Your kids may have started memorizing their multiplication tables earlier. Mine got to seriously start doing it only when he was 9 years old. Yes, it’s all my fault. I never gave thought about really helping my kid memorize the multiplication table or assisting him with his schoolwork during his first 2 elementary years as I always had this ‘theory’ that kids up to 11 years old should be given all the time to play, or maybe learn through play ( I can’t recall where I got this theory). On the 12th and onwards, he’d have to apportion more time to his education and less on play. However, after seeing other kids who are good at math, and yet are not wanting in play hours, I began to change my mind about my little theory. Perhaps I need to be stricter and help him memorize the multiplication table this time.

The thing about studying and memorizing is that it’s easy and fun if you are really interested in the subject. Would my kid think of having to memorize the multiplication table interesting? Or fun? Nope! So, I need to have some technique to motivate him to do it willingly. Well, I’m no good at creating speeches to motivate people. So, I used the ‘scare’ technique. I told him that students his age should have fully memorized the table. Those who haven’t will have to go back to the same grade level in the next school year. That started him into taking things a little bit seriously. He will have to memorize the multiplication table now.

I use my Yamaha DT-125 motorbike to get him to school everyday and it takes around 15 minutes to get there. It is this 15 minutes that I utilized for this exercise. He would start reciting the multiplication table behind me while we’re motoring along. Every now and then, I’d butt in when he makes a mistake or is taking too long to give an answer.

This exercise turned out to be good for both of us. He gets to master and memorize the multiplication table. I, on the other hand, drive better as my mind no longer has time to drift off or wander into daydreams. There are only two tasks at hand. Drive and analyze the kid’s exercise.

Much as I want this to be a daily exercise, there are times when I feel like giving the kid a break and let him enjoy the ride. Alright, I’m giving myself a break actually.

Anyway, the kid later on found a more natural motivation to learn when, due to his daily exercise, he found that he has began to get better in math than most of his classmates. He thanked me for the riding exercise we did everyday.

There surely are better and faster ways in helping my kid memorize the multiplication table

. I could have opted for the online multiplication games
in the internet. The bottom line however is practice. Online, offline, whatever, ‘practice and repetition’ is the key.

[Author: Noel Moralde]

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