when our family received the opportunity to review one of the literature products from “Writing with Sharon Watson”. I  have loved reading about all of the products from Writing with Sharon Watson so I was super excited to add Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis to our homeschool curriculum list!  Considering that I have a son who loves anything from Shakespeare, I was very excited to see “Much Ado About Nothing” was among the selections included in this course.

In addition to “Much Ado About Nothing”, a short story entitled “A Jury of Her Peers”, another assortment of short works, and the full works of “Frankenstein”, “Silas Marner”, “Sense and Sensibility” and “The Hobbit” are included.  The materials our family received include a Teacher’s Guide, text, Quiz and Answer Manual, Novel Notebook (downloadable from the website, and online quizzes (which may be accessed on the website).

img_0759

Illuminated Literature: Characters in Crisis” is not grade-specific, but is instead designed for any high school student.  So the beauty of this program for our family is that all three of our high school students could use the same program.  On the website, you can download sample chapters, grading grids, quizzes on the course page.

The first component we received was the Teacher’s Guide, which recommends using the coordinating versions of the literature books that can be found on the Writing with Sharon Watson website.  This is because the textbook matches up with the page numbers in those versions.  This eliminates wasting time or becoming frustrated.  If using an e-reader or tablet, students should be able to use the search function proficiently.  The first pages provide a list of the books and short works that will be covered in the course.  A Grade guide and sample grading grid are also included.  This makes keeping up with requirements simple.  Course objectives are also included.  Suggested schedules, a book-of-the-month club guide and more are included in this guide.  This truly is a guide meant to direct the teacher in what students need to go along with providing an answer key.

 

The next component is the textbook, which is to be used by the student.  It includes an introduction to the course.  At the beginning of each lesson, there are certain activities the student is to complete prior to reading the assigned literature.  Some of these our children enjoyed, while other ones did not capture their attention as much.  A suggested reading and homework schedule is provided as well.  Information, descriptions and more are included for each lesson.  Our children felt the amount of work per lesson was reasonable – even if they did not always enjoy everything.  Then the students read the selection while reading the extra information along with activities.  Students complete additional activities along with a group of final selection of activities the parents or students can choose from.  For our family, I narrowed the number of choices down and then let the children select the ones that caught their attention the most.

Next, is the Novel Notebook, which is the only free downloadable component from the website.  Parents can select what questions the student answers.  Then during a discussion time, students share what they found. Or if a student is doing it alone, the teacher/parent may simply look at the novel notebook.

The final component of the program is the Quiz and Answer Manual.  Students may either complete quizzes on paper or online.  The benefit of completing the quizzes online is that feedback is immediate.  Plus, for our family, it saves paper and printing costs.  Each quiz contains approximately ten questions that demonstrate how much the student is retaining what they read.  Our children found them relatively painless to complete.

 

All-in-all, our family has been very pleased with Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis from Writing with Sharon Watson.  I encourage you to check it out for yourself.  You can read other reviews by other members of the Homeschool Review Crew by clicking here or on the graphic below.

2 Click Here to Read More Reviews 2016_zpsmmmkbumm

You can find Writing with Sharon Watson on social media at the following Links:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WritingWithSharonWatson
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/writingwithshar

320crew20disclaimer202016_zpscwpb9ywe

SaveSave

Review of Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD

Impression

forebrain_zps0b4vthv9

 

 

Even though our youngest is only fifteen-years-old and our oldest son is twenty-one years old, we have various ones in our family who have difficulty remembering things.  My husband is active duty in the Army Reserves and constantly has things he needs to remember.  Our four children also have times where they have difficulty remembering things.  On top of that, I have a desire for our family to memorize Scripture.  So I was excited for our family to have the chance to review this product. Over the review period, we found that our family could improve their attention with Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD.

forbrain-additude300x250_2_1_zpshuiowhkw

Forbrain is a headset designed for anyone over the age of four years old to use.  However, the headset is not adjustable so I am not sure how well it will work for younger children.  It is important to understand this headset does not go into the ears.  Instead, it rests on the bone in front of the ears.

960x300_zps0xoasvda

This product is designed for those with speech and language difficulties, those who need brain stimulation, those with auditory processing disorder, those will reading difficulties, as well as those with ADD or ADHD and more.  It is a bone conduction headphone as well as an extremely sensitive microphone.  It also has a dynamic filter designed to create a perceptive content.

img_0753

One of my favorite things about this headset is the case it comes with to protect the headset as well to keep the charger and paperwork together neatly.  At http://www.forbrain.com, you can find exercises to assist in using the product correctly.  All that is required is to read aloud.  Proper posture is also required.  This means resting the head naturally, sitting up straight, feet placed flat on the ground, while breathing calmly.  My husband did not find this difficult to do at all.

img_0801

Because his goal was improving memory, he concentrated on using the headset to memorize Scripture.  He picked out some of his favorite Scripture passages to use and then used the headset for fifteen minutes a day.  The case made it easy for him to take the headset with him even when he went to work.  Unfortunately, I did not remember to take any pictures of him wearing the headset while using it.

img_0802

The training suggestion is either a session of six or ten weeks.  Younger children should use it for approximately ten minutes a day for pronunciation and speech difficulties.  For children five years old to fifteen years old should use it for fifteen minutes a day.  They can use it to improve concentration and attention. Also, it can be used for reading or memory problems or even pronunciation or speech difficulties.  For those who are teenagers to adults, Forbrain can be used for speech or oral problems, those needing confidence or energy.  and more.  It is great for preparing for oral presentations, homework, and preparing for exams. For seniors, it should be used for thirty minutes a day to help with energy, memory or speech issues.

img_0800

All in all, my husband was very pleased with his results from using Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD.  I look forward to using it for our Family Bible Study and memorization efforts as well as using it for practicing speeches and more.  If you would like to read more reviews of this product, click here or on the graphic below

 

2 Click Here to Read More Reviews 2016_zpsmmmkbumm

 

320crew20disclaimer202016_zpscwpb9ywe

SaveSave