I was curious when I first put the DVD on to watch it with my kiddos. The method is simply stories that provide students with a "memory peg" allowing them to quickly recall otherwise abstract facts. The stories aren't exciting and they're only a couple sentences long each, things like:
After each story, the video shows how it translates into math problems. This one means 7 x 4 = 28. Not sure how we arrived at that? Just wait and see! After the stories, there are flash card reminders and timed reviews during which you pause the video to tell the story. During the beginning of the DVD, you learn the characters, each of which symbolizes a number. For example, Mrs. Week is the number 7. A chair is the number 4. A treehouse is the number 9. And so on. As we watched, I wondered if it was really working.
It's worth noting that Times Tales only goes through the 3,4,6,7,8, and 9 multiplication facts, but these are the ones it's hardest to remember. It doesn't cover 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10 which wasn't a problem for us as those are the super easy ones. The program also comes with bonus division problems which is definitely a plus! I really love that it comes with so many printables-- 24 pages total --including a dice game for each part, 4 written tests (2 with picture helps; 2 without), flashcards, and crossword puzzles.
The DVD is broken into Parts 1 and 2. On the first day, we watched Part 1, did the printable crossword puzzles, and then took the first quiz. My 9 and 10 year olds scored 100%! The next day, we watched Part 2, played the dice game that came with the DVD, and then took the quiz with picture helps. Once again, 100%. The following day, I had the kiddos take the quiz above. Again, 100%! I was so impressed I can't even tell you! Below, you can see my kiddos playing the dice game. This is after watching the video one time. Sometimes they have the math facts memorized even when they don't remember exactly how the story goes but they definitely know the answers!
Ways to Use Times Tales with your Kids:
- In a homeschool setting, like we did.
- After school with kiddos who are having trouble memorizing their times tables (I really wish we'd had this when I was a kid!)
- For kiddos with learning disabilities. There are so many success stories of this working for kids when other programs have failed.
- In an elementary school classroom. I can't even imagine how many less papers my 5th grade teacher would have had to grade! We did multiplication drills every single day during our 2nd semester! This really beats that.
I think it's important to point out that the purpose of Times Tales is to teach memorization. Children still need to understand the concept of multiplication -- the fact that 7x4=28 means 7 groups of 4 equals 28 needs to be understood. I actually taught my kiddos this using Lego bricks (bookmark the lesson plan here). They loved it and it worked! It was the perfect combination along with the Times Tales video. This is one product worth buying! It's so amazing, but if you need more than just my recommendation, head to Amazon and read all the raving reviews... but do not buy the DVD there -- it costs too much with them.
Times Tales would be a great addition to the stocking of any elementary school teacher, homeschooling parent, or kiddo struggling with their times tables or about to learn them. I wish I'd been one of the few kids in my class who had her times tables memorized on the first day back to school after winter break!
The Perfect Educational Gift
About the All-Star Blogger
Celena Marie is a historical fiction writer and graduate school student majoring in Elementary Education. She’s been homeschooling her four kiddos for five years and absolutely loves it! She blogs about motherhood, homeschooling, travel, and fashion at The Traveling Sisterhood.