Math has always been one of EJ’s favorite topics. I think part of this began since it came quite easily to him. But then he got into multiplication and things got a little more tricky. For some reason, he had trouble trying to remember his times tables and wanted to fall back into finding a solution through a series of addition equations.
How This Program Works
We received a six-month subscription to Online Times Alive along with the Times Alive App to use on our iPad. The online version will work for more than one student but the kids’ progress will only be recorded on one computer so they have to use the same one unless you want to purchase an extra subscription. This was fine for us but some families could find it a bit challenging.
The app is built for an individual student but you can clear it and start over for another student in the future. This is handy if you have children at various levels with older ones finishing up before younger siblings need this program.
Both the online program and app are based on the book “Times Table the Fun Way.” They teach children their multiplication tables through videos and songs. I found them quite catchy and easy to remember. Here’s a sample from the City Creek website that shows just one example.
So basically, there are easily remembered songs and stories for each number combination for multiplication tables from 0 to 9. A simple concept but one that is quite effective.
How We Used the Program
Since we reviewed this during the summer, having the iPad app was a great way to bring it along with us. This also allowed EJ to play the videos on himself and move ahead with the program at his own pace. He began with the very first lessons to see what each of the stories was like even with the more simple numbers such as 1x? and 0x?
Once he began with the app he continued there since we couldn’t figure out how to track his progress on both the computer and app. Since the app works basically the same way as the online version this worked out well.
EJ did comment that the videos felt like they were too young for him. He thought his little cousin who is in second grade would love it.
Of course, this didn’t stop him from playing and learning that even a tween like him could benefit from the stories. There were a couple of times when he forgot one of the facts (for example 7×8) and he would think back to the song and there was the answer. Success!
Overall I thought this was a solid program where kids could learn times tables the fun way. I did agree with EJ though that it felt a bit young for him. This meant that while it was an effective way for him to learn multiplication, it made him feel as though he was working at a younger level. He said he didn’t mind because he knew he was “checking it out” for other families and said he thought it was good.
I found the program to be simple from a parent’s point of view. It was completely turn-key (my favorite) and as it says in the teacher’s guide, I could allow EJ to skip areas he was already solid with and also clear areas he might need or want to do again. This made it easy to customize for his needs.
We all agreed that the little rhymes and songs were effective but did feel a little young. Of course, we were dealing with a 12-year-old who needed some review help rather than a child just learning their multiplication tables. For this age, I think it would have been spot on.
I also liked that it was easy to see EJ’s progress. Since he was working on the app most of the time I created another student profile on the computer so I could see what the progress reports were like there. It also allowed me to see how easy it is for students to do their work and follow along with the order of the lessons. The instructions are very clear.
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Overall I thought this was a good program. It was clearly effective in teaching children the times tables in a fun way. While it may not be the perfect fit for our family because of EJ’s age, it did still work for helping him review the areas he was a little weak on. This will continue to help him as he moves forward into algebra and more complex math equations.