A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Everybody Loves a Pirate Story

It was such a treat for our family to get to review Under Drake's Flag from Heirloom Audio Productions!  What could be a more exciting way to kick off the new homeschool year with two boys than a pirate story audio drama?

We received the 2 CD set, which sells for $29.95.  This includes a study guide with comprehension questions.  This was a great discussion starter with Jack and Eli.  Some of the questions were very open ended and thought provoking, such as asking why do you think Ned and Gerald are willing to lie about their nationality but not about their faith.  Behind the study guide, a prayer by Sir Francis Drake is printed.  You know it's a good one when the first line is convicting!  "Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves..."  It was a beautiful reminder worth reading and discussing.

We also got access to a larger, downloadable study guide online.  This is great for a more in depth study, as it has vocabulary words that can be looked up or discussed, listening questions, and thinking further questions.  While we did not use the larger study guide, it occurred to me that it would be helpful to print the listening questions prior to each section and have the kids write down the answers as they hear them in the story, if they needed help focusing.  But we had no trouble paying rapt attention!  In fact, we ended up listening to the entire production in just 4 sittings, because they kept saying, "Keep going!  Just one more!" whenever we got to a chapter break.

Designed for ages 6 to adult, my boys, ages 10 and 13 loved this review!  They were delighted with the idea that listening to an adventure story was considered "school work."  How can I possibly qualify this as school work?  Simple!  Under Drake's Flag is based on G.A. Henty's book of the same name.  Henty was the author of more than 100 adventure novels.  Under Drake's Flag opened a new window into history for my boys.  Now, when we come across the Spanish Inquisition in social studies, they'll have a story to aid their understanding of the dry, historical facts.

I did a quick search on Pinterest for "draw pirate ship" and found instructions the boys could use to draw while we listened.  Under Drake's Flag would be the perfect compliment to a study of this time period, or a great foundation to build your own unit study around.

Does your family have a long car trip coming up?  Going to visit relatives over the holidays?  The high quality audio drama will captivate the whole family and make the miles pass quicker.  Check out the trailer on YouTube and you'll want to listen, too.  This is 2 hours of really nicely done radio theater.

You can follow Under Drake's Flag on Facebook for fascinating historical tidbits and information about coming releases.  Their upcoming In Freedom's Cause looks amazing, with an all star cast that includes actors from Downton Abbey, Lord of the Rings, Narnia (Edmund!), and Braveheart.  I watched the trailer and instantly knew we'll have to get that one when it comes out.  There's also a store, where you can find treasures for your own swabbies, such as t-shirts and wooden swords.

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  1. "Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves..." --What an excellent prayer! How fun that you were able to study about pirates. It sounds like a good book.

    1. The whole prayer was really good. Very motivating. Not what one would expect from a pirate story. :)