Can I just start by telling you how thankful I am to The Trigger Memory Co. for their incredible product, Times Tales? I mean, does just the word multiplication tables send shudders down anyone else's spine?
I was not and am not a naturally math-gifted person. And I remember sweating and crying over learning multiplication facts. I also remember not too long ago, a few of my olders having the same issues. But not Colby! He was just recently introduced to those facts in his regular math program, and I was not impressed with how they were being taught. I knew we were headed down the same 'ole math-tear-stained path. And of course, seriously folks, Times Tales popped up as one of our vendors to review. I love how God works that way!
We have been blessed to review Times Tales digital download program for the past month or so and I am happy to say we are hooked! More on that in a minute. Just like the DVD program, the downloadable version has two parts that you watch and includes 3 PDF files that include worksheets, practice tests and tests, and dice for you to print out and assemble.
Times Tales is a mnemonic-based program that appeals to young children, and many happy moms I suspect! Each number has been assigned a name and they then become characters in stories. So see that number 7 below? She is Mrs. Weeks. The 8s are Mr. and Mrs. Snowman. Together they create stories that help children learn their multiplication facts,
First the characters are introduced. Then the child learns the story associated with the different characters. Then they can practice the stories by filling in parts as the narrator, Hannah, leaves spaces in the story so you can stop the lesson and fill in the details. They also are encouraged to beat the clock with their answers. Part 1 teaches half the facts and Part 2 teaches the second set. Only higher level multiplication facts are taught, so you will not hear ones, twos, fives and such, but only the harder facts. You know, the ones you still have to think about! So 9 x 4 = 36 is taught: "The chair got stuck in the tree house after someone tied on 3 kites and 6 balloons." The kids have been taught that the 4 is a chair and the tree house is a 9, and then shown the answer is in the problem.
In addition to the video lessons, there are dice you can print out to use as a multiplication game. I have to tell you, that was my son's favorite thing. At age 8, games are a highlight of our day, even if they involve numbers.
What you see below is a quiet version of the game. What usually transpired was Colby would throw them across the room and then run to see what the numbers were and shout out the answer. Siblings and dad even got challenged a few times. These little dice have gotten a lot of use, hence the dented 4, so I would recommend you print them on card stock! Live and learn!
Another part of the PDF files are the worksheets and tests. The crossword puzzles help the child remember the stories, while the practice tests, with the numbers characterized, and the tests, with standard numbers, can be used to test your child's knowledge whenever you feel they are ready.
So how did it work for us?
Without trying to sound like a commercial, I LOVE this program! In two weeks Colby knew these facts like the back of his hand. Seriously!
While I had a hard time learning the characters and remembering the story, they clicked for him with no problems. He actually seemed a little perturbed a few times when I would forget them.
Here's what I did. He watched Part 1 for 4 days in a row. Each day we would go through the flashcards and play the dice game to practice for a few minutes. Then on Friday, I had him do the worksheet and pretest. The following Monday, I had him watch the video again and then take the test. He aced it.
We repeated the process again, but this time in half the time with part three. Part of that is due to the fact that they already "know" the characters. He once again aced the test.
Multiplication facts- D-O-N-E! We are holding off on the division lessons for a few months when his math program gets to that point.
I allow Colby to watch both parts of the videos once a week for review, but only because he literally begs me to. He likes it that much, and I figure the review won't hurt him. We have since gone back to the his regular math and are sailing through it. If ever he gets stuck on a fact all I have to say is think of your Times Tales and he immediately knows the answer.
Now I would say that is a program worth it's weight in gold! How about you?
Because of all the components to this program, I think it will be a great addition for any learning style. It is hands on as well as filling the needs of auditory and visual learners as well.