I was about at my wits end. My kiddo is in 4th grade, and still hadn’t learned the times tables. She has been struggling a little more each year to keep up in math. It was frustrating, but really quite sad because she used to LOVE math, and now I was frequently hearing “I hate math! I’m no good at math.”
We’d tried everything, flashcards, multiplication war, computer games, everything I could think of. It didn’t seem to matter how long we spent trying to memorize the times tables, it just never sunk in. It got to the point if I even brought up the subject it immediately turned to yelling, crying and fighting. She’d given up. She did not believe she could learn the times tables. Which is awful, because she’s a super smart kid.
Then one day I was on facebook, and saw an ad for Times Tales.
My first thought? Yeah. Right. There’s no way it’s that easy!
But I went to the site, looked around, and read the reviews, and changed my mind. I could totally see how this could work. It was 20 bucks, and after all the hair pulling I’d been through already, it was worth it.
I started to order Times Tales through Amazon (where I get most everything!) but one of the reviews mentioned I could get the DVD through this site called Educents for 10 dollars cheaper than Amazon. Same product… cheaper price. Well, I’m all about that! So I ordered through Educents on a Friday, and Monday morning the DVD arrived in the mail. I immediately opened the DVD and watched it, so I could see what it was all about, and how it would work. I could see exactly how it works, and I started getting a little excited about sharing it with Hanna. 🙂
On our way home from school I mentioned I’d picked something up for her, and it was going to be super fun. She got excited, finished her homework quickly so we could watch it.
She went through the program, which is broken into two halves. The first half is the lower multiplication tables, 4, 5, and 6 (through 9). The second half is the upper numbers, 7, 8, and 9 (through 9). Each part takes about 30 minutes.
You go through, and they tell you stories. Each story is made up a character that represents a number. Like Mrs Weeks represents 7. She looks like a seven, and of course there are 7 days in a week. 😉
They show you how you can see the number in the character, and not to worry about how it works, but just learn the stories. Once you go through the stories they play a little game show quiz where you’re asked to remember the characters and the stories. Then it moves on to flashcards, using the story characters, and then on to flashcards of the numbers themselves.
They send along printable work sheets, and some other things to work on to really cement the concepts. I was concerned that the concepts would be too “young” for a 9 year old, and she wouldn’t take them seriously, or even watch them because it was for “babies”. But they weren’t at all. She dove right in.
I could not believe it… within 30 minutes Hanna had a much better grasp on her lower multiplication tables. She was able to answer the questions, she was able to go through both sets of flashcards and get the answers right!
What was even more remarkable, is this; they have a “bonus” division section. She was able to go through and quickly answer all the division questions as well. This is something she’s really been struggling with!
I couldn’t believe it. We were seriously ready to get her a tutor because when we tried to work together to learn this it led to nothing but a huge clash, fighting and tears. But now, we don’t need one!
The next day on the way home from school she was really excited and told me she’d used the stories to answer a question asked in class. She was really proud of herself, and was feeling so much better about her ability to do math.
We worked on the first section for a week. Going back over the stories, working through the game show quizzes and the worksheets, and now she knows, I mean really KNOWS her lower multiplication tables.
We started on the upper times tables, and it’s going just as well. I am just amazed that it has happened so quickly, and easily and in such a fun way. There have been no tears, and no fighting, just giggles, and squeals of excitement each time she gets an answer right.
I only wish we’d found Times Tales when she first started learning multiplication a couple years ago! I can only imagine how much easier it would have made math homework time at our house!
If you’ve got a child struggling to learn times tables, whether they’re just beginning, or have been at it for a while, I highly recommend getting them Times Tales. Remember, don’t get the DVD at amazon, you’ll pay 10 dollars more, go to Educents and get it there. 🙂
Good luck, and please, come back and let me know how it goes for your kiddo when you get it!
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