Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In Freedom's Cause Review

I was recently given the opportunity to review In Freedom's Cause Single Package from Heirloom Audio Productions for The Schoolhouse Review Crew.

In the In Freedom's Cause Single Package, we received the following items for review...

  • In Freedom's Cause CD set~ a physical copy
  • In Freedom's Cause Study Guide~ a digital download
  • In Freedom's Cause Soundtrack~ a MP3 download
  • Printable copy of the Prayer of William Wallace~ digital download

The Cd from Heirloom Audio Productions is an adaptation of G.E. Henty's work In Freedom's Cause. It is a story about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce!

It is over two hours of wonderful entertainment. The story is engaging and filled with lots of action. It's great for the young and the old..ages 6 to 100! It keeps young children engaged. I found mine sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear what would happen next.

The Cd arrived in the mail and Lego Man was eager to listen to it. He loved learning about the Middle Ages last year. We broke up the story into a few parts. We listened to the story why were eating lunch and traveling the car. You have a lot of car time when you live out in the sticks! The cast was wonderful. The kids had fun trying to place the various voices.  Some of the voices they recognized were Skandar Keyens from The Chronicles of Narnia and Billy Boyd from The Lord of the Rings, and James Cosmo from Braveheart.

I was not familiar with the story.  I did not know the story was about a young boy, his adventures during the reign of King Edward, and his interactions with William Wallace and Robert Bruce. I thought the story would be more about William and Bruce, so I was a little disappointed. My disappointment had nothing to do with the story, just my preconceived notions of what it was about. The story of the young boy, Ned is great for kids. It brings the fight for freedom to them. Standing up for what is right and standing up against wrongs is important for our children to see. Too often today, our kids are idolizing famous people, who are not worthy of their respect. It's great that real heroes are being introduced to young children and us older folks too. I loved the influence that William Wallace and Robert the Bruce have on young Ned. They show why it's important to stand up for what is right, no matter what the cost might. This strength and courage reminds us of all the great saints who lost their lives for their love of Jesus.

As a Catholic, I was looking forward (and a little leery of reviewing this title). G.E.Henty is known in the Catholic community in not being Catholic friendly. I wanted to hear this amazing story since we are of Scottish heritage. We had seen Braveheart, but wanted to learn more about the real William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. I found nothing that was blatantly anti-catholic in the story.
William Wallace was a Roman Catholic. He received a Catholic education from the Augustinian and Benedictine monks. At one point, he was discerning a vocation as a monk. He spoke Gaelic, English, French, German, and Latin. He was a devout Catholic and loved his faith.
There was mention of his faith, but there was no mention that his faith was Roman Catholic.
They did talk about Wallace's devotion to God and his faith. The story mentions Wallace's psalter. A Psalter is a book containing the Book of Psalms and often other devotional material, like the Liturgical Calendar or the Litany of Saints.

We studied the prayer books the monks made last year. Our study of The Book of Kells, was a big highlight last year. The attention to detail and artwork in these books are beautiful. When we researched the Psalter, the kids immediately recognized them!

We did hear Latin in the story, which caused some excitement since some of the words we heard were part of our Latin lessons that week.

"Dico tibi verum, libertas optima rerum. Nunquam servili sub nexu vivito, fili"

My Son, Freedom is best, I tell thee true, of all things to be won. Never live within the bond of slavery.
~William Wallace

Source~ Wikipedia

The study guide is very impressive. It's 50 pages long! You could spend a whole semester learning about Scotland, William Wallace, the fight for Scotland's freedom, and the Middle Ages.

The study guide provides.....

  • Thought provoking questions for the students to think about
  • Questions for moms/teachers to see how well the students were listening
  • Vocabulary words the children could learn and study
  • Map work to help children learn about Scotland and the surrounding areas 
  • Suggestions for further learning....castles, bridges, everyday life in medieval Scotland, knights, weapons, etc.
  • Suggestion and links to digging deeper into a museums
  • Bible study
Source~ Wikipedia

"We come here with no peaceful intent, but ready for battle, determined to avenge our wrongs and to set our country free."
~William Wallace

For fun to be had....
  • Have the kids study the construction of a castle. Why not have them build a castle out of Legos or cardboard.
  • Have the children create swords and weapons the Scottish and English would have used.
  • Have a mock battle between the Scottish and English.
  • Create costumes and have a feast! We did this last year, with our co-op, and the children had a fantastic time!

For memory work, children can work on memorizing the Prayer of William Wallace.

I would recommend this production to anyone learning about the Scotland's history or anyone that is learning about the Middle Ages. The story is intriguing and very entertaining. It appeals to both young and old. There are so many great ways to expand the "learning" process that everyone will have fun.

F.Y.I~~ Heirloom Audio Productions are currently working on two new releases for this coming year. One of them is With Lee in Virginia, a tale of the American Civil War.

This might be a great addition to your lessons if you are learning about the Civil War.
I just may have to add this to our lesson plans for next year when we study the Civil War!

Till next time,

In Freedom's Cause Review

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