If you have children who struggle learning their times tables, you might find this program a godsend. It focuses only on the upper numbers six through nine, the ones that are the most challenging. (I would love to see the program expanded up through 11 and 12!)
Times Tales uses visual mnemonic stories to help children recall math facts. Each number is drawn as a picture that incorporates the number. For example, Mrs. Snowman is the number eight. Mrs. Snowman and the other numbers are situated into one page visual stories that illustrate each math fact.
Interestingly, children first learn the stories without mention of math facts; that comes later. After children know the stories, they learn the math facts in those contexts. Then they transition to flash cards that use some of the pictures from the stories to trigger their memories. Then they make the final transition to normal numerical representations. Surprisingly, it doesn't take long for children to master their facts with this program. The publisher has testimonial letters from parents telling how their children mastered their facts in anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
An easy-to-use instruction manual explains how to teach the program and includes the flash cards, two practice tests, two "final" tests, and a simple Mix & Match card game that works on advanced math facts. (Mix & Match is a set of small cards to be cut out from a single sheet of card stock. It has all the number story symbols plus normal numerals which are then used to create math problems or find the missing elements to problems—an introduction to algebra.) The teaching stories are presented from a sturdy flip chart book. All of this comes as the Times Tales Original set. The Deluxe set includes similar techniques for teaching division.