June 24, 2017

Down Syndrome Kids: Times Tales - Times Tables Made Easy!


"Joshua, my Special Needs learner and 8-year-old middle boy, is thoroughly enjoying it." 
Times Tales is a program that teaches the upper times facts through mnemonic stories. It is the brainchild of Jennie Von Eggers, a homeschooling mom teaching the multiplication facts to her boys. They had trouble remembering their facts from day to day. She developed a way to teach them through clever stories, which enabled them to recall the facts. Several years later, she (along with two partners) developed this system into Times Tales.

I‘m reviewing this product and have to say I am unsure if it works for my family. My older boy Jonathan, 11 years, still struggles slightly with recalling his multiplication facts. But learning the stories for each one seems cumbersome. He’s farther along in knowing his facts and this just slows him down. He’s not the target audience for this system.

Joshua, my Special Needs learner and middle boy, 8 years, is thoroughly enjoying it. He carries the flip chart around with him - through the house, in the car, to church,- and talks about the stories on each page. He recognizes the numbers in the characters and reads the equations to me. But, developmentally, he’s not learning his multiplication facts. I wonder if this will hinder his understanding of the concept of multiplying numbers. I may be putting the cart before the horse with this boy. On the other hand, this may be exactly what will help him see and understand his times tables. He’s a boy that likes to experience life, and learns through seeing things, hearing things, and touching things. Teaching him these clever stories is great for his imagination and story-telling abilities. He’s behind in his expressive language skills, but I see him articulating these stories.I’m willing to continue using this with him and evaluate the outcome. It may be much farther down the road.

Cast of Times Tales Characters:
Butterfly – The number “3” drawn to look like a butterfly.
Chair – The number “4” drawn to look like a chair (4 table legs)
First Grade Class – looks like the “6”
Mrs. Week – looks like the “7”
Mrs. Snowman – looks like the “8”
Treehouse – looks like the “9”

Story #1:
The First Grade Class played musical Chairs for 24 hours.
A flip chart with a really cute picture of little kids with 6’s on their heads walking around a chair shaped like a 4, and musical notes flying around the room.
We talk about the picture and what the kids are doing. Ask questions and get the kids to tell you the story back. Make sure to keep the numbers in order.
Last Act:
Show the kids Flash Cards and have them tell you the story represented by each one. Then reveal to them that their actually doing “math.”

Click Here for Times Tales