Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Times Tables the Fun Way

Times tables are something that are not often focused on in schools anymore. That is why I am glad to be able to strengthen my kids ability by reviewing Times Alive from Times Tables the Fun Way. 

 What are they?

They are an online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way. 

I am glad to be able to review this because like I said, my kids have struggled with memorizing their times tables. And they aren't bad at math either. They just struggle with knowing right away that 12 x 12 = 144. 

So when we are walking down the street, I will test them and alternate between the two of them (and addition problems for my kinder) to test and strengthen their skills. 

But, it is time to come to grips that this coming generation is very digital based. So having an online program to be able to cater just to the needs of learning ones times tables is a great asset to have. 

I also think that this is a great benefit regardless if you home school or not with your children because I can guarantee has having worked in classrooms before that not all kids are getting taught the memorization skills like we were growing up. It is not emphasized as important as it was when I was growing up. Frankly, I think this is incredibly disappointing because it makes math harder for the kids and then they are being taught ways their parents have a hard time understanding themselves how to do. How are the parents suppose to help support their child in that?

This is one of those ways...

Regardless of schooling stature of your child, you can use this for them to be able to help your child perfect their times tables.

My older son, who is in the fifth grade, found it boring. Like, extremely boring. He needed the practice but the way the story telling was done was too cheesy for him and too slow. Granted, he is older and in a more advanced level than my daughter, I thought it would be great for him to try out to gauge where he was in abilities but also gauge the program since I have older children and younger children as well. 

My middle child, my daughter, who is in third grade, is who I think this is more geared for. She definitely thought some of the way the story telling was done was cheesy but she said she liked it because it helped her remember things better. Her words, not mine. I did see when she got to the page to practice, like a homework sheet, she was more frustrated at a few of the problems. But they did a great job but putting in some easy ones. 

This was very important I felt. It was good in building her self confidence in being able to get a lot of the answers right in one of them to be able to try at the hardest ones more. 

I really like that they have the progress reports as well. And what is even better about it is that you can skip back and forth depending on your child's strengths. 

Where a child is capable of learning in terms of times tables doesn't always make sense in terms of it building. For example, first you learn shapes and colours, then addition, then subtraction then multiply. But in multiplication, sometimes on number and it's sequence is harder to remember than another. One child may remember all the 12 facts easily but struggle with the 6 facts. So this allows them to be able to practice the ones that are unique to their abilities. 

When contacting the customer service, the one thing I noticed was that the way I got to do the check out was easy but confusing. Because I was testing the product out, they made me do an account but use an alternative log in that they give to testers, which made zero sense to me. But they explained way and it made a little more sense to me, even if that is not how I would have done it. My guess is that it was a technical issue--maybe the testing period is shorter than the account period so they had to create a special log in for it. That is my guess. 

They were good at explaining it and keeping the conversation open when I had questions. I appreciated that! So that is something as a customer you can count on. 

Overall, I felt that the gearing of the animation and story telling didn't match with the age level appropriateness as much as I would have hoped for so I agree with my kids it was cheesy. That being said, it did help my daughter and at the end of the day, that is what really matters. So it did it's job. 

I would say that this is best for 2nd and 3rd graders. 

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Times Tables the Fun Way {Review}

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