Though simpler for children to grasp than division, multiplication is a big step up from addition and subtraction as a mathematical concept. Multiplication is one of the first concepts children learn that builds upon previous concepts, and especially for children who have struggled with elements of addition and subtraction, multiplication can be a daunting new experience.
However, with some creativity and patience, you can help your child master multiplication concepts by teaching them with games and visuals that will help them get ahead in their classes and their education.
Explaining Multiplication to Your Children
When explaining multiplication to a child, it's important to ensure they understand the theory and rules that will help them reach the correct answer. If your child understands how to solve a problem and why problems are solved the way they are, not only will they be better equipped to handle multiplication, but they'll have a stronger foundation for more advanced mathematics as they grow up.
Practices to Help Your Child Learn Multiplication
To ensure children understand the relationship between multiplication and other types of math, there are a number of best practices you can follow to effectively teach your child multiplication.
- Use visuals and hands-on learning toys to introduce multiplication: Children struggle to understand abstract concepts like numbers without something in front of them to process the problem. Toys can help both of you bypass this difficulty.
- Focus on concepts instead of memorization: While memorization can help speed up the process of answering math questions, it doesn't give children a strong understanding of how to solve problems.
- Focus on learning one series of multiples at a time: Multiplication is overwhelming, so you can make it easier for your child by breaking it down into a single series at a time. Focus on the two times tables, then the three times tables, then the four times tables, and continue until your child is able to confidently perform each series of multiplication problems.
- Coach them in memorization once they have a grasp of the fundamentals: Once your child can confidently solve multiplication problems, help them memorize the multiplication tables up to the twelves table so they can more quickly work through homework, math assignments, and tests.
- Use games to make the learning process more enjoyable: Children sometimes learn that math is tedious, hard, or boring. Spice things up with fun multiplication games and rewards to make them more invested in the learning process.
The process of learning multiplication is a big step forward in your child's academic career. Ensure they're set up for success with a solid understanding of multiplication that will give them the confidence to do well in school now and in the future.