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What is the best way to teach my 8 year old her multiplication tables.

You'll probably get lots of answers and opinions! I'll tell you what worked with my brother and then with my grandsons -- repetition, repetition, and more repetition -- both verbally and in writing and with flash cards. With my younger grandson, we took each set (the twos, then the threes, then the fours, etc.) and had him write out the problems and the answers in a column; then we had him state from memory the problems and the answers.

Finally, we used a set of flashcards we got at Target (available just about anywhere, actually) and held up each card for about 5 seconds -- if he answered correctly, that card went into the right-hand pile; if not, into the left-hand pile. We'd re-do that left-hand pile until it was down to nothing. We did this in the house, while riding in the car, etc., We had both my grandsons learn the tables from 0 x 0 through 12 x 12.

Good luck -- and let us know how you progress.


I did this (myself) when I was a child by rote memory. My dad worked with me and he would say "5 x 9" and I was supposed to answer 45. As I try to remember to those time long ago, I think I might have understood just what was going on if I had understood that 5 x 4 = 20 was the same thing as 5+5+5+5 and the 4 came from the number 5 written 4 times. In other words, that multiplication was a shortcut to addition. But the memory work worked until I finally understood what was going on and that wasn't until I got to college. (Long time to be --huh?). (I may not have known exactly what was going on but I sure could spit out those numbers.)The point is that I think I would have had an easier time had I understood what I was doing. There was no reason that I could see why I needed to know that 9 x 5 was 45. One thing that helped, however, was that I soon caught on that 5 x 9 was 45 and when I came to 9 x 5 it was the same number. I felt as though I needed to memorize only HALF the tables because the other half was just the reverse. I was blessed with a good memory and that helped. So much for 70 years ago. Good luck.

In addition to the excellent suggestions posted by Writeacher, I suggest you start with visually demonstrating multiplication with food!

Use grapes or popcorn or M&Ms. To start, put 20 of these objects in 10 groups of 2 on a table. Ask her to show you how many objects are in 2 groups of 2 (2 x 2). Continue up to 10, letting her count the number of objects for each. You can continue this demonstration for a few minutes with groups of 3, 4, 5, etc. Of course, she should be able to eat this demonstration as she shows she knows how to do this math! <g>

These Web sites have other ideas for teaching the multiplication tables, including games.

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