It is a struggle trying to get a child to learn multiplication. Honestly speaking, the only and best way to learn is to memorize the table. I was battling with smarty whenever I teach him the multiplication table. We fought for a period where he preferred the skip counting way of learning multiplication while I wanted him to memorize. Until recently, he gave in and tried to memorize his multiplication table instead because he realized when comes to big numbers, he found it tough to count using the skip counting method.
During the recent one-week school break, it wasn’t all just play as we spent some time to focus on learning the multiplication table as well. Here’s what we did in 3 simple steps.
1. Set a schedule and commit to learning multiplication table
For 15-20 mins: smarty will read over the table. For example, multiplication of 6. This is especially good if the child is a visual learner. There are songs available but we find it more confusing for us though. I’ve made this portable size multiplication table for smarty so that he could carry along with him wherever he goes.
Another 15-20 mins: I will get some worksheets created and printed out for smarty to practice on so as to enhance his learning.
Next 10 mins: do speed drills by verbal testing him.
2. Learn and recognise the patterns
If you noticed, some of the tables have a pattern that can help you to memorize better.
multiplication of 5: 5, 10, 15, 20 …
==> it ends in either 5 or 0
multiplication of 9: 9, 18, 27, 36, 45
==> noticed how the “tens” place goes up by 1 and “ones” place goes down by 1? You can even use your fingers to help you too! (Google for multiplication of 9 using fingers and you will see loads of results on that)
3. Retain and recall
In order to train up the memory, we usually turn to more assessment books or worksheets for more practice. There are ways to make it fun such as playing games. We used playing cards where each of us with flip 1 card and multiply the numbers. Whoever shouts out the answer first will get a point. At the end of the game, the person with the most points will get a reward.
We also played a board game of multiplication which I have created. Smarty enjoyed the board game the most and it made his learning of multiplication table even more fun and interesting.
Worksheets will still have to be given out for the actual challenge at the end of the day. So long as there’s fun being injected into the learning process, the child will be more motivated to learn no matter how difficult the subject or topic can be. So where do I get worksheets for smarty to practice? I love the worksheets from Math-aids.com where I can create multiplication worksheet according to the table I want. Click on this link here to the multiplication generation website.
Always remember to check what difficulties they are facing while learning so that we can target the right area and focus on making it better. Take a break when necessary and encourage them to press on rather than giving up. Be supportive of their learning journey and reward/praise them accordingly so that they feel motivated. Your child will definitely appreciate an involved parent during their learning journey.
Oh! If you like our tips and tricks on learning multiplication or if you have more tips to share, do comment. We’d love to hear from you! Don’t forget to subscribe to Young Smarties newsletter for more updates on learning and we will also be sending you the multiplication printable board game for free!