Binary album by The Board of Education
They Might Be Giants makes it sound so easy to put together educational music that is fun and doesn’t sound like a lesson plan, but–take it from this homeschooling mama–it isn’t so easy to do. In fact, I’ve found that there isn’t a lot out there that the kids want to hear in the realm of educational tunes.

But thanks to this band from Seattle that has the touch, we’ve found a CD full of smart songs the kids choose to listen to at any time of the day.

{Keep reading for a chance to win a copy of this CD!}

The Board of Education’s Binary kicks off rocking, but I have to admit that they almost lost me with their kind-of-corny “Welcome to our CD” intro. Thankfully, I let it run past that first 40 seconds, and we were rewarded with Geography Quiz!–one of our favorites on the CD. 

As someone who still feels a little bewildered in front of a world map, I could totally relate to the lyrics: “It used to be that a map of the world / Was so much less complicated / ‘cuz most of eastern Europe / was part of the USSR….” After commiserating with me, The Board of Education launches into an improbably fun chorus that lists all 14 countries that used to be part of the USSR. It is highly entertaining to hear my tween belting out “Azerbaijan and Armenia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan….”

Other songs cover everything from musing over the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket in VASIMR, to singing the praises of the female inventor of kevlar, with the very kid-friendly lyrics, “kevlar is awesome…kevlar it is so very cool.” But you can be assured that these guys know what they are talking about: The trio behind the music consists of author and biologist Kevin Emerson, composer and quantum physicist Eric Goetz, and producer and anthropologist Jon Goff. 

But this isn’t just a CD of memorizing factoids, but also a smart way to talk to kids about things they are experiencing in life: friendship in Binary, starting a new school in First Day, and feeling left out in Three. In both First Day and Three, I was struck by how very real the emotions they sing of are–there is no sugarcoating, no “hey, kids, school is great!” Instead, there is total validation for the feelings kids have, which makes the songs so relatable. 

And for Star Wars fans, Why Is Dad So Mad? is one of my favorite kindie songs ever with lyrics that crack me up every time. It’s as if my son who adores everything Star Wars is singing to his father who I can just see holding his fist to the sky and singing, You don’t know the power of the dark side of George Lucas / It’s too late for me son. Awesome.

As is this CD. Well worth it for you parents of grade-school kids, especially to hearing them singing about Uzbekistan instead of another chorus of Gangnam Style. –Christina

Purchase or download a copy of The Board of Education’s Binary from our affiliate Amazon.

Congratulations to Jeanna B!  She won a copy of The Board of Education’s Binary CD.

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