When Multiplication Doesn’t Click (And a Free Worksheet)

When AJ was younger we tried everything to help her memorize her multiplication facts! We tried games, songs, and charts, but nothing worked. Someone suggested that we should put a chart up and let her use it as much as she needed. That backfired big time! She started using the chart for everything, even two and three times tables that she had known for a long time. Then I had her copy the multiplication chart everyday, and that didn’t help. She used apps on the Kindle, flashcards, and so many other things.  She would know them one day and the next she would forget them all. It was frustrating to both of us. My kid who loved math just couldn’t or wouldn’t memorize the multiplication facts! I taught her tricks to them, but they just didn’t stick.

We struggled with multiplication, finally she memorized them all on her own! (plus a free worksheet)

Finally, one day I decided that I didn’t care if she memorized her multiplication facts. Maybe that makes me a horrible teacher, but really I was over basic multiplication! She understood the concept, and both of us were ready to move on in math.

The next day I took down the charts and I told her that she didn’t have to memorize her multiplication facts! You would have thought that I gave her a hundred dollars. She was excited. Until, I told her the rest. She didn’t have to memorize her multiplication facts, but she did have to get her math done. We were moving on to a new topic and it involved multiplication. As long as she could get the correct answer, and understood the concept, I didn’t care how she got the answer.

The next topic was decimals. Multiplying with decimals to be exact. She was thrilled to learn something new, and I was beyond happy to move forward with our studies. She understood how to do the problems, but then it was time to do the workbook page. She became upset because her multiplication chart was gone and she didn’t know all of the facts. I told her she would have to add, subtract, count, or do what ever she needed to in order to figure out the problems. She would have to use the facts she did know along with common sense to do her math. She wasn’t in any trouble, and I wasn’t mad, but she had to figure out how to do the math.

I think it took her about two hours to do math that day. She sat there adding up 7 sets of 8 to get 56, and then 4 sets of 7 to get 28. Then she would use the 9 trick and subtract to get the answer to an 8 problem. It took forever! The next day was about the same. But the third day was different. Suddenly she knew a lot more facts! Her math was done in about an hour. By the beginning of the next week, she had almost every multiplication fact memorized.

Maybe she was finally ready to memorize them, or maybe figuring out the problems the long way made them click. I think it was because she finally saw a NEED to memorize them. Who wants to sit and add groups of numbers when you can just memorize the answer?

Once she had her multiplication facts memorized, math was her favorite subject again. In order to keep the math facts fresh in her brain I have her do fun worksheets that I make up to practice a few times a month. They are easy for her, but they make her think.

Here is today’s FREE Multiplication PRINTABLE

Today’s free printable is a fun math page. After answering the questions they then find the problem number and color it according to the answer of the problem. This one is a mermaid. I hope you enjoy it!

Is your child struggling with multiplication? What have you tried?


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