When I found out I would get to review Times Alive by Times Tables the Fun Way, I was super excited. Andrew, my youngest son, is nine years old and loves math. He’s also a struggling reader, so I’ve been putting more time into reading with him than with working on math. I know flash cards would bore him to tears, so I wanted to find a fun way for him to learn the times tables and Times Alive filled that desire perfectly.
Times Alive is a series of online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way. It is a monthly subscription that can be shared with all students in the family. Each student gets his own login so you can easily track his progress. Before starting the lessons, the student does a pre-test of the 0-9 multiplication facts. Then, he goes through a series of 18 lessons that include short videos, songs, activities, and progress checks. There is a final test at the end. The teacher can easily access student progress reports that can be printed if needed.
This is a screenshot of one of the videos:
The activities are fun and engaging and really help the student remember the math fact:
For the purpose of this review, I did a very short demonstration of what multiplication is before Andrew took the pre-test. It took about a minute. I just wanted him to understand the basic concept. Andrew is quick with math and had figured out some multiplication on his own, but we had never done a formal lesson before. His pretest score was 75% and took almost 17 minutes to complete. As expected, he easily figured out the simpler problems and struggled with the more difficult ones. Here is a view of his progress report for the first four lessons:
Andrew begged to work on Times Alive every day and completed the entire 18 lessons in just over a week. His final test shows much improvement: he scored 90% and it took a little over 7 minutes to complete. I suspect if he had slowed down and done only one lesson a day he would have scored higher, but it’s impressive for hardly any effort on my part and only a week of work.
Some things that must be taught get super boring after doing them once or twice. I’ve gone through the times tables with my older two boys and just dreaded having to do it (again) with Andrew. Now, thankfully, I won’t have to! Times Alive made the boring drudgery of learning math facts a fun experience for my son and an easy experience for me.
When I asked Andrew his opinion of the product, he said, “It’s like it brainwashes you and makes you remember the answers. I think all kids should use this to learn multiplication. It’s fun!”
Brainwashing aside, it really does a fantastic job of painting visual pictures of the math facts so kids can remember them easier. The songs are catchy and combined with the pictures, they really are a powerful tool.
My middle son, Connor, is 11 years old and already knew his multiplication tables but I had him do a few lessons. His opinion is that while it is very good at helping you remember the facts, it is more suited to younger kids. He thinks it will help him really get a good grasp on the ones he struggles most with.
If you would like to read what other reviewers have to say about Times Alive, check out the post from the Review Crew by clicking the button below.