Learning multiplication facts has not been our youngest daughter’s favorite thing in school. It’s been a challenge, for mother and for daughter. That is why I was excited to get a chance to try Times Alive! from Times Tables the Fun Way. Their online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way just might be what Bekah needed to make those times tables concrete.
I’m not sure there is one best way to learn multiplication because it seems every one of my children came up with their own unique method, but when I read that Times Alive! uses a method of pictures and stories to teach times tables, I knew it was something we had to try.
I first heard about Times Alive a few years back from a couple of my homeschool mom friends. Their children had fun and the moms saw good results. Sounded like a winning combination to me, so I was happy to sign up.
Setting up our account was easy. And once we remembered to use her EXACT log in information we were ready to go! The child using Times Tables the Fun Way is our youngest, 10 years old, who’s been having difficulty getting those multiplication facts memorized. I had high hopes, she was a bit resistant.
I was happy to see a pre-test activity first thing. This helped me gauge my daughter’s progress. Would she really be able to work through the lessons on her own and would I truly be able to see progress?
Our goal was for Bekah to work through the lessons on her own and be able to retain the facts well enough to recall them on the quizzes. To my surprise she did just that – and quickly. Her answers and scores are recorded, giving her immediate feedback.
The times tables from 0-9 are covered in 18 lessons. There was a good variety in the lessons – stories, music and clever images make the numbers come to life, painting/coloring, etc. Here’s a sample video:
The part she most enjoyed about using Times Alive was being able to fill in the numbers on the worksheets. She liked using the keypad on our laptop computer to type in the answers. Her interest in the stories and songs was minimal. She wanted to get down to business, learn the facts and get on with it. I think if we had used this when she was a couple years younger it would have held her interest a bit longer.
After completing most of the lessons, my daughter is more confident in her multiplication facts but still has not mastered them to the point she can use them without hesitation during her regular math lessons. The little songs and images from Times Alive the Fun Way often come to mind to help her work the problems in her math book, so I believe we’ll work for a bit longer, repeating the lessons again and doing them together out loud as way of reinforcing the multiplication facts.
It took me a little trial and error to learn how to view student progress. To make it more user friendly for Mom (or teacher) I’d like to see a separate tab or page where I could log in and view my student(s) progress without having to go through their log-in page. If I had more than one child using this, it would be more work on my part to monitor everyone’s progress. I would also like to see an easier way to clear the lessons, so she can re-do the ones she did not retain as well.
It often takes more than one sensory pathway to really make things click in our brains – using the eyes and the ears, seeing images and hearing rhythm can all work together. For a child who learn best by physically moving through things, this may not be the best program, but might be a good add-on resource.