Teaching From Home

Math Tip:  Memorize Times Tables

by:  John Crowder

John Crowder, Owner of Crowder Education in Pocatello, Idaho

Has the coronavirus resulted in your school closing?  Many parents are now having to consider home schooling for the first time.  Here’s a tip from veteran homeschooler, former private school administrator, and tutor, John Crowder, owner of Crowder Education in Pocatello:

One of the biggest reasons that children struggle in math is that they don’t know their math facts.  Students should be learning their multiplication tables no later than 3rd grade.  In 4th grade, students should be able to pass a timed single digit multiplication test.  Passing means that students should be able to complete a timed multiplication fact sheet at a rate of 2 seconds per problem with no errors.  For example, a 64 problem speed drill should be competed, without mistakes, in 128 seconds or less.

Truly proficient students can complete a multiplication fact sheet in half that time, at a rate of 1 second per problem.

Here are two good ways to learn your multiplication facts.  One, learn to count by different single digits.  Two, practice with multiplication flash cards.  Don’t try to learn all the facts at once.  Most students learn to count by two’s, threes, and fives, but those who struggle with their multiplication facts frequently have trouble with the 7’s, 8’s, and 9’s.  Take one of these at a time, i.e., learn to count by your 7’s, practice with the 7’s flash cards, then move on to the 8’s, and so on.

My experience working with students has shown me that, even high school students are sometimes not able to pass a multiplication speed drill.  Check to make sure that your child, regardless of grade level, is able to do so.  To find free, printable math drills online, go to https://www.math-drills.com/

Math is easy when students are given the tools to succeed.  Make sure your child is on the road to success!



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