Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Times Tales Rocks!

If you've read this blog very long you know that my 10 year old son tends to struggle with math. Though we've found many tools along the way that have definitely helped him, it's still pretty slow going on a typical school day.

Lately he has had trouble learning multiplication facts, so I was on the lookout for a way to help him. The Timez Attack game I told you about last week was good, but unfortunately my computer crashed shortly after installing it, so we haven't been able to play it.

What did catch my eye was a sale on Times Tales, which I've been aware of for quite awhile but hadn't ever seen in person.

The system arrived the other day and I started looking it over, and promptly could not understand what it was going to do to help my kid learn math facts. I read some of the instruction booklet and really, really didn't understand how it would work. This morning I looked at it some more and was thinking that I wondered how quickly I could sell it to someone else. But then I decided to just follow the instructions, even though it wasn't making sense to me, and just see what would happen.

My 8 and 10 year olds sat down with me while we went step by step through the program. After a few minutes I was starting to see how it was going to work. And within 40 minutes BOTH of those boys knew EVERY multiplication fact for numbers 6-9! My 8 year old was smiling from ear to ear, all excited about how "Now I learned multiplication!" and he's only in second grade, so isn't even up to multiplication yet. The 10 year old was more subdued....sort of mildly amazed that his brain had been tricked into learning something. His regular math lesson went easier than usual, and I am pretty darn excited.

Basically, the program works using mnemonic devices and little stories to help the child remember math facts. It's quite clever. The set I got is their older set which just covers numbers 6-9, but tonite I'm ordering the supplement that covers 3s and 4s. It's not expensive, is non-consumable, so is an easy, helpful purchase to use for all of the kids.

40 minutes!! Can you believe that? Check it out here.

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