There are two things I’ve dreaded the most since I decided to homeschool my kids: teaching them how to read, and teaching them multiplication and division. I can’t even begin to explain how much I have dreaded this, especially the multiplication part.
Maybe its because I never fully memorized my times tables when I was a kid myself. I mean, I can figure them out – it just takes me a bit longer and you’ll usually see me counting on touch points in my head (my poor head).
As the time drew closer to begin teaching the times tables to my 3rd grader, I began scouring Pinterest for any help I could find. Everything seemed to revolve around the memorization, and deep down I knew that wasn’t going to be enough.
Then I came across Times Tales.
A program that could really teach your children the upper times tables in an hour?! NO way. I had to try it! So, I reached out to Trigger Memory, the company who makes it, and asked them if they’d be willing to let me try the program in exchange for an honest review. Luckily they were happy I reached out and immediately sent me the Times Tales DVD, Times Tales spiral bound print version, and Memory Trigger’s booklet.
I was so excited to get started that I literally popped it into the DVD player as soon as I could get it out of the shipping package! I parked the girls in front of the TV, pressed play, and then the magic happened. The way this program works is they take the numbers and turn them into characters. Then, they tell a story with the characters, and the story always incorporates the answer into the story. The trick is you have to tell the story in the right way or else you may get the answer wrong by mixing up the numbers. Take the story of Mrs. Week and the butterflies for example:
Within 1 hour, not only had my 3rd grader fully memorized half of her upper times tables, but so had my 2nd grader! I wasn’t even going to attempt this with her until next year! And my 4 year old? She remembers the stories! The only reason she also doesn’t have this down pat is because we’re still working on how to write larger numbers passed 10, but believe me if she knew how to say and write the answers, she’d know her times tables too right now!
I was absolutely amazed. I didn’t have to do anything! How easy was that?! I just kept telling my kids over and over “You guys, mommy’s mind is completely blown right now! This is amazing!”
As soon as part 1 of the DVD was over, I printed out the printable dice and put them together. My kids couldn’t wait to play with them! They would roll the dice, see the two characters, and blurt out the full math problem with the answer with no hesitation.
I couldn’t wait to tell all of my friends on Periscope about this awesome program, so I immediately did a quick live ‘scope showing it off within an hour or so of finishing part 1. Check out the video here (and ignore the appearance of course):
A week later, after practicing part one for a few days, we put in the DVD and played part 2. Once again – I was blown away! All it took was an hour for us to watch part 2 in its entirety and by the end of it, the girls knew all of their upper times tables! That’s right – in two hours total I had taught my girls all of their upper times tables!
Now that we’ve learned our times tales I plan on using the Memory Triggers book to help us memorize other math concepts as well. It’s great because it will help us with ways to remember proper vs improper fractions, when to use greater than vs less than, and so many more. I’ve actually already remembered quite a few things just from reading the book myself. I think this is going to be an excellent resource to use in our math class!
Have you tried Times Tales yet? If so I would love if you would share your experience below in the comments! If you haven’t, make sure you go buy it now – you will not regret it!