Most every child at some point is asked to learn their multiplication facts. I had not yet begun multiplication with my 6 year old so when I was given a subscription to Times Alive in exchange for my honest review, I gladly accepted.
Times Alive from Times Tables the Fun Way is a monthly subscription to 18 online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way.
The times tables from 0 – 9 up to 9 X 9 is taught. So to be clear, 3 X 9 is taught, 3 X 10, 3 X 11, & 3 X 12 is not. Some facts are taught with a story, and some are taught with tricks to find the answer.
Each fact usually begins with a story. The words of the story are on the screen if the child wants to follow along.
How We Used Times Alive In Our Homeschool
The first time we used Times Alive, I sat down with my 6-year-old to help her navigate the mouse. But after a few minutes she wanted to use the mouse herself and I was soon not needed. She was able to use the program independently.
As a single mom juggling way too many things, I always seem to be multi-tasking, helping my daughter with her learning while doing everything else. So when my daughter is able to quietly work without me, and I get uninterrupted time to get whatever I need to done, this is a HUGE perk for me.
My daughter enjoyed using the program and especially loved the painting sections. She didn’t always do the quizzes. She would do a few questions, but then got bored and jumped to the next section. But learning is more important to me than being tested, so this was not an issue with me.
Right-brained Way to Learn the Times Tables
Initially I was unsure of this right-brained approach to learning the times tables. It just didn’t seem like learning real math and was very foreign to the way I had learned.
I was a child that loved math and taught myself the times tables by sitting in front of my multiplication chart and simply learning them – rote memorization. This worked for me and I was virtually unbeatable when it came to any kind of multiplication challenge when I was a kid.
My daughter is also very good at math, but not obsessed with it like I was as a child. I feel like beginning her multiplication learning with this right-brained method is a good fit for her learning style. For now she can think of 6X6 as thirsty sixes, and 3X3 as “blind rhymes with nine”. And hopefully she will gradually learn her multiplication facts well enough she won’t have to recall its “story”.
My Final Verdict on Times Alive
The animation is not as high-tech as kids are used to now a days, and I had some initial doubts. For example, the “trick” they teach to learn the 9 times tables seemed like it had too many steps in my opinion, when there are much simpler ways to learn it.
But the proof is in the pudding as they say. My opinion would be largely based on if my daughter would be able to give me the answers to multiplication questions I randomly asked her.
And so when I randomly would ask her a question, sometimes she wouldn’t remember the answer, sometimes she mixed up the stories, but many times she would, after thinking for a few seconds, tell me the correct answer. She would often follow her answer by telling me the complete detailed story of that multiplication fact.
While she has completed all the lessons, she has only used the program 4 separate times. So I feel like a couple more times through the lessons and she will have all the stories down pat and know her multiplication facts up to 9X9 without hesitation.
Times Alive would be especially helpful for children that would otherwise have a difficult time learning their times tables.
As it’s not very expensive, and a rather painless way for kids to learn their times tables, and for all the reasons mentioned above, I think Times Alive is a great option to consider when your kids need to learn their times tables.