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on March 12, 2011
Learning multiplication tables can be fun using Times Tales. It only goes through 3,4,6,7,8,9 multiplication facts, but still is well worth it since these are the hardest to remember. This hands down beats skip counting songs and tricks. Easy for the teacher and the student! I homeschool my 3 kids (ages 9,6,5) and by the end they all joined in with their big brother. My son dreaded those multiplication drills even to the point of tears, but by the end of this he had a big grin on his face. Also a big plus for me was that it was $10 cheaper buying it through amazon (plus free 2 day shipping with my free Amazon mom membership).

Times Tales
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on June 25, 2011
The illustrations are terrible. The narration is condescending.

But it WORKS.

My 8-year-old felt like it was babyish. She complained. But I told her "Sit down, and listen. It's either this, or I make you agonizingly remember the facts with flashcards alone. Take your pick."

The stories are not entertaining, but they do establish a strong visual image useful for instant recall. My daughter lost the bad attitude after experiencing the satisfaction of proficiency after watching the video once.

I don't care if it is dumb, I only care that it works quickly and effectively, and it does. She was afraid people might think she was dumb for using this. She doesn't want anyone to know she pictures snowmen and butterflies when remembering her facts. No one will know! All THEY will see is smart kid who knows her multiplication facts. Who looks more dumb? A girl who knows her facts or one who doesn't? No one knows what she is picturing in her head and MANY smart and successful people use memory tricks to succeed. She understood.

I also watched the video with her so that I would learn the stories too, and could use the clues from the story to cue her in on the facts when quizzing her on facts in the future. I think this is essential. And because I watched this with her, I could see that it does work. Even though I already know my multiplication facts and can perform math through calculus, I do occasionally have to do a quick mental calculation to check my accuracy on a fact due to a mental blip, and I could see the visual imagery easily inserted itself into my own memory to increase instant recall.

So, I can see how if someone (as the 1-star review stated) stuck a 6-year-old in front of the video and walked away, it might not work. It is not magic, you have to give it a chance, and it requires some reinforcement, ideally from a parent or teacher who is familiar with the stories and can tip off on a cue as necessary during initial review. ("Remember? 3 is a butterfly?") It is a very minimal investment of time and it is worth doing. It is WAY more time intensive to quiz with raw memorization, I think.

I do wish the illustrations were better quality, but whatever. It's not really important (and I say that as an artist myself). What is important is that it works, and it does.
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on March 1, 2010
My 8 year old daughter that has dyslexia learned her times tables in two nights with this book and flash cards. She was so proud of herself. She didn't complain about reviewing the stories since she saw it was working for her. I emailed her teacher and my sister who is also a teacher to let them know about this program in case they had any students who were struggling with the times tables. It has been a few months since she learned these and she still remembers the stories and usesr them daily for her math facts. I would highly recommend.
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on May 18, 2013
This product is working great with my 9 year old who struggles with memorization due to a processing disorder. We have been working on Part one for a few weeks, and we have made so much more progress than ever before! Plus, dare I say it - she's having fun!

PROS:
* Includes flashcards - one set with "picture" hints, one regular
* Includes a dice game (you cut and fold the paper dice)
* No need to purchase other items - everything's included!
* Number/picture representation stays the same. For example, the 3 will always be a butterfly in every story - other products like this one change what each number represents, making it a little more confusing. This was the main reason I chose this book over others like it.

CONS:
* leaves out the 0, 1, 2, 5, 10, 11, 12 tables. I wish I had known this! That's more than half of all the tables!
* Spiral bound charts are extremely difficult to turn without tearing. This may seem like a small issue, but it drove me up the wall!

Glad we are using this system, but we will have to dream up creative stores on our own for the "missing" tables.
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on April 6, 2012
There is a first time for everything and, after having read hundreds if not thousands of product reviews on Amazon, I am finally writing my first. This text/flipchart/method for teaching children their multiplication tables is fabulous. My husband and I pulled our two third graders out of public school at the winter break because of what we (and many others) believe to be a very poor math curriculum. My children understood the CONCEPT of multiplication and could figure out the answer to any single digit problem through a myriad of ways. But the curriculum does not require (much less emphasize) the memorization of all of the facts. That's what calculators are for apparently. Well we couldn't stand it and, because we were moving the children to a new school next fall, we knew we had to get them up to speed so they wouldn't be behind their peers and struggle for years to come. After reading the reviews of Times Tales (here on Amazon and other sites), I ordered the book. It took me no more than a half hour or so to read the instructions for presenting the material to my children. While in the car during a spring break trip, we went thru Part 1 just as we were instructed by the text. My 3rd graders repeated the stories and I presented them and so did my two kindergartners. To this day, my husband and I are still amazed that within less than 45 minutes, everyone of the children knew all of the facts in Part 1! I had high-hopes based on the reviews but my husband was skeptical. Well we are not skeptical anymore.

The method is simple, quick, and painless. As suggested in the book, we reviewed the facts for a week before presenting the Part 2 facts. We did not do this every day (because we were on vacation) but maybe every other day. Each time, the childred sped up on their retention of the facts. 6 days after learning Part 1, we did Part 2 with just as impressive results. We are still amazed and have told everyone we think may benefit from the help about the book (including their former teachers! We are lending the book to them to help their students who are still stuggling). I would like to emphasize that this book does NOT teach the concept of multiplication (fast addition, the summing of equal sets, arrays, etc)...your children really need to have learned that previously to make the most of this memorization program (or any memorization program for that matter). AND, at least in the beginning, the program will not give them immediate, split-second recall of the facts. BUT, that will come very easily with regular flashcard and timed tests. They will now KNOW the answers, they may just have to quick-think-of-the-story-that-goes-with-those-numbers to give it to you. But the more you go over the facts, the quicker they will become. And, if you will do that just once every couple of days, within 2-3 weeks your child will be sailing through timed tests. Both of my children (who are not at the same level of "quickness" when it comes to learning) are testatments to that. However, despite the fact that my ADD daughter with the fabulous memory has always been slower to learn math than my non-ADD son, she now knows her multiplication facts just as well, if not better than he does. This has done wonders for her confidence and her performance. Oh, and one of the most amazing things about this method is that it basically teaches them their division facts without you even trying to work on those! Learning the stories for the multiplication, gives them the stories for the division automatically.

I can not recommend this book highly enough. I was always a whiz in math as a child but I remember having to fight to memorize all of the facts. I would have LOVED to have this book back then. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jennie Von Eggers!!
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on February 6, 2012
This little set is really cool and works like magic. Although my daughter is a little young for memorizing multiplication, it was the next logical step. If any of you are familiar with Montessori, my daughter had mastered skip counting using the number chains at school and understood the concept of multiplication although it took her forever to count it in her head.

As a mom whose lethargy knows no bounds, I was 100% certain I would not do flash cards for months on end. They bore me as much as they would likely bore her. Plus, I learned the traditional way and still counted out quite a few problems in my head (even after taking math through Calc!), so this book sounded like a good choice for us.

The set up is pretty straight forward. It uses a type of picture association mnemonic device. Each number is associated with a picture and each multiplication fact is associated with a story. The book comes with a guide to help you use the book with several steps towards proficiency. We didn't need all the steps in order to memorize the tables because the stories are engaging to children and easy to remember. Some children may need extra reinforcement so your mileage may vary, but it was no problem for us to skip the picture flash cards and the extra activities in the book. Although my daughter had to stop and think about the stories when we first began (2-3 second recall), it has been over a week since we finished the book and now she has instant recall when I ask her a fact.

I have no doubt that the vast majority of children can memorize their times tables within a week or less of using this book (I believe the book itself says it will teach them in a couple of sessions). If your child understands the concept of multiplication, but has to think about the answers by counting in their heads or on their fingers, I recommend that you at least try this book. I doubt you will be disappointed.
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on May 8, 2009
It really does work. The stories sound stupid, but they were successful in helping my 6 year old learn her facts after reading it twice in a week.
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on April 3, 2014
I teach math to 2nd-5th graders. My 3rd-5th graders are expected to memorize their facts. This is always a struggle. I used this with my 3rd graders with great success! They were excited to learn the stories and would talk about them when they went back to their classes. I used it in a small group setting and I can honestly say if you use the program with fidelity it really can help struggling learners. I have a third graders who still struggles with his addition facts, but he knows his Times Tales and is performing well in the current multiplication unit.
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on July 9, 2015
Oh. My. Goodness.

I have a third grader who struggles with memorization as part of a learning disability. Otherwise, she's quite smart. But there is no way you can excel in math if you can't remember your times tables. She watched the samples on YouTube and immediately remembered the upper 9 facts. It was like magic. And she was so proud! We immediately bought everything they had to offer.

Don't get me wrong. When you first put this in, you'll think "What in the world did I just buy?" But it works. Like magic. I recommend the DVD/video over the book. You really don't need both.
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on January 12, 2014
This product was recommended to me at a reading session by a parent whose son struggled in written expression and memorizing the multiplication facts. Many people with ADHD may have this struggle. I have used the DVD and book with many students who have not been able to memorize the facts in a mathematical sense. It is great that the characters stay the same and there is a gradual release from the pictures to the numbers. A definite strength is the easy link to division. Visual learners will LOVE this. It is important that they understand the math behind the fact; however after they know that, using this program will give them the confidence to breeze through the facts.
Every classroom should purchase this DVD and the book. We all learn differently. Best money spent on a math resource in a while.
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