By Brenda J. Church on May 15 2018 15:41:02

Fortunately for me, a wonderful 3rd grade teacher gave us the solution. It helped that he was male, and my 8-year-old daughter had a major crush on him. She ate up every word that man said, so when he taught her to skip count to some familiar tunes she came home singing her math just for fun.

What it is about memorizing multiplication tables that make my kids throw their pencil across the room and shout, “I hate math?” It is because, unlike spelling or vocabulary, numbers don’t create pictures for us. Multiplication tables are strings of seemingly random numbers that our children are expected to not only remember, but keep in order and in context with the numbers they are multiplying by.

Using times tables is simple. Practice multiplying the 2’s, 5’s, and 10s first, then the doubles (6 x 6, 7 x 7, 8 x 8). Next, move to each of the fact families: 3’s, 4’s, 6’s, 7s, 8’s, 9’s, 11’s, and 12’s. Start by doing one sheet and see how long it takes you to complete it. Do not worry about how many right or wrong answers you get the first time you complete a worksheet. You will get faster as you become better at multiplying. Do not move to a different fact family without first mastering the previous one.

Like any new skill, learning multiplication takes time and practice. It also requires memorization, which can be a real challenge for young students. The good news is that you can master multiplication with as little as 15 minutes of practice time four or five times a week. These tips and tricks will make the job even easier.

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