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  1. #1

    Default When did YOU (and your kids) "get" multiplication facts? is the thing. When I was in school, I didn't even get exposed to multiplication until 4th grade. I had a friend who knew them, so I decided to try too, and memorized the facts in the back of a composition book on the bus on the way home over a week or two. 5th grade...I was doing long division, with multiple numbers on both sides.

    My daughter, when in K12, started in 2nd grade, and got tested on it for the state test. (After two weeks of practice.) I thought she was supposed to get it (forgetting my own experience) so we tried many ways to do extra practice. In about 4th grade...she got it. And in 5th grade was able to do the same work I had been able to do. But because of the extra practice...she has always felt she was not good at math.

    My boys, I backed was ready to start in 3rd, the other we tried gimmicks and Times Tales and Wrap Ups winter of 4th...and he is 5th grade and has them memorized and more importantly....really understands how and why it works.

    My now 16 year old daughter said her boyfriend didn't have his tables down until 7th grade. He is doing advanced doesn't seem to have held him back.

    Standardized tests like SAT allow graphing calculators. The assorted tests that my kids have done for my state have allowed calculators after 5th grade on some of the problems.

    So...just like reading, I suspect there is a developmental time that is appropriate for multiplication, and I think that it tends to be later than Common Core and everything in the last 20 or more years thinks is the "normal" time to start. I certainly am not for holding back kids who ARE ready, but like my daughter...some feel they are bad if they don't get it right away.

    When did YOU and your kids actually memorize multiplication? What is the real range...outside of common core and the stress of being the best and earliest?

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  3. #2


    I remember learning multiplication in 2nd grade. I was about 8-9 years old. We started school (1st grade) in the fall after turning 7. I do not recall any difficulties with times tables.

    DD6 (for unknown reason) really wanted to memorize times tables this year and she did. She has full understanding of multiplication and division and great memory, so no problems doing it.

    DD8 is nowhere close to learning multiplication. I would be really happy if she masters her addition/subtraction facts by the end of this year.

    So, it depends..
    mom to 3 girls: DD10, DD9, DD6

  4. #3


    I think it was third grade when I was really grilled on math facts. I don't remember when they stuck. Some earlier, some later.

    My son picked up on how to multiply very quickly when I showed him how to do it in kindergarten. He was bored with math, so I accelerated his pace a bit. I don't think I ever really drilled him on the tables, because it just seemed so unnecessary. He knew how to figure it out, and what's the big hurry that he needed to know 7x8 off the top of his head at 8,9,10 years old? Memorization came through repetition over the years. Add 8+8+8+8+8+8+8 often enough, and you'll memorize it out of sheer annoyance.

    Mom to one, 18 year old son.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived Avalon's Avatar
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    Aug 2011


    I agree that there is a kind of natural window of opportunity for learning them, and that you can waste a lot of time trying to drill them before that time. It's not exactly the same time for every child, though, so it's a little tricky to know if you're pushing too hard or being too lax. (I usually err on the side of "laxitude".)

    I was first introduced to multiplication in grade three. I think we were expected to have them memorized by grade 4 or 5, which I did because I was an obedient, eager-to-please kid. I forgot a lot of the times tables in adulthood, because frankly, I don't need to recall 6*9 or 7*8 very often. They came back pretty fast when my kids started learning them.

    On the other hand, I am awesome at counting points in crib.

  6. #5


    Heck I still haven't 'got' the times tables. Part of me hoped teaching Kiddo would rub off on me. Hasn't worked so far, and it's been a good six months we've been working on them. He doesn't have them memorized, but he can work through them well enough and that's good enough for me. He's ahead so maybe he just hasn't hit that magic window yet, or maybe he's like me and this kind of memorization just doesn't click, but that's why we have calculators.
    Kiddo - 7

  7. #6
    Senior Member Enlightened
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    Jan 2016


    I know I had to memorize a multiplication table in 3rd grade (8 years old), but I really didn't understand. It was definitely a 'when I see this I give this answer.' I clearly remember in 6th grade (11 years old) having a sudden jump in math understanding. I went from just giving back memorized information to actually understanding what I had been doing for all those years. I went from a very average math student to doing advanced math with ease.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
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    I still don't know my times tables. I skip count on my fingers every time. I memorized my 2s and 5s and a few random facts. Got through algebra 2 and geometry fine. Never did anything higher than that. But I probably could. Just would take me a little longer to finish the test
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    I gather all kinds of secular homeschool resources and share them at

  9. #8


    I think I got my times tables in 3rd grade. But it could have been anytime in elementary - I remember doing multiplication speed quizzes throughout elementary.

    I'm working on multiplication with my 8 year old. He has most of them except the tricky ones (mainly a few in the upper 6s, 7s, and 8s). My 10 year old still struggles a bit. Maybe she will have the breakthrough that has been mentioned because not fully knowing multiplication makes other areas of math harder.
    Spending my days learning with DD 10 and DS 8.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Arrived skrink's Avatar
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    Oct 2010


    I don't remember when we started drilling, but I was in 4th grade (this is in the 1970's in rural PA) when we HAD to know them up (through the multiples of 12) or get sent to the corner. I also remember writing them over and over and over when I'd miss one. Dd was a little later, maybe 5th? We did a lot of singing the times tables and playing Timez Attack, and that seemed to do the trick.
    Skrink - mama to my 14 yo wild woman

  11. #10


    I remember learning them in 3rd grade. I don't have them memorized.

    DS is 8 and generally understands the concept of multiplication, but we are not overtly working on it (working on memorization). We do play games that involve multiplication and I let him use the multiplication chart to help with the answers. We also use the Schoolhouse Rock videos on skip counting.

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When did YOU (and your kids) "get"  multiplication facts?