Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Peek into our Homeschool: August 2017

This month has been a slow but steady transition back into our regular schedule.  Since we have a trip planned early in the school year, I decided the first few weeks would be getting into a routine, reviewing and establishing some new subjects before we jump in with full core curriculum.

I decided to just start with reviewing facts with Xtra Math, and we'll jump into curriculum in September.

We were delaying the start of both history and geography until after our vacation, but then we had the opportunity to review Let's Go Geography, so we've been checking this out!  I'll have the review coming in a few weeks, but we've been studying Asia and I like what I'm seeing so far.  It is a different approach and focus than what I had initially planned for geography, but it's very easy to implement.  I think we might keep this one on the schedule for this year, tweaking a little (it is K-4) and defer my original pick (3rd-7th) another year since the grade levels work better this way.  Elliott has been getting weekly written narration in with this too, so that has been helpful.

We haven't started History of Science yet, which means our science has been kind of casual and relaxed.  Nature study, some books here and there, some NASA videos and eclipse viewing!  We had about 90% coverage, and it got kind of grayish and you could feel it get a little cool, like we had cloud coverage, but that was about it.  Maybe next time we'll travel to totality!

Language Arts
Emory is working in Lightning Literature Grade 3 - he did Rickshaw Girl (I read this aloud for family literature) and one of the poetry weeks as we've skipped around a tad.

Elliott has started Spelling Wisdom from Simply Charlotte Mason.  I've pulled some basic grammar exercises from it as well.  It's actually going pretty well so far, but I'm anxious to see how it works over the long haul.

They both have independent reading as well.  Elliott received a 4th-6th grade study guide for Charlotte's Web, so he's worked on that.  Emory has been doing some longer readers, the transitional kind with "chapters" that are more story oriented (rather than twaddly readers), before diving into full chapter books when we start full steam ahead in Sept.

I'm also trying to transition back towards a Charlotte Mason approach a little more, particularly with narrations and enrichments.  So now we have term composer and artists, and monthly hymns and folk songs!

Poetry & Recitation 
For family poetry, I'm reading A.A. Milne.  We're also using IEW's Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization, but we had previously slacked big time after we first reviewed it (as in - we never did it) and so we basically started from scratch this month.  They've done great though, and even Eleanor is starting to memorize them just from listening to the boys.

Composer - Term 1 - Mozart
Last year the boys took a music appreciation class at co-op and did some composer studies, and since then Emory has been asking to learn more about Mozart.  I really think he just liked the name "Wolfgang" but I jumped on it as our first study this year!

Picture Study - Term 1 - Monet
I got this Picture Study Portfolio from SCM to review through The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and we're already enjoying it so much!  I was planning to buy Monet and two others from them anyway, so I cannot wait to order the next two terms!!

This post contains affiliate links.  Please read disclosure for more information.

Folk Song - August - I've Been Working on the Railroad
I decided to choose a fairly familiar folk song, since this is our first time doing folk songs.  I ask them to listen/sing once a week, and then I usually play it in the background a few extra times throughout the week.  I'm pretty sure this is my 4 year old's favorite part of the week! {I'll probably follow the AO rotation after this.}

Hymn - August - Victory in Jesus
I have the same process with the Hymn - we listen/sing together at least once, and I play a couple times in the background during the week.  I kind of chose this randomly for August, but we'll be following the AO rotation for Hymns for the rest of the year.

Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
I started with this one for a couple reasons.  I am fairly familiar with it, and because it is recommended to start with in How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare.  So we've started with that and we've read the summarized version of A Midsummer Night's Dream from Tales from Shakespeare.  We'll work on reading/watching the play after our trip.

Art Instruction
We have been doing Art Class from See the Light with a couple of cultural lessons from ArtAchieve that tie into Let's Go Geography.

Chinese Dragon from ArtAchieve {my review}

Eleanor has been doing several pages a week in Essential Math Kindergarten and loves it!  From Before Five in a Row, she has rowed Goodnight Moon and My Blue Boat this month, and Eloise joins in occasionally.  I'll be sharing more of the preschool stuff soon!

Birthday Month!
August is also Emory's Birthday month, so he had "birthday cupcakes" in Sunday School (I just adore his teacher!) and one day mawmaw and pawpaw took him to Toys R Us to pick out his own gift and then out for lunch.  On his actual birthday he picked dinner, and he chose Buffalo Wild Wings.  Then we had a small family party that weekend, complete with a water balloon fight!

We have been very blessed to be the parents of this generous and loving, quirky and free-spirited, sensitive, friendly, free-spirited boy.

Homeschool Coffee Break

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Find Kwik Stix at your Favorite Retailers!

Friends, I have shared my love of Kwik Stix before. They are great for all ages, but they're probably my favorite art supply for preschoolers. The reason I love them so much, particularly for younger kiddos, is because they are mess-free. Kwik Stix are dry tempera paint in a stick, so they do not require water cups or paintbrushes. This means there are no spills, drips, splashes or smearing, and they dry in 90 seconds! They're washable too!  However - they are still a quality product and they are fun to use. My kids love using Kwik Stix and they have created some great projects in bright, vibrant colors!

My beloved Kwik Stix are now available at BJ's Wholesale Clubs, where a 24-pack of solid tempera paint Thin Stix is only $19.99 right now! Kwik Stix in various varieties are available at other retailers such as Amazon and Target, but this is a great price for the size.

We've used Kwik Stix on different types of papers, coloring books, foam craft sheets, wood, and other materials. If you want to check out some of our fun projects over the last two years . . .
Preschool Painting: Kwik Stix Save the Day
Kwik Stix Thin Stix
The Pencil Grip Inc. - Thin Stix

Then go pick up some Kwik Stix for the favorite artist in your life!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of The Pencil Grip Co., but I only recommend products I use and love!  All opinions are my own or those of my family.

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

5th Grade Curriculum 2017-2018

I'm not sure how I feel about having a fifth grader!  I know that we're reaching more of a transitional phase, and it is kind of intimidating to be at the end of his elementary journey and beginning another, but also exciting!  This year I want to work on building good work habits and also working more independently, before he moves into middle school.

This is what I have tentatively planned for his individual work.  Once we return from vacation and start "full force" he will have a spiral notebook that will have his daily assignments written in them.  Anything he can do independently, he will be expected to start and work through while I do preschool with the girls, and I'll transition to one-on-one with the boys.

We have a love-hate relationship with math.  Conceptually, he is good at math, but he has not particularly cared for any math program we've tried.

Math on the Level
An interesting and unique approach, and I'm hoping the flexility, freedom and fresh approach to math will change his outlook.  

Your Business Math
He's actually asked about this a few times since I first mentioned it, so I'm thinking we'll give it a go.  It will make a great "day after co-op" math, since it's hard to get back into a routine.  I think it compliments the idea of practical, real-life math that Math on the Level encourages, and if I notice any skills that need reinforced, I can transfer those to MOTL lessons.

My plan is to make a small notebook of logic work (I'll just pull from the various sources unless I find one book I really like) and work on them once a week.

Language Arts
This looks like a lot of stuff, but other than daily reading, everything is on a loop schedule of sorts, so we'll certainly not be doing everything daily.

Spelling Wisdom
This will be our first year diving into dictation.  Implementation is definitely quick and easy for the most part, so I'm excited to see the results.

Easy Grammar
We have this from a review, and the lessons are fairly short and direct, which I appreciate.  I don't plan on doing intense grammar, but maybe spreading this over two years while we also focus on composition, which allows for the practical application of grammar.

I'm going to have him go back and do some cursive review/practice.  Curriculum undecided.

I put this under language arts because most typing practice will be related to Spelling Wisdom or his AWANA verses.

We will begin adding in more written narrations, probably in geography and/or history, since he will have a science notebook and occasional literature assignments.

I have a tentative 5th Grade Homeschool Reading List.  We will primarily be using narration for assessment, but there will be an occasional study guide or other activity.  In addition to his independent reading, he also listens to family read-alouds and I a read a more advanced book to just the boys as well.

Family Studies: History, Geography and Science
I think the only change to this may be geography - I will likely postpone the lovely geography program I picked out to work through the one we received for review.

Fine Arts & Enrichments
Enrichment Studies
All of the art, music, Shakespeare, and other "extra" stuff that we're loving so far!

He doesn't have anything "extra" planned outside of the home this year, just our regular activities that we do as a family.  We'll see if that changes.

AWANA: T&T 5th Grade

Co-Op:  Basketball, Gym, Art, Science

Okay, well I think that's all!  It really does seem like a long list, but the only thing we do daily is math and literature.  All other subjects/curriculum are on some type of rotation, because loop scheduling is amazing!

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Everyday Family Chore System {review}

I know I'm not the first, and I'm sure I won't be the last, to admit that it can be a struggle to balance homeschooling and homemaking.  Focusing on homeschooling the older children means the little ones have more time to make mischief, and when we get involved in science or art projects, there's more stuff to deal with at the end of the day.  The more time we invest in reading together or doing those fun experiments and projects, the less time I have for cleaning and cooking.  It's just kind of a messy circle, and I've been working more at finding the time and routine to get it all done.  Recently we had the opportunity to review The Everyday Family Chore System, a system for creating a cleaning and organizing routine with the whole family, from Everyday Homemaking.

The Everyday FAMILY Chore System

The author, Vicki Bentley, is an adoptive/foster parent, a homeschooler, author and speaker, among many other roles!  As a busy parent serving in so many capacities, it most certainly would have been imperative to create structure and predictable routines with clear expectations for everyone.  The Everyday Family Chore System, although written for large families, is suitable for families of all sizes!  I received a PDF version (88 pages) of The Everyday Family Chore System to read and implement.  It was an easy and motivational read, with a practical chore system for families.  We are a family of six, and even though two of mine are still very young, this chore system is very doable for us.

The idea is to determine which chores need to be done daily and which should be done weekly, and divide them among the children (and adults) accordingly.  There are various ideas for setting up the physical chore chart as well as instructions for how to rotate through the chores, or how to hold them in place if a child needs more time to master a specific chore.  There are lists of appropriate chores by age, if you need ideas for a specific child.  Obviously this will vary by family and the individual child's maturity, but it is a good starting point.

There are also How-to-Do-It cards, with step by step instructions for how to do the most common chores.  Although they won't all work as written (such as specific steps for our washing machine) they have given me a good starting point for how to explain the full process of doing a specific chore.  I learned a long time ago I can't just say "go clean your room" because they need specific tasks to actually achieve my version of clean.  A checklist of sorts.  In fact, her What is a Tidy Room? list is now printed and in the boys' room, so I don't have to constantly ask "Did you....?"

The How-to-Do-It cards are the same concept, but in a smaller card-size format.  I can easily use her cards, or use some of hers for creating our own for chores we do differently or that she doesn't have listed.  They're great for teaching the chore from beginning to end and for quick reference - you can print and laminate and keep in one central place, or even hide them inside closet or cabinet doors wherever most relevant.

What I like most is the flexibility.  Although there are clear instructions for how to follow the method, it's easily adaptable.  We've always just said "Please do CHORE" and they were expected to do it - but this required a lot of oversight and going back to make sure the little details were completed too.  With this chore system comes accountability and responsibility, without the need for reminders and oversight if implemented properly.  However, these cards have given me the motivation and tools to truly teach mastery first, so we're going back and taking the time to truly master the chores together, thanks to the How-to-Do-It cards, just a few at a time.  This way, I don't have to go behind and do an inspection of every daily and weekly chore.  A chore can't be "assigned" until they can regularly meet our expectation of complete, then that child will have it added to their rotation.

I also appreciate some of the ideas for rewards and consequences.  She gives ideas for fun rewards, but also for natural and "real life" consequences when chores aren't completed in a timely and thorough manner.  It really has everything you need to get started, but as I said, it's flexible and the printables/forms that are included to implement the system are a great bonus.

BONUS!  For a limited time (through September 5th) you can receive 10% off The Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking, the print or e-book version.  Use the code TOS10books, just remember to add the books to your cart, then apply the discount code.

To find out more, visit Everyday Homemaking online or their Facebook page, and certainly check out more reviews!  The crew is also reviewing Everyday Cooking, so if you're needing some inspiration in the kitchen, this may be the book for you!

Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Phonics Museum App {Review}

I have a precocious four year old that loves to "do school" like her big brothers.  She also loves to have some play time on the iPad.  When we were offered the opportunity to review the Phonics Museum App from Veritas Press, I had a feeling she would enjoy it!  It is certainly my preference to offer substantial or educational apps for her play time, so this was a win-win for us!

Veritas Press Phonics Museum

Veritas Press approaches education from a classical Christian perspective, and as such, has created a variety of curricula to help other parents educate their children in this way.  Their reading program Phonics Museum now has a companion app that can complement the curriculum or stand on its own!  The premise of the program is that your child is in an art museum, the Phonics Museum, engaged in art and learning to read at the same time!  

The child chooses an avatar and begins their journey.  Miss Biddle is the museum curator, and she's kind of eccentric and silly.  Percival the Knight is their guide, taking them on their exploration.  It's very "edutainment" in presentation - the child is guided through play-based learning exercises that include videos, tracing letters, listening to music and playing games.  The games are things like animals catching their food, which you help them do by touching the screen when you hear a word that starts with the designated letter or finding the target letter by visual recognition.  As they work through the activities, learning letters by sight and sound, they complete levels and earn virtual awards, and this is a fun incentive for young children!

Veritas Press Phonics Museum

The app starts at the beginning and assumes no prior knowledge.  My four year old knows her letters and sounds, so it's been a little below her level, but that doesn't deter her from playing.  By about the 3rd time through their unique alphabet song, she was starting to sing along with it, and she seems to enjoy the app overall.  However, I noticed there were times she was asking me to sit with her.  I'm always in the same room when she plays the iPad, but she was wanting me to help because she was having a hard time hearing and distinguishing between some letters, and I believe it's because they carry the consonant sound, making them sound as if they had an /uh/ at the end.  That /uh/ was all she was hearing.  Once I taught her to isolate the beginning of the "buh" or "duh" sounds she was able to distinguish between the correct/incorrect answers and play the games independently.  She also had to figure out how to trace the letters with *her* finger, and not try to touch the shadow finger, but once she mastered that, she could do the letter writing easily.

The only other thing of concern was some of the initial language.  Upon starting the first video I was shocked to find one character was somewhat rude and disrespectful.  He used words and phrases like "ugh," "die of boredom" and "dumb."  I find this inappropriate and unnecessary, especially for the target age range.  After that, I haven't particularly noticed anything concerning, but I was taken aback by that.

Overall, I believe this is a nice supplemental program for my preschooler.  She really enjoys the app, and it has many great features.  I get an email from Miss Biddle every time she completes a lesson.  Although I am always aware of when and what she plays on the iPad, I don't always sit over her, so the email lets me know how quickly she is progressing through the app.  I also love that ART is woven in naturally in a fun and relevant way for this age.  Phonics Museum App is great review for her at this point, and we will continue to keep it in her "Preschool" folder to choose from during her iPad time.  The app is for ages 3-7, beginning readers, and I find that an accurate age range.

The Phonics Museum App is available through iTunes, and you can do the trial first to see how it works.  Also, be sure to check out the rest of the crew reviews!

Veritas Press

Phonics Museum App {Veritas Press Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Family Studies: The Enrichment Studies

In the past, I have not been the best at doing Enrichment Studies.  Well, some things I did regularly, some were hit and miss, and some I have never even attempted.  I felt like we were missing out on so many chances to imprint beautiful images and words onto our hearts and minds, so much of the broad feast that a Charlotte Mason education offers.  So this year, as I'm really trying to swing back towards a Charlotte Mason approach, I just decided to dive in head first!

This post contains affiliate links.

I'm working really hard at doing short lessons and really mixing up subjects, and having these enrichment subjects has already helped break up the heavier core subjects.  All of this is on a loop schedule, and some of the quicker activities are being done over snack or lunch while I have their attention, so we're not even extending our day much by adding them.  However, this means since everyone is present, I'm trying to choose a variety to appeal to wider ages (2, 4, 8, 10) and interests.  I do try to squeeze the more hands-on, involved activities during the toddler's nap when I can!

First Term is already underway, but the rest of the year is still subject to change.  I'll expand more on the individual subjects and how this is going for us as we get further into it, but for now, I'm pleasantly surprised with their responses so far!

Ergermeier's Bible Story Book - I read to all kids together
AWANA - Each child is in age-appropriate classes, and I work one-on-one with them reading passages, studying and memorizing verses.
We aren't using a "curriculum" during school time right now, but we have in the past and I'm not opposed to something appropriate.  

Picture Study
Term I:     Monet
Term II:    Leonardo da Vinci (we're studying him in science this year)
Term III:  Rubens

A Midsummer Night's Dream
   Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
   A Midsummer Night's Dream from Folger Digital Texts
   How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig

Term I:  AA Milne When We Were Very Young and possibly Now We are Six
Term II:  Shel Silverstein  A Light in the Attic or Falling Up
Term III:  undecided - perhaps Rudyard Kipling or Emily Dickinson

Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization
This will help us work on imprinting quality language into our minds, as well as give us broader exposure to poetry.

Folk Songs - Ambleside Online
Hymns - Ambleside Online

The works are already chosen and playlists created!  

Composer Studies
Term 1:  Mozert (Emory's request)
Term 2: Beethoven
Term 3:  Handel

Foreign Language
Husband wants to learn a foreign language together, and picked French, though I still think Spanish is more practical.  This is the only thing I haven't actually worked into our schedule yet.

Art & Handicrafts
Okay, so I haven't fully implemented handicrafts either.  This is going to be kind of a crossover area, but we'll be focusing on drawing, as that will be beneficial for art, nature journaling, book of centuries, etc.  We'll primarily use See the Light Art Class, though we'll occasionally use ArtAchieve (review) or ARTistic Pursuits (reviews: book 1, book 2, and book 3) to correlate some geography or history.  I also have a few ideas for handicrafts during the holidays.

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

First Day of School: 2017

Even though we do some gentle learning most of the summer, we've had some downtime recently, so I wanted to have an official transition into our new school year, to declare new "grades" and to make it clear we're transitioning back into a regular schedule!  We had our First Day this week, and we're easing our way back into a traditional schedule.  I fully admit, however, that I don't do spectacular or over the top activities (not my style) but we did do a few little things.

We had Star Wars pancakes for breakfast, then they had some free time.  I started walking them through our schedule, showing them the grid I made for the routine I would like to put into place.  During the first block we did our First Day of School pictures (two days before haircuts lol!) and they did a First Day of School Questionnaire.  It included things like height, weight, how they write their name, and a lot of favorite questions for them to fill in.  Here are a few of their answers.

Elliott is our analytical thinker that loves all things technology.  I asked him what he meant by "a builder" but he just shrugged and gave me nothing.  He's casually mentioned being a LEGO master builder and an architect in the past, so I can only guess it's some reference to one of those.

Emory is definitely our imaginative, outside-the-box thinker!  He's the type that asks for "antique" toys that daddy played with as a kid or a "worm house" for his birthday.  He usually says he wants to be a zoologist, but apparently he currently wants to explore the jungle and look for exotic plants and animals!

Eleanor is our spunky, fun princess.  My husband asked her why she wanted to be a mom, "So I can be like momma and take care of kids."  The boys asked her how many kids she wanted, and she said "Four, like us!"  Of course, in the past she has also said she wants to grow up to be an old lady and have a bunch of cats.

Eloise is our spirited, wild child!  She's full of energy and laughs and loves "muddy puddles" and purple nail polish.  We obviously aren't doing anything formal with her, but she insisted on being in on the action, and I expect she'll tag along with Eleanor most of the time.

Then a few more random pictures, just because I can!

An honorable mention for our day was when we stopped to watch a helicopter trim trees.  We've had a lot of tree and brush clearing out here this summer, but this is the first time we've ever seen something like this.  Apparently it wasn't just my kids who enjoyed watching it - I could see the neighbors watching and it made an appearance on Facebook too!

We'll have to continue to smooth out kinks as we work back up to a full schedule, but I am excited to see their interest in "new" subjects, and I'm hopeful for the new year!

First Day of School Signs
First Day of School Signs
First Day of School Questionnaire

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Peek into our Homeschool: Summer 2017

Even though the summer is not officially over, our "summer break" for school is winding down.  We've had a very low-key, casual summer, but that's not unusual.  We've almost always stayed close to home in the hot summer months.  When we travel, we typically do it in the offseason (one of the best benefits of homeschooling!) so I can't say we had anything super exciting going on this summer.

Here are some things we have enjoyed:

  • plenty of outdoor time and nature study
  • Vacation Bible School
  • learning how to use our new microscope
  • fireworks and firecrackers
  • later bedtimes and more stories
  • popsicles, smoothies, homemade ice cream and other summer treats
  • fresh fruits and veggies from the garden and yummy recipes
  • visits from the neighbor's pigeon (we live rural and they're actually not common around here, so this was a shock to the kids, LOL!)
  • water ballon fights

These moments . . . the laughing hysterically as I push them on the swings, or the pouty face when she got sprinkled with the water house, walking to the grandparent's farm for popsicles, baking together, finding a turtle after a summer storm.  These are the things they talk about, the memories I love making.

As to the homeschooling side, since we never really "stop" learning - we worked through our Summer School, slow and steady, just to give us something structured to do occasionally.  Some math review and (mostly) daily reading, with some reviews.  Here are the reviews completed in June and July.
USA Activity Bundle
Wonders of the World
Lightning Lit Grade 3
Marsh Media
Trust Fund (a movie I reviewed, not the kids)
Math On the Level {coming soon}

While they had their relaxed summer, just enjoying simple summer fun, I've been planning our fall trip, as well as planning "back to school" for the 2017-2018 year.  So many fun things to come!

Family Studies Part 1
5th Grade Homeschool Reading List
more posts to come soon!

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

In the Reign of Terror {review}

In the Reign of Terror is another fabulous release from Heirloom Audio Productions.  When the opportunity to review this first came up, I knew I would be approaching it differently.  Usually I pop the CD in and we dive straight in.  This time, however, I was in the midst of planning a World History course, and decided only I would be listening to the story and utilizing the guide at first, so I could study it myself and work it into my lesson plans.  Let me tell you, I love listening to my kids enjoy a good story, but it's quite a different experience listening to something for the first time without the exclamations of excited kids - almost peaceful to just listen quietly and take it all in.

Heirloom Audio Productions - In the Reign of Terror review

The Story
This audio adventure is an adaption of In the Reign of Terror by G.A. Henty.  It centers around 16 year old Harry, who is visiting France to teach English to a Marquis and his family, and to be a good influence on the Marquis's sons.  In turn, he is hopeful the experience will benefit him when he joins the military.  As Harry spends more time with the St. Caux family, he becomes like family and learns French well.  However, it is set during the French Revolution, a tumultuous time of social and political upheaval, which the English visitor could not escape.  Similarly to Henty's other historical fiction adventure novels, we see a boy on the brink of becoming a man, thrown into turmoil and danger.  He struggles with his faith as he tries to survive and rescue people he cares about.  I believe part of Henty's appeal is that he features elements that children love - bravery, courage, adventure and hope.

Heirloom Audio Productions then brings Henty's adventurous novels to a new era.  With talented voice actors and dramatic music and sound effects, we can listen to these audio dramas from the comforts of our own home (or maybe our cars) and feel like we are in the midst of the action!

Live the Adventure Club
Heirloom Audio Productions used to offer a variety of buying options, giving you access to different bonus features.  You can still purchase just the CDs from their website, but they now offer another website called Live the Adventure Club, and if you order through the club, you will receive all of the additional materials.

Read Along Script:  This actually highlights the text as you read!  It's the full script, and it's a great feature for children who love to follow along, or even those who might need to follow along to improve their reading skills.  (I'm not sure I'd recommend for young beginning readers, just because of the French mixed in, though.)
Take the Quiz: A multiple choice quiz where you can immediately see if you got the correct answer. The questions are basic listening comprehension style questions.  Students who are motivated by rewards will probably enjoy the Adventure Badges that can be earned!
Thinking Further - Questions that encourage students to dig a little deeper into the meaning of the material.  (No answer guide, so you will need to be familiar with the story.)
Defining Words - Vocabulary words, and when you hover over the words a text box will appear with the definition.
Bonus Content - Audio content in playlist format, original e-book, official soundtrack, printable cast poster, study guide, inspirational verse poster, desktop wallpaper, and an official script download.

Additionally - Your club membership includes a multitude of treasures that are not specific to the Henty audio adventures, and this includes parenting and teaching articles, devotions, grammar and history textbooks from the 1700-1800's, Kids Activities, and an Old Time Radio Vault of wholesome, public domain content.  That's a lot of fun goodies!

Currently, you can get a three month trial and the newest audio adventure, Captain Bailey's Heir, for only $1!  That's a great deal for for the 2-CD set and to try out everything have to offer online!

The Study Guide
If you are familiar with the original study guides, much of that online content is the same type of content, just in a different format. The original PDF study guides are still accessible, and are the same beautiful study guides as before. Along with the Listening Well, Thinking Further and Defining Words, you'll find many other familiar aspects. There are the biographies of notable people (G.A. Henty, Maximilien Robespierre and Marie Antoinette) and Expand Your Learning boxes periodically throughout the study guide, which are full of recipes or interesting historical facts about France. There's a list of additional reading, which would be especially useful for older students studying this time period. The Bible Studies include "When God Means Evil for Good," "Resistance to Tyranny," and "True Manliness." Finally, there is historical information for the Reign of Terror and a comparison of The French Revolution and the American War for Independence. While the PDF has more content, it's nice to have the core content available in multiple formats, depending on your device of choice and preferences.

Final Thoughts
In the Reign of Terror is a riveting story, and is a great choice for those studying the history of France, or specifically the French Revolution, but it is also relevant to discussions of faith, courage and virtue.  Due to the nature of the events covered, I felt some of the scenes my upset sensitive children, so you should certainly preview and use your judgement with younger family members.

Heirloom Audio Productions brings history and entertainment together for their amazing productions, and I think they are a particularly fun supplement to history studies!  We have reviewed all of the previous releases and have loved them all!
Under Drake's Flag
In Freedom's Cause
Wth Lee in Virginia
The Dragon and the Raven
Beric the Briton
The Cat of Bubastes

The Homeschool Review Crew has 100 total people reviewing In the Reign of Terror, so be sure to check out their reviews for more perspectives!

Heirloom Audio Productions

In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
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