Early last month, City Creek Press, Inc. gave me a 6 month subscription to Online Times Alive so my family could review the program. It helps children to memorize the times tables in a fun way by teaching them with catchy cartoons and songs to improve their recall of the facts. I had my 7 year old (2nd grader) and 9 year old (4th grader) test this out for me.I had my sons each use the program 4-5 days per week. My 9 year old just completed the program, so it took him about a month and a half to complete it at a pace he was comfortable with. He is already proficient in multiplication, but I’m always happy to have him use programs to practice a little more, especially at the beginning of the school year when I know he’s probably a little rusty.
My 7 year old is still using it, and he’s at Lesson 8c. He has been doing the little sections once per day, whereas my older son completed a little more each time since each part is pretty quick to get through.
There are games, quizzes, coloring pages, music videos, and songs to follow along with to learn the times tables.
Both boys agreed that the cartoons were super cheesy to watch. That said, my 7 year old began this program with a terrible score on the pretest, and he’s doing a great job on the program now, including scoring well and passing tests! He had very limited exposure to multiplication before Online Times Alive, so I give all the credit to this program alone.
For an example of a cartoon-based song from the program to help teach multiplication facts (times tables), check out this clip from Youtube:
For this program, you pay a monthly fee. The current pricing is $9.95 per month for unlimited students. With that said, all students must login using the same computer (PC or Mac) as all data is stored on your local device.
Google Chrome or Firefox are the recommended browsers.
If you’re curious how the lessons are set up and divided, here is a lesson list:
This is the second page with the rest of the lessons for the complete program:
Students do receive grades as they complete tests using the program. As you can see above, it does not show their score in the student view. However, if you view the Student Progress Report, you are able to see the dates that lessons were completed, as well as the grades for each test. It logs how many questions your child got correct, what his or her score was, and how long it took to complete.
I’m happy to report that my oldest completed the program and received a 100% on his post-test! He had actually scored a 94% on the pre-test, so I really feel like this helped to get him sharper with his skills.
I really wanted to try Online Times Alive for my 7 year old, so it was a bonus to be able to use it with more than one student!
We did encounter a few technical issues during our time with the program. My younger son’s data all went missing yesterday. All of the progress he made on the program just disappeared. As I mentioned above, the data is stored on your local device, so City Creek Press, Inc. was unable to help me retrieve all of the lost data. I went through a lot of troubleshooting via email, but ultimately I think we just decided it was a fluke incident.
Charlie remembered exactly where he had left off, and I had been keeping track of his scores kind of informally in my head each time he took a quiz, so I know he was doing well. We do not keep his grades anywhere, so it really doesn’t bother me much to have those missing.
Another issue we had was that, no matter how many times he completed them, my older son had activities that just wouldn’t mark themselves as completed. You can see those in the lesson list above. Again, I know he completed them because he was doing them on my computer with me nearby, but that might really bother some students or parents!
I have to also mention that I was talking through email with Judy Liautaud herself back and forth when we were trying to figure this all out, and she was an absolute pleasure. I LOVE a company whose owners, developers, and inventors are kind, patient, and helpful. She was great! I would absolutely recommend this program to other families anyway, but the great customer service took it up a notch for me.
I think this program would be great for homeschool students as well as public or private school kids. It is quick and easy to complete, and it teaches students their times table math facts in a unique way that other programs are not using. It would be perfect for after-school work, using during holiday breaks, or to brush up on math during or just after summer. The lessons are animated, colorful, and have a catchy tune!
Are you looking at going ahead and trying out the program? For less than $10 a month, it’s a good deal and might be just what your student needs to finally get the times tables. If you do sign up, I was offered a coupon code to pass along to my readers to waive the sign up fee, which is a $6.95 value. The code is lovetolearn.