Memorizing Math Facts

Have you had days where “math” is a four letter word?  I have.  But, I have figured out that memorizing math facts are the foundation to every math problem!  How can I teach a child to do long division when the building blocks of addition, subtraction, and multiplication are missing or laborious?  When I tutored kids in math, the first thing I did with every student was test them on the basic math facts.  In order to consider a fact “mastered”, he must answer in 3 seconds or less.  First, I would start with addition.  When every basic addition fact was mastered we would move onto subraction.  Next came multiplication.  Finally, we tackled division.  It was quite funny to see parents’ faces as I told them that I would be teaching their 6th grader how to add 5+4.   Can you imagine the comments I received?  Yet, within a few months they saw the difference in their student and they had to admit that I was correct.  Expect mastery. No exceptions.  For some kids it is very difficult.  Don’t give up! 

The easiest way to do drill your student is by signing him up for a website called I think that the author of this site should be given the Nobel Peace Prize!  It is free.  It is simple.  It takes 10 minutes a day.  It doesn’t have any pop-ups.  And, it works!  My son has mastered both addition, subtraction, and multiplication without any help from me.  Currently, he is working on division. Check it out!

Now, Xtramath works great with my first son.  But, my second son cannot do it.  He sees a timer and he shuts down.  It makes no difference whether he can do it.  He won’t. So, Xtramath did not work for him.  So, my next recommendation is Flashmaster. 

 The Flashmaster works well for my timer-phobic son.  The buttons are big, the screen is easy to read, and my son can work at his own pace.  Oh, did I mention that it is independent?   I have him sit in the same room with me while he does it or he will spend the entire time counting the stitches in his clothing.  But, with supervision, it has worked great for him. 


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