Saturday, November 20, 2010

Super Great Math Tool!

Our youngest child has just reached the point in math in which he needs to memorize his multiplication tables. As I pulled out the Times Tales materials, and began working through them with him this week, my original excitement over the materials was reawakened. This little program is wonderful!

When we began homeschooling, our oldest son had just "completed" 4th grade in a private school. He had struggled greatly with math that whole year (and had never excelled in it before that). I had worked with him after school. His teacher stayed after to tutor him in math once a week. Yet, it was not clicking. So we began homeschooling his 5th grade year with a 4th grade math book, so we could go back and brush up on what he had missed. At that time I really didn't understand how bad it was. It seems that he had been "passed" up the grade levels from about 2nd grade on with very little understanding of math at all. Needless to say, we had a lot of remedial work to do. 

One significant skill he was missing was the skill of multiplication. He barely understood what it was, and definitely did not have any of the times tables memorized. So as we pulled out his little brothers' 2nd and 3rd grade math books to re-teach what had been missed, we also began to work on his memorization of the times tables.

Working on those times tables with him has to have been one of if not the most frustrating experiences I've had in homeschooling thus far. Whatever the learning block was, he could not remember them. We used flash cards, Math Shark, computer drills, rhymes, repetition...but to no avail. 

Then I received an email with a trial offer of Times Tales. At this point, our middle child had reached the point of needing to memorize the times tables himself, so I decided to give Times Tales a shot.

Let me just say that none of their claims are hype! Our middle child had the times tables memorized in 2 or 3 days. Our oldest - the math struggler - had his down pat in 2 weeks! I about fell over! Once we passed that hurdle, we were able to cover a lot more ground, and he finished that school year only 1 grade level behind in math. He is now moving forward more steadily - one of the reasons being that he finally established that foundational skill.

If you have a child who is struggling with his or her multiplication tables, or would simply like to teach that skill quickly and easily, I highly recommend the Times Tales program to you. 

Check out their website:

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