G.A. Henty Audio Theater – In Freedom’s Cause ~ Heirloom Audio Productions #Review
We’ve been listening In Freedom’s Cause, vibrant G.A. Henty audio theater created by Heirloom Audio Productions. In Freedom’s Cause is the story of William Wallace, a courageous Scotsman who fought oppression – against incredible odds – and won, by virtue of his faith and determination. With veteran voice actors and compelling music composed by Emmy-winning John Campbell, In Freedom’s Cause defines the standard in audio theater. A majestic presentation of G.A. Henty’s work, listeners “Live The Adventure” as the vibrant cast of characters are brought to life.
When you purchase the In Freedom’s Cause single package ($29.97), you get more than just the physical copy of the CDs in a sturdy case. (Pictured above.) Included are three digital downloads:
- an MP3 of the soundtrack from In Freedom’s Cause,
- a 49-page PDF Study Guide, and
- a printable copy of The Prayer of William Wallace
The MP3 Soundtrack is excellent to play whenever you desire background music, but don’t want it to interrupt the flow of conversation – or words that distract your students from their schoolwork! I’ve discovered it’s the perfect combination of high-energy, yet peacefully smooth, to listen to when I’m writing.
The study guide is a full-color PDF (so you might not wish to print it), but it’s quite readable and easy to use. The introduction describes the purpose of the study guide and the tools included within. For each portion of the story, there is:
- Listening Well, which includes basic comprehension questions so that you can ensure your child understood what they heard,
- Thinking Further questions, which ask your student to evaluate events in the story, or make connections by using reference materials, or to consider the motivation behind a character’s actions, and
- Defining Words, which lists the more challenging words in the story, making it easy to look up definitions – or add them to the week’s spelling list, if you can stand to spread the audiobook out that far!
At the back of the study guide are three bible study lessons, intended to foster growth on topics that In Freedom’s Cause addresses. There are also short biographical sketches of primary characters, along with a history of Scotland, plus a selection reading list for delving further into the story of William Wallace.
Using the Study Guide with In Freedom’s Cause
One of the challenges of using a study guide with a captivating story like In Freedom’s Cause is that it can be REALLY difficult to just stop listening to the story after each section, because, as with all good stories, you want to know what happens next!
The way I recommend dealing with this challenge is by using this to your advantage. Dive in. Absolutely, devour the story of William Wallace in just one or a few sessions. Then, once you’ve listened all the way through and satisfied that need, go back through the story, listening to a section at a time, and use the study guide. (Great for once-a-week, if you’d like to add the vocabulary words to spelling lists.) The audio selections that match each section of the guide are at natural breaks in the story, each 4-10 minutes in length. Use the questions as you desire – either verbally, or written, or some combination of the two.
You’ll discover that there are an incredible amount things that you didn’t catch on the first listen through, whether you missed hearing them, or didn’t fully understand what you were hearing. The questions in the study guide reach deeply into the storyline, touching on feelings and motivations, and it’s on this second (and later) listens to the story that you’re able to really process much more of what’s going on.
(Also, if you struggle a bit with the Scottish accents in the story – especially if you’re like me, and not an audio learner – you’ll find that as the accent becomes more familiar, it’s easier to let go and really enjoy the story.
What Did The Kids Think Of In Freedom’s Cause?
At first, the reaction was “What kind of accent is this?” and “Is this religious?” so I wasn’t entirely sure how it was going to go. The Scottish accent takes a bit of getting used to. (And, apparently, my kids haven’t seen enough old science fiction TV to recognize that “It sounds like Scotty!” as I tried to explain it.)
Much to my surprise, within ten minutes, the kids had stopped asking questions and were listening… and jokingly pouted when we arrived at our destination. (We were in the car, one of our favorite places for listening to audiobooks.)
As a whole, they’ve agreed: it’s not something that they would have chosen for themselves, or known they would be interested in beforehand, but they enjoyed it much more than they expected to, and it was quite an interesting story. (And REAL. With the cinematic presentation, they’d forgotten that this was actually history… and doesn’t the most memorable learning take place when you’re having fun, not “learning”?)
Connect with In Freedom’s Cause on Social Media!
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