Have you ever found yourself at a loss for teaching something? Me too! And multiplication is no exception!
Mind you, math was my favorite subject in school- it came easy to me! But have me teach it? THAT is another story.
I’ll try to keep this short. I currently have a 9 year old and a 7 year old working on their multiplication tables. They had down the easy stuff (0’s, 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, 5’s, 9’s and 10’s)- but give them anything times 4’s, 6’s, 7’s or 8’s- and we were LOST. For awhile I let them use a ‘multiplication machine’- but soon found it was an enabler, NOT a memorization tool. I am terrible at remembering to use flashcards… so I asked around my home school group ‘should I nag at memorizing multiplication facts, or will they get it easier on their own at some point?’ The response was unanimous. The kids HAVE to nail it- NOW.
So my search began. I’ve heard of multiple different tools and curriculum, but one thing stood out in my mind- one mom (who was in the midst of teaching multiple age groups) declared her kids memorized their multiplication facts in TWO WEEKS using Times Tales . Two weeks- now THAT sounds like something I need… as long as it isn’t too good to be true. Ha!
I jumped onto the Times Tales website, watched the samples, and decided that for $15- it was worth a shot. I was NOT disappointed.
Now, I’ll start off by telling you- the video’s are a bit quirky. My 3 year old loved it, but the 7 year old wasn’t impressed (surprisingly, the 9 year old didn’t seem to mind it). I basically told all the kids, they had to watch Video 1 every day for a week, and video 2 every day for the second week. And if it worked- wonderful. If it didn’t- we would start flashcards.
After day 1-3, my 7 year old kept saying, ‘I don’t understand it- this makes no sense to me! It’s confusing me!’ but… my 9 year old was getting it! So we pushed on. By the end of the second week- the kids were basically saying the same things: 7 year old said he was confused and didn’t get it, 9 year old was FLYING through her multiplication facts with EASE!
Fast Forward 3 weeks to today. We sat at math today, and with minimal prodding, BOTH children flew through their multiplication facts! Even the 7 year old, when he would stop and start to get frustrated, I would ask ‘now… wasn’t there a story about Mr. AND Mrs. Snowman?’ (part of the times tales stories) and the light bulb went on! He instantly had the answer.
I think what happened is this: For MOST of the multiplication facts, my 7 year old was picking everything up quicker. Whereas the 9 year old simply struggled with everything outside of 0’s, 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. So when the stories began on the video, 7 year old was trying to figure out WHY he had to know these stories- instead of paying attention to them. 9 year old simply memorized the stories (thereby, memorizing her multiplication facts!). When I could get them both to remember the STORY Times Tales teaches, they had their facts down!
I have, and would recommend Times Tales to any student struggling to memorize their times tables- it is worth it! So head over and check them out- this is an affiliate link, but I wouldn’t share it if I didn’t believe in it!