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A course for children who struggle with math. The entire times table learned, in under 5 hours, through fun memorable stories.
81 backers pledged CA$ 22,155 to help bring this project to life.

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CA$ 22,155

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An incredibly effective way to memorize the times table. 

Proven to teach the times table in just HOURS. It’s super fun, super intuitive, and we need your help to pay for animation and software development to make it digitally available so children all around the world (including yours!) can benefit from this course!

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Math education that fits your family's schedule 

Because our digital math stories & interactive testing course will require only an internet connection, your child can learn wherever and whenever you find it convenient - on the bus, in the car on the way to school, at home after school… wherever!

These math stories are a perfect way to finally make the answers to the times table "stick" in a persons mind.

After using these math stories this child turned her grades around and is now entering high school with excellent math grades:

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These children learned the times table in a single weekend! (They're showing their before-and-after tests)
These children learned the times table in a single weekend! (They're showing their before-and-after tests)

This child was told our math stories a few hours before this video was shot, and shows off his times table math fact recall (using photos of each story as a cue) to his mom.

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Highlights

  • Works regardless of current ability - works for children who can't currently add, subtract, or multiply.
  • Works in just hours - less than 5 hours of storytelling and interactive testing are needed. Here are some reviews from parents.
  • Dyslexia, dyscalculia, and ADD - an effective solution for ADD, dyslexia, and dyscalculia children. 
  • Digital Learning -  on smartphone, tablet, or computer, all that is required is an internet connection.  
  • Develops strong academic foundation - the times table is critical to understanding fractions, algebra, and division.
                                   
                              

UK Memory Champion and World Record Holder Katie Kermode on why the Brain Magic approach to memorizing the times table is so effective.

Elementary School Principal Pierre Ouimet comments on why math facts are very important to learn at an early age - they are the foundation for much of the formal education that follows!

Digital education has been scientifically proven to be as effective, if not more effective, than in-person learning.

1. Click Back this Project below:

Select the available reward tier you would like to pledge on the right side of the page or click here. Each backer may only make one pledge.

2. Payment:

Enter your payment information. Your payment will not be charged until the very end of this campaign (September 12th, 2018).

3. iOS, Android, OSX, and Windows:

Each licence is valid for a single course. Your child will be able to use the course regardless of which operating system or device type you have (even if you have multiple device types). All that is required is an internet connection.

Easy to follow instructions on how to access the course will be sent to your email address.

OR Get the Diamonds Math Game FOR FREE! 

 If you’re not in a place to financially contribute to our campaign, we would still love for you to help! Simply share our Kickstarter page with your friends on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll give you a printable version of our hit game “Diamonds” for free (its a version of bingo, but for addition)! Just click on one of the share buttons below, then enter your email where you’d like to receive the game here.

If you feel you absolutely can not afford for your child to take this course, we still care about our child’s math learning and development! Once the course is live, we will initiate a 'One-4-One' program, where we will provide one course to a disadvantaged family for every course sold. If this is the case for your family, please submit your email here and we will contact you in the future with a free course.

                                               

Here is one of our math stories, with the associations explained, so you get a better idea of how each story teaches a math fact.

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Trigger images  

To aid story recall, each story contains two of the below objects - these objects tell the child which math fact that story is about. For example, to remember the story for “4 x 8”, all a child has to think is: “What was the story with the kite and the spider?”

The answer is IN the story 

The location of the story hints at the answer. All 30-something answers take place at the red triangle tent campground (3 poles). All 40-something answers take place at or on the purple car (4 tires), etc…. This consistency makes it easier for a child to determine the answer, as well as remember which digit goes in the tenths column (further aiding dyslexia/dyscalculia children).

Colour coded 

To further help children remember the correct answer, all objects are colour coded. All objects representing a “4” for example, are purple. All representing a “2” are blue. Etc…

Size of objects 

There’s a big difference between “24” and “42”! To make sure that children know which number comes first, all of the objects representing larger numbers are physically larger than objects representing smaller ones. This makes Brain Magic especially effective for children living with dyslexia and/or dyscalculia.

Who’s using Brain Magic?

These are some of the settings where Brain Magic can be used to quickly learn the times table, and here are some of the reviews from parents we’ve collected so far.

  • Homeschooling 
  • Have ADD/ADHD 
  • Live with dyslexia / dyscalculia 
  • Live with autism
  • Tutoring tool 
  • After school programs 
  • Public Libraries and Community Centres 
  • Who are good at math (to expose them to the power of mnemonics) 
  • Gifted programs

“Just hours”? 

There are 28 questions in the times table.  That's it.

30 second stories x 28 = 14 minutes

60 second object association explanations x 28 = 28 minutes 

10 minutes of interactive testing per math fact = 4.6 hours

After 5.5 hours with the course, your child will be able to answer each math fact, correctly, in under three seconds, and be able to do so for years.

                       
                                          

Darren is Canada’s leading memory athlete (placing 2nd at the 2017 Canadian Memory Championships), and an elementary school teacher. Darren’s developed this course for use in his own classroom over 20 years ago, and has been using them ever since.  He has self-published the math stories for others to use at home, and has published other books on teaching techniques, and on the practical uses of mnemonics (tactics & strategies for memorizing). 

These are books that Darren has published, including his latest release (2018) on the use of mnemonics in everyday life, “Brain Magic”
These are books that Darren has published, including his latest release (2018) on the use of mnemonics in everyday life, “Brain Magic”

Darren has also been using these math stories in his classroom for decades, and his students love math as a result. Here are some actual yearbook entries from his class.

Then Darren and I met last year, and a bromance was formed.  We immediately decided to start working together to get his times table course to as many children outside his classroom as possible. 

Drewe and Darren... instant friends :)
Drewe and Darren... instant friends :)

We had more detailed images of each story drawn up, so it would be even easier for children to visualize the stories and their object representations. 

We set off! We put on four 10-25 child "Math Camps" in Vancouver and Toronto in the fall of 2017, teaching the times table over a single weekend. 

I knew Darren had come up with something special when several parents approached us after various math camp with tears in their eyes, saying they didn’t think their children could learn the times table, and now they had
I knew Darren had come up with something special when several parents approached us after various math camp with tears in their eyes, saying they didn’t think their children could learn the times table, and now they had

 And our Math Camps received rave reviews. 

Actual reviews from attendees of our Math Camps - See more reviews by clicking on this photo
Actual reviews from attendees of our Math Camps - See more reviews by clicking on this photo

Then we further tweaked the stories according to strict criteria, making them even easier to understand and recall.

Each story was tweaked according to our proprietary 15-point rating system
Each story was tweaked according to our proprietary 15-point rating system

And had app wireframes and mockups drawn up to demonstrate what the digital course will actually look like. 

July 31st, 2018 - We launch!
July 31st, 2018 - We launch!


We have self-funded the design, course materials (static images) and the testing materials for our times tables course, and have already determined the digital course's structure/progression and have had wireframes drawn up. But we need to digitize them and house them in a digital interactive testing course! Every dollar pledged will go towards animation costs, UX design, and digital app development. 

Why Kickstarter Again? 

Since April of 2017, all of our energies and finances have gone into re-purposing and testing Darren’s classroom teaching methods into a single condensed course to teach the times table in just a few hours. Kickstarter allowed us to build and ship a product directly to those who wanted it, building an amazing community in the process, so launching this version on Kickstarter feels like coming home.


We still need your help!

We’re supported by great educators and partners, but there is still a huge part of this equation missing. You! Your backing will allow us to amass enough orders to digitize our stories and course. The feedback we’ve been receiving from our in-person times tables course, and from decades of teaching in Darren’s classroom, got us this far. Imagine where we could go next?

Drewe MacIver (founder)

Darren Michalczuk (course creator)

Tanya Kemp (mother and teacher extraordinaire)

Doris Poirier (for her belief in us)

Ian MacIver (for his belief in us)

Mackenzie, Noah, and Kieran Michzalczuk (for being themselves)

                                                                 
  

Brain Magic was our first Kickstarter campaign. It has been some of the most amazing and challenging few months of my life. If you are thinking of running a crowdfunding campaign, I encourage you to take the leap and go for it. You will connect with the most incredible global community of supporters and get to bring a part of yourself to life. I wanted to share some of the amazingly talented people who contributed to my campaign; maybe one day they will help you with your campaign too. 

Video // Jake Levin and Chris Zdep at Captivate Media (https://captivatemedia.com/video-production-portfolio/) did such an amazing job editing the video and proving me with direction and suggestions. I can’t recommend them highly enough. You can reach them here:  chris@captivatemedia.com.

Graphic Design // Vladimir Smokvoski is a very talented graphic designer that handled our branding, our graphics on this page, and our digital course mockups, even when I needed something in a matter of days. He’ll literally respond within 5 minutes, regardless of the time of day or night. :) Check him out at his UpWork page.

Marketing // I had run into many resources and extremely helpful people when researching and creating this kickstarter campaign, and so many were so utterly helpful.

The Soma creators have a great post on Tim Ferriss’s blog, TheFourHourWorkWeek. The principals learned in Tim’s books and through his podcast episodes have given me conviction to take this project on and continue to believe in it.

Early brainstorming with Karim Abraham was very helpful. Thanks for your support buddy, both ‘on and off the field’. He is the CEO of a thriving and rapidly growing commercial energy management company in Vancouver, BC, Kambo Energy Solutions.  Solar sail, buddy.

Michael Harris, Stephanie Neeley, David Garber, and the whole team at Funded.Today is absolutely incredible.  Michael influenced my marketing decisions early on with generous meetings, and Stephanie really worked her magic early in the campaign with finding the right advertising mix.  I can't recommend them highly enough. Thank you for your extremely valuable information and for maintaining your interest in us! They really know kickstarters inside and out - their youtube videos are also very helpful. Michael is probably the best one to contact if you are interested in their services: michael@funded.today

Matthew Golin is an absolute wizard when it comes to email marketing (the most clever and educated person I’ve every spoken to about email marketing), and had extremely valuable insights. He is available for lead generation consultation work, and can be reached at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewgolin/

Nishal Kumar of DMHDetox provided some very valuable insights. Thank you so much for taking the time, Nishal! Check out his Indiegogo campaign here.

While I only spoke briefly with Matt Astifan (www.webfriendly.ca), he offered very valuable marketing insights, and also pointed me to a very valuable video of Khierstin Ross that was shot at his always informative Internet Masterminds MeetUp (Khierstin is with ThinIce - you can see the video I’m referring to here, and she also has a very informative crowdfunding podcast, Crowdunding Uncut that I highly recommend). Matt Astifan is one of Canada’s best social media marketing consultants, period. He can be reached at: matt@webfriendly.ca

When it comes to advertising tracking organization and Google Analytics, Tohid Chaudhary is your man.  He is detailed in both his thinking and his work, and can implement very complicated tracking to your advertising (as well as arrange your Google Analytics account) to give you actionable information.  A very valuable person to work with.  He can be reached for contract work on his UpWork page, and if you need tracking implemented I recommend you do so.

Advertising // Several advertising partners were CRITICAL to making this a success.

Dragos Mirica, THE go-to Adwords WIZARD (seriously, this guy is amazing, as well as being one of the nicest people you could hope to meet, let alone work with) was absolutely pivotal in creating an effective Adwords campaign. If you need any Google Adwords work done, contact him ASAP because I have no doubt that his entire calendar will soon be full (if it isn’t already). You can contact him on his UpWork page.

Filming // Our kickstarter video possible would not have been possible without so many great people in Westlock, Alberta, Canada.

Thank you to Westlock Elementary for putting up with me for several days! Thank you to the students of Mr. Michalczuk’s class for letting me hang around, to Mrs. Gotschaulk for letting us use her classroom and break her lamp, and to all the children that I interviewed (Mackenzie, Sophia, Sadie, Hayden, Camilla, Emma, Isacc (I still can’t believe you guys are throwing curveballs at your age), Sandra, Hayley, and Maddison) for letting me do so. Thank you also to Principal Pierre Ouimet for letting us film there.

Thanks to Jennifer Schiller and Kevin Black for arranging the school bus for filming, and to Sarah Pawlik, and Anna, Joel, and Trey Black for being so patient (call us in a few months for your royalties, Trey)!

Special thanks to Roland Rlvard and his daughter Sophia for agreeing to be in our video, and for doing such a stellar acting job in it! Both of you did such a convincing and fantastic job!

Thank you to Mackenzie for posing for videos and photos, and for being just all-together amazing. Seriously, you’re incredible. And thank you to Noah for teaching me to use your knife dart board, and for Kieran for teaching me to ride a dirt bike (and congrats to BOTH you two on your track-meet finishes)!

Sales Support // Erik McNeill was a vital part of our early MathCamp sales success. We are very luck to have worked with him. You can reach him at: Erik.kmb@gmail.com

Support // Several family members were also extremely important in making sure this campaign happened, and it honestly wouldn’t have happened, or have been nearly as successful, without them.

Tanya Michalczuk, for the hard work that you have put into getting our math camps up and running, and to keeping us going. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Doris Poirier believed in this business when very few others did. I am forever grateful for her support, especially for her support at the outset of this campaign. This wouldn't have happened without you.  Thanks, Mom. Chippies.

Ian MacIver, who stepped in and provided substantial support to the campaign when it was very much needed, adding boosters to the rocket. Thanks, Dad. Sorry I couldn’t make it fishing in June, but I’ll be out next year! 

Donald MacDonald, who, unbeknownst to him, made this possible by supporting me with an investment in an (completely unrelated to Brain Magic) ultimately doomed company 7 years ago. His saying “Yes” lit a fire under me that’s still burning, and I honestly don’t think this would have happened if it weren’t for him doing so. Thank you.

Darren Michalczuk. Darren… I know, I know, we’re in this together. But you are one of the most incredible people I have ever met. You are your own daughters 5th grade teacher, organize the daddy daughter dance each year, are a memory athlete on the national stage (with incredible skills), an author several times over, an app developer, a relentless entrepreneur, a loving husband, a most admired father (deservedly so), and all while battling a tumour with a calm that I couldn’t achieve if I stubbed my toe. You’re a giant man, who makes the world a lot brighter - it’s an honour to know you, and a bright spot in my life to call you a friend. And… you’re pretty damn cool.

Follow us!

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Writing about us?

Press@BrainMagic.ca

Risks and challenges

Software is hard! The good news is we’ve done this before. Drewe has project managed for many tech ventures before, and Darren, while he won't be the one actually developing the app, has experience with building iOS apps himself.

Digital development is a complex and exigent process. Things can go wrong, and there will be challenges, big and small. Our pledge is that we will rise to meet each and every one of them, working day and night, doing everything in our power to deliver on our promise.

Our estimates for delivery are conservative, and our partnerships are reliable and solid, but in the event of unexpected issue, we will keep you posted on progress, and vow to work incessantly to minimize impact on delivery.

We will treat every backer as if they were our first and we promise you a quality product with an honest experience. We hope you choose to join us on this journey.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 55 or more About $41

    Super Early Bird x1 + Gift

    55% off est. retail value of $125

    Receive 1x Digital Course (license for a single user) + Complimentary Family Math board game Diamonds!

    ** course login details will be sent to your email address

    Includes:
    • Digital Times Tables Course
    • Diamonds Family Math Game - Download (ages 4+)
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    Pledge CA$ 64 or more About $48

    Early Bird Special + Gift

    49% off est. retail value of $125

    Receive 1x Digital Course (license for a single user) + Complimentary Family Math board game Diamonds!

    ** course login details will be sent to your email address

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    Pledge CA$ 79 or more About $59

    Kickstarter Special

    37% off est. retail value of $125

    Receive 1x Digital Course (license for a single user) + Complimentary Family Math board game Diamonds!

    ** course login details will be sent to your email address

    Includes:
    • Digital Times Tables Course
    • Diamonds Family Math Game - Download (ages 4+)
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    Pledge CA$ 92 or more About $69

    Early Bird Special x2 + Gift

    55% off est. retail value of $205

    Receive 2x Digital Course (license for two users) + Complimentary Family Math board game Diamonds!

    ** course login details will be sent to your email address

    Includes:
    • 2x Digital Times Table Course
    • Diamonds Family Math Game - Download (ages 4+)
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    Pledge CA$ 113 or more About $85

    Kickstarter Special x2 + Gift

    45% off est. retail value of $205

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    Pledge CA$ 480 or more About $359

    Kickstarter Classroom Pack

    40% off est. retail value of $800

    Receive 10x Digital Course (license for ten users) + Complimentary Family Math board game Diamonds!

    ** course login details will be sent to your email address

    Includes:
    • 10x Digital Times Table Course
    • Diamonds Family Math Game - Download (ages 4+)
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 800 or more About $599

    Appear IN A Story (Child)

    Have YOUR CHILD’S name and likeness be animated into a math story! Your child will see the cartoon version of themselves IN our course, doing funny, silly things that they will laugh at and remember for a lifetime!

    Includes:
    • 4x Digital Times Table Course
    • Your Child Will Be Animated INTO A Math Story!
    • Diamonds Family Math Game - Download (ages 4+)
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    Pledge CA$ 800 or more About $599

    Appear IN A Story (Parent/Adult)

    Have YOUR name and likeness be animated into a math story! Your child will see the cartoon version of you IN our course, doing funny, silly things that they will laugh at and remember for a lifetime!

    Includes:
    • 4x Digital Times Table Course
    • You Will Be Animated INTO A Math Story!
    • Diamonds Family Math Game - Download (ages 4+)
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 936 or more About $701

    Kickstarter School Pack

    48% off est. retail value of $1800

    Receive 30x Digital Course (license for thirty users) + Complimentary Family Math board game Diamonds!

    ** course login details will be sent to your email address

    Includes:
    • 30x Digital Times Table Course
    • Diamonds Family Math Game - Download (ages 4+)
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    Pledge CA$ 8,000 or more About $5,989

    Private 2-Day Math Camp IN Vancouver

    We’ll fly you and your child to Vancouver for a weekend, have dinner with the entire Brain Magic team, and then we’ll personally teach your child the entire times table THAT WEEKEND! Includes accommodation & flight (from North American destinations only - airfare from outside North America MAY cost extra).

    Includes:
    • Vancouver 2-Day Math Camp (learn the times table in one weekend)
    • Airfare and Accommodation, Vancouver, Canada (1x adult, 1x child)
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Funding period

- (44 days)