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Lyrical Learning Audio Science Programs

Written by Doug and Dorry Eldon
Recorded by Bobby Horton

Reviewed by Martha Robinson and Mary Leggewie

Purchase details: Lyrical Learning audio science programs. Text, CD or tape, and workbook. $29.50 with CD, $25.50 with tape. Published by Lyrical Learning. Please support HomeschoolChristian.com by buying this program from our Christian Book Distributors link.

Doug and Dorry Eldon, authors of the Lyrical Learning series, have written new lyrics for familiar songs to teach children science concepts. Singer Bobby Horton (Homespun Confederate Songs of America) performs the "traditional, patriotic, and camp tunes of long ago" in a light country style in most cases and adds humor with his presentation. Each set comes with a CD or tape, a text of around 100 pages, and a workbook of about 45 pages.

The texts follow a simple format, but are loaded with information. The musical score and lyrics for the song appear first. Next come several pages of details about the topic and numerous line drawings. At the end of the book, there are sources for more information, a bibliography, reproducible pages of lyrics, and an index.

The workbooks also have an easy-to-understand format. Each song has two to three worksheets with the topics of "lyrics," "objective," and "essay." On the lyrics page, students choose from a box of key vocabulary to fill in the blanks. The objective section has true/false, matching, and short answer questions drawn from the written material in the text as well as the song. The essay section asks the pupil to give longer answers and to dig deeper with questions that require him to draw conclusions from the material. A complete answer key is in the back of the book. Line drawings appear periodically in the workbooks.

While not specifically Christian in content, the Lyrical Learning program avoids controversial topics in science. Evolution is not addressed, and the "old earth" versus "young earth" discussion is also by-passed.

Four volumes of Lyrical Learning, three life science and one earth science, are currently available.

Lyrical Life Science Volume 1 -- Volume 1 begins at the beginning -- with the scientific method and general divisions of living things. Songs on invertebrates, cold-blooded vertebrates, and birds address the more familiar animals, while songs on algae, fungi, protozoa, viruses, and bacteria teach the smaller life forms. DNA is briefly introduced in one song about genetics. The eleven tunes in Volume 1 are widely known and include "Oh, Susanna," "Shortnin' Bread," "Yankee Doodle," and "Battle Hymn of the Republic." A veterinarian provided technical support for both Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Lyrical Life Science Volume 2 -- Volume 2 is devoted almost entirely to mammals with just three of the sixteen songs, "Ecology" (two songs) and "Biomes," addressing other subjects. Thirteen songs break down the mammals into groups like carnivores, primates, rodents, bats, whales, and sirenians. This volume has some very appealing tunes including an Elvis-like rendition of "Love Me Tender, Love Me True" with words of "Monotremes, marsupials, most live in Australia;" and a stereo version of horses running to "Home on the Range" with a partial chorus of "When they run in a herd, they are much more secure from becoming some carnivore's prey."

Lyrical Life Science Volume 3 -- Volume 3 uses some less well-known tunes to teach the systems of the human body. An introductory song is followed by songs about the skeletal, muscular, nervous, sensory, reproductive, digestive, excretory, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, and endocrine systems. The final song is a short one about "Ologies" meaning "the study of." The reproductive system song, set to an old Irish waltz, emphasizes the mystery of life, and the text, which does include line drawings of reproductive organs, addresses the biological aspects of reproduction without getting too specific about how the egg and sperm join. The developing fetus is described by trimester. A physician provided technical support for this volume.

Lyrical Earth Science Volume 1 -- Volume 1 of earth science introduces geology. Seventeen songs provide information on the crust of the earth: building and moving it, its composition, wearing it down. Specific topics include earthquakes, volcanoes, minerals, types of rocks, erosion, glaciers, and groundwater. An additional song explains topographic maps. A mixture of tunes that one recognizes by sound rather than name and old favorites such as "Wabash Cannonball" and "Anchors Away" are on this audio. There is no song to teach the geologic column or any reference to age besides the word "past," so it should not be objectionable to "young earth" Christians.

Martha's Recommendation: The Lyrical Learning programs are outstanding! Recommended for middle school ages, the material provides an excellent introduction for all students. Younger children may not understand all concepts but learning by singing will allow them to recall it later. Older students, and even parents, are likely to find information new to them.

The texts provide a concise overview of topics with enough illustrations to be appealing, but not overwhelming. The workbooks are straightforward, but provide a grading opportunity that is needed for those homeschoolers who are required to keep portfolios.

While some of the words of a few songs are slightly difficult to understand, the lyrics sheets overcome this issue. Bobby Horton's variety of styles and humorous approach to singing keeps the listener's interest. The sound effects and different instruments add depth to these well-known tunes.

Lyrical Learning programs provide a fun way to cover as much science as your child needs before high school and a superb supplement for older students.

Mary's Recommendation: We love the Lyrical Learning sets in our home! The addition of the Lyrical Earth Science set made my geologist husband happy. This is one of the few companies that produces learning songs that we continue to sing with pleasure, and that the children will listen to without prodding.

Patty Alberg of Builder Books did a detailed comparison of Lyrical Life Science with a major Christian publisher's life science program, and felt that it covered all the same material (but a lot more fun!).

I agree heartily with Martha that younger children can learn the songs before they even understand them, giving them a head start when they're ready for those topics. Lyrical Learning is a "must own" product.

HomeschoolChristian.com resources related to this review:

HomeschoolChristian.com's Science section
Review of Archimedes and the Door of Science
Review of Come Learn With Me series
Review of Discoveries in Science
Review of My Name is Gene and Fun With Gene
Review of Signs and Seasons, Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy
Review of Sing Along With the Weather Dude
Review of Wild Days, Creating Discovery Journals
Review of Under the Waves
Review of The Story of Mr. Pippin
Review of Becoming Whole: Eating Your Way to Bountiful Health

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