Now I have heard of this product for years, and have heard a lot of great comments about it, so I was excited to finally get a chance to look it over for myself.
We received a huge zipped file download. It was so enormous that it proved a little tricky to get it all safely onto my computer, but once that was accomplished we had no more problems with it at all.
The download consisted of two video files and three printable PDFs (one is the answer key for the other two). The first video starts with all the instructions that you need for the program. It is divided into two parts (two different sets of facts) and the first part has six steps. You begin by watching the first part of the video, which takes about 30 minutes. That sounds like a long time, but it is an engaging "show" and kept my kids' attention easily. During this video, you meet all the fun characters, take a quiz, and then you learn some of their stories and take another quiz. The stories are the important part of the program. The stories tell the tale of each multiplication fact. Once you know the stories well enough to tell them yourself, in the correct way (because the order matters!) you have a handy little memory device to recall the facts.
At this point, you are at step four and ready to practice the flashcards that are in the PDF file. This is when it is revealed to the kids that the math facts are actually hidden in the stories. The flash cards show the question parts of the story and the children are expected to recall the story and thus, the answer.
The final step of part one is to try regular flashcards, without the story symbols and then to practice the facts as division problems.
It is recommended that you have your child take a break in between the steps to review and practice part one before you start part two. This is where the worksheets and games on the PDF come in.
Part two is the same format as part one, with the rest of the facts. This method teaches you all the "harder" facts: the 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s, 8s, and 9s. It doesn't bother with 1s, 2s, and 5s, because those are so easy to learn on their own.
We found Times Tales to be super easy to use. I started the first video one afternoon and all the kids crowded around to watch. We watched it a couple more times, until both kids could ace the quizzes. Then we worked on the puzzles, quizzes and games from the PDFs. Then we repeated with the second video.
My kids found the stories to be just a little cheesy, but that didn't stop them from watching and it certainly didn't stop them from learning! After watching the stories several times, they found the worksheet portion to be super easy. All in all, it was a very successful method of teaching them their multiplication facts. I only wish I had found this earlier!
Daniel: I liked it because the stories were fun. It was easy to learn my facts this way and it was the most fun of anything we ever tried.
Abbie: It was really fun. I learned a lot. My favorite part was the stories but the worksheets were fun, too. This way to learn facts was easier than any other way Mom has made me try.
I highly recommend Times Tales as a way to teach your child their multiplication facts because as a child, I put together stories for myself as a way to learn those pesky facts. It worked for me and this is a wonderfully easy way for my kids to use the same method.