G.A. Henty Audiobooks to Spice Up Your School

by Dawn Oaks on October 31, 2014

Many times, we use a unit study approach for science and history with one of our children.  He enjoys learning about all kinds of things, but not necessarily in the traditional textbook format.  We gather various types of resources to build units that fall in line with where he is at in his studies.  Our most recent addition was the use of With Lee in Virginia by G.A. Henty in audiobook form as well as the corresponding study guide published by Jim Hodges Productions. Let me share with you what we found as we delved right in.

The Products:

For this review, we received a physical MP3 CD of the unabridged version of G.A. Henty’s With Lee in Virginia as produced by Jim Hodges Productions.  This CD has 20 segments to correspond with the same number of chapters in the original text.  Each of the segments is between 25 and 40 minutes in length with a total playing time of 11 hours and 20 minutes when played in its entirety.  This CD will play on any MP3 compatible device.  It was developed for those ages 10 and above.  This applies to everyone in our family and I can say that everyone enjoyed it.

The corresponding study guide is a downloadable product in pdf format that can be purchased from Jim Hodges Productions website. udy guide is a total of 58 p For each chapter in the book, there are vocabulary words, reading comprehension questions, and related activities for your children to explore.  Within the study guide are also quizzes that can be given after completing the work for every five chapters.  This study guide is a total of 58 pages with the final 8 pages devoted to an answer key for easier grading.

The retail cost of the physical MP3 CD is $25.00.  For those that prefer to download the audiobook, you can save $7 by purchasing the download version for just $18.  The corresponding study guide currently sells for $12.  If after reading this review, you are still not sure if this will fit with your family, I would recommend visiting the product page here where you can download a sample of Chapter 12 from the audiobook.

So What Did We Think?

When we first received the CD and realized that it was truly the unabridged edition of Henty’s work, I was skeptical as to whether it would keep my children’s interest.  I want to emphasize that this is not an audiodrama with more of a storytelling feel with dramatic background music.  This MP3 audiobook is truly a reading of Henty’s title, With Lee in Virginia.  This was OK once everyone’s ears adjusted in having recently used audiodramas in our learning.  But please don’t mistake what I am saying.  This recording was not boring, after all it was a reading of a G.A. Henty book that is jam-packed with adventure.

I really liked the fact that there is a corresponding study guide.  This allows us to use this audiobook to fulfill part of our son’s American Literature requirement, while still bringing extra life to our history studies of the Civil War.  The audiobook could be used as a stand-alone version or used in conjunction with the printed text as an aid to children who would benefit from this extra sensory apguide was well put together with good judgment in my opinion of the vocabulary words highlighted and the ability to really pull the essence out of the book through the reading comprehension questions.  The activities at the end of the chapters really varied, but all seemed to be thought provoking.  The speed with which the student completes the book and study guide will really be dependent on how indepth they choose to explore the activities at the end of the each chapter.

All in all, I think Jim Hodges has done a great job of producing a quality audiobook product with a study guide to help really convert it from entertainment to study.  In a home where my husband and I are originally from different sides of the Mason Dixon, With Lee in Virginia provided a way to study the Civil War without bruising his daddy’s family roots.

The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew has been busy using and reviewing over 20 Henty audiobooks from Jim Hodges Productions.  Be sure to click on the link below to see what is being said about the other books reviewed.

 

Click to read Crew Reviews
 

Crew Disclaimer

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 0 comments }

Adding Fun Into Your Schoolday

by Dawn Oaks on October 30, 2014

I think it is human nature to work more diligently when we know that a reward or something good will happen.  Having a motivation can go a long way.  That is exactly what the folks at Clued in Kids had in mind when they developed their treasure hunt packs for school aged children primarily in elementary and the lower middle school grades.  In providing a review of the products from Clued in Kids, we used both the Homework Reward Treasure Hunt (for ages 5 and up) and the Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt (for ages 4 and up).

The Treasure Hunts:

Clued in Kids has a large variety of treasure hunts available.  Some are physical products that can be shipped to you, but a large majority of the treasure hunts are pdf download files that you print yourself.  The two treasure hunts that we used could be printed on 8 sheets of paper, including the first page that contained the directions.  Both of our treasure hunts had a total of 12 clues.  Like any good treasure hunt, treasure is only found at the last clue.

The clues contained in the hunts were not always just clear directions or hints.  There were puzzles to decode, IMG_1581[1]things to do,IMG_1578[1] and places to search out.IMG_1579[1]

 

Each of the treasure hunts took about 15 minutes to set up.  Our son completed each hunt in about 20-25 minutes.  The length of the treasure hunt is somewhat extended because of the types of clues to solve and would also vary depending on the age of the child.  Each of the clues has a space for a name to be written in.  This makes the treasure hunts easy to use with a group.  The person setting up the treasure hunt can assign the clues based on their difficulty and the age of those participating.  This eliminates squabbles and allows a mixed age range of children to take part in the fun.

Both of the Homework Reward Treasure Hunt and the Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt sell for $5.99 on the Clued in Kids website.  By visiting the website, new subscribers to the company’s newsletter will automatically receive a free download of the Homework Reward Treasure Hunt that we used in with our son.

Our Thoughts:

This is a neat offering of products that are a lot of fun.  In receiving the printable form of the treasure hunts, we had the freedom to print them in grayscale on white or colored paper or print them in the full color version as it is downloaded.  Clued in Kids advertises that the treasure hunts can be fully set up in 10-15 minutes.  I was thrilled to find that it was really this simple.  The locations for hiding the clues were all things that are commonly found around most homes.  The only one that we modified at all was the clue to be placed in our son’s backpack.  On the day of the hunt, I had no idea where my son’s backpack was, so we easily substituted his desk as being the place where most of his books were.

The kids have so much fun doing this that the treasure at the end of the hunt can be something so small such as a fun eraser, pencil, or a treat and they do not feel cheated at all.  When I asked our son if he liked the treasure hunts, he replied with a question, “Is there a word for More than Awesome?”

The printable treasure hunts can be used multiple times.  I would space the use of them out or make a point of assigning the clues to different children so that they don’t become memorized or boring.

As always, I encourage you to check out what other reviewers’ children thought of the treasure hunts from Clued in Kids.

Click to read Crew Reviews
 

Crew Disclaimer

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 0 comments }

Learning the Alpha Omega Way

October 29, 2014

Over the years our family has used a lot of different curriculum, but have never tried out any of the products from Alpha Omega Publications until just recently. Both of our girls are using high school elective courses through the Switched on Schoolhouse Division of Alpha Omega this year. We have had some experience with […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Read the full article →

Anthem for a Nation

October 29, 2014

There are many historical and documentary style videos about the history of our nation.  A nation that has been called the greatest the world has ever known.  Our family recently had a chance to review the new release from New Liberty Videos entitled Anthem for a Nation.  This DVD was produced with all ages in […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Read the full article →

Foreign Language in the Elementary Years

October 22, 2014

When I have polled homeschool parents about what they consider to be their biggest challenges in educating their children, one of the top responses was Foreign Language. The teaching of foreign languages is difficult since many parents are not fluent in a second language and are therefore not confident in teaching it. Additionally, many students […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Read the full article →

Standard Deviants Accelerate ~ Product Review

October 22, 2014

One of the greatest challenges in homeschooling is keeping learning out of the ruts. We can pick the best curriculum out there, but if it all starts feeling mundane our educational journey can become dreaded rather than exciting. Adding in a supplement to your core curriculum can make all the difference. It was with great […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Read the full article →

Growing into Adulthood

October 15, 2014

Like most parents, Gary and I have desired that our children would grow into responsible and honorable adults.  We have not always known how to accomplish that and even now question if we are headed in the right direction, but have found guidance from listening to our instincts and gleaning from those that have gone before […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Read the full article →

Helping Your Child be an Essay Rock Star

October 10, 2014

My daughter and I just recently had an opportunity to try out the online writing courses offered through Fortuigence.  Our time during this review period was devoted to working through the Essay Rock Star Expository Essay Writing Course and are anxious to share with you our experience. What We Received: During this product review, we […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Read the full article →

Fix It! Grammar ~ Product Review

October 1, 2014

We recently began using the Fix It! Grammar program from the Institute for Excellence in Writing with our oldest daughter who is preparing diligently for her college entrance exams. Because Fix It! Grammar is a complete Grammar program, we thought it would be a wonderful way to review for the English section of the ACT […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Read the full article →

Parenting Resources and Give Away

September 29, 2014

Some of you may recall that we shared with you about the Christian Parenting Handbook about a year ago.  Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller have now come out with a new parenting resource specifically for families with teens and preteens.  As part of the team of bloggers that are helping to launch The Family […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Read the full article →