Math facts are a constant. They never change, no matter what the current fashionable method of instruction might be. The facts never change, only the delivery system. As each math function is covered, there is an effective math teaching supplement practice: Doing math problems the tried and true, old-fashioned way, with a pencil and a hard copy worksheet, introducing each math function gradually, say two to four practice problems per day, performing the problems, getting the answers and doing its inverse, so that the student grasps the complete equation (2+2 = 4; 4-2 = 2). Adding a new twist to the paper and pencil work makes the learning more powerful: Saying the answers out loud to another person, who has the answers. If the speaking student hesitates or does not clearly know the answer, the checking person (parent, usually), stops the speaker, states the correct equation and then has the student perform two or three more similar problems to fix the corrected equation firmly in the student’s mind.

A good practice is to have the student take a timed test at the end of each work session, writing as many problem solutions as possible in one minute. The parent can make up a series of problems similar to those the student has just practiced — say ten or fifteen — enough that the student will probably not finish all of them in a minute, and then have the student dive in! The point is to have the student write the answers without hesitation, so that the math process is virtually automatic.

In just ten minutes of concentrated effort per day, a student can master the basic math facts in a few months, with this constant practice method. For kinesthetic learners, who learn best with activity and motion, the parent and child can take turns repeating the correct problems while playing catch with a beanbag or soft ball. It is well-established that learning coupled with fun of some sort, is the most powerful – especially when the learning is of a memorization type, such as math facts.