Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Trigger Memory Systems -- Times Tales


Trigger Memory Systems  sent the TOS Homeschool Crew members Times Tales Deluxe to review.  This is another product I've seen advertised for years, but haven't had a chance to try out.   We were glad to receive it, since it looked like such a fun way to learn math.


When I first opened it, I was confused.  That's what happens when you don't read the instructions first.  A quick glance at the introduction explained the code names for the different numbers.  And then it all made sense!   The Times Tales stories provide a mnemonic-based memory peg to help our children remember the most difficult multiplication facts:  3x6, 3x7, 3x8, 3x9, 4x6, 4x7, 4x8, 4x9, 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 6x9, 7x7, 7x8, 7x9, 8x8, 8x9, and 9x9.


I explained it to my 9 and 11 year old girls and had them read through the first section of number stories.  Both of these daughters have not fully memorized their times tables.  One of them skip counts to figure out multiplication problems, and the other one is just very slow to remember the answers.  I confess that I haven't pushed the matter, as long as their answers were correct.   After they read the stories, the girls spontaneously returned to tell me about them.


A few days later, I had the girls read them again, and then I asked them to tell the stories back to me.  My 9 year old daughter already remembered the number stories, told them to me, and then told me the multiplication fact that went with each story.  My 11 year old daughter didn't recall the stories as easily, after just two reading sessions, but she did remember most of them.  We reviewed the discussion questions and worked with some flash cards.  We'll be enjoying using the flash cards and games as we continue with the program.  Now, the girls need to keep reviewing the times tales, so they can remember the times tables more quickly.


Times Tales Deluxe ($29.95) comes with a teacher's guide, discussion questions, multiplication flash cards (both with the visual clues and just numbers), division flash cards, tests, games, and activity pages.  The first half of the book is the new 3's and 4's supplement to the Original Times Tales, which comprises the second half of the book.  If you bought the original Times Tales, you can now purchase the Upper 3's and 4's Supplement to complete the curriculum ($12.95).  There is also a mini-flip book which has the multiplication stories on it, for your children to easily review in the car, or anywhere.


I am impressed with the Times Tales Deluxe product.  It provides a fun, easy way to remember the more difficult multiplication facts.  I have read so many books that talk about making learning fun, and using games to teach ... but I usually fail to follow through.  I lack the creativity, or perhaps it's more a lack of determination, to create the games myself.  Trigger Memory Systems has done that work for us.  They also have articles, hints & tips, games, creative learning ideas, and other resources linked from their main page.  And of course, it's totally non-consummable and can be used with each of your children ... key features I always look for in a product.


Right now, Trigger Memory Systems is offering a special.  If you order their Times Tales Deluxe  OR the Zone Cleaning for Kids chart, you get one Bedroom Cleaning for Kids  chart FREE.   You just need to enter FREEFLIP in the comments section during your order process.  Not in the coupon code section, but the comments section.  


Click the banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.


Trusting in Him,

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