Friday, October 31, 2014

Jim Hodges Audio Drama- TOS Review

As some of you may already know, I homeschool two auditory learners who love to listen to books on CD.  And I have a crew here that loves history.  When you combine those two things together you have a review that my family asks for.  Add to the fact that the audio book in question is one of GA Henty's historical books and it is one that my family begs for!

Since we had several on a list to choose from, my 12 year old son asked for In the Heart of the Rockies: A Story of Adventure in Colorado, produced by Jim Hodges Productions. Whether it is because he spent several of his earliest years in that area and calls it home, or whether he just  likes the history of that time, I am not sure, but regardless, he waited excitedly for the CD to arrive.

Jim Hodges Productions Review

In the Heart of the Rockies is a tale of adventure in the 1860s that lasts 10 hours and 53 minutes.  That is a lot of adventure!  And yes, you read that right- almost 11 hours!  That is because this, and all of the other titles offered, are the unabridged readings of GA Henty's original tales. In the Heart of the Rockies tells of a young boy, Tom Wade, who looses both of his parents and decides to leave England in search of a his uncle who is prospecting for gold in the Rockies.  What follows is a tales of courage and excitement that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  While GA Henty's writing style may take you some time to get use to, you will soon find yourself engaged and having no problem understanding.

And why GA Henty?  If you have never read or heard one of this famous author's books you are in for a treat.  With quality character traits that we can only pray our kids learn, to high adventure and elegant writing, these books will become family favorites.  For our boys, the listening of them on CD only enhances the excitement!

As a bonus, study guides for each CD are available for $12.00.  Written by a lady who has a love for history, these guides are quality work. They have vocabulary, listed in the order the words are encountered rather than alphabetical, questions for each chapter, as well as additional activities for extra exposure.  History, literature, geography, math and art are all covered.  If you are a unit study kind of teacher, there is no doubt in my mind that this would make a great unit study for your middle school or even high school child! 

As for us, well, my boys said I was taking the fun out of the audio drama.  Go figure.  Therefore I let go of my previous "school" plans and just had fun.  We used the guide loosely to discuss a lot of the questions, but only because we wanted to, not because we had to. We also liked having the vocabulary readily available to check on words that we were not sure of.  One of the things I love about homeschooling is the opportunity to be flexible.  And one of the things I love about these guides is the built-in opportunity to do so!  You can do as much or as little as you want.  Whether you intend to use them for graded school work or simply use them for your extra "fun" knowledge, they are well done and worth getting!

You can purchase In the Heart of the Rockies for $25.00.  It, and other CDs offered are recommended for ages 10 and up, mostly because of subject matter, but my 7 year old had no problem listening as well.   If you have children sensitive to subject matters like death, I would advise you as a parent to listen first to determine if your child is ready to listen to this CD.  Keep in mind that it only works on MP3 type players- for us that was our home computer only.   Downloads are also available!

You can also find Jim Hodges Productions on Facebook!

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