Struggling to stay awake, my head rested on the palm of my hand, my elbow barely holding them both up as it perched on the hard surface of the desk. My teacher, a short, bald, athletic man sat in the front of the room, droning on about this war, that general, and these periods in history. I glanced around. I wasn’t the only one on the verge of sleep – almost every other student in the classroom was half-asleep as well. Isn’t there any way to make this more interesting I wondered? After all, every single one of us in this room could belt out almost every lyric to the top 50 pop songs on the radio. It wasn’t for lack of brain space that we couldn’t remember all of these history facts, it was for lack of interest, engagement, and enthusiasm.
Years later I became a teacher myself and I vowed that I would never bore my students to sleep. I would do everything possible to actively engage them in the material, whatever that took. We created class plays, painted art canvases, slapped fly swatters for vocabulary, and cooked delicious recipes.
Once I had my own children, I peeked under as many literary, spiritual, and historical corners as I could to find resources that would bring it all to life for them. I still do. Though my children are getting older, all school aged now, and three teenagers, I search for ways to make learning feel less like a chore and more like a joy.
Because here is what I know – no matter what age, we are interested in learning when the material is worth engaging. Perhaps we should change our approach.
If kids don’t learn the way we teach (in school, at the dinner table, wherever!), we should reinvent our teaching to teach the way they learn best.
A few months ago, I received an email about a new series, The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty, and I knew right away that it was a perfect fit for our family. The series spins historical events into daring adventures that come to life through high quality audio stories recorded by well-known, experienced actors. My first thought was, “If ONLY I would have had this back in that high school classroom!! I would have learned so much!”
These audio dramas have been shown to:
- increase comprehension
- foster critical thinking
- widen vocabulary
- increase attention span
At this stage of life, we are in the car all of the time – carpooling to sports practice, headed to piano lessons, or to another town for a game or activity. Redeeming carpool time for connection and learning is one of my goals. This series helps me to do both.
My kids and I listen to these stories, and then we talk about what happened. Who made a good decision, who didn’t? How did their decisions impacted history? How did it impact them personally? What would it have been like to be alive during that period?
One of the best ways for children to learn about character is to see people who display strong moral integrity, and those who don’t. We are both inspired and saddened by people’s choices, and it causes us to inspect our own decisions and internal compass.
One of the greatest gifts I can give my children is moral education. It’s not the school’s job, it’s not the Sunday School’s job, it’s my job. I am continually looking for ways to reinforce strength of character in my children — this series does that. It approaches history from a morally grounded, Christian perspective that not only educates the mind, but also the heart.
I’m so excited to tell you that Heirloom Audio is giving me four audio books to give away! There will be four winners who will each receive one for their family to enjoy (see the Rafflecopter Entry at the end of the post).
If you would like to order the series now CLICK HERE.
With this special package you’ll get:
- All four audio dramas (The Dragon and the Raven, With Lee in Virginia, In Freedom’s Cause, Under Drake’s Flag –there are 2 copies of each audio drama so that you can give one to a friend!)
- Study Guide and Discussion Starter Sets for each audio drama
- Award-winning soundtracks from each audio drama
- Poster Art from each audio drama
- Four limited edition Henty Collector Coins
ALL of this for only 79.95!!!
Though the ideal age for these audio adventures is 6-16, they make history come to life for all ages – even for this mom who slept through high school history class.
[ Our humble thanks to Heirloom Audio for today’s opportunity to post about their great product ]