As a parent I know the difficulties around sitting down and 'learning', times tables with my kids. As a teacher I know just how important it is!
Fluency in times tables are the basic building blocks of mathematical skills and make a huge amount of difference in a child's speed and confidence with maths.
Here are MadeByEducators top tips for mastering times tables.
1. Keep it fun!
There is nothing like being board to shut down the learning process. They learn twice as fast if you can turn it into a fun game, try to avoid competition with others but getting a child to compete with their own last score can really help a child to feel like they are making progress! This also means never try when they are hungry or tired!
2. Learn your child's time tables level!
As a general rule kids first learn their 2, 10 and 5 times tables at around age 6 or 7 and then move onto 3's, 4's, and 8's, later not getting to the trickier 6's, 7's and 8's until age 8 or 9 with 11's and 12's being a bit of an extra.
3. Don't move on too far too fast!
Make sure they have mastered the earlier times tables before starting a new one (see stages above). It could leave them quite confused.
4. Try to make it visual.
If you have the time (which we all do right!!), keep a visual record of progress e.g. tick off the tables as they are mastered! You could break this down furthte by using the stages above e.g. 2x2, 2x10, 2x5 before moving on to 2x3, 2x4, 2x8 etc.
5. Mix it up
Learning by rote does have its uses (and there are some great songs to help!) but we are working towards fluency for individual sums so do make sure that you mix sums up, e.g. 2x6 followed by 2x3.
6. Know when to quit!
A fun few minutes in the car every day beat a half hour slog which can really turn a child off learning. Try to stop just before it get too much!
As a parent I do sometimes wonder if its best to be 'pushing', my kids as sometimes they need me as just mum. The biggest rule for me here is number 1, if its not fun for them, its not the right time to be trying!