Ways to Help Your Child Memorize the Times Tables
Memorizing math facts like the times tables is extremely important because it speeds up mathematical calculations. A child who doesn't automatically know that 4 x 3 = 12 is going to take far more time figuring out multiplication problems than a child who does. Kids who don't know their math facts will struggle more with math and will likely dislike it even more than they otherwise would.
Memorizing math facts takes time. Flashcards are a popular but boring way to teach multiplication facts for both parents and children. Using different methods to memorize math facts will take some of the frustration and boredom out of learning. These are some good ways to help your child learn.
Don't Teach Numbers in Order
Math books will often start at the 0 times tables, then move onto the 1 times tables, then the 2 times tables and so on. But there's a much better way to do this that makes learning easier in the long run. I go into detail on this method in "A Very Easy Times Tables Learning Method."
Write Out Math Facts Every Day
This is an easy thing to do and doesn't take too much time. Choose a number every day and have your child write out the times tables for that number. For example, have your child write out the 3 times tables up to 3 x 12 one day, then do the 4 times tables the next day, the 5 times tables the following day and so on. It's best to focus on the times tables up to 5 until your child has mastered them.
After your child has written out their times tables for a particular number up to 12, test them to see how much they've retained.
5 Times Tables Song
YouTube has lots of videos that teach both skip counting and the times tables. Songs can be especially helpful for learning. I always teach skip counting for each number first and then focus on the times tables for that number afterwards. It's easier to learn skip counting and it makes it easier for kids to figure out the times tables when they do start to learn them. Watch some videos for the number you are focusing on that day.
This is an expensive but very useful DVD. It uses storytelling to help kids memorize the harder to learn times tables. The DVD only covers the 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 multiplication facts. However, these are the most important, since they're the most difficult to learn. The 2, 5 and 10 times tables are often easier for kids to memorize. Many schools require students to learn their multiplication facts to 12, so it's unfortunate those are left out. But 1 to 9 are the most important for multiplying by tens, hundreds and thousands.
This is a very affordable card game that most kids will enjoy playing. Take out any cards that your child isn't currently learning. For example, if your child is currently learning the times tables up to 5, take out all cards for numbers 6 and above.
A game of math war doesn't take too much time, so it's something you can do every day.
- 10 Best Introductory Math Games for the iPad
Ten games for teaching introductory math and math facts using your iPad. Many of these games are also available for the iPhone.
iPad and Android Apps
Apps can be a fun way for kids to learn multiplication facts. Some apps I really like are Bingo Math, Rocket Math, and Adventures Undersea Math. Have your child do a couple of these apps every single day while they're learning their times tables. They should continue to use them a couple of times a week when they've finally mastered their times tables to ensure they won't forget them.