What is it?
Times Tales is designed for ages 5 and up and is a set of two animated lessons that provide stories about the numbers: 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 to make the math facts easy to memorize. Each number is given its very own character to represent the number. The character has the number inside of it. Additionally, there are printable materials to reinforce the animated lessons.
What is Included?
There are two options for purchasing the program. There is a physical DVD and CD with printables or you can purchase it as a digital download with pdfs of the printables and answer key and MP4 videos. The first video covers the upper 3's and 4's and has a running time of about 29 minutes and the second covers the upper 6's, 7's, 8's, and 9's and is about 28 minutes. The printable materials include written tests, flashcards, a crossword puzzle, and a game.
How does it work?
The focus of Times Tales is to help children remember the facts that can't be quickly calculated by skip counting. These include the following facts and their commutative and inverse operations by default, so when you learn 3x6 it can be reversed to 6x3 and 18 can be divided by 3 and 6 to get the proper answers:
- 3x6; 4x6; 6x6; 6x7; 6x8; 6x9
- 3x7; 4x7; 7x7; 7x8; 7x9
- 3x8; 4x8; 8x8,8x9
- 3x9; 4x9; 9x9
Hannah is the host and introduces the program and characters. She tells the stories and teaches all along the journey.
The videos are separated into segments.
1.The first segment in part 1 introduces the characters and provides a character quiz.
2. The second segment tells the stories and has a story quiz. A sample story is, "Mrs. Week sat on a Chair and fished. She caught 2 boots and 8 trout."
3. The next segment has pictures of the stories and allows the children to tell the story.
4. Then there is the Game Show Quiz where children practice flashcards: with the character pictures, the numbers alone, and then as a division challenge.
Once this is completed without mistakes, they recommend that you wait a week between watching the second part while practicing the printable reinforcements between parts.
Flashcards with pictures
Part 2 repeats the same set of segments and the practice with the exception of the introduction of characters.
We watched the videos over our lunch time for a week. Then it was time to practice the reinforcements for a week. Then we moved on to part 2 and the process repeats.
Going forward with the boys I plan to separate the segments to days. So for the first segment, we would watch it on the first day. On the second day rewatch it and move on to the second segment. And then continue throughout the week.
We will continue using the reinforcements to practice the facts, especially the game.
After going through part 1, I had an idea to track the girls' improvement. I had each of the girls take the quiz for part 2 before and after the week of watching and practicing. Jo-Jo improved by one second and there was no change for Ceesa. I guess they knew their facts pretty well after all. I was hoping for a more dramatic improvement out of them.
However, my biggest surprise was Li. He picked up the stories rights away. While he still needs to practice them with the numbers only, he learned a lot. I wish I would have used this much earlier with the girls because it would have saved a lot of frustration for all of us. I look forward to Li's and baby Wheel's experience with the times tables now that we have this option. Before I dreaded working on them.
Drawing of one of the stories by Li
We would love to see poster-sized pictures of the characters included to hang up while we are learning the facts. Additionally it would be nice to have a copy of the script or stories so that we could practice the stories without watching the video each time.
We recommend this for those that have specific trouble with the upper times tables, for children just beginning to learn their times tables, and those that have specific gaps that they want to remember. We'd suggest checking out their website for a sample video and download to see if it would be a good fit for your family.
Wishing you homeschool blessings,
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