I knew that Trigger Memory Systems would get a wonderful review from me from the day I handed one of my children the Zone Cleaning for Kids Clean n’ Flip Chart. You see, no matter how neat our house is in the morning, it deteriorates to looking like a war zone by day’s end. On this particular day, I was in the kitchen cooking supper and had begun my usual “your daddy doesn’t deserve to come home to this – start cleaning!” speech when I remembered the Zone Cleaning flip chart we had for review.

My twelve-year-old daughter is one of those kids who likes to be in charge of a project, so I handed her the chart and its accompanying dry erase board marker while I stayed in the kitchen. After lots of activity and kids running around with baskets of items they’d grabbed that didn’t belong in the rooms where they’d been found, I heard the hum of the vacuum cleaner. I was stunned: the floor in our school/computer room was cleaner than it had been in ages.

The Zone Cleaning for Kids Clean n’ Flip Chart contains cleaning strategies for three areas: kitchen, bathroom, and living room. The pages are laminated so you can check off the list with the enclosed dry erase marker, erase, and use it again. I think the success lies in the first two steps:


Why in the world didn’t I think of that? Grabbing everything that doesn’t actually belong in the living room and getting it out is huge. In case you haven’t noticed, I love the Zone Cleaning for Kids Clean n’ Flip Chart. Trigger Memory Systems also sells Bedroom Cleaning and Laundry flip charts. The only one we haven’t really used is the laundry chart, simply because the washing machine is smarter than we are: we don’t tell it what to do, it figures it out by itself.

If purchased individually, Zone Cleaning is $17.95, and Bedroom Cleaning and Laundry are $7.95 each. Get all three for $29.95, or the Zone Cleaning and Bedroom combo for $22.95.

Trigger Memory Systems is best known for Times Tales, a mnemonic-based program that makes it fun and easy to memorize the most difficult to remember upper multiplication facts: 3×6, 3×7, 3×8, 3×9, 4×6, 4×7, 4×8, 4×9, 6×6, 6×7, 6×8, 6×9, 7×7, 7×8, 7×9, 8×8, 8×9, 9×9.

The Instruction Manual contains flash cards for drilling both multiplication and division facts.

Question: How does your system work?
Answer: Times Tales works by turning an abstract multiplication problem into easily remembered stories that the child can relate to. Numbers become consistent, familiar characters that come together in different combinations, each time with the multiplication fact hidden in the story. First the child learns the stories, then, step-by-step, the story elements are peeled away. Finally, the child is left with a basic multiplication fact but his mind is triggered to recall the story involving those characters, thus revealing the answer to the problem.

Full program FAQs can be found here. Times Tales sells for $29.95.

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