Below are questions we get asked frequently...
How long does it take for a child to learn the times tables?
This depends completely on the memory strategy and the child.
- Picture and Story Memory Strategy - We have found most kids using the picture and story memory strategy reach proficiency in 2 to 3 weeks when they spend 20 to 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. (Although, we have received messages from hundreds of parents and teachers who have kids who have learned the times tables in just a few days.) For LASTING MEMORIES, we suggest that after students are proficient with the times tables, they continue practicing for 2 to 3 months. (Online games make this practice FUN!)
- Rote Memory - This is the most common method of learning the times tables and many believe it is the LEAST effective. (According to a recent study... only 3 in 10 fifth graders know the times tables and only 4 in 10 students entering eighth grade know them.)
- This depends completely on the memory strategy and the child.
How much should a child practice each day?
- When LEARNING the times tables, kids should spend 15 to 20 minutes in the actual learning process. (Watching the videos, using activities that help imprint the memory) It is common for kids to spend another 15 or 20 minutes PRACTICING the facts they have learned.
- Ongoing practice after students are proficient with the times tables is essential. 20 to 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 times a week seems to work best. Much longer and kids start to lose interest. (But... when students are practicing with games, many teachers and parents have told us kids have fun practicing for a much longer time.)
I don't remember having trouble learning the times tables. Why can't my kids seem to remember them?
- We receive thousands of email messages from adults who tried but never learned the times tables and struggled their entire life with math. They don't want the same for their kids. We believe it has always been difficult for kids to learn the times tables. (Especially when trying to memorize them using rote memory.)
Why doesn't your memory system include the tens, elevens, and twelves?
- We now have videos that help teach the tens, elevens, and twelves but the current national standards do not include memorizing the tens, elevens, and twelves. Although, a number of districts still expect kids to memorize them. We believe the multiplication facts up through the nines are tough enough. Why have kids memorize beyond the BASIC facts?
I don't get the "Picture and Story" method. Why don't you just have kids MEMORIZE the facts?
Almost everyone has trouble remembering things that are abstract... like numbers. But, almost everyone has an easy time remembering pictures and stories.
- Here is one of my favorite stories about using the picture and story method: A homeschool parent ordered our book, "Memorize in Minutes: The Times Tables." She took one look at it and said, "This doesn't make any sense and will never work with my kids." So, about a week later, she mailed the book back to us. A few days later, she got ready to teach her kids the times tables and gave them a pre-test. To her surprise, her kids knew some of the tougher multiplication facts. When she asked them how they knew some of them, her kids said they remembered the funny pictures in the book that was sitting on the kitchen table for a while. She called back that day and REORDERED the book... and shared her story:-)
- Almost everyone has trouble remembering things that are abstract... like numbers. But, almost everyone has an easy time remembering pictures and stories.
Today my child is missing multiplication facts she knew yesterday. What's going on?
- This is VERY common! That is why daily review and practice is so important. When we designed our Premium Teaching System, we built in a daily quick "Coin Quiz" that checks their memory every day.
There are times we don't have Internet access and can't practice with online games. What is the best way to practice WITHOUT using the Internet?
We suggest you DON'T always practice on the computer. Here are some great other ways to practice...
- Flashcards - We recommend kids always have a set of flashcards handy to practice with. Here are some of the places kids practice with flashcards: in the car, during commercials while watching TV, in bed before going to sleep, on the school bus, and while waiting for appointments.
- Buddy Flashcards - It's always fun to practice with someone. (Parent, sibling, friend)
- Picture Practice - Kids love coloring the picture coloring pages. Another favorite with kids is drawing their own picture for the multiplication facts.
- Workbook Pages - Using the workbook pages to practice is also helpful.
- We suggest you DON'T always practice on the computer. Here are some great other ways to practice...
At what age should a child learn the times tables?
- The national standards currently say third grade. But, I've heard from many parent who were working with their third or fourth grade child and a younger sibling learned the times tables too. (Some as young as pre-school.) The picture and story method seems to work with all ages. (We have received messages from kids as old as 91 who have used the system to finally learn the times tables.)
All my child wants to do is play the games. What do I do?
- Wouldn't we all love to play games instead of work! Luckily, when a student is logged into our site, the games automatically adjust to your child's ability and as they play, the equations will get harder. I'm also a firm believer in tons of praise sprinkled with consequences when praise loses its luster.
Your system is AWESOME, do you have a similar system for addition, subtraction, and division?
- The current picture and story method works for division too.
- We have games for addition, subtraction, and division.
- And, we are currently working on a system for addition and subtraction.
How do I use the picture and story method for division?
- All individual multiplication and division facts use same picture - Below is 3x4=12 Picture TreexDoor=Elf
- Multiplication 3 x 4 = 12 Picture/Story 3(tree) x 4(door) = 12(elf)
- Multiplication 4 x 3 = 12 Picture/Story 4(door) x 3(tree) = 12(elf)
- Division 12 ÷ 4 = 3 Picture/Story 12(elf) ÷ 4(door) = 3(tree)
- Division 12 ÷ 3 = 4 Picture/Story 12(elf) ÷ 3(tree) = 4(door)
My child is playing a multi-player game an it keeps dropping the connection?
- Our multi-player games don't need a super-fast internet connection but they do need a fairly consistent connection. (Many of our multi-player games also have a companion game where kids play against the computer.)
I have a Premium subscription and see ads. What's going on?
- We hear this too often. Your computer has been compromised by adware, malware, or a virus. There are many products that will remove unwanted adware and pop-ups. (We currently use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.)