Math is one subject all three of my children and I love. Canyon is working on reinforcing addition and subtraction and has moved into learning multiplication this school year. We do a lot of book work, which is great for learning math, but I am always on the look out for resources to keep math going by making it interesting and fun. City Creek Press, Inc. has created Online Times Alive and the corresponding Times Alive App that do both: make learning math interesting and fun. Yes, learning math can be fun!
TELL ME ABOUT ONLINE TIMES ALIVE
Judy Liautaud, an author and former Sylvan Learning Center operator, wanted to make learning multiplication facts an easier process. When it comes to teaching multiplication, many rely on flash cards and drilling methods, but that does not work for all children. That may be especially true for children who have learning disabilities. The repetition helps with memorization, but it is also dry and boring. Online Times Alive has taken learning multiplication for the 0s to 9s from the mundane to the exciting and entertaining.
We received access to the online program and the app. I like that both options are available. Depending on the platform preference of your child, they have options. The app version was preferred and I like that the program can easily travel with us (ex: in the car, etc.), so practicing math is an option versus playing a regular video game with no real educational value. The program contains 18 lessons that teach the student multiplication through movies/stories, songs and animation. The times tables are presented in a fun and interactive way like putting times tables to the tunes of new and familiar songs.
Some of the options available in most of the lessons include the following:
• Game fun
By connecting a song or a movie/story to a math fact, it is thought retention and recall of the material is easier for a student.
FOR THE STUDENT
For some students, all aspects of math are just difficult to understand. The program is presented in a way that many children are use to learning now through video and song. You can see an example, below, of one of the sections included in lesson 10 where the student is taught the fact 6×6.
The song is catchy and cute, and the story is creative and amusing. I still remember random/life facts put to song that I heard when I was young (a long time ago), so your child is bound to remember the facts they are learning while using Online Times Alive. Visit the YouTube channel to see more videos.
Children may work through the program independently. If your child is a struggling reader, that is all right, because the program reads the lessons to them. I like that City Creek Press, Inc. takes into consideration different style of learners (ex: visual, auditory, etc.) and also makes the program easy to use for all level of readers. Although the program is geared towards elementary (upper) age children, if you are going to hand your young child (ex: under six) an iPad, letting them use the Times Alive App is not a bad idea. They will retain some of what they hear and be ready for multiplication once at that grade level.
FOR THE TEACHER
Each lesson has about two to five sections that include the options listed above. Each section gives you the opportunity to choose the multiplication fact you want the student to cover whether it be for the first time or as a review for a quiz (i.e. 6×6, 7×7, a focus on 2’s, etc.). The lessons are set up where the student can work in any section (which the lessons are made up of) or through a complete lesson at a time.
There are icons that show what sections have been viewed and/or completed to help you know where the student should start or continue from the next time they use the program. Another helpful feature is a progress report that is generated after a student takes a quiz. It tells you the number the student got correct, the score on the quiz, and the time it took for them to complete it. This information is available for each student.
The teacher’s directions are also conveniently accessible in each account for quick reference if ever there are questions about the use of the program.
Canyon (12) thought the program was fun, but the presentation was a bit too elementary for him. Because the lessons are short, I did not mind him using the program before we started school.
Most children will, because of the high use of electronics, like using Online Times Alive and the Times Alive App. It can be a nice incentive for your child to use before they begin school for the day or during a break between subjects. Although the presentation may appeal more to younger elementary age children, those who struggle with their multiplication facts may benefit from the use. An older child may also benefit from using the program, because the songs definitely stay with you. I caught myself singing some of the songs when we were not doing math.
Although we found the program entertaining and I am sure it is helpful to many, I really prefer for my children to have a good understanding as to the how and why of math and not depend on the recollection of a song, rhyme, or story for “knowing” the information.
I think that it is great there are programs geared towards all type of learners. You can tell there was much thought that went into the creation of this program. The animation is a feature that will draw younger children into a new learning experience. The fact the songs are catchy, will help students to retain and easily recall the material. Using Online Times Alive and/or the Times Alive App would be a nice supplement to a math program.
You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.