Multiplication Worksheets - Times Tables Sheets Reviewed online
Multiplication Worksheets From Kumon
Teaching Times Tables
When I was a child in the 1970's times tables were taught in a very traditional manner. We chanted our tables every single morning, starting at the two times table and gradually working our way up to 12 times tables. When we were fully proficient up to 12 we even continued up to 15 although I don't think I personally ever knew above 12's properly.
I was a little shocked therefore in 2009 when my daughter began to learn her times tables at school. Each week she arrived home with a small piece of paper tucked in the back of her homework book printed with the latest times table that she was due to learn. Then, every Friday she would be given a test to see whether she had learnt it. She was taught each one for 2 weeks.
One day I asked her how exactly she learnt her times tables, what they did at school to practice. She told me that the teacher told them at the start of the two week period what they were and then they did nothing more on them, no chanting, no copying them out. Nothing. Instead, it was her responsibility to learn them at home with no additional help at school.
A quick email to her teacher confirmed this to be true. Her teacher told me that chanting was now considered old fashioned so they didn't do it any more. Just learning them along with her spellings would be sufficient.
The only problem was, that without chanting my daughter quite simply wasn't learning the times tables. So I set about working out the best way to teach her myself.
Videos and DVDs
My first thought was that if times tables chanting was now old fashioned, I had better do what her teacher wasn't doing and discover a more modern way of teaching the times tables. I remembered somewhere reading about times tables songs, so I went to itunes and loaded up the "2 x tables rap" to her ipod for her to listen to. I told her that when she knew it enough I would add the next one as a kind of reward.
There was only one problem. My daughters ipod is full of music that she really does like, and although times tables rap may seem more interesting than simply chanting times tables it wasn't interesting enough that my daughter actually wanted to listen to it. I would think she was listening to it and then listening into her earphone discover that she had switched to Hannah Montana. Not a great start.
I decided at that point that I would buy a times tables cd for the car. This was moderately successful, except that the whole family was eventually driven crazy by the cd. Not a problem except that as soon as I put it on everyone would groan and begin shouting for it to be turned off, and my daughter still didn't know her tables properly.
I then went scouring bookshops for answers and found a times table dvd. It was great, and my daughter watched the table she was studying a couple of times a night and sang along. I thought she was getting the hang of tables properly, finally. However, when I quick fired questions at her she wasn't getting them. She could sing the table perfectly but didn't really know it.
Of course, every child is different. My best friend claims that a combination of a CD and DVD taught her daughter her times tables perfectly. You will know how your child learns best.
Try A Multiplication Poster On The Back Of The Bathroom Door...
Chanting And Worksheets
It was at this point I threw in the towel and decided that we would just have to chant. The only problem was that I just couldn't get her to do it. It is one thing to chant in a classroom of people all doing the same thing under the supervision of a teacher whom you know you have to listen to.
It is quite another to ask a child to sit and chant at the dining table at home and let's just say that I was met with some considerable resistance.
Then my daughters cousin came to stay. She lives on the other side of the world to us and although she is the same age as my daughter she studies a very different curriculum. Her parents had also enrolled her in Kumon math outside the classroom.
I had heard of Kumon math before but must confess that I thought it was the preserve of pushy parents who wanted child prodigies. However, I was astonished how well my niece (who is not a particularly academic child) knew her times tables.
I watched her do her Kumon each day she was staying with us and realised that the way that she had learnt was by doing the modern equivalent of chanting- large numbers of maths problems- each day. Her times tables were set out as questions on a worksheet and by completing these worksheets each day she was learning her tables perfectly.
I googled Kumon and was discouraged to find that it cost $100 per month per child. As a mother of two children this was something that I would struggle to afford on top of the school fees that I was already paying. So I wanted to find a free equivalent.
What I found
Eventually, after a lot of searching I found two things that were not quite equivalents but were a much cheaper substitute. The first of these was Kumon workbooks These are books that you can buy via Amazon that contain elements of the Kumon math program that you can do at home without enrolling. The multiplication book contains similar problems to the Kumon program but does not require you to go to a centre. I think that to be equivalent to the Kumon program you would need to do five to ten pages of these workbooks a day. However with the Kumon program being $25 a week where I live this would still be a huge saving.
Printable Math Worksheets
I also discovered that there are places where you can download and print worksheets for free. The only problem was that with the need to print 70 a week to be similar to the Kumon workbooks it was almost as expensive and massively time consuming. Also, the online sources that I found simply didn't have the volume of math worksheets that I was looking for. These were some of the sites that I found that had sheets that I could print from. If your child is just struggling with one of their multiplication tables these kinds of sheets may be sufficient to help. I found the happychild website to be the best of them although it is very badly laid out. If you persist however you can actually make some very good customizable worksheets.
Places to print worksheets:
In my own case I started by printing worksheets from the web, but found it arduous so then went and bought the Kumon workbooks. These were great, but having seen how well my daughters cousin was doing on the full Kumon program I eventually gave in to my guilt and enrolled my daughter in the Kumon Math program. I have to say that she now knows her tables perfectly and even won her class academic prize at the end of last year! It does cost me a lot of money each month but at the moment I feel that the improvement in my daughters maths has been worth the cost.
Kumon Workbooks On Amazon
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