Tuesday, December 16, 2008

TOS Review: Trigger Memory Systems

I have to admit that I am domestically challenged. I can cook a dinner, do laundry and clean the bathroom. Outside of that I never seem to be able to stick with a system.

Thankfully was given the opportunity to try out Clean 'N' Flip: Zone Cleaning for Kids, Laundry for Kids, and Bedroom Cleaning for kids.
Laundry is not a big issue for us. Yes it backs up, but we all know how to do that. We sort our laundry right in the bathroom with colors, whites, and towels. We don't really understand how it happens, but the laundry doesn't seem to always make the bags. Then we must send someone into the bathroom to sort them into the proper places. This is one we have down to a science.

The Laundry for Kids book uses "Easy to Follow Pictures, Great for All Ages." It gives step by step directions (with pictures of course) of each step of the laundry process: Sorting, loading machine, setting dials, etc., with specific instructions for choosing load size, temperature and cycle options. Each step has a check mark that you can use a dry erase marker (only!) to check the steps you want them to do. If there is a step you want them to skip - like adding chemicals to the washer (I am not ready for that with some of my children) then you would NOT check the box for the one step.

However, I admit, I don't fair too well when it comes to bedroom cleaning and zone cleaning. I did hand over the zone cleaning Clean 'N' Flip to my daughter (15) and asked her if she thought it was helpful. She recruited her brothers (6,7 &8) to help her and they flipped through the steps of cleaning the kitchen with them. They really enjoyed following the directions and the got the kitchen clean. My daughter said the only thing missing was "shining the kitchen sink." I reminded her that there were spots to add in their own chores that they needed to do.

So over to the living room, where we met resistance from the 6 & 7 year old. They don't like cleaning at all!! But with a little push from me they were busy putting things into the basket we left at the door to go later to other rooms, as recommended in the Zone Cleaning Clean 'N' Flip. Before I knew it the room was picked up and my 8 year old vacuumed it. Each day there is a chore that can be done, so you don't have to do it all in one day (for example, dust, vacuum, etc.)
My job was the bathroom. Maybe because it is small and easily accomplished, I like that. I tidied up, disinfected surfaces and did my day of the week chore - scrub toilet. There are other chores to do each day like sweep and mop, scrub tub, etc.

Lastly we have the bedroom and thankfully there is a Clean 'N' Flip for that too. Again I handed this to my daughter and told her - "Clean your room!" She really enjoyed the system that broke things down for her to make it so much easier for her to work. Maybe with some encouragement from me and these Clean 'N' Flips, she won't have a problem being as domestically challenged as me.

Lastly, I have to mention Times Tales per the website: "Times Tales is a creative, innovative mnemonic-based program that makes it fun and easy to memorize multiplication facts." Children are suppose to be able to learn higher level multiplication facts in about 45mins and remember them. This does not, however, teach the concept behind multiplication. I had difficulty with this product because I do not learn this way, and neither do my children. I did get what they were talking about and the relationship of the numbers to the stories but to me it was the long way of going about it.

I did write out the process of this program then decided that I could not do it justice explaining how it worked. You just have to go to the website and read the authors explanation of the program to fully understand it. There is also a sample story. So if you CLICK HERE, that will take you to their website.

The author says that if you follow the directions in the instructor's manual it will work. This program has gotten many rave reviews on how well it works, especially for those who are truly struggling with remembering multiplication facts. So if your child is struggling with learning math facts, this may be the product for you.

Also now available is uppers 3's and 4's supplement to this program. Included with the set are multiplication and division flash cards.

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