In 2003, I was a homeschooling mom searching for a fast, easy and fun method to teach my daughter her times tables.
My sister, another homeschooling mom, was visiting with her four children. We had eight children between the two of us, and we often spent time discussing our homeschool experiences. I was considering a couple different math programs for multiplication, and I shared my ideas with my sister in the hopes that she would have some helpful suggestions.
I was surprised to learn that she had much more to offer than just a suggestion for a multiplication program. She had been writing her own multiplication stories to teach her children the times tables – and they had worked wonders! She showed me some of the stories and I could immediately see how her stories would make memorizing the times tables so much faster, easier and more fun than the programs I was considering.
Each story she had written linked directly to one upper times table. She had a good start, but there were still many stories that needed to be written. We both felt a wave of inspiration and, with all eight kids in chaos around us, we sat down and created the remaining stories to complete a set of ten stories for the upper 6’s, 7’s, 8’s and 9’s.
My sister has always been good at art, so we agreed that I would watch the kids while she worked on the drawings to go with the stories. By the end of the day, we had our first version of Times Tales drafted.
Sharing Our Multiplication Stories
We already knew the stories worked for my sister’s kids, but we wanted to find out if they would work for all kids. I tested the stories on my own daughter, and she learned the upper times tables faster than I could have ever anticipated. We then invited neighborhood kids over and taught them the stories. We (and their parents) were delighted to see that they quickly learned the upper times tables and had fun while doing it. Our next step was to share the stories with our homeschool group, and the results were consistent – the children learned their upper times tables quickly, easily and with a smile on their face. And, as you can imagine, the smiles on the parents’ faces were even bigger.
Once we saw success in our own community, we began to think that people throughout the country, or even the world, might benefit from Times Tales. We put our first version of Times Tales on eBay (complete with hand drawn pictures and a plastic ring binding), and we were thrilled to get our first sale after just a couple of days! Those early sales and the positive feedback we received from parents encouraged us to take our Times Tales stories to the next level.
Times Tales has come a long way since the original version that my sister and I put together with our small children milling around us. Today, Times Tales includes eight additional stories (to cover the 3’s and 4’s) and is available as a workbook, DVD or digital download. The digital formats include printables for tests, crossword puzzles, flashcards and a cube game for reinforcement. The Times Tales DVD brought the stories to life and made our program faster, easier and even more fun than the original version.
Times Tales is a program based on mnemonics, which is basically a memory trick. As students learn the stories, they remember the multiplication facts. As with any memory trick, eventually the stories will fall away and students will remember the multiplication facts without them.
Times Tales Works!
The response to Times Tales has been overwhelmingly positive. Times Tales has literally received hundreds of positive reviews from amazed parents and teachers. Times Tales works well for all students, but it has been particularly effective for students with learning disabilities. The pictures and mnemonics act as an anchor to abstract math facts. This gives students with learning disabilities something to grasp a hold of, which helps makes those multiplication facts stick.
The Times Tales journey has been exciting, challenging and rewarding. There is nothing better than knowing that I have developed a product that has changed tears of frustration into tears of joy for so many families.
Still skeptical? Try our FREE sample download. This 15 minute video will have your child reciting the upper 9 multiplication facts quicker than you ever thought possible. Give it a try today!
Have you tried Times Tales? Leave a comment and let us know how it worked for you.