It does not seem fair – some children do not need multiplication times table help. These children start at about the age of 7 and within a few months or the year they know them all up to 12! Some children start even younger.
However, this is not the case for many children. These children struggle to remember basics and never seem to grasp the idea behind the times tables and always seem to need multiplication times table help! This causes parents anxiety and leaves them feeling helpless. This is not to say the child is not capable, it just means they need a longer time before they can remember all facts. How long they need? That just depends on the child. How can we help a child that is struggling? The good news is, all children with perseverance and a systematic approach will learn the times tables but it may not be easy, but it can be painless!
Start from an early age – times table help
One thing to remember for the future, is that you should start when they are about 7 years old. This will help with the times tables. Once a child is secure with adding and subtraction, counting in 2’s, 3’s, and 10’s, and counting backwards and forwards, then I believe they are ready to tackle the multiplication times tables. From my experience, these children understand basic maths and can easily be taught the concept of rows, columns and groups. Research has shown that giving children an early maths boost is significant because previous studies have shown that differences in mathematical ability between children in the first year at school persist into secondary education.
Starting by explaining what rows and columns are, can be a great times table help
Even if your child has some understanding of the multiplication times table facts you should still refresh the basics. Show them rows and columns using arrays and explain to them how this works. There are plenty of videos on multiplication arrays, so that your child can understand the basics. Arrays are a good starter to introducing children to the world of times tables and a good model for checking that they understand the concept of multiplication. The last thing you want your child to do, is just memorize the facts without understanding the concept behind it.
Here is a video on arrays.
More multiplication times table help – always teach the multiples first.
Always start with the multiples first (e.g. 3, 6, 9,12,15). This way the child understands that multiplication is basically adding on.
Use objects to help them
Arrays are an excellent way for a child to visualise what multiplication times tables are. Once you start using the arrays to model and visually see multiplication working, you can then also use objects to visualise arrays so the child can see and move objects.
Use different resources to learn the times tables
Remember there is not just one way to learn the times tables. Think about the times tables worksheets, number squares, songs, board games, printable games, video games and books as a great way to learn the times tables. Board games such as snakes and ladders have been shown to increase the mathematical abilities of children.
Parent and child together
Learn with your child. Play a game with them for – example multiplication times tables snap. Do not constantly test them. When my son was younger, we used to test each other. I only had a few seconds to answer 4 questions, and he had ‘lots of seconds’ seconds to answer one. Not surprisingly, he won most of the time. He enjoyed this. I obviously gave him an advantage, but learning should be about having fun and learning together. I sure did get quicker at recalling the times tables. Also, when we played times tables snap – I had to snap twice in a row before I could take up the two cards. There are plenty of easy ways to help your child learn the times tables – just give them an advantage.
Learning outside, when the weather is mild, is great fun. Ways to teach times tables outside.
It is great to get out and about. When you can, take children outside and let them experience the wonderful world of nature, feel the breeze on their face and have the freedom to run, jump or just walk! So often we are in the house, as the weather may not be good. But as soon as it is mild enough, get them out and about so they can explore and discover and learn.
Feed the ducks and count in multiples of two, three and four and so on. Play catch and count in multiples as each person catches the ball.
Get them to run as fast as they can and try and get counting in twos, until they cannot run anymore. What number did they get to? Now try counting in 3′ s and so on.
Find a twig and sit in a circle. The children can then tap out the multiples of the times tables. For example, if they are learning the three times tables, the first person would tap 3 times and then the next child 6 times and the next child 9 times. Each child takes their turn until the they tap to 36. 12 x 3 =36.
How quickly. Time them. How quickly can they write the multiples out? How quickly can they write the entire time table for a particular table e.g. how quickly can they write 1 x 3 =3, 2 x3 = 6 all the way to 12 x 3 = 36?
Before you go out...Climb stairs. Count in threes going up and back down. Up and down until they have exercised and can do no more! LOL 🙂 Okay, they are allowed to stop!
Play hopscotch times tables. Hopscotch is a great activity for children, as it requires good motor skills, builds body stretch and balance. It can be used to include learning of the multiplication tables. Have a look at these two videos.
Use different objects from nature to make wonderful multiplication tables arrays. Such as flowers, leaves, pebbles, and twigs.
Give them time – it could take years
I found that you just need to give children time. We often forget that they have so many things they are learning – Maths, English, Science and Social Skills. Sometimes it just takes time and constant practice before they master the multiplication tables.
Give encouragement and praise
Make sure you are generous with your praise and encouragement. Many children seek praise from their parents and if it is not forthcoming, they no longer want to try that activity. Give plenty of praise and explain to them that it will take time but a little and often will soon get them there. Make sure you smile, and your praise is genuine. Children can see through false smiles.
Finally, at the end of the day there are no easy ways to learn the multiplication times tables, but there are plenty of things you can do to make it more enjoyable and easier to understand.