Monday, January 31, 2011

City Creek Press


As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I never know what product we might received.   Before Christmas though, we got offered to apply on a review.   Usually, I would not take math products because we have a curriculum we love but I made an exception for this product for various reasons.

PhotobucketCity Creek Press was founded in 1992 after the owner had found a way to help her students at a learning centre to learn math tables in a fun and meaningful way. She created a unique method that connected visual images, stories, and songs to mundane number facts.  Further studies demonstrated that students using her method retained 95% of the facts on average. 

The Times Alive! program makes learning multiplication facts more fun than ever. It is based on the Times Tables the Fun Way Book for Kids and teaches the zero's through the nine times tables.

Students can read along while they hear the storyteller while lively animation makes the number characters come alive.    I find that having animation will help to retain the multiplication facts.   Also, each story is followed by a music video that has a catchy song.   I discovered that one of my kids learns better with songs and for this reason alone I invest in the CDs for his AWANA memorization.    Knowing that Times Alive! offers such a learning experience is a relief for me who sees that he will get into the multiplication within the next two years.

To make the learning experience more concrete, the software also contains interactive games and fun quizzes that will engage the student while applying what he learned.   

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As the student goes through the multiplication tables, the parent can access progress reports that will indicate which lessons have been completed, the scores obtained during the quizzes and the time spend as well.    I find it important to be able to get such a report when my child is learning something on the computer.    It would be easy to not make a follow up and discover where he/she has problems.   Having access to such reports is an advantage.

Finally, anytime during the learning of the multiplication facts, the student can stop it and resume where he/she has left off.  

Alexandre’s thoughts – age 9 1/2 years old

I found it too easy and I got tired of the songs.   They are good stories for younger kids who are learning their multiplication facts.  But having done so last year, I didn’t enjoy it as much as my younger siblings would.   

Mom’s comments:  Alexandre is very mature and already knows his multiplication facts.   I have opted to take this program because I could see that my 2nd son is learning better with songs and fun stories.   Dominic is not quite at the level of learning his multiplication facts as he is doing grade 1 mathematics right now.   But I can see the potential that this program might have in the future for him.  Just having the songs incorporated in the software will be more than likely a blessing for my song who learn that way!   Dominic tried to use the software a bit but he found it a bit difficult.   I came to the conclusion that Times Alive!  will be a wonderful product to have when he arrives to the multiplication tables but for the time being it would be better for him to stick with his current lessons.

For those of you interested in seeing what Times Alive! is all about, a demo is available at

System Requirements

Windows 98 SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista
Pentium II 400 and higher
64 MB of Ram or greater
Soundcard and speakers
Mouse or other pointing Device
CD-Rom or DVD-Rom Drives
Video at 1024x768 or higher
OS 8.6 or higher or OS X
400 mhz or greater
128 MB of RAM or greater
Mouse or other pointing device
Video at 1024x768 or higher

Times Alive! for Windows or Macintosh instant download is available for 44.95$ US.  The CD-Rom version is available for 48.95$ US.

Disclaimer: Thanks to City Creek Press  for sending me to above mentioned instant download version of the software for review purpose through the TOS Homeschool Crew. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way.  All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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