One of our favorite activities is listening to radio dramas. There is something captivating about listening to a story without visual stimuli which captivates a unique portion of our imagination. It is a beautiful form of drama I adore so much I create a radio drama with the homeschool English class for junior high students I teach. Although I have read rave reviews of the company, In the Reign of Terror is our first opportunity to hear a production from Heirloom Audio Productions. We were thrilled to hear the tale from G.A. Henty and it exceeded my expectations!
The story is set at the start of the French Revolution. I remember reading about this event when I was in high school and I’ve read a few novels with the same setting, but honestly nothing really stuck out in my mind about it. I suppose I equated it with the American Revolution. Through this incredible story I heard more about the horrors of what occurred during this time and realized the two “revolutions” were completely different. My interest is also peeked and I am excited to study further about the French Revolution.
As you listen to this fabulous drama you will be transported to a time very different from our own. You will feel the fear as the family tries to escape the horrors brought about by those leading the French Revolution. You will anxiously await the fate of the family and earnestly wish you could help them. You may even cry, as I did, at certain moments where bravery in the face of certain peril shines forth. I can’t tell you anymore because I don’t want to spoil it for you!
We listen to a lot of high-quality radio drama from a variety of companies. I was so incredibly impressed with the excellent acting, fabulous sound effects, and incredible music! This is a professionally made drama with well-known actors helping create it and we even recognized some voices from other things we have heard. We were all thoroughly absorbed throughout the story. While we listened the girls colored and drew most of the time. This is a great way to spend time together in the evenings as a family.
One note of caution is to be aware this is a very intense story. My youngest, Grace, is seven. We had been listening for about an hour when she came over to me and asked if she could go into another room. She struggles with nightmares and we are cautious with what she listens to, reads, and watches. I did not think about this being scary for her, but it was very intense. We had not even gotten into the most intense scenes yet, but she was starting to feel nervous. I was happy to allow her to slip out of the room. I say that just to let you know that this is so realistic and emotional that sensitive children may have difficult time listening to it. Both Beth (10) and Rose (11) absolutely loved it and was not bothered by the intensity of the scenes.
A really neat aspect to this production is the availability of a study guide. There is more historical information which I found to be excessively balanced and more informational than what I was taught in traditional schools. Each track has a set of “Listening Well” questions to help students (especially the younger ones) better understand what they are hearing. There are also “Thinking Further” questions that are excellent for older students. Each track also has a set of vocabulary words which may be unfamiliar. The “Expand Your Learning” sections provide even more opportunity to learn about the cultural, social, and political aspects of this time. There are also many other activities to go along with this section to further learning and discussion.There is also a beautifully outlined Bible study available. This could be a great small-group opportunity for youth and would be very unique.
One of my favorite extra resources is the chart comparing the American Revolution and the French Revolution. I was always led to believe they were incredibly similar, but nothing could be further from the truth. This logical chart shows the spectacular differences, many of which are alluded to in the drama.
If you want to get even more out of your experience, the Live The Adventure Club is a great place to go! Here you can access even more content such as the original e-book, the official sound track, printable posters, and the official script. There are so many wonderful features you can use this as a spring-board for a fabulous unit study.
Check out this incredible preview!
We can’t wait to hear another production from Heirloom Audio Productions!
Don’t forget to check out what my Crewmates have to say!