Help Your Child Learn their Times Tables
Helping children to learn theirs Times Tables must rank as one of the hardest jobs for parents. And it's not much fun for children either.
Endlessly reciting them fell out of fashion in primary schools for many years, but the Government is now increasingly keen for children to commit them to memory.
The National Curriculum for primary schools stipulates that by the end of year 4, children should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12x12.
There are lots of different techniques and it's really important to understand how best each individual child learns. For instance, chanting them on the way home from school might work for one child, but be incredibly dull for another.
Times tables can be so tough to get the hang of, but we hope that one of the tips below works for you and turns your child into a times table champion!
Make it into a game
There are some really good fun Times Tables games on the internet which bring it to life. These are particularly good for children with a basic knowledge of Times Tables. We like:
- Ghost Blasters - where you have to shoot at numbered ghosts;
- The Key Stage One section on http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize - which has different levels of Times Tables depending on whether your child can cope with Medium, Hard or Really Hard tables.
Try using their favourite songs
If your child is into music, record/film them putting each Times Table to a different favourite song. They can listen/watch back daily and keep refreshing their memory. We think this is more fun and memorable to the music CDs you can buy.
Board games can be a fun way of learning tables. We like Hoo Ha! which is a matching/pairs card game that uses four learning styles in one game to aid recall and improve concentration.
Maths whizz Carol Vorderman has written a number of Times Tables books for children. She uses clever tricks and memorable themes to help children remember and work out their times tables. Her website The Mathsfactor.com has fun videos and daily practice sessions and games. Her advice is for children to start with the 5 and 10 times tables, then move on to the 3, 6 and 9 as they are related. Lastly, tackle 2, 4, and 8 which also have the same pattern. 7 should be taught separately.