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Homeschooling Multiplication

Date: 7/7/96 at 21:35:27
From: John Case
Subject: Homeschooling Multiplication

I would like more info for my 15-yr-old who can not multiply. I am 
homeschooling and need help becuase he just can't seem to memorize his 
time tables and therefore can't divide. Do you have any suggestions? I 
also have a 10-yr-old and a 7-yr-old. The 7-yr-old is having problems 
with numbers, too.

Vickie Case

Date: 7/11/96 at 0:13:23
From: Doctor Jodi
Subject: Re: Mathmagic and Homeschooling Multiplication

Hi there! One game which has come highly recommended to us is called 
24: players are given four numbers that they must combine using 
addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or a combination 
thereof to bring about the answer, 24.  

It's sold commercially as a board game. A similar game is Spiro Math, 
on the Web at:


Here are some other ideas about multiplication and involving your 
family in learning math:

Memorization of times tables is very helpful for division, 
but it's certainly not ESSENTIAL. Rather than focusing on what he 
*can't* do, why not focus on what your son CAN do?  

Your whole family might be interested in playing with problems 
like this one:

If you have a family with 5 people, and each person wants the same 
number of pieces of candy, what size (in pieces of candy) could you 
family buy?

This question has LOTS of answers...

Then you can ask: what about other size families?

Here are two other examples which convey the idea of multiplication 
without explicitly mentioning it...

- make rectangles out of bingo chips (or rows of anything else)

2 times 5 would look like

* * * * *
* * * * *


* *
* *
* *
* *
* *

- think about multiples

When you recite lists of numbers like

3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18.... 

do you know that you're actually saying

3 times 1, 3 times 2, 3 times 3, and so on?

One of the best things to do with math is to get your entire family 
involved. As a homeschooler, you're lucky to have the opportunity to 
find math in daily life.  Cooking, for example, allows many 
opportunities to use arithmetic and measuring skills, like when you 
follow and modify recipes. So do activities like woodworking and 

Some of the best mathematics has started in games and recreational 
puzzles. You might want to try different sorts of puzzles with your 
family.  The Math Forum 


sponsors quite a few puzzles and contests and you can also find 
interesting puzzles in newspapers, magazines, and books.

You can also find lots of fun mathematics on the internet.  One of my 
favorite sites is called MegaMath: 


I hope that these suggestions help...  Please let us know if we can 
help again.

-Doctor Jodi,  The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
Associated Topics:
Elementary Multiplication

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