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My son is hating memorizing his addition/subtraction facts. I have tried printed practice sheets, flashcards, flashmaster & Xtramath.com. Im not sure what to do now?? He can figure them out with time but is having a hard time getting them

memorized. He says xtramath is making him worse.... And when I look at his scores he is getting worse scores. I know

he is trying but getting discouraged and dreading doing them. Does anyone have any other thougths or options they have used?

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My DD struggles with Xtramath.com. She can't find the keys quickly and it frustrates her to be unable to answer in time...


How about card games? Like addition war? Lay down 2 cards each, the person with the highest sum wins them all. Or subtraction war (biggest or lowest difference wins.) There are lots of similar games that you can play with a deck of cards. Or there's purchasable games, like Sum Swamp or Rat-a-tat Cat.


Right Start Math Game kit also has lots of add'n activities/card games.

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How old is your son? How is he figuring out the answers -- using manipulatives or a number line or ...? Which number facts are at issue here: facts within 10, or within 20?


My dds HATED even the idea of xtramath. We're using a few things for them to develop automaticity with their math facts:


- playing lots and lots of games together: Math War, Go To the Dump, Math Dice, some of the games from Education Unboxed


- a few math apps that aren't overtly timed work for them (MathBingo, Squeebles, MotionMath are some favourites right now)


- with my younger one who is still pausing to figure out her math facts within 20, I do 3-5 math facts on the white board with her daily. She can use c-rods to figure these out at any point.


- and weirdly, they like timing themselves with their own stopwatches when I give them 10 math questions to do mentally. :001_huh:

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How old is your ds? and what do you do for math besides the drills and flashcards? I'm a firm believer in letting kids work with hands-on manipulatives for a very long time. I never asked my ds to memorize anything, and yet by working with Miquon he has memorized them because he has internalized the answer. I don't look for memory work so much as I look for understanding of the concepts and speed (fluency) over time in getting the answer.


Like learning to read. I don't give a list of words to my kids to memorize, I teach them the concepts of phonics and patterns and over time practice in reading and spelling increases speed. So yes in a sense they have memorized the words, but memory work was never the means to an end.


I feel the same way about math. Memory work and drill of operations killed my interest as a kid. I would have thrived with a more conceptual approach. Pressure to memorize something (especially strings of meaningless numbers---meaningless if the understanding isn't there) is not very easy for young children.


My advice is always to ditch the flashcards and drills and work on conceptual understanding and never give a young child more to do with their brain than you give their hands. Manipulatives are your friend.

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He is 9. Facts with in 10 but also he knows some of the upper. We do MUS & just started Math Reasoning.

We have also done facts sheets for practice.


He has a lot of them memorized or can think of them with in a decent amount of time. But when

I was talking with the MUS people they said memorizing them is with in 3 seconds. So he cant do all of them

with in 3 seconds. I just talked with him about it and he said he feels overwhelmed with so many in a row.

That he would like to do less at a time OR a game. I would love it to be "fun" for him so I can do games.

I will look up the ones up above and any others you all may know of.


He learns really well by watching something. So MUS works well for that. But he said his hardest time

is with 6's & 7's. He says that he can do 8's, 9's & 11's really well becasue they are close to 10. So he

takes 8 + 3 and will add 2 on to the 8 which makes 10 and then only has 1 to add on. SO, does this mean

he has learned a "trick" for those and maybe needs to learn some for the other numbers? He said MUS

didnt teach much on 6 & 7 like it did for the 8 & 9's. SO I guess Im confused on wheather or not to try to

teach him concepts and tricks for the numbers so it makes sense in his head or just keeping him memorizing?

He could figure all them out in his head (1-10 ) so it confuses me.

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I'd focus on learning by practice - actually computing the facts within a context - by playing games or doing bigger problems, using manipulatives if he needs it, etc. I'd stay away from rote memorization and timing and I'd forget I ever heard of the MUS people's three-second rule.

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I use a lot of copywork with students. They copy every type of table and chart I can find. It helps to put the facts into context of other facts. Also it's not a test, so it's not so stressful. Students can also decorate the tables they copy.







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I agree with the pp: I'd forget the MUS 3-second comment and would drop the fact sheets and drills. Games are just as effective, and way more fun!


Your son has learned a very powerful way of arriving at facts beyond 10 (by regrouping to first make a 10) that will serve him well in addition / subtraction with much larger numbers. The more he reinforces that, imho, the better, so I would avoid asking him to "just memorize" facts.

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