Your son or daughter finally reached that age where addition and subtraction of numbers are no longer a challenge for them. It could be that their school is starting to teach them their times tables. Some students will understand the concept of multiplication right away, but that is not necessarily the case for everyone.
At first, you want to start out with something small. Try going through the one times table. You want to start out by pointing out that 1 times any number is always equal to the same number. You want to emphasize the fact that multiplication is all about the total number of a group of one specific number. In this case, for the 1 times table, there is only one group of the number you are multiplying 1 with, which is why you end up with the same number you multiplied 1 with.
Moving on, you can try the 2 times tables right up to 2 times 5. Why this specific number? This is exactly the number of fingers in your hands and your kid’s hands. This way, your kid can follow along with their own set of fingers. You want to start with grouping your fingers in 2’s. For example, using your left hand first you can make two groups of two and have your child count out how many fingers that makes. You can do this up to five groups of two. Ask questions. Make sure to engage him or her.
Once they get the concept, you can move on to bigger times tables. When you run out of fingers, you can use lego blocks, rocks, or anything he or she really loves to play with. The key in using fingers or toys or objects in general is so that your child can easily visualize the concept of multiplication, which, in time, can transfer to using number representations.
Remember to take a lot of breaks. Learning new concepts take time and energy. If your son or daughter is no longer focused on the subject, you can try doing another activity and come back to multiplication at a later time. You also do not want to reward your son or daughter with gifts or presents when they get these questions right. You don’t want them to get used to expecting a present or a gift when they learn a new concept. You want them to enjoy learning, so a little praise or encouraging comments are rewarding enough.
Don’t forget: practice, practice, practice! The only way that your son or daughter will never forget these times tables is if the topic or concept itself is engraved in his or her mind.
This article was written for you by Frances, one of the tutors with SchoolTutoring Academy.