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Every time I drive, I listen to a podcast of some sort. On a receipt trip to Texas we all listened to a radio drama I had on hand to review from Heirloom Audio Productions called In the Reign of Terror about the French Revolution. It has been a while since we borrowed an audio book from the library, so this was a new experience for the younger kids. They loved it. That got me thinking about this coming school year…
Getting groceries is a three hour minimum. The nearest place to get a gallon jug of mayo and industrial cans of cheese sauce is a 120-mile round trip. We try to maximize our errands so we can save on gas. This means errand day is a huge, long, exhausting drive that should land us at some exotic location, but in reality only brings us back home with enough toilet paper and restaurant supplies for the month.
Personally, I make great use of my drive time. So much that I look forward to running errands. I can usually listen to several of my favorite PodCasts on the hour drive to ballet and back again while the girls play or nap. The CD from Heirloom Audio got me thinking about all this driving.
The answer is a huge resounding YES!
We listened to "In the Reign of Terror" on our trip. The G.A. Henty classic covered the time of the French Revolution. Henty wrote with the purpose of making history memorable and unforgettable. These two and a half-hour long, cinematic quality productions, only enhance his goal point. The cast is full of professional actors from high grossing films. As I looked up the cast I was so encouraged to see familiar faces working so hard on a faith based project.
I was worried that the subject matter would be too heavy for the kids who were traveling on this particular trip. My two older girls are entering fifth and sixth grader this year and my son will be in the first grade. The main character is a British boy who is sent to France to live with a wealthy Barron just on the heels of the American Revolution. Much of the story follows this family as the Revolution rises around them.
Sixteen-year-old Harry sees how different the American and French Revolutions resolved themselves and draws some deep conclusions about the heart of mankind. Families and torn apart, many narrow escapes, and sadly some characters we love bravely find their end inescapable. Throughout the tale Harry is brave, true and learns much about honoring God and standing up for what is right. I was on the edge of my seat through much of the listening time. When it concluded, I asked the girls if they liked it. Many of the people Harry met in France did not survive the Revolution, but the girls found the story fascinating. They were not put off by the difficulty of the subject matter. If fact it brought about some good discussion and comparison.
We have read through the Bible several times with the kids. If you have done this then you will know that the Bible covers every subject known to man. As we read, we talk. Doors are opened to communicate. I have learned that the kids have a huge capacity to engage in ways you would never have imagined, much earlier than you would think.
Do you want a teen who will talk to you? Create dialogue pathways with your middle schooler around difficult topics. Become an expert listener now. Talk through hard subjects and let all of you reason together as a family. Keep learning no matter what.
Let the car ride become a place where you can get stretched. Begin with Audio books like In The Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio Productions and never really stop. Check out their Live the Adventure Club where you can download all kinds of additional bonus material and save.
We printed the study guide from the Adventure Club site. There were tons of discussion questions for you to chose from. I really liked the vocabulary words portion and would recommend it for any age group. This would be a great way to add to your child's vocabulary in a natural way. I am a huge believer in learning vocabulary through context. This would help you track new words and let you go back over them to make sure that your kids know the meanings of the new words that they hear in each audio story.