I have to admit, I am prone to panic attacks over getting my youngest son to learn his multiplication and division facts. We’ve done flashcards, multiplication charts etc., and NONE of it seemed to work. We did have some success when my son was using an online learning program, and so I think that computer-based learning works best for him in this area. That’s why I was so happy to find out that I was going to get to sample the Times Alive software for my latest review.
This program uses songs, cartoons, and other fun activities to help students learn their multiplication facts, and tests show that after using it, children recall 95% of their times tables! Here is a link to a video that explains more about the program:
I used this program with my 4th grade son, and he really enjoyed it. Times Alive is set up in lessons that cover the multiplication facts for the numbers 0-9. When students log on, they see a menu that lists each lesson and the facts covered. The lessons are divided into 3-5 sections each and students watch videos, paint, listen to songs etc. based on the fact they are learning (i.e. 3×4). The lessons themselves are short, and my son would typically complete one section per day. The program includes 17 lessons, and a post test, so it took us about 4 weeks to work through it.
Review tests are included periodically, so students can practice the facts they have already learned while also learning new ones. Parents can pull up a “student progress report” to see how their kids are doing. This report shows which lessons have been completed, which are in progress, and allows you to monitor how well students are mastering the facts based on their test results. Tests are timed, and the progress report shows how many questions the child got correct, what their overall score was (i.e. 95%) and how long it took them to finish. The time information was important to me, because it allowed me to see how quickly my son was going. As he learns his multiplication facts, he should get to the point where he answers them automatically, and this should be reflected in his time getting quicker.
Times Alive was a fun, effective program for learning multiplication facts. While it does only cover multiplication, City Creek press also has products that cover addition facts, as well as kits with other materials you can use with your child to practice multiplication and addition. You can check out the website here:
The Times Alive software CD-Rom will cost $48.95, and the City Creek website has special offers to go along with it, such as getting the software for half price when you buy a multiplication kit. I think the cost is reasonable if you have a child who learns well on a computer. For my son, this really helped to cement his knowledge of mulitiplication, and that was a HUGE help for me! 🙂