We have learned over the past year that Heirloom Audio Productions is a company that consistently creates high-quality, fun and family-friendly products that we love. Having listened to all of their previous recordings, I knew that I wanted to be able to listen to With Lee in Virginia with my children, and I feel blessed that today I have the opportunity to not just listen with my children, but to share more about With Lee in Virginia with you.
What We Received
We received a two 2-CD audio adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions. I could only smile at Heirloom’s attention to detail as I opened the CD and found that one CD is blue and one CD is gray. Perfect for a Civil War audio drama!
We also received access to a digital study guide along with several other digital goodies, including a printable poster and a download of the MP3 soundtrack. As you’ll see on the order page, there are different packages that you can choose that contain different numbers of CD copies as well as different digital packages.
The study guide that we received digital access to is a 52 page full-color, illustrated PDF download. The main part of the study guide is divided into three sections:
- Listening Well: These are basic story comprehension questions
- Thinking Further: These are more open-ended thinking questions to get your child evaluating the ideas in the story and learning more about its’ themes. There are also occasional learning questions or websites to investigate to add to your study
- Defining Words: Vocabulary words to define that may be unfamiliar to your child from each section
There are also small Bible studies included, short biographies of Henty, Lee and Jackson, authentic pictures from the war, a look at sectionalism and at slavery in the Bible, a map for geography study associated with the audio drama and some resources for further learning about Robert E. Lee.
How We Used This Product
When this CD came in, my ten-year old son gave a huge fist pump and yelled out “Yes!!” I insisted that we listen to the CDs together as a family once or twice before I gave the CDs over to him. However, he has listened to portions of this CD almost every day during his quiet time in his room since we received the CD.
Usually, we would listen to something like this slowly with the listening guide and go through it as a literature study. However, because my son took the CD over, I’ve planned to do a With Lee in Virginia unit study later this fall, using the study guide and perhaps adding in some additional activities. I’ve got to wait until some of the newness wears off to be able to use this for an actual study. I am only telling you this because I wanted to try and give you a picture of how much my son treasures these CDs.
My Opinion on This Product
This is the story of a young man, Vincent, who is a southerner, a slaveholder and a young man of character and dignity, surrounded by many other leaders who are have godly character. Yes, there are a few bad guys, and there are slaveowners who abuse their slaves in the story, but Vincent is a man of character. He, Lee, Jackson and the other influential persons of the audio drama are the kinds of hero figures that you want to surround your growing children with as they learn what it means to be responsible, dutiful and godly people.
This story does follow the southern side of the war. Some people may find that offensive, especially if they don’t know much about the war other than slavery. I find that this is the reason why stories such as this one are so important. We all need to know that there were good and godly men who lived, loved, fought and died on both sides of the war. In my own home state, there’s been recent discussion about taking the stone carvings of these men off the side of a large mountain here, and that would be such a tragedy as we would lose the opportunity to have the discussion about these men and the beliefs that powered their lives.
As someone who is raising men, I also see that this is an opportunity to discuss with my sons the duties that true men need to fulfill. I love the portion of the audio drama where Vincent, while recovering from the injury he receives at Manassas, has lost his passion for the southern cause. He had believed that war would be a great adventure, but he learns that war is a terrible business. Robert E. Lee comes to visit him in his convalescence, and he suggests to him that perhaps, if Vincent has lost his enthusiasm for the cause, then his enthusiasm might have been directed in the wrong place. In this, he means that maybe Vincent was more excited about the possibility of adventure than he truly was passionate about the southern fight for freedom.
This conversation turns into a discussion of duty, even when the cause we’re fighting for is failing, because God holds the outcomes in his hands. This was such a stern reminder for me of how I’m only responsible for the job that God has given me. He can handle and is responsible for the way that it all turns out. This is a great place to discuss Christian duty with my children, and to explain to them that even when our faith and our lifestyle seem deeply countercultural, we’re responsible for obedience to God. He’ll handle how everything turns out if we’re obedient, even when it’s not in the way we would have our fights and struggles turn out.
In the end, this audio drama gets my highest recommendation, not only for entertainment value, but also for holding up truths about the Christian life and about history to educate our family and to help us become more responsible in our obedience to God.
I’ve previously reviewed two other titles from Heirloom Audio Productions. You can read my review of In Freedom’s Cause here and my review of Under Drake’s Flag here. The children and I agree that each of these titles teaches us, not only history, but also lessons for living a faith-filled life.