8/16/16

Beric The Briton ~ History Brought to Life {Crew Review}

Do you love action? What about adventure? Do you like history?  Have you heard of Heirloom Audio Productions? Heirloom Audio brings history to life with their radio theater adaptations of G.A. Henty novels. The latest adventure, Beric The Briton, has become a well loved CD here at my house!


Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

About Heirloom Audio Productions


Heirloom Audio produces radio theater quality dramas. Each production is based on a G.A. Henty novel. These are not Henty novels read aloud. It isn't an audiobook; it is cinema for your ears.  These adaptations bring history to life by combining sound effects, music, and talented actors to voice the characters.



Beric The Briton



This is the story of a young chieftain named Beric who has an adventure that takes him to Rome during the reign of Nero in the time frame of Rome burning. Beric learns of Christus and the Christian faith.  He trains as a gladiator, fights a lion, serves Nero and becomes a Christian.

Disk 1 of the 2 disk set, takes place in Briton.  Beric and the Britons fight the Romans.  They are captured and taken to Rome.  Disk 2 takes us to Rome and we are introduced to the Christians.

My favorite line from the audio drama also happens to be the quote used for the Inspirational Quote Poster, one of the digital bonus items, I received.  Julius, a Roman Christian, stands before Nero and refuses to deny Christ.  Julius states "I will gladly die for Him who died for me."

Bonus Items 


Review Crew members received access to several digital bonus items including a full color study guide! The Study Guide is beautiful. In addition to the sections for each track of the story, there are short biographies of three important people to the story, background information, and engaging activities that include recipes or fun facts! At the back of the study guide you will find three different Bible study options. For each audio track there are a set of questions.  Each set of questions includes 3 parts: Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words.

In addition to the Study Guide and Inspirational Quote Poster, we received an MP3 recording of Beric The Briton, a Cast Poster, a PDF version of the actual G. A. Henty novel, MP3 of the beautiful soundtrack and more!

My Thoughts


This is my favorite so far of the Audio Adventures we've listened to.  I loved hearing Tom Baker voice Askar.

If you are studying Ancient history,  British History, or Church History, I highly recommend adding Beric the Briton to your list of historical fiction to include.

Studying a different time period?  Currently there are 5 titles available!  I know there are more titles coming.
Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

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Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

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8/11/16

It's Getting REAL!

In just a few short days, Turtlegirl will be moving to her residence hall on campus on the other side of the state. I've been in denial for most of her senior year that she would go away to college.

It's not that I am not thrilled for her.  I am!  I think she made a great choice for a school based on her interests and what she wants to study.  I think living on campus has huge benefits.  This is an exciting time for her.

We've been gathering/collecting items over the summer and now we've started putting them all together.  Seeing all her stuff is a reminder that it's getting real.  She really is on the cusp of a new adventure.

It's getting real! She is moving to college!

** I wrote this several days ago but never posted it.  It is even more real tonight and the pile is much bigger!

8/8/16

Some Random Thoughts about Our Summer {So Far}

When I think of summer I think of June, July, and August  Here we are nearly half way through August and I'm sitting here wondering why 2/3 of summer is gone.


Our Summer so far! Where did it go?

This has not been like the summers we've enjoyed in the past.  We've not had many sunny beautiful days though we've had a few perfect days where it is not too hot.  We've had only a couple of days where it was truly hot.  I'm not really complaining though.  I don't do well with the heat any more.

So here are some Random Thoughts or Random Things that have happened.

1.  Turtlegirl graduated from High School.  I did actually manage to write about our second high school graduation.

2.  BooBear turned 21.  I now have a daughter old enough to drink. We went to Red Robin for her birthday and she ordered a Raspberry Margarita.  Grandma and I had Skinny Margaritas. I had mine on the rocks.

3.  Technically in Spring (so in early May) we had to replace the transmission in our van.  We prayed and debated and debated and prayed and in the end decided to go with a rebuilt transmission rather than try to purchase a new vehicle.

4.  We've purchased a set of 4 new tires for the van and replaced a set of brakes.  I am pretty sure this is the summer of Van repairs.

5.  Turtlegirl has attended her required orientation.  It's getting REAL!  She's all registered for her fall semester classes.  She's been getting to know her suitemates through Facebook and Texting. We've started collecting things like bedding, linens, and dishes.  My baby is moving in a week!

A couple of other BIG things have happened but I want to blog about them separately.

This summer isn't turning out the way I wanted or planned and it is zipping along WAY TOO FAST but that's life right?  And we just need to pause every now and again and savor the moments when we can. 

6/26/16

Graduation! We have our second home school graduate!

Turtlegirl is the second of our students to graduate from home schooled High School!
It seems such a short time ago I was freaking out because she taught herself to read and was asking me all kinds of embarrassing questions about the headlines on magazines in the check out lane.  Boy I was grateful for the family friendly check out lane but I do wish it didn't have to replace magazines with candy.  

Unlike her older sister, Turtlegirl, didn't want a big huge celebration. She's a quiet introvert.  Our church has a tradition of honoring graduates.  It was the perfect way to acknowledge Turtlegirl's achievement without forcing her to be in the spotlight alone.

Father did a lovely prayer for the graduates at church!
After liturgy, Father called the graduates forward.  He prayed for them, spoke a short mini-sermon and gave them each prayer book.  It was beautiful.  I have no idea what happened the day church honored graduates with BooBear as that is the infamous heart attack day.

The parish house was decorated and there was cake! It was very sweet to see four graduates! No they were not all home school graduates but that made it more beautiful.

Graduation Cake with our church!


A few days later, after the grandparents had arrived, we had a small graduation ceremony.  Ceremony isn't the right word but Turtlegirl wore her Cap and Gown from HomeschoolDiploma, Dad made a speech and we presented her with her diploma.  {You do need to read my review of HomeschoolDiploma.com. I love the two diplomas we ordered and I will be getting one for Tailorbear next year!}



With permission from Honeybear and Turtlegirl I am going to share the little speech.  It warmed my heart.

I will ask up front for a little understanding, as I don't get to do this very often. In fact, this is only the second time I've done this. Graduating from high school is one of the first major milestones people hit. There are birthdays of course, but those become less of milestones and more of uncomfortable reminders.  Certainly wouldn't want to  do without them but still . . .
Anyway, we're here because we are celebrating this milestone with [Turtlegirl]. She wasn't the first, so the amount of experimenting we had to do was a little bit less, but only a little because in education one of the the biggest difficulties is keeping students challenged. I know in my own education that was often an issue. If I wasn't challenged, then I didn't give it the appropriate level of attention. But that that's a story for another time. Trying to find the right level of challenge for [Turtlegirl] was probably the biggest concern we had. Whether it was reading (holds up very thick book) three hours for this one, math or even science trying to challenge her was, well, a challenge.  Now, you've hit the finish line, and you've acheived something you can be proud of.  It is definitely a milestone for you. 
Since it's your first milestone, right now it's pretty big.  You're moving into a higher level of education and bigger challenges. And as you reach those other challenges, you'll hit other milestones, but hopefully, you'll look back on this one with warmth and pride.  Congratulations!


My heart swells with joy and love as I see how she has grown. My heart aches when I think of her leaving for college but if she studies and works as hard at college as she has to finish her high school requirements she'll be fine.  She has a hunger and a thirst for knowledge and a desire to learn.


Turtlegirl all dressed up for graduation!


Congratulations sweetheart!

6/15/16

Improve your speech, concentration, and even your singing with Forbrain!

 {This review made possible by Forbrain -  Sound For Life LTD and the Schoolhouse Review Crew}

When I found out that the Crew would be reviewing a bone conduction headset from Forbrain - Sound For Life Ltd I was more than just a little curious.

Having worked with a neurodevelopmentalist and speech therapists with Supergirl, I am familiar with the importance of audio memory to brain organization and optimal function.  Forbrain - Sound For Life Ltd states that this device can improve memory, attention, and speech.  The more I looked over the website the more convinced I was that Tailorbear and Turtlegirl would benefit just as much as Supergirl.


Reading aloud with Forbrain can increase memory, focus, and concentration!

Forbrain is a device that maximizes the natural audio-vocal loop that every person uses to analyze, assimilate, perceive and adjust information received and produced through sound.  For details on this loop and how Forbrain works check out these links: The Auditory Process, and Forbrain's Audio Technology.

Tailorbear was my primary focus during the review period. She wears the device for approximately 20 minutes a day. We aim for 5 days a week. Sometimes she stands. Sometimes she sits.  Sometimes she walks around. Most of the time she reads aloud from her novel for her literature study. Sometimes I hear her singing.

She shared with me that when she uses Forbrain she is better able to focus and concentrate.  Turtlegirl and I both noticed that Tailorbear's singing has improved. Though she has a lovely singing voice she doesn't always stay in the right key.  Now she is much more likely to stay on key.


Forbrain!  Read the Review at www.circlingthroughthislife.com



She stopped using Forbrain for a week and I noticed that she did not get as much school done.  She was more prone to be distracted and failed to stay on task.  I am making Forbrain a requirement for every school day for her because it helps her.

Turtlegirl ran into some difficulties with using Forbrain. She is prone to migraines and after using Forbrain for a few minutes she does begin to get a headache.  She uses it for a much shorter period of time and only once or twice a week.  Even without using it for the prescribed amount of time she noticed some positive changes.  Here's what she had to say about her experience:
 Even after the first time I used Forbrain, I noticed an increase in my ability to focus. It was a little weird how after I took off the headphones, everything sounded different, but I'm not sure what that means. I have noticed a positive difference after using Forbrain. I am more aware of the way my voice sounds when I talk. (Example: I can hear that I'm kinda monotone and don't emote well with my voice.) And when I hum, I can actually hear when I go off tune. I'm no longer as tone deaf as I used to be.

Forbrain is easy to use! One suggesion is to read or sing poetry aloud.

I recently started using it with Supergirl. Since she cannot do it independently the way her sisters can, I needed to make sure I committed to working with her.  Supergirl has DiGeorge Syndrome.  She also has brain injury from in utero strokes. DiGeorge affects many different areas including speech. I knew that I wanted to use to Forbrain with Supergirl because she is a "poster child" of sorts for the type of therapy this device can provide.

She is developmentally much younger than her chronological age so I have her working for 10 minutes a day rather than the 20 that a typical 18 year old would do.  Currently we are using Forbrain while we do our Poetry Memorization.  She recites the poems she has memorized already and then we work together on memorizing the current poem.  I will say a line and she repeats it.  I will often repeat words that I knew she struggles with so that she can practice them with the device.  Certain sounds are nearly impossible for her but my hope is that by using Forbrain her speech will be come more clear.



I plan to begin using Forbrain with her during her phonics lessons with Logic of English.  We will be working with phonemes and phonograms and I think she'll be able to improve her speech patterns while improving her reading fluency.

Forbrain is an asset that I think every speech pathologist and speech therapist should have access to.  I see this tool as being a way to continue to work on brain/neurological development and improvement with Samantha.  I also see this helping Tailorbear to improve her focus and concentration which will help her with studying for her senior year and preparing for post high school education.

I am very impressed with this device and the improvement I see in my daughters.



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Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd Review

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