Math Fact Fun: 10 Strategies for Memorizing Math Facts

If your child struggles with understanding math and recalling math facts, you're not alone. Many parents are at a loss when trying to help their children learn and retain math concepts, from the simple to the complex. Here, we'll look at ten strategies that may help ease the frustration and cause these math facts to stick.

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#1 Establish Math Fact Times

Set aside specific times of day, such as ten minutes after dinner or five minutes before school, for working on math facts. Discuss with your child what facts must be learned and tackle them in these designated chunks of time. By separating this practice from homework, your child may approach the task with less anxiety.

#2 Use the Internet

If you're unsure of how to help your child, look to the Internet for worksheets, quizzes and games. You'll find some activities you can print out and others that allow your child to work independently online. The Internet can be an exhaustive resource for new material and ideas.

#3 Set Goals

It's helpful to establish clear goals for memorizing math facts. What material needs to be learned and by what date is it feasible to accomplish the task? By breaking down the work into digestible pieces and setting achievable goals, your child will see results more easily. It may also help to sign a written contract to give the goals you set together a more concrete framework.

#4 Create Flash Cards

Flash cards are a time-tested strategy for memorizing math facts. You can use flash cards with your child throughout the day. Also, if you use index cards or something that's compact enough, your child can carry the flash cards and practice throughout the day.

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#5 Use the Egg Timer

If the time your child devotes to memorizing math facts seems interminable, use an egg timer or other countdown clock. Set it for manageable chunks of time and have your child stop working when the time goes off, regardless of where he or she is in the work. By setting finite time periods in which to study, your child may focus less on the tedium of memorizing and more on the activity.

#6 Talk It Out

It's important to verbally engage your child while he or she is trying to memorize math facts. This should be an interactive process in which you play a supportive and encouraging role. Your verbal coaching may make the work easier to accomplish.

#7 Know Your Learning Style

Is your child a kinesthetic, visual or auditory learner? If you're unsure, look for a quick test online. Knowing how your child learns best can help focus your time in the most productive way. For example, a kinesthetic learner comprehends best through tactile activities; if this describes your child, then have him or her write formulas and problems instead of just looking at them on the page or listening to them.

#8 Exploit Dead Time

Take advantage of the car ride as you travel to school, sports practice or home. This 'dead time' can be spent quizzing your child on math facts. It's a great way to practice without sacrificing other time.

#9 Review, Review, Review!

Math facts take time and repetition to memorize. Don't be discouraged if you don't see results quickly. It's essential to come back to concepts and problems that your child knows so that he or she retains them. Reviewing the material with which your child is comfortable can also serve as a great confidence booster.

#10 Provide Rewards

Whether your child reaches a set goal or just works hard to the end of his or her scheduled time, provide a reward for a job well done. Celebrating successes with rewards will encourage your child and foster a sense of pride. Rewards don't need to be large. For a minor victory, a reward may be more play time or extra dessert. The key is to associate the reward with an achievement in his or her work.

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