Multiplication is our most requested course topic – and it’s so much more than times tables! We are going to do something very new, to us and to the online course format in general.
We love to read notes from participants explaining why they join, so here are a few:
Want to learn more about our approach to learning, and the big WHYs behind this course? Here is Dr. Maria Droujkova’s short presentation.
First, what’s so special about multiplication? To begin with, it is universal and therefore unavoidable. We all had to learn it. And our children will have to learn it too, in some shape or form. Here’s something else – the way you will help your children learn multiplication will mirror the way you learned it yourself, unless you take steps to change that. So how did you learn?
Did you spend hours repeating “the facts” with chants, flashcards, and seemingly endless drills? A lot of things have changed since we were children. There must be more effective ways of mastering multiplication! And there must be ways to make it relevant to our lives!
Let’s dig deeper. Do you remember how you felt studying the multiplication tables? For so many people we meet, the dislike and fear of math can be traced all the way back to their struggles to understand (and not just memorize) multiplication. Can we change this pattern so our children, approaching multiplication, feel not fear but curiosity, not anxiety but joy, not alienation but affinity? Can multiplication be more about smart play, rich mathematical thinking and usefulness everywhere in life?
This is what our Multiplication Explorers course is all about. It explores holistic approach to learning multiplication. Memorization based on smart number patterns is a part of it. The course also includes bridges between multiplication and natural world, as well as links to many virtual and imaginary worlds in books, music, technology, art, and games.
We invite you to boldly go beyond the familiar representations of multiplication such as skip counting and repeated addition, to explore many more meaningful, beautiful, and fun models. This course is a launch pad to adventures across the universe of multiplication.
What exactly will you find in the Multiplication Explorers course?
For the purposes of sorting activities, the course comes in 3 weeks – enough time to establish new habits. You can pace it slower or faster. The goal is for you to review multiplication-based games and activities and then do them with your children. You can do an activity a day or choose a schedule that best fits your family or group. The course has tools for adapting activities to fit your unique needs – see FAQ for details.
Each topic comes with a printable Math Spark: your guide to a quick little math adventure. Check out three of them:
Most of the activities have no pre-requisites, plus we give you lots of ideas for adapting them for younger (ages 3-5) and older (13+ ) children. Which means you do not have to think about how to occupy your youngest while you are playing math with your oldest, or the other way around.
A single activity can take you as little as 10 minutes or as long as a couple of hours, depending on how much your child and you get into it. There are several that are so addictive that we are still playing the games ourselves many years after starting! You will also need 15-30 min to prepare by reading through activity description and, ideally, trying it out yourself. You will not need to buy or make any math manipulatives for any of the activities.
While your participation and gentle guidance are essential at the start of every activity, children can successfully continue their explorations without you, as long as there are plenty of LEGOs, construction paper, markers, and yarn.
Week 1 – Inspired by Calculus – Yes, we are starting big and bold! We will call on some of the most beautiful mathematical ideas, such as fractals, to help model multiplication. We will travel across the physical universe from things unimaginably small to mind-bogglingly large. And we will build and draw models, lots of models.
Week 2 – Inspired by Algebra – Remember that Algebra 1 class? This will be nothing like it, we promise! Because we take algebra to Wonderland, making it accessible and engaging for anyone between the ages of 3 and 103+. We will show you and your child how to explore multiplication with snowflakes and kaleidoscopes. You will design fantasy animals with combinatorics, and seek patterns in anything from doodles to word games.
Week 3 – Times Tables – No silly incantations in our multiplication course! Work smart, seek beauty, and go for patterns. This is the week when you will create your own grand tables, discover hidden and exotic patterns within, and hunt for multiplication in plain sight. Multiplication tricks will be discussed and their inner workings will be revealed. And you will learn about healthy, anxiety-free approaches to memorizing the tables.
This is a Name-Your-Price course and you can choose your levels of participation and your type of interaction. You can dial the suggested price up and down, from $1 to infinity.
The suggested price is $30. All course participants get the following:
If you pay $45 or more, you will get all of the above plus our very popular Models of Multiplication poster.
If you pay $95 or more, you will get all of the above plus two live online consults with Maria Droujkova, which we will schedule with you individually. We will talk about adaptations of activities for your children’s needs and interests, as well as your questions, ideas, and concerns.
All the activities in the course have been tested by thousands of children and adults of all ages and skill levels. When we say you and your child will enjoy this course, we speak from experience!
In case you have questions, check out the list of Frequently Asked ones. If you took the course before, head to that page to see what changed and how you can play with the new content.
Dr. Maria Droujkova and the Natural Math Crew