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Rhymes 'n Times Review by Dawn KingAnita Spires Turner
Turner Educational Products, LLC
PO Box 87352
Baton Rouge, LA 70879-8352
Rhymes 'n Times is a unique multi-sensory multiplication program for ages K-6. The program is a white box full of goodies...plastic cockroaches, slimy worms, golden rings, and other fun items which help your children learn multiplication. Also included are a workbook and the Rhymes 'n Times teacher's manual. Ms. Turner claims your child can learn his or her multiplication facts in only 3 weeks. In fact, they offer a money back guarantee if your student does not get a 90% on the final test. My 10-year-old daughter and I decided to test out this claim. She had been struggling with her multiplication facts all year and wanted to get them over with so she could move on.
There are 4 lessons per week, then one test at the end of the week. The workbook also includes a pre- and a post-test for comparison. Each lesson begins with a list of the facts covered and what the student and the teacher need. This is called the Daily Lesson Plan. For each fact covered in the lesson, there is a separate page instructing you how to teach it in detail.
For each fact or group of facts, there is a rhyme. For example "3x4 12 knocks on the door." You'll read the Boogie rhyme with your child several times while he acts out the rhyme. In this case, he'll make a knocking motion with one hand. The he'll have a Task to do that goes with the rhyme. In this case, he would go to a door and knock on it 12 times. They you read and repeat the rhyme again and draw or color in the Boogie page. Some rhymes have goodies tied in with them. For example, "6x7 Rings are New, Shiny and Bright-All 42." So the student's task is to put 42 rings on his finger and count them. Each of the goodies are in separate baggies, then included in a larger baggie labeled with the week number. It keeps the kit nice and neat and allows you to find the goody you need easily.
After he has learned the rhyme and done all the Tasks, your student may do a Boogie sheet, which is just practice on that math fact. For homework, he will do a Homer sheet, which practices all the facts he's learned to date. At the beginning of each lesson, he will do a Scooter worksheet, which again practices all the facts he's learned to date.
My daughter and I were thrilled that she did in fact learn her multiplication facts in 3 weeks and we both enjoyed doing it. Each lesson took less than 20 minutes. I was so impressed with how well this worked for us, I bought the other three kits, Fishin' for Addition, Subtraction in Action, and Divide 'n Slide.
The main problem I see with the kits is that they are very expensive. Honestly, if I were searching the internet and saw this program and the price, I would have passed it by. The Rhymes 'n Times Parent Kit is $119.99 plus $9.95 shipping as of October, 2005. That's certainly a lot to spend on just one fact operation. BUT, because I have seen and used the program, I would recommend it to someone who could afford it and had a child struggling in their basic facts.
The company has ways to make it more affordable. First, if you get a group of 5 people together, the price drops to $99.95 per kit. They also have payment plans to help you spread out the cost of the program. If you think about it, I will have seven students go through it because I have seven children. That certainly makes the price per use drop considerably. If you have a large family, it may be something cost effective to use the kits, especially if you have students struggling with multiplication.
Because I've seen the other kits, I'd like to comment on them as well. All the kits are laid out the same. Sometimes they teach a group rules, (such as +1, etc.) or sometimes they teach just one fact. Divide 'n Slide also frequently teaches a fact family together, which is nice. For example, "12 divided by 3 or 4 is 4 and 3 Fingernail Tips for Me." This helps the student associate the numbers 3, 4, and 12 together.
One problem I saw is that the Subtraction in Action facts only go up the 10 minus facts. It doesn't get into any facts that have a minuend (the top number) higher than 10. I can't figure out why this would be. After realizing this, I was very disappointed. There is one caveat about the program. Because it is secular in nature, it occasionally refers to things like witches, monsters, or space ships.
All in all, I like Rhymes 'n Time and highly recommend it if you have a struggling student. I also recommend Divide 'n Slide for those pesky division facts. Fishin' for Addition may be valuable for those struggling with addition facts. I do not recommend Subtraction in Action because it is not complete.