Helping Your Child Memorize the Multiplication Tables: Techniques and Tricks
Memorizing math facts can seem like an overwhelming task, but with a little creativity your child can use tricks for learning multiplication tables at home or in the classroom. Here are several suggestions you may wish to try.
For musical children, the greatest incentive for learning multiplication tables is being able to sing them. Choose some of your child’s favorite tunes and substitute the lyrics with the math facts. Each multiplication table can have its own song, and you can have fun singing it along with your child. Record him singing the song and play the recording over and over again at various times of the day. (There are also tapes in which professional singers do this.) In no time, your child will be able to sing the songs right back to you, fact by fact.
For visual or tactile children, charts may be one of the best tricks for learning multiplication tables. You can make a large chart out of poster board. Put the numbers 1-12 (or fewer, depending on which facts your child is learning) across the top and again down the left-hand side of the board. Make a grid with the appropriate number of boxes, and encourage your child to fill in the boxes correctly. Then help your child cut out squares of paper to go over each of the boxes. Glue the tops of the pieces of paper right above each box. Then show your child how to use the chart to test herself.
You may want to try flashcards with your child, but make sure that they become a fun game rather than a frustrating chore. You can use premade flashcards or make your own. Either way, flashcards are only beneficial once your child understands the basics about multiplication and is familiar with many multiplication facts.
Using competition between friends is only a good idea if the friends are on about the same level, and if you expect them to pick up the facts at about the same rate. This technique is risky, but for high-energy kids it can often work when nothing else will. You can take them out to a basketball court, call out facts, and pass the ball to whomever answers correctly – allowing him to try for a basket. Alternatively, you can have them race to a chalkboard (or a piece of paper taped to the wall) to write down the correct answer if they know it. You can also give them cards with the numbers 0-9 written on them and encourage them to hold up the right answer quickly. Sometimes this technique works best with only the child competing against himself.
Whatever technique or trick you use for learning multiplication tables, be sure to keep it fun and your child will master the skill in no time!