Times tables! Absolutely the most useful thing our kids can learn to help with their maths but oh, the utter tedium of learning them – yuck! Helping them is often just as tedious and frustrating for us as parents too. The UK government is currently trialling a times tables check system in several schools, with the test being given to Year 4 children – that’s eight and nine year olds who will be expected to know their multiplication facts up to their 12x table.
If you can feel that sinking feeling right now, you’re not alone! Here’s some ways to help your child learn their times tables without them feeling overwhelmed:
Use the apps your child has access to through school
Whether it’s Mathletics, Times Tables Rock Stars or another app that your child’s school has paid for, get them to use it! Set a timer – five or ten minutes a day is much better than an hour once a week. Sometimes your child’s teacher might set them specific tasks to do on the app before they can have ‘free time’ on it.
Search out free times tables apps on your computer, tablet or phone that your child might enjoy. Check out a list here with links to some paid options too!
Chanting – yep, the old fashioned way may be boring, but it does work! Altogether now, “One times two is two, two times two is four…”
Skip-count – saying just the multiples, for example “Three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, eighteen…”
Skip-count games – throw and catch a ball to each other, saying the next number in the sequence. Try doing it going down the table instead: “Thirty-six, thirty-three, thirty, twenty-seven…”
Learn four facts – the first four facts of a table such as 1×8, 2×8, 2×8, 4×8 and practice them by writing or speaking them. Add the next one or two facts the following day, practicing them and the previous ones. Repeat until you reach the twelfth fact!
Draw the answers outside on a patio or driveway using chalk – call out a times table fact, can your child find the answer and jump on it?
If you’ve got any other ideas that have helped your children I’d love to know! Please leave a comment, or jump on over to Insta or FB and let me know!
Top photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash
Second photo Patricia Prudente on Unsplash
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