When I learned multiplication, I sat down with flash cards. Our teacher also had “fun” (read “not so fun”) drills where we had to compete against our classmates, one by one. I hated those drills! Luckily, now there are more fun and easier ways to learn multiplication like Online Times Alive from City Creek Press, Inc.
About Online Times Alive
For the purpose of this review, we received a six month subscription to Online Times Alive. (Membership is $9.95 per month, with a $6.95 sign up fee in the beginning. Use the code lovetolearn to waive the sign up fee. Cancel at anytime.)
FYI, City Creek Press, Inc. offers a number of fun, interactive ways to help children including a variety of Times Alive activities to learn multiplication facts, but also products for addition, division, and subtraction. They even have created flash cards to go along with the stories that children learn to help them remember their multiplication facts!
What We Liked about Online Times Alive
I love that this program appeals to learns of all types.
The program runs as a cartoon, and for visual learners, it “shows” the multiplication problems. For instance, for learning 3×3=9, they tell the story of the three blind mice, but each mouse has 3 tails, and those tails are curled to show the numbers 3, 3, and 9.
For audio learners, the story is told and it’s also written on the screen. There are also some songs to help students remember the multiplication tables.
This program should appeal to early to mid-elementary students learning their times tables. It seems like a seamless way to learn math facts without a struggle.
What We Disliked About Online Times Alive
We had one technical issue when using this program. It’s supposed to mark with a yellow 4 any lesson that you completed. However, ours never did. Every time my daughter logged in, it looked like she had completed no work. This frustrated her.
The other issue was that my daughter didn’t care much for the program. I don’t think this is a problem of the program itself. Rather, I don’t think she was the intended audience. She is 11 and does know her times tables, but she’s slow when she produces the answers. This program seems like it would work wonderfully for children just learning their times tables, perhaps children younger than my daughter. I also think this would be a great program to help children with special needs learn their times tables.
Lastly, the program didn’t have an official stopping point. What I mean by this is that my daughter really likes programs that, say, after 10 minutes, stop the session. She likes to feel like there is a completion point. Online Times Alive goes on and on with no stopping point; it plays until the child presses stop. While my daughter felt this was a negative, I imagine most parents and children who enjoy this program would find it a positive. I would love it if my child wanted to engage with the program 30 to 60 minutes a day and would happily let her do that.
Despite some of the drawbacks my daughter found and the fact that this isn’t the right program for her, I think this would be an excellent way for younger learners or special needs learners to learn their multiplication facts in a fun, easy way.
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