I’m not very pushy when it comes to getting my kids to memorize their multiplication facts. I generally do it very slowly over my child’s third and fourth grade years. I definitely want them to have them memorized at some point, but it is such a small component of mathematical ability, that it is not a priority for me.
I would much rather my kids focus on thinking critically and having the stamina to work through hard problems. However, since I don’t want my kids either being super slow at basic math as adults or dependent on a calculator, it has to be done.
Here are the free resources I have created for multiplication and division. (At the moment they are mainly just for multiplication, but having your multiplication facts memorized is the first step to being able to divide.)
Here are some other suggestions to make memorizing multiplication facts more fun. Please note that none of these resources are all necessary. They just might make the process a little easier.
- Multiplication Facts that Stick by Kate Snow is a really fun resource. It is full of games that the parent and child can play together plus worksheets for the child to practice on their own. (Note that she has also written a Division Facts that Stick book with a similar, engaging format.)
- Times Tales is a dvd series with fun little illustrated stories that help kids memorize the different facts. While my kids thought it was entertaining to watch and they definitely helped my young children a bit with memorization, we didn’t really rely on these very much. I have a friend who said they were very helpful for her dyslexic child.
- My kids enjoy listening to the Classical Conversations skip counting songs. While this is not technically multiplication, being able to skip count definitely makes it less likely that kids will mess up by a number or two when multiplying. Classical Conversations is a full program which my children do not do. This Classical Conversations CD on iTunes includes the math skip counting work as well as many other memorization resources.
- This skip counting playlist by Scratch Garden on YouTube is a great free resource. The songs are not as memorable as the Classical Conversations versions, but it is a great, free way to reinforce learning.
- My kids also really like Mr. DeMaio’s multiplication song covers playlist on YouTube. Another really fun, free resource.
- This one is a little boring, but it’s free and effective. When my son had most of the memorization done, I had him do the little lessons and tests on www.timestables.com. It was a quick and easy way for him to show me that he had all his facts memorized and could do them accurately and quickly.
Click here for more Math activities for kids.