Let me explain, I have been teaching children Maths for nearly 20 years and I have seen it time and time again – children practising an area of Maths that relies on times table knowledge – for example – simplifying fractions. They know how to do the topic and they know how to work out times tables – so no problem – right? What happens when they break off from the fraction question and turn their attention to working out, for example, their 8x table? They may take 30 seconds to a minute when their brain is solely focussed on times tables. When they come to the answer (eg, 56 ÷ 8 = 7) they can no-longer remember what they are doing with that answer and therefore get the whole question wrong! They will leave the lesson feeling they have not understood how to do fractions when the truth is just that they can’t recall multiplication facts.
BEING ABLE TO WORK OUT TIMES TABLES IS NOT ENOUGH! CHILDREN NEED INSTANT RECALL OF MULTIPLICATION FACTS TO 12.
(Don’t worry, I have my 15 best ways to help your child learn multiplication tables coming up.)
But, before that –
What Age do Kids Learn Multiplication Tables?
Should your child have memorized all of them already?
Year 2 –
They should be able to count up in 2s, 10s and 5s
Years 3&4 –
They need to memorize the 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x and 10x tables.
By the end of year 6 –
They should have instant recall of all multiplication facts up to 12 x 12 and this knowledge needs to stay with them until they have finished their GCSEs!
Are you confident that your child can do the times tables relevant to their age group and therefore access all the learning in their Maths lessons? If you want to help them, find out all you need to know with these 15 fun ways to teach your child times tables.
15 easy ways to help your child learn multiplication tables
Challenge yourself to include one of these in your child’s life every week:
- Multiplication songs – this is a great way to memorize times tables – search Youtube for something catchy or look on Amazon for a CD and play it regularly.
- Card games – search Amazon for Brainbox’s ‘Times Table Snap’ There is an easier version and a harder version.
- Buy a times table poster and put it up next to the toilet. Or just print out a single times table as a poster yourself to learn them one at a time.
- Try Multiplication Wrap-ups – times table practise for children who need to do something with their hands. Find them here.
- Stick individual times table facts (eg, 6 x 7 = 42) on cards around the house (eg, by the toilet, bathroom mirror, edge of the telly, in front of car seat etc)
- Try a board game for a fun way to learn times tables; I suggest ‘Say Cheese Café’ or ‘Tri-Facta’
- Test your kids on car journeys. Eg, can they spot the answer to 3 x 4 on a number plate?
- Teach them this fool-proof 9 times table trick.
- Have times-table races – who can finish reciting their times table first – you can differentiate this with a different multiplication table for each child
- Teach them these rhymes: ‘I ate and I ate until I was sick on the floor – eight times eight is sixty four’. ‘Wakey, Wakey, Rise and Shine. Seven times seven is forty nine.’ ‘5, 6, 7, 8. 56 is 7 x 8’
- Online Multiplication Games – this is one of the best ways to learn times tables. Get your child to play one of these first every time they want to go on the computer. The best one for practising a single times table at a time is Hit the Button, or to practise all times table try Penguin Jump, or some of the other great games on the arcademics website
- Writing them out – I know it’s a bit old school, but it works for some kids
- Fizz Buzz – the classic times table game: This can be played by 2 people or a whole class full! You just count around the circle, one person starts with “1”, then next says “2” and so on. You decide on a times table for Fizz – eg 3x table and one for Buzz – eg 4 x table. When you reach a number in the 3’s the person has to say ‘Fizz’ instead of the number and when you reach one in the 4s the person has to say “Buzz”. If the number is in both times tables the person has to say “Fizz-Buzz”.
- If all else fails – some kids respond really well to sticker charts and bribes!
Finally, for some great practise of multiplication facts, download my FREE ESSENTIAL 15 PAGE PRACTICE PACK which includes a sheet on each times table and a couple of puzzles too. It will give you a clearer indication of which times tables your child really needs to practice. GET IT HERE and please let me know how you get on!