This school year, we’ve already started our schedule of driving to and back home from many activities. This leaves us with a lot of time to listen to things together as a family, such as audio books or kid-friendly music as we commute each way. Our family recently had a chance to review Under Drake’s Flag, a historical audio drama 2-CD set from a Christian perspective by Heirloom Audio Productions.
Under Drake’s Flag has been beautifully produced and adapted from the book of the same title by G.A. Henty. The characters really drew my children in, and we all really felt that the sound effects, voice actors, and story worked together well to tell the tale of English explorer Sir Francis Drake.
Honestly, I had never heard of him, or at least don’t remember hearing of him in my history studies. My kids obviously hadn’t either. We were truly delighted listening to this story from lead character Ned Hawkshaw’s perspective.
As previously mentioned, with the CDs, you receive a pretty thorough study guide, and it includes components to help you and your children to listen well for understanding, encourages you to think further, and offers words applicable to the story for you to explore and define.
Not only is there a CD insert with a lot of material, but the publisher was kind enough to provide us with a PDF study guide with even more. I printed that one out (in black and white to save my colored ink – though it is in full color and beautiful!) and put it in my center console for easy grabbing while on the go.
These sections are well-written and would be excellent written assignments for older students. Since my kids are younger (4, 7, and 9), I chose to pick a few questions per section and ask them orally. We did this casually during our regular commutes.
When we would stop at our destination, I simply picked up the study guide and asked my kids a few questions from the Listening Well section related to whatever chapters we had just listened to. I was surprised at how much the kids retained.
Then, I picked one or two questions from the Thinking Further section. These are more open-ended and open to interpretation a little bit. My kids came up with some creative and really insightful answers to these questions!
Finally, we did look over the Defining Words section. This was helpful in a few ways. First, the story is culturally a bit different from our own society. For example, my kids had no idea what a cricket match was, so we got to talk about that. Also, they heard some words that they have heard before, like hurricane and soul, but needed a little bit more of an explanation after hearing the section in the story with these terms. Finally, there were much more complicated words, like insidious, that are just plain fun to focus on to help expand their own vocabulary. I looked definitions up on my phone after letting them guess what they thought the terms meant.
There are also 3 Bible studies that help kids to learn about Godly character and it also ties into the story so kids understand the main characters a bit better, too. These are brief, but they include a lot of scripture references you can explore with your family. I liked that they were short, because it allows each family to customize the angle at which to approach the topics and exactly how deep you want to dive into it.
Finally, the publisher provides a biography of Sir Francis Drake, a recommended reading list, and a bibliography. I have been putting a few books on hold with our local library to help extend the lessons we learned in this story through some of the recommended books.
While the CDs themselves are just a few hours long, there is so much content in them! This audio drama and story is rich in history, character studies, and Biblical references. It would be easy to use Under Drake’s Flag as a starting point for many different types of lessons, and I appreciated that the study guide included already addressed it all!
We enjoyed this audio drama and its accompanying resources very much. I am looking forward to future titles from Heirloom Audio Productions.
To purchase the set, just visit the Under Drake’s Flag website and choose from one of their three offers. The one that I received for this review retails for $29.95, plus $6.95 shipping. It includes the physical 2 CD set, plus several downloadable bonuses. These include an instant download of Under Drake’s Flag, the 30 page e-study guide, a download of the soundtrack to Under Drake’s Flag, and a very nice printable copy of Drake’s Prayer.