Posted by: angiefm | March 2, 2009

Math – Updates and Multiplication

Confession.  I’m not getting as much done with Math as I had planned

In particular, Right Start Math has been falling through the cracks, especially with my being stuck in bed for the better part of the last 2 weeks.  Just easier for them to do workbook-ish stuff, KWIM? 

Also, I have found that at Alethea’s level, it is impossible to match the local math syllabus to Right Start Math.  (Or maybe we’re just on the wrong level!)

So … (drumroll) … Alethea is going to do Right Start Math selectively from now on.  That means we’ll just do what is fun.  😀  The great thing about Right Start Math is that there is so much variety that you can really get a lot out of the programme even doing this.  Like the other day we learnt about vertices, diagonals and how to draw a geometrically-accurate 5-point star beginning with a pentagon.  That was good fun!  And today I’m planning to have her learn how to divide equilateral triangles into thirds.  And how about tessellating hexagons next week?  🙂  Whatever that means?

Also we have started playing the math games for multiplication for Alethea to learn her math facts.  Speaking of which …


Remember how we used to have to memorise our times-tables?  Well apparently they don’t do that anymore in schools.  Now the emphasis is on understanding and not rote-learning.  But goodness me!  Without the memorisation, our math lessons are going VERY SLOWLY these days because Alethea takes FOREVER to work out her multiplication and division questions.

I talked to my mom last night about this.  She was a career primary school teacher and still teaches my niece and nephew who are in primary school, so is a fabulous source of advice.  🙂  She says the best way to memorise the multiplication table is to memorise it like this (you have to say it out loud to see what I mean):

3-6-18, etc

As opposed to: 3 times 2 is 6, 3 times 3 is 9, 3 times 4 is 12, etc. 

And opposed to: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 (which is what we have been doing).

Because what you are aiming for is SPEED! 

So we are taking a break from our local math workbooks this week to do some math drills using:

Actually it isn’t too daunting a task – the tables for 2, 5, 10 are easy ones to pick up, so we’re only left with 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9!  Easy-peasy!  😀

I really have to get this right or we will be progressing very slowly from here on.  So it’s well worth the break!  (That’s the great thing about homeschooling – you get to do what’s right to lay good foundations instead of having to keep up at the speed the school sets.)

Will let you know in a week how we are progressing!

[Updates posted here.]


  1. HI Angie, I read yr blog and I’m an avid reader too – heehee 😛 Oh, regarding timee-tables, why not compose it to a catchy song n when the kids sing, they will learn it so fast n so effortless….+ lotf of fun too !

    Eg to the tune of ABCD, twinkle twinkle star etc etc. My hubby did that for Joshua and he learns all his X tables really fast cuz he loves to sing 😛

    Hope this helps 😛


  2. Hey Angie, hope your back is better. There are a couple of times tables tricks for the toughies – 7,8,9. Blogged about it here

    The thing is, I still make my kids memorise them first, otherwise they won’t get the concept and you get into trouble when you do division cos the numbers are not familiar. But these tricks are great for if you need a quick check and hopefully after doing it repeatedly, they’ll remember them faster!

  3. Hi there,
    Dropping by through a friend’s link.

    I know what you mean about math taking FOREVER because they haven’t memorized their math facts!

    That’s on my to-do list with my girls grade 2 & 3.
    Thanks for the reminder & the tips!

  4. Glad to know you’re feeling better!

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