Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Times Alive a Homeschool Crew Review

As part of the Homeschool Review Crew we have been practicing our multiplication tables with Times Alive with Times Tables the Fun Way.  I received a Monthly Subscription Online Version access for 3 months for the purpose of this review.
Times Alive is online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way. Maybe, for some kids learning multiplication is easy. For my kids it hasn’t come easy for them to keep them committed to their memory. My 14 year old daughter due to her disabilities often regresses in her abilities and we are constantly going over things to review. I find myself constantly having to review her multiplication over and over. My 11 year old son is awesome at math and knows the majority of his times table. He still struggles remembering some of the facts. I want him to be able to recite all the facts quickly. I’m grateful that he can figure them out quickly but, I feel it’s important that he can say them without a second thought. That has been a goal that I set this year for him.

What is Times Alive?

Times Alive is a Monthly Online Subscription Version that you will need access to the internet. You can use this with more than one student during your subscription. This subscription can be used with several students. Most students are able to complete the program in a month’s time period. The times tables taught are 0-9.  This is intended for any student of any age who needs to master the times table.

This will work with all operating systems on a PC. It will work on an IPAD if you download a Flash app. However, the report doesn’t save and puts your work to zero unlike using it on a PC that will save the students progress.

Using Times Alive is easy. Once you open up the program you come to a Welcome Screen in which you log into your account using the student’s name or a Try-It function. The Try-It function allows you to look at the lessons without it marking your student account as completed. The student needs to use the same computer during the duration of the lessons for it to keep track of the student’s progress.
Once you are in the Student Log-In portion you have a personalized menu which will show you which lessons you have completed by the circle. If it’s a half circle when the lesson has only been viewed. A completed lesson will be marked clearly. You need to make sure you hit done when you complete a lesson so it will keep track of the progress.

The first lesson is a Pre-Test of the multiplication facts 0-9’s. There are 18 lessons in all. Within each lesson there are anywhere to 3-5 parts in each lesson. The lessons vary from animated videos and songs. There are some hands on activities with painting and even some of those handy finger tricks. There are several test throughout which comprise of both pre-test and test throughout the program. Some of the facts are done as a single fact while others are placed in a group. Some of the facts go over skip counting for the facts and not the multiplication facts. In the long run I would rather not see my kids have to skip count to figure out a multiplication problem. Usually, most kids can convert skip counting over to multiplication facts.

For the parent you have a Progress Report that you can view at any time which shows you the lessons completed, date it was completed, and test scores that show the percentage score. You can print the progress report at any time so you can have a hard copy for your records.

How did I use Times Alive in my Homeschool?

Like I stated I used this with my 14 and 11 year old as a refresher. Both of my kids overall know the times tables. They just needed a fun way to go back over them to help solidify those ones that keep eluding their memory. We started out with a timed Pre-test.

Typically the lessons are around 15 minutes long. We  worked through the lessons 3’s times a week. Did we finish them all? Well, I would love to tell you yes but, the reality was that we missed a week due to a car accident that we all needed some physical healing with and then we had some internet hiccups in our area off and on for a 1 1/2 weeks. Times Alive can easily be finished  in a months’ time without hiccups happening. For this reason I’m grateful to have a 3 month subscription to finish it up.
My 14 year old daughter thought that the lessons are fun. She enjoyed the animation of the lessons. She felt like she was watching a cartoon. With my daughters special needs this has been a real good fit for her. She catches on quickly with songs and animations. Times Alive really capture her attention. This is great for children who need some multi-sensory learning. She has even gone back over some of the lessons more than once.
My 11 year old son lets just say that I got an eye roll or two with the animations. He felt it was for younger kids. He did say, “That some of the songs make sense with certain multiplication facts”. One song that he thought was clever was the song for 4x3=12 in which the song goes back and sings “1234”.  Little Man didn’t dislike the program at all. He’s just growing up way to fast.

This has been a fun way to learn the times table. I never knew about Times Alive when my kids started to learn multiplication facts. The online subscriptions are very reasonable.  You can go back over lessons easily or start over again easily.
I like the Student Reports to be able to see the results. It shows everything from the pretest and quizzes. I can see the progress that they are both making. The only thing I think this report lacks is the ability to see which problems they are missing. This would be very helpful to be able to know exactly what areas needs to be addressed.
Overall, this has been a blessing to my family. Whether you have a child just learning their multiplication facts, struggling to learn them, or just need to do a refresher this is a great way to help with those dreaded multiplication facts. I would of loved this when my kids were just learning their times tables. It would of have made it  bit more fun.

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Don’t forget to take a look at the other reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew.

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