Singing through geography

It’s been proven that singing can help you memorize information that would otherwise be difficult to retain.  Geography is no exception.  It’s embarrassing to admit that I probably would make some mistakes if I had to accurately name every state in the union on a map.  I never used ditties and singing to help me keep track of all those obscure details in the world geography class that I took in ninth grade.  Come to think of it, that was my only real experience with the subject.  I never visited it again even in college.

I want my kiddos to be very familiar with geography.  It really helps us avoid that “we’re in the US which is the center of the whole universe” syndrome.  It’s important to know where current events are happening during this tumultuous time in history as well.  That’s really all I have to say about the merits of knowing the globe, and it should be enough. We did Trail Guide to World Geography last year and really enjoyed it, but I didn’t choose to have a full geography curriculum this year since Geography Songs is included in Sonlight Core C.  It is a book of outline maps and a CD with a bunch of songs about every region on earth.  As the Audio Memory website claims, “you never forget what you sing.”  As a user of the program, I can say emphatically that they are right.  You won’t forget it even when you want to.  Not when you’re chopping onion to put in the crockpot with dinner.  Not when you’re tossing sheets in the washing machine.  Not when your fortunate bout with pregnant bladder drags you out of slumber several times a night.  “The Middle East has Israel, Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen, Kuwait…”  We’re only on the second song in our first month of school and the girls already know the names of countries they can barely pronounce as well as how to map them – and this after only spending 1 minute and 40 seconds per day listening to a song while looking at a map.  It’s nothing less than astounding.  I had not a clue that there was a country named Qatar when I was 7.  If you can get past the tinny harmonies and cheesy melodies (and I mean TINNY and CHEESY) you just might learn something about the world.  I can’t complain about something that is proving to be a smashing success.  There I go again, now I can’t get the Middle East song out of my head…”15 countries of southwest Asia, Muslims, Christians, and Jews…”