Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wulf the Saxon

We are so excited to be starting another year with the Homeschool Review Crew with a review of one of our favorite vendors! Heirloom Audio Productions produces some of the best audio dramas we have ever heard. Our schooling is literature-based, so we're often reading quality writings together that teach life lessons and new vocabulary. We are drawn to living books that bring the stories to life and teach valuable lessons. Instead of sitting and writing facts in a workbook, we choose to learn history through these stories. For those times though when I can't sit and read to the kiddos, we like to utilize audio books and incorporate them into our schooling and daily life.

This time, we traveled to England in Wulf the Saxon.  

Heirloom Audio Productions has converted multiple historical adventure novels by G.A. Henty into theater-quality audio dramas. Our main curriculum lists many Henty books in the reading list, because they are known for their deep history, rich literature, and exciting plots. So far, my kiddos aren't drawn to the novels themselves, but they are truly captivated by these adaptations. If you close your eyes, you feel as if you're there in the story. The music, the actors, the sound effects--they all make the story come to life. You hear the the wood on the ship creaking, waves splashing, chains clinking, water dripping, birds chirping, and swords clanking and you feel as if you are there as one of the characters of the story. The narrator, Brian Blessed, has a rich, powerful voice that makes the drama exciting to listen to. We were immediately pulled into the plot.

Just like the other dramas, this one begins with Mr. George introducing the story to a couple of boys. It begins in 1065 when 16-year-old Wulf has an interaction that sends him away from the king's court and home to assume his role as thane of his land. Despite disappointment, Wulf strives to serve his people well and quickly earns their respect. Over time, Wulf receives a pardon from the king and returns to the court in London. This experience changes the course of his life. He survives a terrible storm, capsizes in a foreign land, is captured by the enemy, is forced to serve in the count's court, and miraculously escapes. The king dies with no heir, producing a war over succession. Wulf receives help from an unlikely source as he helps his friend and newly crowned king, Harold, fight to keep the throne. Time after time, Wulf proves that he is an honorable man, full of courage and devoted to his country. The Battle of Hastings would seal their fate and change the course of history. Along with the non-stop action and exciting adventures, there are plenty of morals and Biblical truths taught along the way.    

While you can learn much simply by listening to the story, you can take your study deeper by joining the Live the Adventure Club. As a member, you'll have access to bonus content about Wulf the Saxon along with many more features. There is a community forum, daily motivational quotes and stories, hundreds of articles about parenting and historical learning, a collection of rare textbooks from the 1700-1800s, and hundreds of fun activities. By signing up now, you can even get one of their audio dramas for free (just pay shipping and handling)! The Live the Adventure Club makes history exciting.

Wulf the Saxon provides 2 1/2 hours worth of historical learning. The production is ideal for ages 6+, but even my little ones enjoy listening. There are some elements that are more difficult for the young ones to understand, but this is an ideal way to introduce them to new topics. It's never to early to enjoy quality literature. We are thankful to add this story to our collection and await the next exciting adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions

You can connect with Heirloom Audio Productions on the following social media sites:

You can read more reviews of Wulf the Saxon on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Things That Make Me Smile 2/2/18

Jake (12), Alyssa (9 1/2), Zac (8), Tyler (5 1/2), Nicholas (3)

This week we went to an animal demonstration at the library (and got to pet an alligator!), I celebrated a birthday, and the kiddos created a lot of art from painting both in the bathtub and on paper to making beaded necklaces to sewing and knitting more.

1. Jake: "I made up a new joke last night. Sir Lancelot was fighting a troll and cut off his feet. He said, "Ha! I have de-feeted you!"

2. Me: "Why are you being so good out here?"
Tyler: {giggles}
Me: "Are you always this good?"
Tyler: "No."
Me: "Well, at least you're honest."
Tyler: "Mommy, you're silly."

3. Nicholas wanted to touch the tarantula, whereas Alyssa wouldn't even look at it.

4. Nicholas, because I gave him water in a cup after the dishwasher finished running: "It's so hot! Did you put it in the oven?"

5. Cashier, at the thrift store: "Are you guys out of school today?"
Alyssa: "We're homeschooled."
Cashier: "Oh, that's right! I forgot. I ask you that every time, don't I?"
Me: "Actually, we do a four-day week. We don't school on Fridays at all."
Cashier, smiling: "So, see? You are out of school today!"

6. Alyssa: "Thank you for letting me (splatter) paint yesterday. And thank you for not getting mad that I got paint on the table."

7. Alyssa using an animal book for inspiration.

8. Tyler: "I am your knight in shiny armor."

9. Tyler: "I can see reeeeaaally far. I'm pretty sure I can see 100 inches."
Me: "Whoa."
Tyler: "I'm serious, Mom. I'm sure I can. Well, I think."

What made you Smile this week?

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Things That Make Me Smile 1/26/18

Jake (12), Alyssa (9 1/2), Zac (8), Tyler (5 1/2), Nicholas (3)

Happy Weekend! This week we built some reading forts, made some of our favorite granola, and enjoyed a corned beef meal made by Jake.

1. The kids were sitting in the living room playing with K'nex. Zac jumped up, ran over to me, and held a creation over my head. "You're under mistletoe! You have to kiss me!" Then he puckered.

2. Jake: "Heaven is like Paradise, but better."
Alyssa: "Yeah, it's Paradise Plus."

3. We spent the day at the science center with friends.

4. Me: "Wow! You're good at that!"
Nicholas, putting away toys: "You are, too!"

5. Alyssa: "I like the dentist. He said I didn't have any cavities. He's my best friend now."

6. Jake, teasing: "Will you tell Alyssa to stop pinching me, please? I'm trying to punch Zac and she won't let me."

7. Nicholas, looking at books on the shelf: "What dis one?"
Me: "Guess How Much I Love You."
Nicholas: ". . . So much! {pointing to the book} What dis one?"
Me: "Guess How Much I Love You."
Nicholas: "So much! {picking up the book} What dis one?"
Me: "Guess How Much I Love You."
Nicholas: "So much! {showing me the book} What dis one?"
Me, laughing: "That's the name of the book. {pointing to each word} Guess How Much I Love You.
Nicholas: "Oh . . . So much!"

8. Jake, laughing: "Tyler literally thinks people from the 1960s were black and white."
Me: "Whaaat?"
Jake: "Last night we were talking in bed and he says, 'Are we in the 1960s or something? Everything is black, white, light gray, and dark gray.' And he was serious."

9. Tyler: "Mama, I love you."
Nicholas: "I love muffrooms!"

What made you Smile this week?

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Things That Make Me Smile 1/19/18

* This post may contain affiliate links. 

Jake (12), Alyssa (9 1/2), Zac (8), Tyler (5 1/2), Nicholas (3)

Happy Friday! This is the week we spent the day with my niece and her new baby and some other family, I started reading a new trilogy to the kids, we got some deep cleaning down around the house, and we made time to Smile. 

1. Nicholas: "I want to go to my granmudder house."

2. Me, pointing to cereal that Nicholas spilled: "Who made that mess?"
Nicholas: "Uuuum . . . somebody did."


4. Tyler, about church: "Zac, I like my class better than yours."
Jake: "Tyler, you have the same class."

5. Jake: "I don't understand girls. They're so confusing. I mean, they wear makeup! It's like a foreign language."

6. Me, driving home from church: "Were you a good boy in your class?"
Nicholas: "Uuuuuh . . . I didn't say thank you."
Me: "You didn't? Why not?"
Nicholas: "Uuuuum {yelling behind him} Thank you!"


8. Nicholas: "Mom?"
Me: "Yes, my littlest love? What can I do for you?"
Nicholas, matter-of-factly: "Shocolate milk, pease."

9. Me: "Hey there, my super hero."
Tyler, in costume: "I'm actually evil right now."
Me: {gasp}
Tyler, consoling: "I'm not really evil. I'm just pretending."

What made you Smile this week?

* Some of the links in the content above are affiliate links. If you click on a link and purchase an item, I may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I recommend products or services that I have used personally and all the text and opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 225
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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Things That Make Me Smile 1/12/18

Jake (12), Alyssa (9 1/2), Zac (8), Tyler (5 1/2), Nicholas (3)

Here we are with another mid-week Smile list! This week, I posted my Word of the Year, we had a family Nerf war, and we enjoyed another game schooling day.

1. Zac: "Nicky's so cute. No one could be him with cuteness."
Tyler: "Yeah, not even a twin of himself."

2. Me, correcting: "Don't talk to me like that."
Nicholas: "Ok, girlfriend!"

3. Nicholas, reprimanding: "Tyyer Jophis!" (Tyler Joseph)

4. The kids and I were playing Apples to Apples Junior. The word was glittering.
Alyssa, choosing a card: "I've got it!"
Me: "What is it? Glitter?"
Jake: "Nothing would beat glitter for glittering."
Zac: "What if someone had mom's eyes? That would win for sure. Nothing is more glittering than Mom's eyes."

5. Nicholas: "I love Daddy and eberyone and Mommy . . . and Daddy!"


7. Nicholas, concerned, because Tyler had spent the night at my parents' house: "Where Tyyer? We lost Tyyer!"

8. Nicholas: "You put it in dere?"
Me: "Yep."
Nicholas, concerned: "You said yep?"
Me: "Yes, I did."
Nicholas: "No, you say yes, sir."

9. Jake: "I gave Papa a War Head (candy) once, remember? He didn't even make a face! {disappointed} I was expecting better results."

What made you Smile this week?

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Things That Make Me Smile 1/5/18

Jake (12), Alyssa (9 1/2), Zac (8), Tyler (5 1/2), Nicholas (3)

How about a mid-week Smile?

1. Tyler, about food: "You know what's weird?" When it's hot it gets cold and when it's cold it gets hot. That's weird."

2. Nicholas, driving in the van, pointing to the sun: "Mommy, it's fowowing us!"

3. Zac, leaving the house: "I'm as ready as a ready little bug."

4. Nicholas, looking at a picture of Leighton and me at our wedding: "I wike dat lady. She pincess. I wike dat pincess."

5. Zac: "Nicholas was born in 2014. It seems like the years went by too fast."


7. Alyssa, because I bought patterned Christmas paper towels on clearance: "Now when people come over they can see our pretty paper towels."
Zac: "Except, we only got 2 (rolls), so don't waste them."
Alyssa: "Trust me, I don't intend to." 

8. Tyler: "Mommy, I think you're a little angel."

9. Zac: "Mom, this book has 29 chapters, and I'm on chapter 6."
Me: "You have a bit to go."
Zac: "Twenty-three chapters, to be exact."

10. Nicholas, looking at a picture of Tyler as a baby standing and crying in a hospital crib: "He in jail! He need help!"

11. Jake: "Of all my body parts, if I had to pick one to be my favorite, which would it be?"
Me: "I don't know."
Jake, smirking: "I'd pick my nose."

What made you Smile this week?

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Things That Make Me Smile 12/29/17

Jake (12), Alyssa (9 1/2), Zac (8), Tyler (5 1/2), Nicholas (3)

Happy Friday! This is the week we celebrated Christmas, Tyler lost his first tooth, and we spent quality time with family.

1. Alyssa was dressed up for church. Nicholas saw her and said, "You so pretty!" The next morning, she walked out of her room, unbrushed hair and still in pajamas. He looked at her and said, "You so pretty again!"

2. Zac, at Ikea: "I like the way this place is organized."

3. Reading Luke 2 before opening presents Christmas morning.

4. Nicholas: "Can I have sonts?"
Me: "Songs?"
Nicholas: "Yes."
Me: "You want me to turn on music?"
Nicholas: "No. Sonts."
Me: "Songs?"
Nicholas: Yes."
Me: "You want music?"
Nicholas, grabs my hand, pulls me into the kitchen, and points: "Sonts!"
Me: "Oh, croissants!"

5. Nicholas, talking about what he was going to do the next morning: ". . . after I wake up my eyes."

6. Tyler: "Mommy, I like how you're dressed. And I like your hair . . . And I like how you're smiling at me."


8. Zac, walking into my room where a fire was burning in the fireplace: "Mmm, that smells so good. I'd like to have a shirt that smells like that."

9. Nicholas, because his food was hot: "Mommy, will you blow dis up, pease?"

10. Tyler: "Brussels sprouts are so good they make my head hyper!"

11. Me: "What happened to this room?! I thought you guys cleaned it last night."
Jake: "It's called Nicholas and 10 minutes. Scratch that. Nicholas and 5 minutes."

What made you Smile this week?

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