Today I’m sharing one of the most engaging ways to teach history that I’ve seen yet!
(Disclosure: I received a set of audio adventures and was compensated for my time in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!)
My six-year-old is starting first grade in the fall. He loves legos, drawing, macaroni and cheese — and anything about the Civil War.
In fact, he recently wrote a story about the Civil War during our at-home writing workshop.
If you’re wondering how my son has become a history buff at age six, I have to give most of the credit to an amazing audio recording we enjoyed this summer. It’s called With Lee in Virginia, and it’s a production of Heirloom Audio.
Heirloom Audio brings history to life by creating audio dramas based on the historical fiction of G. A. Henty.
I strongly recommend these audio adventures to families and homeschoolers who want to teach their kids to love history.
Here’s what we loved
- These are high quality entertainment. I kid you not, these recordings are outstanding. They sound exactly like a movie without the screen. You’ll enjoy the voices of professional actors like Kirk Cameron, Sean Astin, and more, not to mention amazing sound effects and music.
- You can listen in the car or at home. The audio adventures are the perfect entertainment for long car rides, but they’re great for the home, too. I wish you could have seen my three oldest kids (ages 6, 7, and 9) sitting spellbound on the couch as we listened to the ending of With Lee in Virginia.
- They bring history to life. I love that my kids are learning to share my passion for history; after listening to the drama, they started poring over children’s books about the Civil War.
- The recordings are family friendly. It’s a big comfort to me that I don’t have to keep my ears open for bad language, gratutious violence, or innuendo. In fact, the main characters are models of Christian values.
- They lead to family discussions. Like most young children, my kids tend to see history in black and white. They were surprised to learn that the Civil War had Christians on both sides; this led to some thoughtful discussions about the history of race relations in the U.S.
- They enhance comprehension skills. I paused the recording often so we could talk about what we’d just heard. As they listened, my kids were making inferences and predictions, synthesizing, analyzing character, and so much more. This has to be the most entertaining way to teach reading comprehension skills that I’ve found yet!
- They appeal to a variety of ages. Even my Four was trying to listen and understand With Lee in Virginia. (Most of the pauses were so we could explain to him exactly what had just occurred.) I think the ideal age range is 8 and up, but depending on the content, kids as young as 6 will be enthralled.
Here’s what I’d change
- I’d add more adventures about U.S. history. So far, With Lee in Virginia is the only American history drama. The other recordings are about English and Scottish history, which were a bit tough for my kids to follow. But as they get older and study world history, I know they’ll enjoy those dramas just as much!
- I’d address the Christian’s daily struggle a bit more. Sometimes the main characters seem a bit “too good to be true.” Since all Christians struggle against their sinful nature every day, I’d appreciate a stronger focus on that internal battle, both in the adventures and in the listening guides.
I can’t say enough good things about this wholesome family entertainment that doubles as an engaging history lesson. Find out more!
© 2016, Anna Geiger. All rights reserved.