6 (More) Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math Facts
Two years ago we posted 10 Great Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math Facts. We’re back with 6 MORE ways, which include new books, apps, and games that have come out since then.
Before we dive in, I want to give a little reassurance to moms and dads who are worried their children aren’t memorizing math facts as fast as they “should” be:
- The ability to memorize math facts is not related to a child’s mathematical success. Memorizing math facts is a test of memorization skills, nothing more. Many mathematicians claim having had trouble memorizing math facts as kids as well.
- It can take a long time. We have a kid who memorized them in a few days. We have another who had to work pretty hard on it for a few months. Keep expectations low and celebrate small successes.
- Math fact tests don’t last forever. Math facts are helpful to have memorized as it lets kids focus more on the actual math concepts without being distracted by trying to figure out what 7*8 is. However, kids won’t have to do these timed tests forever. #thankful
All that said, here are some tools we use to help our kids:
Math Facts that Stick
We first discovered this line of books from the recommendation of a neighbor, and I’ve been recommending them to others ever since. Math Facts that Stick is written by Kate Snow, a math educator who is also a mom. She gets it.
Each book (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) is a 6-10 week system that helps your child master math facts. Parents work through a short lesson with their child 5 days per week. The lessons include a fun activity to do together that requires a small amount of prep work per week (10 minutes, tops). These books are especially great for kids who are visual and kinesthetic learners.
Why we like it:
- It’s helped our kids learn their math facts. One child, in particular, finds it very difficult, and this book has helped her become more confident in herself because she has experienced success in memorizing.
- Kids are asked to memorize one (strategic) step at a time. They memorize one family of math facts before moving onto the next.
- Our kids have liked doing this curriculum with us because it creates a space for us to do something together, one-on-one, every day. The parent is a partner in learning!
- It’s fun! Much of this curriculum is game-based, so our kids find it to be an enjoyable way to learn.
You can find all of the books here:
Operation Math is our family’s current favorite math facts app. The game context is interesting, there are a ton of levels, and the app encourages the kids to work faster over time. The graphics are engaging and well-made. Only $2.99 in the app store!
From the website:
“Defeat Dr. Odd and earn the latest spy gear in the award-winning game that transforms math drills into a global learning adventure. From the streets of Paris to the pyramids of Egypt, Operation Math includes more than 100 timed missions that help players learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Play it for fun or use in the classroom as an awesome supplement to homework and traditional flash card drills.”
While the kids really like to practice math facts through apps and games, sometimes we ask them to practice with a good ‘ol fashioned paper and pencil. When the kids do their math timed tests at school, they have to be able to write down the answer. While verbal processing is great, we need them to practice the writing as well.
This past summer we’ve used Usborne books because they provide a fun context for the facts… and they include stickers:
Mindware’s Math Mosaics
Kids practice their math facts while solving mysteries. In each puzzle, kids will solve a math fact and then move north, south, east or west the number of spaces equal to the answer. After completing all the math facts, the mystery is solved! Our 2nd grader’s teacher gave her these as an extra challenge last year and she ate. them. up.
Mindware has a whole line of them, depending on which math facts you’re looking to conquer.
Roll 2 dice, multiply them together and draw a line from one dot to another that borders the product of the two numbers rolled. Players take turns going back and forth. When a person closes the box, they’ve won the box, and they get to color it in. Whoever has the most boxes at the end of the game wins! This game gives players lots and lots of practice :).
Addition Dot Marker Games
The kids are always looking for a fun excuse to use dot markers! These free no-prep addition games from The Measured Mom are a great way for kids to practice their addition facts. We’ve used them in a bunch of different ways. Sometimes we’ll play against each other. Other times we’ll time the kids to see how fast they can answer and “dot” all of the circles. Other times we’ll just go back and forth, dotting the circle after we say the answer. These are great worksheets for the kids to use independently or with a friend/sibling/classmate/parent.