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Multiplication Help for Your Child!

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I had a request from a reader asking for my advice on helping a struggling child with the multiplication tables.  As I told her, many kids struggle with it.  The only way to get it to sink in is to do it continuously!

Zack, my 10 year old, struggled last year and is doing much better this year.  It isn’t something that is going to happen over night and trust me, they are just as frustrated as you are. Smile

Multiplication facts are something that must be memorized, not learned.  So, work them into your child’s every day schedule and here’s the best way:

1.  Buy (or make) a set of multiplication fact flash cards.  You can get them at Walmart, Target, most drug stores, or here’s a couple different ones on Amazon:

Ok, so once you have your cards just sit down with your child and go through them quickly.  They should NOT be adding them in their head, but should just know them.  I hold a card up and count to 3 in my head.  If Zack hasn’t given me the correct answer by the time I get to 3, I set it aside.  If they know them, they get to keep them! Then, I sometimes reward him with that many pieces of cereal, that many pennies, or that many m&ms.

With the set aside cards, I started off by flipping through them to see if there was a pattern.  For example:  Zack really struggled with 6s, 7s, and 9s (understandable).  So, we spent a few weeks really promoting those by playing online games and doing worksheets.  I had him write them (just like with spelling words) several times in both ways.  I came up with cute sayings like 5,6,7,8.  56 = 7 x 8 Smile or we just did them in song 6 times 6 is thiiiirrty-six.  It sticks because it rhymes.

So, online games and such can be found with just a quick google search, but here are the places that we have used and recommend:

1.  Math Blaster by JumpStart!  You can play online or use their new Apple or Android App!

2.  Multiplication Problem Printables at MathBlaster

3.  Math Fact Café allows you to generate your own Multiplication Table Worksheets

4.  TLS Books has over 97 free multiplication worksheets for you to print and use with your child!

5. has an AMAZING amount of printables and games to keep you going.

6.  Scholastic Parents has a great number of online and printable multiplication helpers, too. 

I hope you find these links useful and good luck!  I am with you… I HATE Math. LOL!

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Sunday 27th of January 2013

I agree with you and I don't agree with you! When my daughter was having a lot of problems with multiplication tables I tried the flash card thing. She did not respond well. We tried writing them, and listening to songs. Multiplication tables were a huge stress for her and the more stressed she got the less she could remember, and the more frustrated I got. I had a homeschooling friend remind me that we can do things a little differently than public school families, and we can also do them in our own time (well our kid's own time) not when the curriculum says it is time. The one thing I did find that helped her a lot was to have a poster with multiplication tables on it near her desk. I would not allow her to use a calculator, but she could look it up. In a way it had the same effect as flash card drills, because looking them up exposed her to not only the particular number she was looking to multiply, but the ones around it as she searched for her answer. The other thing that worked really well for my daughter was multiplication games. When she first started the games she like Cheese Capers (at As she gained comfidence she played more demanding speed multiplication games. Eventually, she did learn her multiplication tables. Flash cards and worksheets wouldn't work for her, but I agree that repetition really helps pack down this skill.


Sunday 27th of January 2013

Thank you for the math resources.


Thursday 17th of January 2013

I would love for you to add Speed! to your list. It's a skip-counting card game to help kids with multiplication. It's available on amazon and now on the iPad. There's a free version and the full version is 99 cents.


Thursday 17th of January 2013

Great advice Kelli! I am starting to teach my daughter the concept of multiplication and I will start with flash cards soon.