Monday, September 8, 2014

Review of Heirloom Audio Productions’ Under Drake’s Flag by G.A. Henty (Schoolhouse Crew Review)

We received this for review purposes!

Product Links: Under Drake's Flag

Vendor Information Link: Heirloom Audio Productions

Age Appeal: six through adult

Format: two CD set with physical study guide and a more complete downloadable PDF study guide available through the internet for free

Price: $29.95 for the physical copy ($20 for an audio download)

Under Drake’s Flag was recorded in London, England, for Heirloom Audio Productions.  This recording was recorded in a movie-quality audio theater and features different actors such as Brian Blessed, Hugo Docking, and Andrew Williams.

Ned Hawkshaw has been asked to sail with Francis Drake.  He meets another young man, Gerald.  Ned and Gerald sail on the Atlantic Ocean with Drake, who is a privateer under Queen Elizabeth I.  He teaches them Biblical morals and values while they are together.  Ned and Gerald are become separated from Drake, but they show his morals and values while they are with the Africans and the Spanish they meet. 


Our Experience: 

I was really excited when we were selected for this review.  I personally like audio dramas and I have been interested in reading or listening to G. A. Henty’s books.  I was a little concerned though, because we tried listening to an audio drama three years ago and neither B nor C enjoyed listening to it.  I do not even think we finished it.

I was met with some negativity from the beginning, but we managed to listen to the first disk and part of the second disk.  We had to stop when the fighting between the Africans and the Spanish became to much for the children.

I waited a few weeks and decided to try listening to the story with the children again.  They were still reluctant, but they were a little bit more excited this time.  This time we listened to it on the computer outside instead of in the pickup driving down the road.  They were more receptive to the story and eagerly answered the questions from the study guide.

I thought this was an excellent audio drama, but it was not for B and C, because they were more sensitive to the live action.

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • I thought the music was wonderful and I enjoyed having every character in the story being portrayed by a person.  B and C do better with one person doing the talking I have learned.
  • Both the study guide included with the disks and the downloadable PDF were very complete.  A family could really use Under Drake’s Flag for both a history lesson and a Bible study.  I liked that there were three different section, “Listening Well”, “Thinking Further”, and “Defining Words.”  It helped B, C, and myself understand what we listened to and think about why they did what they did.  There was also a section dedicated to Bible study.
  • The Charlotte Mason Method of living books works perfectly with Under Drake’s Flag.  While we did not learn a lot about Drake himself, we did learn about what life was like during the late 1500’s. 
  • B and C did not like the violence and drama, so if you have young children you may want to listen to the story first.  It might scare them.

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fifth grade):   

I did not really like Under Drake’s Flag.  I did not like the drama involved. 

I did like the music and the voices.  I thought there was good acting.  I did like that Donna Anna and Ned got married at the end of the story.

I wish there had been answers to the study guide, other than that I liked the study guide.   

I do not think this would be good for children who are six to ten years-old.

C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):

It would not be good for kids who are six years-old.  The audio drama was not my thing.

I only liked the beginning and the end, because those times were happy.  There was not any killing or anything like that.

Dad’s Thoughts:

Dad was not available.   

Mama recommends!   

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