Though I write reviews for Practical Homeschool magazine, I don't often run reviews in this space. Sometimes, though, I find something that is far superior to anything else in its category, and I want everyone to know about it. That's how I feel about Access to the Answers, an absolutely delightful skip count CD! (Even better, it is the creation of some friends of mine. But even if it weren't, I'd love it just the same!)
Skip counting teaches children to count by multiples rather than simply by ones, and once your children do this, mastering multiplication facts is a breeze. Young children often find it very easy to pick up anything set to music. So imagine teaching your children to count by 9s by singing these lyrics to a lively rendition of of “I've Been Working on the Railroad”:
9, 18, and 27, here comes 36
45 and 54, these are cars that switch
63 and 72, then comes 81
90 and the train ride's over
Nines come blow your horn!
Access to the Answers will have your children tapping their toes, singing along, and learning to count by 2s, 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, and 12s.
Our friends, Amy and Al Parker, teamed up with Lori Morrison, a homeschool mom and math tutor, to create this album. The Parker family provide the catchy and very fun music, complete with sound effects. Each song is sung to a well known melody, making them easy to remember and repeat. The 2's song is about counting falling stars (with appropriate sound effects), the 3's is to the tune of Jingle Bells and has sleigh bells and horses neighing, 4's is a song about counting fireworks and is played with a brass band, and so on.
I've been using Access to the Answers with the young children in our co-op. They are loving the tunes and learning their facts! When introducing the idea of skip counting, I like to first teach “whisper counting.” It works like this for 2s:
1 (whisper), 2 (loud), 3 (whisper), 4 (loud), 5 (whisper), 6 (loud), and so on.
Then I might write the numbers on the board and erase all but the ones we are going to skip count. But singing the songs over and over is what really helps cement the facts in little heads. And this CD makes that really, really fun. Our family has used several other skip count albums through the years, but this one beats them all! I bought a copy for myself and also one for my grandgirls.
You can order copies through Rainbow Resource for $15 or directly from the Parkers. We placed a group order for a number of families from our church and received a significant discount.
Al and Amy run Canoe Creation, an outdoor ministry based in Ohio. If you are looking for a summer camp for your children or a place to take a youth group, you need to check out what they have to offer!
Canoe CreationAl and Amy Parker
6400 Cutler Lake Rd.