One of the questions I see most often from homeschool moms on social media is how to teach math facts. We all have learned that knowing our math facts is an important part of our math education. But it is very common for kids to struggle to memorize them well. In this post, I’ll share some general thoughts on math fact memorization and suggest several tools and ideas that can help!
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Is It REALLY That Important to Memorize Math Facts?
First, I just want to ease your worried homeschool mamma minds. The truth is that even if your kids don’t learn their math facts cold, they can still succeed with math, even through high school and beyond. You’d be surprised how many adults, even those entering technology, math, and education fields, haven’t memorized ALL their math facts. And yet they’re thriving. It’s also important to note that some special needs students may have a harder time learning math facts. It’s ok if you focus on concepts and let them use a calculator in the end.
So, why teach math facts at all? Two reasons:
- To make figuring out more complex math facts faster.
- To avoid making mistakes in calculations.
When you know your math facts really well, they don’t require the extra thought, finger counting, or calculator use. Figuring out math facts is faster and easier. And we all know that kids like things faster and easier.
Knowing math facts well also helps avoid mistakes. When I’m going over one of my kids’ math lessons, I’ll sometimes notice that they’re making the same multiplication calculation error over and over. That’s a clue that they need to work on those math facts. Memorizing math facts helps avoid frustration and having to re-work problems that they understand but just messed up the calculations for.
We have 6 children and they have different aptitudes and levels of patience when it comes to learning math facts. Over the years, I’ve gathered quite the list of math facts ideas and tools! Find out what they are below. I’ve starred the ones that are my personal favorites.
Top Resources for Memorizing Math Facts in Your Homeschool
⭐️ Math Facts Cheat Sheet – This is what most of my kids do. Instead of stressing out about math facts and drilling them, I just provide a simple cheat sheet like this one. I tell them that if they’re not sure about a math fact, to check the cheat sheet. Eventually, just from looking them up so often, they memorize them. Here are some free multiplication charts, addition charts, and subtraction charts. Or you can get a big et a big bundle of math cheat sheets all in one place from BeyondMommying.
⭐️ Skip Counting Songs – Years ago, we downloaded the skip counting songs from Classical Conversations. The kids still know the jingles today and I sometimes hear them using them to figure a math fact. You can also find skip counting songs from Math-U-See, or look up more math fact song ideas here.
⭐️ Daily Flashcards with Curriculum – Some math curriculum options have flash cards for teaching math facts. Christian Light Education is the math program we’ve used most often, and it includes a great flashcard system for learning and reviewing math facts. One of my kids loves the flashcards and learned with them. They’re most effective for us when the kiddo can do them independently. If your curriculum doesn’t have flash cards and you want to add them, here are some free ones.
⭐️ Math-U-See’s AIM Program – Two of my children got really frustrated with the extra time and mistakes that NOT knowing their math facts caused them. They had trouble memorizing even with the above strategies (one of them having dyslexia and signs of dyscalculia), so we used the Math-U-See AIM (Accelerated Individualized Mastery) program to help them really master math facts. It uses manipulatives and other methods to aid learning and I’m pretty pleased with the results!
Here’s what I love about Math-U-See AIM Program (Read my full review here):
- Uses blocks for hands-on learning (my kids love this)
- Teaches effective strategies and tricks for quick calculating and memorization
- For kids who have struggled with recalling math facts
- Designed for focused, efficient learning at your student’s pace
- Includes suggestions for games, worksheet generators, and more
- Teaches for multiple learning styles
Drill Sheets – Old school but effective for many kids, drill sheets can help aid memorizing math facts in your homeschool. Provide a cheat sheet for ones they don’t know and do a drill a day. It can help speed up the memorization process! Try these free drill sheets or use ones provided in your math curriculum, if any.
Xtra Math – Xtra Math is a popular and free resource that provides online drills for memorizing math facts. If your child loves challenges to beat the clock, this is a great option! Covers addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Learning wrap-ups – Learning Wrap-Ups include wrap-ups for math facts. These are cool physical items, roughly in the shape of a key, that kids use to memorize facts. For each problem/question they wrap the string to the corresponding answer. It can be helpful for kinesthetic kids. The only downside is that sometimes kids will learn the order of the string position rather than the facts themselves. But I have heard some moms say it worked well for their kids.
Check out these FREE math facts fluency resources from Math-U-See!
Times Tales – Times Tales uses memory cues and brief, memorable stories to help kids learn and memorize their multiplication facts. It only covers the most challenging times tables and their corresponding division facts, because those are the ones children struggle with most.
Board & Dice Games – Incorporate board games into your homeschool to teach math! Classics are Yahtzee, Monopoly, and Cribbage. Also consider Sequence Numbers, Racko, and Mobi. Here’s a post with more board game ideas for math.
More Great Math Facts Practice Ideas
- Math Facts That Stick with Kate Snow
- RightStart Math Facts Ideas
- Math Facts Practice from EasyPeasy
- Addition Practice with Superheroes by Write Bonnie Rose
- Superhero Math Practice by Write Bonnie Rose
- Math Clip Cards by Write Bonnie Rose
- Math Facts Printable Game Boards by In All You Do
- Seuss Inspired Math Facts Sheets by In All You Do
- Math Dice Game Printable by Gypsy Game Homeschooler
- Great math practice sheets from Blue Sky Designs by Mrs. T
Tell us in the comments below: What resources and tips do you have for teaching math facts in your homeschool?