A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that unlike some kids' albums that sing about math facts, this CD is specifically designed to help kids memorize their times tables. With a climbing metaphor that begins with the easiest-to-learn tables (2, 10, and 5, for instance) listeners climb the imaginary mountain until they finally reach the summit to cover more difficult tables like 6, 7, and 8. Each song is repeated a second time without the answers so kids can test out their skills.
What's the story?
Like many parents, Hap Palmer helped his daughter learn her multiplication tables. But while on homework duty, the award-winning songwriter and educator noticed something special about the way her teacher presented the tables. They began with the easiest tables, like 2 and 5 and then progressed up to the harder ones, sort of like climbing a mountain. Making this idea the basis for his release MULTIPLICATION MOUNTAIN, Palmer has crafted a collection of musical multiplication drills that focus on repetition and reinforcement to get listeners to commit those pesky multiplication tables to memory.
Is it any good?
There are no silly sound effects, goofy voices, or giggle-inspiring jokes on this CD, so that means it's not the barrel of laughs that some kids' albums can be. But just because it isn't in-your-face funny, doesn't mean it won't have kid-appeal. In fact, Multiplication Mountain makes learning the multiplication tables an appealing and even entertaining process. Hap Palmer does a good balancing act of creating cute, appealing lyrics that are sure to engage young listeners without distracting them from the task at hand. Each multiplication table gets its own easy-to-remember song, like "Waltzing Through the Threes," "Rockin' the Fours," and "Fives Alive." This makes it a great resource for parents who can pop the CD in on a car ride or during homework crunch time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how music can help you learn. Do you think it's more enjoyable to learn your multiplication facts by memorizing songs rather than simply studying numbers on a page? Can you think of any other lessons that you would like to learn with music? Try making up your own song to help you remember something you've learned?