Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I was the best teacher ever...for about a minute

Faith is learning her times tables. Unfortunately she takes after her mom.

Here's a little history: When I was in third grade, I was afraid to go to school because I didn't know my times tables. I was so afraid of daily quizzes that on one snowy morning, during my walk to school, I smashed my knee on the ice so that it would bleed and I wouldn't have to go to school. My mother put a band-aid on my knee and drove me. The next day I told her I was sick to my stomach. She gave me a sip of soda and drove me to school. The day after she had a talk with the teacher who asked if there was a "problem" at home. Why would I be so determined to avoid school? All they had to do was ask me -- I didn't know my times tables.

Back to current time...today Faith and I were working on her math and I was actually very excited to see that 9 times was today's lesson. As a child I did not learn the 9 times trick, but as an adult I did. I still use it today (under the table, of course, where my children can't see my hands). The first problem we tested it on was 9 x 7. I demonstrated the trick to Faith and instantly she got it. She squealed with glee (as only eight-year-old girls can) and told me I was the best teacher ever.

And then the next problem was 8 x 8 and she laid her down and wept.



  1. cute story! Poor Faith. They really shouldn't mix up those math problems like that!

  2. 8x8 fell on the floor. I picked it up and it was 64!

  3. So much to memorize. :( I remember around 3rd or 4th grade finding an addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division cheat sheet on the school playground...I still have it! :) But never used it during test taking cause I always loved those timed multiplication tests! :)

    You'll always be Faith's "best teacher"...math or no math. :)

  4. Poor Faith. I always thought 8X7 was the hardest one to remember. It has no business being 56. 54, maybe, but definitely not 56.

  5. Awwwww!!!!
    I memorized my times tables by copying that "times table box" a gazillion times. I remember by writing.

    Little Brother is a math fiend (unlike me) but like me, cursive writing has driven him to tears. Yup--I cried in 2nd grade over that.

  6. I loved the 9s trick when I was in school. It was SO helpful! Especially for those of us who struggle with math. And I was going to share what Sara did about 8x8. I bet she'll remember that one forever =)

  7. My kids love timez attack. If Faith likes PC video games, this one is a great one. You can play the first level for free... just to try it out.


  8. Jenny, Well she doesn't mind if they throw in 3x1 or 8x0, but the biggies put her over the edge!

    Sara, I will tell her that one. Did you use rhymes for all of your times tables? I know there is a book out there that teaches it.

    Cheryl, We can't even discuss timed tests in our house -- they result in many tears. ;-)

    Ha you are right. 7x6, 7x8, 6x9...they all look the same to me.

    Barb, Cursive, she loves. It's art to her.

    Sarah, I don't think anyone had discovered yet the nines trick when I was in school! ;-)

    Meg, The video games are too much like timed tests for her. Too. much. pressure!

  9. 8x8 is the only rhyme I remember. I didn't learn the 9's trick until I started homeschooling---it was at my first hs conference. The 7's are the hardest because there are no tricks; they all have to be memorized.

  10. I too remember how I used to hate memorizing my times tables at school. Actually, given that I can still remember the pain, it must have taken me forever LOL.

    We're finding that the MathRider math facts game is helping our kids heaps. It's really smart and practices with your kids only what they still need to learn, while managing the difficulty level - so it never gets too hard. Both our girls love it- they get to ride through fantasy lands to find magical flowers and rescue the princess. The game is at http://mathrider.com

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I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!