Friday, September 5, 2014

Schoolhouse Review: Under Drake's Flag

Don't you just love a good adventure? I certainly do! Thanks to my recent review of Heirloom Audio Productions I have an exciting one to tell you about! Their Under Drake's Flag audio drama is a captivating way to immerse yourself in the compelling story of Sir Francis Drake.

I love audio books and dramas because they help my daughter improve her auditory processing skills. Since she has special needs, that is something important to us. However, I was blown away at just how good this particular drama was. It was definitely professionally done and executed perfectly. My whole family was engaged in the entire story. I could listen to it again and again!

Under Drake's Flag is based upon the novel by G.A. Henty. His story of Sir Francis Drake is compelling for many reasons, but mostly because through it you learn real life lessons in character, courage, faith, and commitment which comes from a belief in the God of the Bible.

The story begins in England with two modern day boys, Ned and Gerald, who are studying Sir Francis Drake in school. One is anxious to get to his studies, while the other would rather be playing cricket. These two friends happen upon a gentleman that offers to share a story about the captain and two boys who happen to also be named Ned and Gerald.

Ned and Gerald end up having the same characteristics in the story as they do in the opening. It is fun to listen to them interact. Their personalities are completely opposite and yet they get along so well. The way they define history is a great example.

Ned defines history as: "dead men and dates."
Gerald defines history as: "the parade and pageantry of daring and decadence, of dreams and defeat, brightening and bridging the eons of time!" 

You get a sense through the whole program that Gerald has a tendency to go on and on about a topic while Ned is a man of fewer words. You will often hear Ned asking Gerald "are you quite finished now?" To which Gerald will respond, "No, but that will do for now."

In this story these two lads end up having quite the adventure along side the "dreaded English privateer, Sir Francis Drake" as well as without him. Even when the captain is not with them, they strive to be like him and remember all that they learned from him. They find themselves in many adventures both at sea and on shore, in storms and in battle. They even end up before the Grand Inquisitor during the Spanish Inquisition!

I won't spoil more of the story for you but simply compel you to listen to it. It is truly an enjoyable adventure full of suspense, intrigue, humor, and good sense.

You also get the Under Drake's Flag Study Guide which has a few colorful illustrations, lots of questions for further study, and three Bible study segments. You get a booklet with the physical CD that has some of the information in it, but if you download the E-Study Guide you get a whole lot more. As a homeschooler I love tools like this that help me study the story more completely.

They warn you that the questions are in depth and will require listening to the story more than once to answer them all. These go beyond checking comprehension. They really make you think about the lessons the story has to teach us. We first listened to the entire audio drama and then went back and listened to one segment at a time. I would stop and ask the questions that were from that section. Since the pages are so graphical I didn't print them off but merely read them aloud and then discussed them. With my daughter having Down syndrome I felt discussion, rather than writing was the best way to get the most out of it.

We then went on a road trip and listened to the entire story again. You gain so much more from listening to it in its entirety after having examined it bit by bit. There is so much there that everyone needs to learn, both children and adults. I highly recommend it to everyone!

I am looking forward to more great dramas from Heirloom Audio Productions. They hope to be releasing In Freedom's Cause in the fall. It is the story of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. I can't wait to experience it!

The Under Drake's Flag audio drama CD set sells for $29.95 and is geared for ages 6 to adults. I do believe the entire family will enjoy the adventure as they did such an incredible producing it. To learn more about Under Drake's Flag visit their website or see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about it by clicking on the banner below.

Under Drake's Flag Reviews

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