Review: Under Drake’s Flag by Heirloom Audio Productions

drakesflag

If there is one thing we’ve added to our homeschool in the last year or say that adds a spark, fun, and even adventure right from our mini-van or our living room it would be ebooks or even better and more robust are audio adventures like Under Drake’s Flag by Heirloom Audio Productions which my family recently had the opportunity to review.


Under Drake’s Flag is based on the novel by the same name by G.A. Henty and is ideal for ages 6-adult though even my four year old daughter was completely intrigued.  This is a two-hour, super fast-paced, high energy, extremely high quality audio reenactment of the story that comes complete on two CDs that comes complete with a study guide and prayer inside.  

Talented British actors, wonderful music, breath taking sound effects… this has it all and then some. Truly wonderful family entertainment!  My boys would sit on the edge of their seats and literally cheer along as they took in the awesome audio sensory experience.

If you are not familiar with novels by G.A. Henty then you’ll certainly be delighted to know that all of his stories, and most certainly Under Drake’s Flag, have a strong Christian element with a great emphasis on moral teachings and developments.

The Story

Under Drake’s Flag is the coming of age story of Ned Hawkshaw and his friend Gerald, two young boys who are the adventure of a lifetime sailing the high seas with the great pirate Sir Francis Drake who is involved with the Spanish Inquisition!  These boys face struggles, uncertain circumstances, danger and grand adventure all while growing into true determined men of faith.  This is a wonderful way to breath life and excitement into your history lessons.

How We Used It

Listening to audio adventures has become a vital piece to our homeschooling and a beloved family pastime.   As is true for many homeschoolers we are often on the go and I love to take advantage of the time spent in our mini-van.  My children often beg to listen stories like Under Drake’s Flag the moment we set wheels to the road.  So our expectations for this story were high.  We were not disappointed.  The story moves very quickly and you do have to pay close attention to keep up with the variety of characters that come and go.  To ensure everyone was keeping up I’d often pause the CD and ask a couple of quick questions and add any clarification that might have been needed.  Sometimes my children got a little impatient with me when I did that! They liked the action. But I was usually glad I did because I was often able to help someone’s understanding of the story.

Under Drake’s Flag would be a wonderful resource to use after you’ve spent some time studying the Spanish Inquisition and perhaps reading a little history about Sir Francis Drake as well.  Some background information is always a good boost to help with understanding.

The Study GuideAnalytical Grammar Review

Inside of the CD within a pocket you’ll find a little study-guide.  A more indepth study guide can be downloaded after you have purchased the CD.  These study guides are similar and contain three sections: Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words. Also included is the heartfelt Prayer of Sir Francis Drake, 1577.  The downloadable study guide goes further with more questions in every section.  Think of it as the expanded version.

The Listening Well Section goes over some comprehensive questions. The Thinking Further Section does just what it says, it asks the listener go further and use some critical thinking skills to take more away from their listening.  I think some additional background research could be handy when trying to answer some of these questions.  Defining Words includes vocabulary words.

In our family I pre read the questions and kept them in mind as we traveled and listened.  At home we looked up and of the Defining Words we weren’t sure of.  Overall I think the study guide adds a nice addition to the audio adventure.

Also included is a Bible Studies section that you can do with your children that’ll encourage study of Godly Character, True Manhood, and Confessing Christ.  I thought this was an excellent touch.

Cost

You actually have several options to choose from when you are looking to purchase Under Drake’s Flag .

  • $20 download gives you instant access with bonuses like the Study Guide and Drakes Prayer
  • $29.95 plus $6.95 shipping gets you the two CD set.  You’ll get the two bonuses above and a download of the soundtrack
  • $99.97 plus $9.95 shipping gets you the Family Four Pack this gets you 4 CD sets, all of the bonuses I mentioned above except the downloaded version of the story, plus 5 more bonuses: An E-Book copy of Bill Heid’s  book “Echoes Of The Dragon’s Drums”, G.A. Henty’s original Under Drake’s Flag E-Book, 2-lecture MP3 set titled “The Real Sir Francis Drake.”,  A 30-minute video documentary download titled “Behind The Scenes of Under Drake’s Flag“, Free unlimited access to the Under Drake’s Flag Membership Website.
  • $199.97 gets you The Group 10-Pack which is a 10 CD set plus all of the bonuses.

Overall

If you are into audio dramas like my family this is a must have!  We absolutely adored it and are half way through our second listen.

You can connect with Heirloom Audio Productions on Facebook.

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