Frederick Douglass once said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Ponder that great quote for just a minute. There’s a whole lot of truth in that statement, isn’t there?
There’s no doubt, we are living in turbulent times. Don’t believe me? Just turn on the news for a few minutes and listen to the absolute chaos in our world. Aside from the violence in the news, we’re seeing an uptick in the assault on the nuclear family and even an assault on the Christian church. Add in the fact that our children are constantly being bombarded with images of violence, perversion, sex and more on a daily basis … and that’s just what they see in the latest video game or on the newest TV show!
While it’s never been an easy task to be a good parent, the job seems to be getting harder and harder by the minute. Simply put, we cannot rely on our culture, our schools or even our churches to do the job for us. If we want our children to grow up with a strong moral compass, we are going to have to dig in and do the hard work ourselves, as parents. We cannot afford to keep passing the buck. I’ve often heard it said that what one generation allows in moderation, the next generation will allow in excess. Future generations depend on our diligence as parents.
But There’s Hope
As a mom to three kids, ages 13, 11 and 10, I feel an overwhelming sense of urgency to get back to the basics in life – turning our focus to God, faith, family and home. In doing so, I’ve become very convicted about the types of materials I set before my children’s eyes. I can no longer just put my kids in front of a television set or a computer screen without monitoring their activity. I’m very careful to see what exactly it is they are taking in, in the name of entertainment.
And let’s be honest. You can’t live in a bubble. (Or perhaps you can … but it’s not exactly easy or fun to do.) Even though we’re being extra-mindful of the things we purchase or choose for our family to enjoy, we still like to be entertained. That’s why our family has been very excited to discover audio theater.
What’s audio theatre? Well, it’s kind of like “books on tape” for those of you my age and older. Except today’s audio theater is way better than any old “book on tape” you might have prior experience with. Modern audio theater is extremely well-done. It’s like going to the movies … without watching a thing.
Remember the good old days when families gathered around the radio to listen to morally relevant, quality stories played out over the airwaves? Well, audio theater is similar to that concept, except it is done with modern production equipment and expert production teams that make the overall quality top-of-the-line, much like a high-budget Hollywood blockbuster movie. Audio theater is packed with all sorts of special sound effects, real actors portraying the characters voices, and beautiful music, making it more than “just another audio book” you listen to.
Audio theater is just like reading, except it’s a lot more fun and engaging. (At least that’s what my kids say.) From exciting renditions of classic books to productions of more modern novels, audio theater is becoming a more popular entertainment choice for families, those who love books, and those who just enjoy a good story, without all the unnecessary garbage.
I like audio theater for many reasons. One, it is real theater you can take along with you … in the car, on long trips, and wherever you go. Two, it makes my kids use their imaginations again. There are no flashy screens to fool with and no visual over-stimulation to worry about. Instead, my kids paint their own pictures in their mind as they listen to the story. Third, it’s like sneaking good literature and educational materials into their lives, without them even noticing it.
Recently our family enjoyed one of the newest audio theater dramas on the market, Under Drake’s Flag. After listening to many different audio theater CDs over the years as a family I was pretty certain there was nothing new under the sun. But I was wrong.
Under Drake’s Flag was by far and large, one of the best … if not the best audio drama we have ever enjoyed as a family. Before I knew it, we had spent 2 short hours gathered together on the couch, attention rapt and captivated by the story. My son, who just happens to have a severe case of dyslexia, said it was the most fun book he had ever “read” in his entire life.
What makes Under Drake’s Flag different from the other audio theater dramas we’ve enjoyed?
First and foremost, Under Drake’s Flag wasn’t just another good story set to music or with cool sound effects. (Although there are some really cool sound effects, and the music is beyond excellent.) Under Drake’s Flag is among some of the best stories in classic literature, straight from the prolific English novelist, G.A. Henty.
Under Drake’s Flag combines history, biography, character training and good Christian teaching in one adventure story that keeps young children and adults captivated at every turn. This CD set or digital download is a teaching tool, to help parents like you and me accomplish several important things:
- It helps give kids a love of literature and history.
- It exposes families to great biographies of real heroes of the faith.
- It helps build a strong good moral compass in an increasingly unstable world. It’s the perfect jumping-off point for family discussions and devotionals.
Audio Theater At Its Best
Under Drake’s Flag was created with only superior quality in mind. The producers spared no expense in the project, and you can tell from the moment you listen to the CDs or the digital download. In fact, the production team for Under Drake’s Flag flew to England to hire only the finest British radio and Shakespearian theatre actors to be the voices of the characters you come to love in the story.
The executive producer assembled a top-notch production crew, packed with award-winning experts in their fields of expertise. John Campbell, who composed the original score for C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, joined the team to compose the original score for Under Drake’s Flag.
Mark Drury, sound design project engineer, invested over 1,000 hours of work in Under Drake’s Flag. He’s well known in the industry for lending his talents to projects like Adventures in Odyssey, Narnia, and Lamplighter Theater. (If you’re a fan of any of those great audio dramas, you will really love Under Drake’s Flag.)
Mom & Dad, Are You Exasperated With ?
If you’re like many parents, you probably feel like you’re a taxi driver. Running from work to home to the next activity at church or perhaps its music lessons, Jujitsu or basketball…
Audio theater is take-it-with-you teaching you can sneak into your busy schedule. Listen in the car, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or when you travel to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. Our family likes to listen to audio theater after mealtime. It helps us relax and gives us time to discuss it together. (And we don’t have to worry about the junk on television that’s fighting for our kids’ attention.)
There are lots of options for every lifestyle. If you’ve never tried it, you really owe it to yourself to give audio theater a shot. You just might find your new favorite family pastime. Learn more at HentyAlive.com.