We guarantee that your child will memorize the times table using our stories, or we will fully refund your purchase. If you are not overjoyed by the use of our product, we believe you shouldn't have to pay for it. Period.
There are 36 questions in the times table, from 2x2 to 9x9. Simply put, we have invented a memorably odd story for each math fact - 28 stories in total. Each story has objects in it that represent the two numbers in the question and the two numbers in the answer (for an example, head to our homepage and watch the 6 min. video that's featured half way down the page - skip to 2:03 if you want to jump right to the example story).
Because children remember stories much more effectively than they do abstract math, these stories are a very effective way to learn the times table.
Once the associations and stories are learned (this doesn't take longer than just a few hours for the entire times table), we then drill each child on the answers to each math fact over and over again until they can answer each question in under 3 seconds. Once the child can do that, they will know their times table, with instant recall, for life.
The multiplication tables are taught by Brain Magic with the same techniques used by people with high IQ’s, photographic memories and memory athletes. Despite myths and misconceptions, anyone can use these techniques (not just people with 'fantastic' memories) and harness the power of the mind. Simply put, we remember objects and stories far more effectively than we do abstract lines or symbols. We can easily remember what Goldilocks ate in ‘The Three Bears’ story, but we struggle to remember what symbol is above the ‘5’ on a computer keyboard. Ancient techniques such as those harnessed in our times tables course allow children to put times table information into their mind in the form of stories and the objects in each story.
Darren Michalczuk has been using these stories in his own elementary school classroom for the last 15 years. In early 2017, he met Drewe MacIver, and the two of them decided to get this learning method out to as many children as possible.
In the fall of 2017, they put on three weekend-long Math Camps in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada. These were a huge success for all the children that attended, and for Brain Magic. Thirty-two (32) of the thirty-nine (39) children who attended learned their times table by the end of the weekend, and all had a TON of fun doing it.
Now, we want to get these math stories out to as many people as possibly by turning them, and the math drills we use to test their object associations, into a digital course that can be learned via most smartphones, tablets, and computers!
To do that, we are raising funds by pre-selling the digital course through Kickstarter! The course itself will be available in the fall of 2018.
Kids have trouble remembering abstract lines or symbols. And this is what math can seem like to a child who hasn't yet learned the answer. Think about it, when I ask you what 4x3 is (seriously, what's 4x3?), you likely will just say "12", without having to visualize 4 units of three, and to count up their sum. But for a child who hasn't yet mastered addition, subtraction, or multiplication, every time a question is presented, children can get overwhelmed trying to do the calculation in their head, so they don't get the chance to rehearse the answers often enough for the answers to be truly 'known'. They just short circuit, trying to calculate 8x6 on the fly, and coming up with an incorrect answer the majority of the time. The child remains frustrated and convinced that they just 'can't do math', and the negative feedback loop of limiting self-beliefs leading to a disinterest in / hate for math begins.
If I asked you about what blew the house down in the ‘Three Pigs story’ you would right away know the answer (if you heard the story as a child). If you've never heard this story, I’m sorry for your sheltered childhood. ;) . It is a pretty violent story. One of the stories we use is about a crazy mom who tries to kill a spider with a golf club and accidentally breaks a window. Since we know that kids can remember stories, we know this one will stick, especially since it’s about a crazy mom (which they find memorable) and it’s funny/emotional when the window gets broken. We then use this story to remember 8 x 9. The spider represents "8" (8 legs, body shaped like an ‘8’) and the golf club represents "9" (9 iron, shaped like a 9). When they think of these 2 objects, right away they think of their mom being inside the house (with a roof shaped like a ‘7’) and the curtains of the window (there are '2' curtains) which gives them the answer (72). If the child is stuck trying to remember the story, we simply offer them the action prompt: "what gets broken?", and that gives them all they need to know to find the answer. After asking them to recall the story and the answer enough time, the child simply "knows" that 8x9 = 72.
When you watch a child do multiplication the traditional way (counting sets or fingers) you see kids struggle because it a long, hard, painful process. When you see them talk through a story, it’s quick, fun and they learn to love math.
Darren has been using these techniques in his own grade 5 classroom for 15 years, and his math class always performs well, and the majority of kids in his class write in their end of the year journals that they really enjoyed math class as well.
Outside the classroom, in the fall of 2017, Brain Magic put on three math camps in Vancouver and Toronto. Of the 39 children that attended, 32 of them learned their math facts over that single weekend (which we defined as scoring at least 70% on an end-of-the-weekend test of the entire times table from 3x3 --> 9x9). And those that didn't 'pass' this test, still learned a lot more than they had before the weekend.
Our math stories work ESPECIALLY well for children with dyslexia and dyscalculia. This is because the objects that represent the larger numbers are physically larger than the objects that represent the smaller numbers (ex. For "42" the object representing the "4" is physically larger than the object that represents the "2"). This makes it very easy for children to know the order of the numbers in the answers.
Here is a review from a Brain Magic parent with whose child suffers from both dyslexia and dyscalculia and has learned their times table using our stories:
"As she has dyslexia and dyscalculia this was a real confidence booster for her. Just yesterday she had trouble telling the time on an analog clock and I told her to multiply 7 by 5 minutes (she was trying to count it up) and with only a split second later she told me it was 35… When she realized how quickly she can get the correct answer the smile on her face was absolutely priceless!"
It is easy to tell if your child is doing well at math. Simply put, if they are able to add and multiply quickly, then the rest of the skills will be easy. Research (and common sense) says that kids should be able to answer each question in less than 3 seconds. That means if you ask a 9 or 10 year old what 7x8 is, they should be able to answer you in less than 3 seconds. If it takes longer, especially if they are counting on their fingers or drawings sets of lines, then then are going to struggle further down the road. Answering these 28 questions with a 5 minute time limit will give you a clear idea of how much your child knows. Knowing the answers to these questions are basic facts that will show up in most concepts in any math class, and understanding them lays a good foundation for future success in more advanced math later in life.
These are the perfect ages for learning the times tables. Though multiplication is often started to be taught in grade 2, most kids are taught, or should be taught in grade 3, 4, and 5 (ages 7-12 in Canada). However, some kids are ready to learn them earlier and we have taught some as young as 6 years old. Also there are many older kids who haven’t learned them and along the way have developed bad habits with numbers like finger counting which are tough to break. Roughly, less than 1 in 3 kids will actually master them, which means most kids suffer through math class without really understanding the most basic math skills. We want to catch the kids before they develop bad habits or start struggling with math.
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