We have been looking for a fun way to learn times tables, and after a few people passed this program along as a recommendation (and I found it recommended in the latest edition of the Well Trained Mind) I thought we should try it out.
Essentially, Times Tales uses stories (mnemonic devices) to help children master their math facts. Each number has a new identity. For instance, the number three is a butterfly. Then a story is created with that number, to guide your child to the correct answer.
I wasn't sure what I was going to think about this. It almost seemed more confusing to turn all of the math equations into stories that my kids had to memorize, but truth is- it totally, absolutely works.
In fact, my 5-year-old sat through the lessons with her older sister and now has all of her times tables down. I don't think she quite understands the concept of multiplication yet, but when she does she will be ready with her times tables already memorized.
If you use the program, make sure that you follow all of the steps carefully. Do not move faster than what is recommended. Be aware that the program does not teach facts 0x, 1x, 2x, and 5x. These are considered to be easy enough to master without mnemonic devices, so you will still need to drill these separately. It will take about 2 weeks of work (about 10 minutes a day) for your child to memorize the times tables in this program.
One more plug....my kids don't usually get super excited about working math problems, but whenever I would tell them it was time for Times Tales they would cheer, "YAY! Times Tales!" Now that was weird....but a good kind of weird.