Monday, January 31, 2011
TOS Crew Product Review - Times Alive by City Creek Press
Learning times tables can be tedious, frustrating and even boring...for homeschooling moms! Who knows, even your children might struggle as they memorize their math facts.
Every child learns a little bit differently and while many children pick up the facts quickly and easily, many others struggle to memorize them. Times Alive! (from City Creek Press) is a simple to use program designed to help students of all ages master all of their multiplication facts with ease. It uses a variety of methods which incorporate different learning styles in order to help each student achieve complete mastery of the times tables.
City Creek Press offers this curriculum in different formats, but the product I received was a download for use on my personal computer. It was quick and easy to install and simple enough to begin using right away. The company website offers a variety of products for use in different settings, and they have a specific program for homeschool use. Prices vary for the products offered; the cost of the Times Deluxe Kit 808 (recommended for homeschool families) is $96.48 and includes several books, student workbooks, sets of flashcards, audio CDs and a magnetic story board. It is a pretty thorough program. If you are interested in seeing all they have to offer, you can browse their site by clicking here: www.CityCreek.com
The product I used for this review allowed each student their own login. After logging into their account, the student sees a "lesson list". Each lesson has multiple learning options which may include "Movie", "Song", "Paint", "Quiz", or "Test". A small circle next to each lesson component shows the child (or parent) at a glance what they have been working on (or not working on!). When a circle is halfway filled in with the color yellow, it means the student has viewed that portion of the lesson. A completely yellow circle with a check mark next to it shows that lesson has been completed. As I've said before, I like grading to be simple so you can imagine how much I loved this at-a-glance system of checking my children's work!
Tabs are located at the bottom of the screen with "Teacher's Directions" marked by a blue button. It's easy to spot and eliminates any time-wasting hunting around for mom. Times Alive! has done an excellent job of making their program simple to utilize for busy homeschooling mothers.
There are a total of 18 lessons for your child to work through as they master their multiplication facts. Each set of facts has unique stories that aim at helping the child use memory techniques to recall the answers to certain math facts. I found this method to be helpful for my 5th grade daughter; although she has, of course, already spent plenty of time working on her math facts, she liked the stories (especially the ones that covered the "oddball" facts).
The times practice sheets are one of my favorite aspects of the curriculum. Each one is graded instantly and the amount of time it took the student to complete the practice sheet is displayed along with their grade. This is WAY more fun than a worksheet! And a lot easier for mom than worksheets, too.
The first time my 5th grader sat down to try out Times Alive!, she worked through about 1/3 of the lessons. Again, she has already mastered her facts so she worked quickly through the lessons as they were more like review for her. However, for children just learning their facts, this program is very appealing. Each aspect of the lesson reinforces the facts being learned and I appreciate the way every learning style is taken advantage of. Some kids don't learn well via flashcards; Times Alive! makes certain each child has the chance to learn in whatever way works best for them.
And on a final note, I must add that I never heard one complaint from my daughter about working on her math facts with this program. After homeschooling for 13 years, I can tell you that's not always the case! Working on math facts is usually dreaded by moms and kids alike. This program really does eliminate the stress of math fact mastery.
Mastery = 100%
Complaints = 0%
What more could a homeschool mom ask for?!?!
Check out Times Alive! today by visiting www.CityCreek.com
Have a blessed homeschool day!
Day 74 done :)
Jan L. Burt