Thursday, July 30, 2015

With Lee in Virginia

We were able to review the newest product from one of our favorite companies. Heirloom Audio Productions has created another exciting audio adventure that's sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Our schooling is very literature-based. Our family loves read-alouds. I've mentioned dozens of times how the kiddos will sit and listen to various novels for hours on end. I love reading them quality literature and sharing that time with them. Not only does it teach them life lessons, it also introduces them to new vocabulary. The only problem is that I don't always have the time to spend the day reading. We love to incorporate audio books and dramas into our days. Whether we're folding clothes, driving in the van, or just needing some downtime, audio books are perfect. With Lee in Virginia  is no exception.

With Lee in Virginia is a theater-quality production based on the novel with the same name, written by G.A.Henty. Between the music, the quality of the actors reading the lines, and the background sounds (horses neighing, cannons firing, water splashing, train whistle blowing, whips cracking, etc.), it sounds like a movie production, and a good one at that. It's easy to visualize the scenes: horses galloping the countryside, men engaged in battle, people fighting for their lives and beliefs. We were immediately pulled into the story.

The story starts in 1861. Fifteen-year-old Vincent Wingfield is appalled as he watches slaves get beaten. Though it's common to have slaves, he believes they should be treated fairly and is angered when they're not. As the country is split and the war starts between the Union and the Confederacy, Vincent joins the fight. It doesn't take long before he's greatly injured and sent home to recuperate. Time passes and he begins to lose his zeal for the war. Nearly a year goes by when General Robert E. Lee pays him a visit, both to encourage him and to inform him of his promotion to sergeant. Renewed, Vincent returns to battle, only to be shot, captured, and sent to prison. With the help of a friend, he escapes, gets into a fist fight with a known criminal, falls in love, is captured as a spy, and has many more adventures, all while looking to God for guidance. It's during this time, while studying his father's Bible, that he begins to question slavery. Though they lose the war, both Vincent and Lee remain men of honor and give God the glory for what He's done.

With Lee in Virginia single package costs $29.95 (+ shipping and handling). Along with the 2-CD set, you will receive 3 bonuses:

  1. With Lee in Virginia Study Guide (digital download) -- This complete guide is used to enhance your learning and complement your study. Each section, which correlates to the tracks on the CDs, is  filled with review questions, ideas to get you thinking deeper, and vocabulary words. There is more information about the G.A. Henty, General Lee, and Stonewall Jackson; multiple Bible studies that coordinate with the story, and many pictures from the times. 
  2. Printable Copy of a Robert E. Lee Quote (digital download) -- "Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less." This inspirational quote was found in a letter from Lee to his son. The quality of the copy is high enough that you can simply print, frame, and enjoy.
  3. With Lee in Virginia Soundtrack (MP3 download) -- Our family loves soundtracks. This beautiful music was written by Emmy-winning composer John Campbell (creator of the original score for C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia). We've enjoyed listening to this moving music while doing school, cleaning house, and folding laundry.

The 2 1/2 hour audio production is ideal for ages 6-adult, but our entire family enjoyed listening to it. We used the study guide questions to review the story and tackle difficult topics. We stopped the CD multiple times to discuss things like slavery, bigotry, the reasons behind the war, johnnycakes, and more. Of course, the little ones didn't quite understand everything, but it's never too early to introduce quality literature. This will be a story that we reference throughout the years.

You can connect with Heirloom Audio Productions on the following social media sites:

If you'd like to see how other homeschool families used these products, you can read more reviews  on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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