Do any of you remember drilling the multiplication facts over and over again? Or going through flashcards repeatedly until you had memorized them all? Of course, memorizing multiplication facts is extremely important for a child. (It will make all of math much easier in the future.) However, it is hard for a child to simply memorize facts if they don’t really understand how multiplication works. So how do you help your child understand multiplication?
Make Multiplication Hands-on
Children learn more by actually doing things. This principle works even for math concepts. All you need to make multiplication a hands-on learning experience is a large amount of any similar object. It could be toy cars, beads, legos, crayons, or even food items like Cheerios.
Multiplication is just putting together several groups of the same amount. Using items your child can see and touch makes it easier for them to recognize this. Make several groups with the same amount of objects in each. (Like 4 groups that each have 5 crayons in them.) This is your multiplication problem. You could either say the problem out loud or have your child write it on a piece of paper. Then allow your child to count the objects in all the groups to get the answer to the problem. (In our example, there should be 20 total crayons.)
Another helpful step would be to then rewrite the problem as an addition problem as well. (Either 4+4+4+4+4 or 5+5+5+5) This helps your child understand the concept of multiplication being repeated addition – a faster way to add numbers over and over again.
The more you practice multiplication, whether it is hands-on or flashcards, the more your child will learn and remember the basic multiplication facts.
How do you help your child learn about multiplication?