If your kids are bored with learning their times tables through the traditional means Times Alive is the solution. I was recently given the opportunity to review this downloadable program by City Creek Press. The downloadable version is priced at $44.95. The program is also available on CD Rom for PC or Mac for $48.95.
Times Alive has songs and stories to teach your child the times table. The songs are very catchy and easy to remember. You can see (and hear) some of the songs and stories that are on the program here.
Paul knows most of his multiplication tables so we did not use the program exactly the same as someone who knows none of their multiplication facts. If multiplication is new to a child I would suggest going straight through the "lesson list" and having them learn them in the order shown there. Each fact or group of facts has a story or song for the child to listen to and learn that fact (or group of facts). The child is then quizzed on that fact. The facts are periodically reviewed as the child moves through the program. You can also print out the "worksheets" and have your child review them in a more traditional way. For Paul he would have been very bored if he had to go through all the tables so I had him complete the tests that they give periodically and then go back and watch any of the videos that he did not know the facts quickly. He struggles with his 3's and 4's time tables (I know most kids struggle with the higher numbers but he has no trouble with those just the 3's and 4's) So, this program has helped him move those facts in to his long term memory! He has loved it and will never forget that 4 x 4 = 16, because you "have to be 16 to drive a 4x4". I will admit that I am a bit sick of hearing the stories and songs, but I am thankful he finally has the hang of some of these more difficult (for him) multiplication tables. The program is great for visual as well as auditory learners. I also loved the way the program tests the students periodically and reviews the math facts already learned.
If your budget doesn't allow for the price of this software City Creek Press offers lots of other products that make learning multiplication facts easy and fun. They also have packages that help reduce the cost of each individual product. Also, if your child is not ready for their multiplication tables they have just recently developed "Addition the Fun Way" for younger students. There is no age range suggested on the website. I feel the Times Alive would be appropriate for any child that can understand the concept of multiplication and that multiplication is simply fast adding--probably about 2nd grade. On the other end I don't think there would be an age that would be too old for this product. If a student doesn't know their times tables no matter how old they can benefit from this program. An older teen might find it a bit childish but it would still be very effective to commit the facts to memory.
You can see what other Crew members have to say here.
Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the product. There was no other compensation given for the review