Mastering multiplication facts is a hard-won skill for most students, and they can easily lose it all over the summer. Here are tips on how parents and kids can work together to keep those math skills sharp. Everything on this list is quick and easy, and none of it interferes with summer fun.
- Start with song: yes, they’re my own work, but the award-winning Best Multiplication Songs EVER! really are the best. In just eight minutes a day, you can sing all your times tables with tunes you already know. Slip them into your daily routine—play them in the car, while doing chores, or dance to them for a quick workout.
- Flash card drill: stop by the Dollar Store (or any discount store, grocery store, or drugstore) and pick up a box of flash cards. Then be smart with how you practice. First, go through the stack and separate facts your child knows from facts your child needs to learn. Review the “know them” facts daily. Add about 3 new facts a day, always practicing the old ones. By the end of summer, your youngster will know the facts cold.
- FREE Computer Practice: I have an electronic version of the flash card drill—the FREE customizable Best Times Tables Practice EVER! Download this program and let kids practice at their own pace: just the fives, just the tens, only the easy sevens, all the hard facts—you name it.
- Math toys: visit Amazon.com or a local teaching store like Lakeshore Learning for fun multiplication toys. Multiplication wrap-ups are eternally popular. You can also find self-correcting multiplication games and board games like Multiplication Bingo.
- Worksheets: Most of my students still need an old-fashioned worksheet to cement learning, and they like a worksheet’s inherent efficiency. For no-frills practice, print worksheets from Dadsworksheets.com. Use the Spaceship Math for leveled practice or print conventional one-times-table-at-a-time worksheets.
The best worksheets, of course, come from Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! From memorizing that first fact to mastering 3 digit multiplication, it provides fun, quality, relevant practice. Dozens and dozens of real-life word problems highlight the importance of multiplication in our daily lives. There are certificates for every level, making it easy to track and reward progress.