Well, this was a fun and educational one! Our 2nd grader had a blast going through Times Alive by Times Tables the Fun Way! to learn his times tables and was excited when he was able to use it. They describe it as "online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way." He wanted to try it as soon as I received it. How could I refuse?
Ok, I just have to tell you that Times Alive REALLY works! My son didn't know ANY of his facts when we started. We had talked about multiplication before, you know, while we're at the grocery store I would be getting 3 packages of something that cost $2.00 each. I would ask him, "How much would this cost if I get these 3 packages?" He would answer "$6.00". Then I would ask, "Right! How did you get that answer?" He would tell me, "Well, I just added $2.00 + $2.00 and that equals $4.00 and then I added another $2.00 which makes it $6.00." I told him, "Did you know that you just did multiplication?" His eyes would light up and he would say, "Really?" I explained that multiplication is just fast adding. I said, "The multiplication problem that you did was 2x3=6." He, of course, thought that it was so cool that he was doing multiplication like his older brother!
I want to show you how much he learned in just 3 weeks of using Times Alive. He started to get frustrated because he couldn't remember a few of the facts, so I made this spreadsheet to show him how much he was learning. As he knew more, I would fill in more of the spreadsheet.
Here's how he started on Day 1:
(just click on the picture if you'd like to print this to use it with your own children)
As you can see, and as I stated above, he knew the concept of multiplication, but we hadn't started on any of the facts. He didn't know any of them when we started Times Alive.
At the end of 2 weeks, here is what he knew.
He didn't know all of them right away, but he knew tricks in order to figure them out. After 2 weeks, I'm impressed!
Five years ago, I taught our older son his multiplication tables. The 2s, 5s, and 10s were pretty easy to teach. He knew how to count by them, so learning their facts were the easiest. After that, I didn't know what to do. I scoured the internet looking for tricks in order to help him learn his facts. I have to tell you, it was like pulling teeth trying to get him to memorize his multiplication facts. It took a long, long time for him to get most of them. It took years for him to remember all of them. To him, the multiplication facts were random pieces of information to memorize. He doesn't do well with "random". Most kids don't.
To tell you the truth, I dreaded having to teach our youngest him multiplication facts. But then, (trumpet sounds), in comes Times Tables the Fun Way!. I honestly didn't think that it was going to work. I didn't think that watching a few stories and hearing a few songs would teach him his multiplication facts. And if it did, I didn't think that he would remember them the next day or the next week. But, I was so wrong! He learned his facts and he actually remembers them!
How do they do it? It's through online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way.
Here's one of the stories:
"7" bounces on his "8" shaped trampoline and then on his "5" shaped diving board and into his "6" shaped diving board. 7x8=56. It seemed silly to me at first and I wondered how this was going to work. But it really did. He would hear the story and know what it was. That was it - the hook. Times Tables the Fun Way! gives children the hook they need so that the multiplication facts aren't random.
I would highly recommend Times Alive to anyone wanting their child learn there multiplication facts. It is a fun and easy way for them to learn their facts. It is also a fast way and non-torturous (is that a word?) way for your children to learn multiplication! Finally!