Early on, a child needs to understand that multiplication is a faster way of adding. Understanding, concentration, and rehearsal help children memorize the times table. By eliminating the facts they already know and the reciprocals (i.e. 8 * 6 and 6 * 8), there are few left to memorize. The inability to memorize after several attempts and memorizing techniques may suggest learning difficulties. As a parent, you should consider seeking the intervention of a professional educator or medical advice. Difficulty in memorizing may not necessarily indicate a disability, it may be due to anxiety, stress, and lack of confidence and concentration. Parents should encourage and support their children rather than get frustrated during such instances. Remove distractions, create a comfortable learning environment, and get involved in their studies.

Teaching Times Table to your Child

Most parents delegate the responsibility of teaching mathematics to teachers because they are either too busy or lack basic skills to teach their children. As with most things worth memorizing, repetition is the key to learning the times table. Chanting as an individual or group is a good place to start, there are several strategies that parents can employ to make it easier for pupils.

5 Simple Strategies For Teaching your Child:

Explain the Commutative Law

The commutative law states that a + b = b + a, and a x b = b x a. By understanding this law, children eliminate half of what to memorize. It also helps students learn the interaction between multiplication and division. If 4 x 7 = 28, then 7 x 4 is = 28, consequently, 28 ÷ 7 = 4, and 28 ÷ 4 = 7.

Patterns

Learning patterns is an important part of memorizing the times table because children can visualize and anticipate the solution. There is no definite order to teach the multiplication table but it is preferable to start with 1, 2, 5 and 10 as the patterns are easier for children to understand and memorize. At this level, children should have learnt that a number multiplied by 1 remains unchanged i.e. (1 x 1 = 1, 1 x 2 = 2, 1 x 5 = 5). Parents should help the children identify the relationship between addition and multiplication, i.e. (2 * 2 = 2 + 2), (2 x 4 = 2 + 2 + 2 + 2), and (3 x 4 = 3 + 3 + 3 + 3). Parents should also understand the basic rules and facts of multiplication such as whole numbers multiplied by 5 ends in 5 or a 0, and all whole numbers multiplied by 10 ends with 0.

Oral activities

Songs, chants, stories, and rhythms are useful tools for helping students memorize the times tables. There are several musical inspirations freely available on YouTube. The better part of oral activities is that parents and children can both participate while undertaking other duties such as cooking, cleaning, or driving. Chants work better in a classroom of students at the same level.

The classic shopping memory game is a popular technique to practice the multiplication table. Children sit in a circle and you start by saying the phrase aloud ‘I went to the shop and I bought …’, The first child responds with the first number in the times tables you are practicing and the goods purchased.

For example:

‘I went to the shop and I bought two apples, the next child responds with ‘two mangoes’, then ‘two oranges’, two bananas……. at the end, each child writes down the number of fruits in the basket.

Practical Activities

Practical activities help students memorize the times tables better in addition to seeing them aloud. This technique is effective when practicing the 5 times table. Children can flash their fingers when asked a question. I.e., show the fist the pinky finger when asked 2* 3. Students should also participate in the creation of a shopping list and the budget when planning for shopping. They determine the amount of goods required and the total cost.

Games

The objective of memorizing the times tables is instant recall. Beat-the-clock games are effective in improving a child’s accuracy and speed. The easiest way is to start by asking children to answer one task at a time such as what is 2 x 3, 4 x 6, 8 x 9, and 10 x 10. you can then progress to the more difficult tasks such as 2 x 3 x 4 and 6 x 2 x 3. The ultimate objective is for the child to accurately complete the 5, 9, or 10 times table. Games are better played in groups. Children sit in a circle with one child asking the questions according to the times table. The rest answer correctly one by one and whoever fails then asks the questions. The student with the least questions at the end of the stipulated period is the winner.

Charts

Charts are the most popular method of teaching the times table. They can be hanged in the classroom, in the living room, and the child’s bedroom. Chats are complemented by other methods such as oral activities but first learning children can memorize just by looking at them. If a child finds a task elusive even after several attempts then you can write it on a piece of paper and let the child carry it with them. Occasionally, parents can download and print empty multiplication tables 1 to 20 to be filled by children.