Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Times Tales - This is One of Those *WOW* Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews!

The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW
Our middle child, Joshua, has a difficult time with math. He is excellent at geography and is way above grade level, but with math he has problems. Times tables are one of his weak areas. Our youngest, Jacob, on the other hand, although weak in some areas, is strong at math. I have always been skeptical of methods that try to teach math in nontraditional ways, so, when I had a chance to review Times Tales from The Trigger Memory Co. and did some research on the method I was unconvinced that this method would really work. Boy was I wrong!

Times Tales is very unique in the way it teaches times tables. As the name suggests, it actually uses short stories instead of the traditional math fact memorization. Each number from three t0 nine except five is made into a character that resembles that number. For example, the number three is a butterfly, four is a chair, six is "the sixth grade class", seven is "Mrs. Week", eight is "Mrs. Snowman" and nine is a treehouse. I won't totally give away how they do this, but for each multiplication problem using the above mentioned numbers, there is a short story. Each story reveals the answer to the problem. All the child has to do is remember the short story and he knows the answer to a multiplication problem! And, what makes it even more fun for the parent is that everything is done using quality animated cartoons contained on a DVD or in a download (we received the very easy to do download).

First the child is introduced to the characters and numbers they represent. It is very important to learn each step in the proper order or the child may get confused. If the child doesn't understand what number each character represents, then he won't understand the multiplication problem that the story gives the answer to. After the child is quizzed to make sure they know the character, the stories begin. I mentioned that the quality animation above, well, let me tell you that the stories are equally well done and entertaining. My kids love them, but, I'll tell you about that later. After learning the stories, the child is quizzed again to make sure that they can correctly tell each story in the proper order. It is very important that they learn the proper order or they won't get the problem correct in the end. For example, the story for 8 x 4 goes something like this:

Mrs. Snowman stood on a chair to reach her three buttons and two mittens.

In order for the answer to be correct the child can't mix up the story and say two mittens and three buttons. The story has to be memorized in the exact way it was told.
The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW
You might be wondering how the child is ever going to connect the story to the actual problem. Well, that is where the next step comes in. After the child is sure they know the story, the connection is made to the actual multiplication problem. First they use flashcards with the characters that represent the numbers on them, then they advance to using flashcards with just the regular numbers.

The multiplication problems are divided into two parts. First the child learns the stories for the multiplication problems using the numbers 3 and 4. Then they learn the stories for the problems using the numbers 6,7,8 and 9. They recommend taking a week after part one to review the 3 and 5 multiplication problems using the included printable worksheets, flashcards and games that are included on the DVD or with the download. There are also printables to be used after learning the upper Times Tales as well.

Let me tell you, it really works! I worked with Jacob first. By the end of Part One Jacob almost completely knew his 3 and 4 times tables. And, it was fun! Joshua had almost equal success. They both loved watching the excellently done animated clips that explain and elaborate on each of the Times Tales and that made it easy for them to remember the story. I loved seeing the "ah ha" looks on their faces when they realized how the stories actually told the answers to the problems.

Times Tales by The Trigger Memory Co. is a winner with us! To find out more about this great program click on any one of the highlighted links above. To discover what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew think about Times Tales click on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling! 
Times Tales by the The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW
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