As we begin planning trips for our deputation ministry, we’ve been brainstorming ways to supplement our homeschooling in the car. Historical audio dramas definitely will come along for the rides, especially the amazing productions from Heirloom Audio.
We’ve really been enjoying their recent release, For the Temple. For this review, we received the 2-disc audio set, and a downloadable study guide.
How Is an Audio Drama Different From an Audio Book?
For the Temple, along with the other productions from Heirloom Audio, are not merely audio books. For an audio book, you expect to hear a narrator read the story.
These are not like that. Yes, there’s definitely a story to follow. But, it’s brought to life by a talented cast, who perform rather than merely read the lines. There are accents and sound effects. It’s so engaging for the listeners.
What Is the Story in For the Temple?
For the Temple is a tale from G.A. Henty. It’s set in Israel, just a few decades after the death of Jesus, in 67 AD. Nero, the Roman emperor has occupied Israel.
John of Gamala is the main character. He is the son of a wine maker, and lives along the Sea of Galilee. He is betrothed to Mary, one of his lifelong friends.
Mary climbs into a boat and starts to row out to sea. John goes to rescue her, and the two of them get stuck in a storm.
They are rescued by another ship. It’s the ship of governor Josephus.
John is recruited by Josephus to join the fight to save the temple from the Romans who have occupied the land. He works hard, becoming a great warrior who is very brave. He leads a group of men to Jerusalem with the goal of protecting the temple.
There are parts of the story that are a little intense. It’s a historical account of a battle, told through a fictional character’s eyes. There’s burning cities, along with burning people. And death. But, Heirloom Audio does a good job of keeping the story from turning into a blood bathe that’s too disturbing to listen to.
Like all of the productions by Heirloom Audio, this one emphasizes themes of leadership, Christian living, and humility. It really is a historical story that will point listeners to Christ.
The Study Guide
Along with the CDs, we received the PDF study guide. This contains 51 pages. It’s a great way to dive deeper into the historical concepts presented in the story. Here’s a screenshot of part of one page.
For each chapter, you’ll find a list of comprehension type questions. These can all be found in the audio itself.
There are also questions that require critical thinking. These “Thinking Further” questions work through a variety of thinking skills.
Each chapter also has a list of vocabulary words, called “Defining Words. These would make a good word list for students to study on their own.
Throughout the guide, you’ll also find great sidebars. These dive into topics from the story, and provide additional insight. In the picture above, you can see more information about Josephus.
There are a ton of ties to the Bible, and I appreciate how a Biblical worldview is woven throughout the material.
After you get through the content relating to the story, there’s a wealth of material you can continue studying.
There are several pages of Bible study, with scriptures listed so you can study on your own.
Then there are pages full of historical information about the time period in the story. You can see images related to the piece, and really dive deep into this time period.
How We Used This Audio Drama in Our Homeschool
My children enjoy listening to the audio dramas from Heirloom Audio. Initially, we just used a CD player in the house to listen to these discs.
Soon, we will be saving them onto our computer, so we can listen to them in the car.
The study guide is optional, but we will definitely be using them more when we study world history (we’re currently studying US history.) I like how in-depth the information is.
I really enjoyed this production, and plan on listening to it again. Heirloom Audio does not disappoint with their audio dramas. They truly are a good way to bring history to life.
I’ve reviewed other productions from Heirloom Audio, and found all of them to be exceptionally well done. Here are links to those reviews:
What Other Families Thought
I was one of 80 homeschooling families to review For the Temple. To see what the others thought, please click on the link below.