Review: With Lee in Virginia from Heirloom Audio Productions 

LeeAs a family we enjoy learning in so many different ways. We read a tremendous amount out loud and alone quietly.  We watch great documentaries.  We listen to audio books and audio dramas.  Audio dramas are often put together with the voices of several actors, complete with dramatic sound effects and music. Heirloom Audio Productions is a source of incredibly high quality historic audio adventures.  When the opportunity to review their latest production, With Lee in Virginia we leaped at the chance.  The day it arrived in the mail my children cheered, ripped it from the box, and popped it into the nearest audio player instantly. They knew they were in for a treat.

With Lee in Virginia comes as 2 CD’s.  As you open the case you’ll notice on CD is colored red and the other gray which is fitting as this is a story from the Civil war.  We also received a digital study guide and other fun things to download such as a printable poster and the Mp3 soundtrack. When you place your own order you’ll see a variety of packages offered if you too would like these extra goodies.

The Study Guide

This is a fantastic study guide.  It is a full 52 pages that you can print in full color.  It comes as a PDF download that is separated into three sections.

  1. The Listening Well section is full of great listening comprehension sections.
  2. The Thinking Further section has open ended questions and website links to help you bring your study further.
  3. The Defining Words section is where you’ll find vocabulary to study.

We particularly enjoyed the Bible and the biographical information about Lee and Jackson.  This lead us to the library to find even more biographies about these men of history.  My children of course enjoyed the pictures.  My 7 year old is a geography buff so he really went after the geography study.  This Study Guide is rich with content and adds a great depth to the audio experience.

How We Used This Product

I mentioned earlier how my children dove into this audio the moment it arrived at our home.  It had to somewhat insist that we listen to it together first as a family before I let them take off with it on their own.  Since our first listen I think they boys have listened to it again 2 or 3 times.  They like to take it up to their room and play it while building with their Legos or drawing.  I think they might have much of the dialog memorized word for word.

We devoured the audio in just a couple of days.  Then we set out to dig into the Study Guide.  I supplemented with materials from the library.  Alright let me re-phase that… during our next library trip my children emptied the shelf on the civil war and dragged me to the library computer to see if I could find more books for them via inter-library loan.  We were also blessed to have the opportunity to witness a Civil War reenactment at Mystic Seaport, which is something like a living a history museum that we happen to have a membership to.

Since the audio arrived and we dove into our Civil War studies my boys (ages 7 and 9) have spent countless hour reenacting scenes, dreaming up elaborate ways to create Civil War uniforms from clothing and other items around our home, and endlessly reading about the topic.

What Did We Think

I had no doubt any audio from Heirloom Audio Productions would inspire great learning in my children.  This one in particular took us to great new heights I hadn’t quite expected.  The story itself is about a young southerner named Vincent. He is a slave owner but a man with more character and dignity than most.  He is blessed to have the influence of men of God.  Though he fights for the Confederacy he risks his life to save the lives of some of the black slaves he knows.

 

Interwoven through the story are lessons about Godly character, duty, and honor.  Not hidden from the listener are the horrors, heartache, and sadness that war brings.  The conversations that all of this has sparked with my boys.  I am often given the opportunity to guide their hearts.  For example, Vincent and his friends believed, as many young men did, that going off to war would be a great adventure.  He was unprepared for the carnage, heartache, and suffering that he witnessed.  After Vincent is injured he returns home to recover.  It is there that he feels he has lost his passion for the war and the Southern cause.  Robert E. Lee visits him and he suggests to Vincent that perhaps, if he has lost his passion than perhaps his passion was misdirected in the first place.  Lee reminds Vincent that it is God that determines the outcome and that he is responsible, duty bound, for the job God gave him.

The audio drama is spectacular in every way.  Such high quality acting, music and sound effects!  Such a compelling story.  It is certainly worthy for entertainment value but by digging a bit, and utilizing the extra resources you’ll find an fantastic opportunity for in depth learning.  I really can’t recommend With Lee in Virginia

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review

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