From The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond
How many times a week do you get a song stuck in your head and find yourself unable to shake it? From almost the beginning of our (seven year; is that possible?) homeschooling experience, I’ve used memory CD’s from Audio Memory to do just that: help drill basic geography, grammar, math, and history facts into my children’s minds by getting songs, well, stuck in their heads.
Geography Songs started the whole thing for us. They’re brilliant. Thirty-three catchy (no really, they are) tunes give your children (and you) no choice but to memorize countries that comprise the different regions of the world—the British Isles, southern Europe, southeast Asia, Scandinavia, to name a few—as well as the continents, the oceans, and the planets in our solar system.
You have to listen to them to understand.
Eastern Europe is one of my favorites:
Poland, Latvia, Hun-ga-ry
These are the countries of Eastern Europe: E-U-R-O-P-E
Here’s an old–very, very, very old—peek at my (then very wittle) girls performing this song. They’re more interested in wigging out and performing an improvisational dance routine than enunciating the song lyrics, but you can get a sense of how easy it is for kids to grasp the songs:
In the second part of the video, we’d switched to Grammar Songs which is another jewel.
If you’re really lucky, you’ll have the following song down pat within two hours after hearing it for the first time:
“I’m running, jumping, singing
That’s because I am a verb.
I’m hopping, dancing, ringing
That’s because I am a verb.
I’m coming, going, hitting, throwing
Humming, rowing, sitting, blowing, riding, hiding, gliding, sliding – because I’m a verb.
I’m a verb, verb, verb! I’m an action word.
So put me where the action is ’cause I’m an action word.”
The songs are perfect for the Grammar Stage—otherwise known as the first of the three stages of the trivium in the classical education model. In layman’s terms, the grammar stage (roughly, the earlier elementary years) is a time to inundate children with facts, words, and information. The idea is to lay the foundation for more in-depth learning later on; if they’ve already been taught—and have memorized—in what region of the world Estonia resides, when they get older they can begin to study more about Estonia itself: the culture, the history, the people, the politics. (The same concept holds true with introducing young kids to pared-down versions of Shakespeare or Homer: if they grasp the characters and plots at a young age, then when they get older, they can read the original versions and dive more into the language, the intricacies of the plot, the complexity of the characters, etc.)
(We’ll cover the trivium in another post.)
Back to the Audio Memory Songs: there’s also History Songs, which covers American history from 1492 to 1991; Math Songs, which drills basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts into young minds, States and Capitals Songs, and Bible Songs.
Plenty of earworm opportunities!
Audio Memory Songs are available on CD through many retailers, and the songs/albums are available on iTunes for immediate download.
They’ve really stood the test of time in our house…and if nothing else, my children (and their mother) will forever know that Estonia, Latvia, and Slovenia are considered countries of eastern Europe.
I just love this elementary education I’m receiving. - Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman
"The Audio Memory products are a must for every teacher or parent!! As a teacher, I have been using them several times daily for the last 8 years. The elementary students and their parents and I love them and they have learned so much!! I also teach graduate courses for teachers and they all want them for their classes." - Allison Carpenter, Teacher of the Year, Teacher of Teachers at U.C.S.D.
"Our son learned your songs and he was doing 5th grade math at 5 years of age! He's now 13 and has finished Trigonometry. We believe it's because he learned your Math Songs at a very young age." - Dani Merritt, Lawrenceville, GA
"I drove a Special Ed School Bus for many years. The kids loved to sing these songs on the bus. One 12-year-old girl who had never said a word in her life suddenly started singing! That was the beginning of speech for her!" - Ruth B. , New York
Hi there! Ages ago, my 5th grade teacher taught us grammar with the Grammar Songs, and eventually, I did the same with my 6th graders. My mom used to teach geography, and she used your Geography Songs. I know your product works because I have seen it work. - Christina Douglas
This was recommended with our curriculum this year so we tired it. My girls LOVE IT! After the first day they were singing about continents and oceans everywhere they went. I love how the information gets stuck in there heads with music and it's fun and easy to add a bit of goofiness into the learning. :-) - Sarah
I borrowed this CD from a friend and was sad to give it back, so I am ordering one of my own! The lyrics are catchy and the music is styled to be from each region of the world. I, the Mom, sing these songs all the time! Now I just need to know where all the countries are on the map! Wish geography had been this fun when I was in school. :) - Lisa, Montgomery, AL
For me, this is one of those "Oh I've heard about that, I should have a look at some time" item, but wish I had got so much sooner! My boys (now 8 & 10yrs) absolutely love singing along to the catchy tunes and we find ourselves all singing the songs when it's not even going. I would highly recommend this product to anyone who loves music anyway and wants to learn geography at the same time. You will not regret it! - Piggy, New Zealand
I seldom find a product and think that this is a must-buy for every homeschool, but this is one. We have all learnt so much about geography from this cd. The songs are well written and very catchy, and obviously easy to remember. We have had such fun finding the various countries on the map. My older child enjoyed the book and the map. He will listen with the map spread out and the book open. We have even used the cd in the car ofr travel entertainment. The songs have helped me locate places, as I just recall the song in my head and then find it. Excellent value, thank you. - Lindy Greaves, South Africa
My children have been singing these songs and learning all on their own. They love the cd and so do I. - Lynn
My whole family loves this CD!!! It's cute, catchy (I wake up during the night singing the songs, scary huh!) My 2nd & 4th grader request it all the time, and have learned all the songs. I can give them an outline map, and they can correctly label most of the countries. Amazing product! Highly recommend it, whether you homeschool or not. - Teresa
Another great buy! My kids love these songs and so do I. Some of the countries are hard to pronounce but with this CD I know I am teaching my children to say them correctly. - Homeschooling 6
Excellent for teaching your children the names of the countries around the world. My children enjoy the songs, and they have learned where most of the countries of the world are. How many adults can make that claim? - Mylene Brinker
My kids love to impress people with their geography songs! It really amazes me how even my THREE year old can name countries and remembers which region of the world they are found in. If I could improve one thing, though, I would add unlabeled/unnumbered maps to the book to be copied for testing/review. - Christina