Learning times tables off by heart makes mental maths much easier. It will boost your child’s confidence in their maths lessons at school, but it’s also a skill they’ll use all the time in the world outside school.
Here, we’ve pulled together key information about how times tables are taught at primary school along with our pick of activities to help make learning times tables fun for your child.
Why is it important for my child to know the times tables?
When children know their times tables, mental arithmetic becomes easier. Practising times tables also helps children to understand number and number relationships, and to see patterns in numbers. These skills will help them to master key concepts and move quickly through more complex maths problems with confidence.
A thorough knowledge of multiplication and division facts will help children succeed in their tests at the end of primary school and set them up for success at secondary school. As they grow older, knowing the times tables will help them with everyday activities like shopping, budgeting and cooking.
Times tables tips
Confidence with times tables really is important for children in primary school.
While it may seem tedious to practise times tables with your child and you might have bad memories of reciting times tables at school, by ensuring your child is confident with times tables you will be giving them some essential tools for success in maths. Our times tables top tips will provide some useful advice and great ideas to help you support your child in learning their times tables.
1. Practice tables as a time-filler
When you’re sitting at traffic lights or waiting in the doctor’s surgery it is the perfect opportunity for a bit of times table practice! It’s always better (for both your child and you!) to just spend a few minutes reciting or testing times tables rather than going into overdrive and spending too long practising them.
2. Help them with the ones they find tricky
There are usually one or two multiplication facts in each times table that are more difficult. When you notice that your child is stumbling over the same fact each time, try to give them extra practice. You could even get your child to write the fact out in a fun way on a piece of card and then stick it somewhere prominent (like on the fridge) so that they have an extra reminder!
3. Use a number grid
Printing off a simple 10 x 10 number grid can be a great way to demonstrate how times tables relate to number sequences. You can get your child to colour in multiples of different numbers on different number squares so that they can clearly see the number patterns.
4. Make it real
The danger with too much rote learning of times tables is that children can fail to see the use of times tables in real life. Try to take opportunities to get your child to use multiplication in problem solving, for example working out quantities for scaling up a recipe, or calculating the price of more than one item of shopping.
5. Create a challenge
Make it fun by turning times table practice into a competition or challenge for your child, by timing them and keeping a record of their scores. You could even join in yourself and set a challenge to learn a more difficult times table, such as the 13 times table and get your child to test you at the end of the week in exchange for testing them…
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