For The Temple: An Heirloom Audio Review

One of the biggest things that has always drawn me to educational arenas has been how powerful receiving information and exposure from multiple sources can be toward genuine learning.  That means reading it in a book once isn't enough, not even a little bit.  Reading about it, writing about it, hearing about it, getting up and moving in some way to do with it, even eating certain things can all contribute heavily to how much your brain accepts and maintains of the subject.  So, whenever we discover engaging ways to explore history BEYOND just reading it in a book, it is worth noting! We've only been on the Homeschool Review Crew for 3 years, but Heirloom Audio and their exciting Audio Theater has become a regular favorite review each year for this very reason.  Today we're talking about their latest production, For The Temple.




What We Received:

For this review, we received a 2 disc set that totaled about 2 1/2 hours of listening time and a 51-page digital study guide.  For The Temple is another adventure inspired by The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty that takes you through the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The story tells of John of Gamala who finds himself caught up in the conflict between the Romans and those who would oppose them. As Jewish culture compels an allegiance to and protection of the temple, there is much rallying to save it from being desecrated. The confusion and misunderstanding that even takes place today regarding God's plan for Israel and Jesus' fulfillment of the law, which takes His people beyond the temple and thus God's will, is beautifully scripted.



How We Used It:

In times past we've listened to these stories in the car on the way somewhere, but this time J (8) and miss Z (5 1/2) laid out on the bedroom floor with a snack and some Legos.  This works better than listening to it in the living room because of regularly interrupting sounds.  The nature of this production is complete with music, clangs from swords, different accents and varying sound levels which makes it difficult to understand with any competing noise. 


The study guide was something we used after the kids had already listened to the story once, but I would recommend doing it as you go for my children's ages.  In addition to background information periodically placed throughout the guide, there is a page like the one below for every track of the story.  Each page includes a Listening Well, Thinking Further and Defining Words section. With all the action that goes on, the Listening Well section is a great help for ensuring that you are paying attention and not missing important things.  The Thinking Further is more like discussion or even essay questions if you were assigning work.  Especially for older children, this guide could create an entire unit or project of study surrounding this event and time period.



Since we have listened to and liked the CD's Heirloom Audio puts out before, my children are happy to sit down and listen to another one.  I do believe anything that doesn't include cleaning is a welcome activity as well, but they do genuinely enjoy listening to these stories.  When asked what they thought/learned, my daughter said, "If this was a movie I could tell you about it more."  But then she also proceeded to throw in all the details that her brother didn't readily provide.  My son gave me the general highlights, but when I pressed him for something interesting or that he really liked, this is what he said:  "In the story, they were fighting to save the temple, but John starts to think about what if the Romans winning and destroying the Temple was what God wanted."  This was a great setup to sum up the story AND talk about what God's will looks like sometimes.  I also loved the combining of our Biblical knowledge with history (like the works of Josephus, etc.) which builds an even clearer picture of God and his will for us.

Right now our history study is primarily US History, but world and Bible history studies would be ideal for working audio theater into your curriculum.  But any time I need an entertaining, educational and thought-provoking experience for the kids (that also renders them contained and relatively quiet for a while) our stories from Heirloom Audio are a great option!


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Since my oldest child right now is 8, our experience and perspective might not be the same as older children.  Head on over to the Crew page to read other family's reviews and experiences to get a better idea of how this might work in your family.
For The Temple {Heirloom Audio Reviews}
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