Every school year, we receive dozens of calls from worried parents whose children are struggling with multiplication facts. It’s one of our more popular math requests. Multiplication is a fundamental skill. Mastery of multiplication facts is necessary in order to move on to more complicated tasks. But how do you learn multiplication facts?

## A Simple and Effective Strategy for Learning Multiplication Facts

North Coast Education Services has a proven systematic strategy to learning multiplication facts that is both easy and fun! It’s part of our multi-sensory math curriculum, Real Life Ma+h. **By the end of this one article, you will only need to memorize 32 facts to learn all of your multiplication facts.**

### Know Your Fact Families

Here are your 100 multiplication facts. Each fact is part of a family – the 0 family, the 1 family, etc. Today we are going to focus on just two families, 0’s, 1’s. We’re also going to introduce you to the “Commuter Rule”, which will make learning facts fast and easy!

### The Zero (0) Family

This is an easy family! Any number multiplied by 0 equals zero. 0 means nothing, so if you have 6 x 0, you write 6 “zero” times. If zero is “nothing”, then you cannot write 6 down as the answer because you have “nothing”. **We call these “Zero Rules”.**

To illustrate this, take an empty paper lunch bag. How many things are in it? Zero, nothing. Now, take 6 empty paper lunch bags. How many things are inside them? Zero, nothing. So, we can say that 6 x 0 = 0 and 0 x 6 = 0.

**Now, let’s take another look at our Fact Families:**

Look at that! You’ve already learned 19 facts. Let’s move on to the next family.

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### The One (1) Family

To learn this family, you need to understand the **“One Rule” – *** Any number multiplied by 1 equals that number. *So, if we write a number 1 time, then all we have is that number. So, 5 x 1 = 5 and 100 x 1 = 100.

To illustrate this, take a small dish and some paperclips. Put 7 paperclips in the dish. What is the total number of things in the dish? 7. Now, take 7 dishes and put 1 paperclip in each one. Again, what is the total number of things in the dish? 7. So, we can say that 7 x 1 = 7 and 1 x 7 = 7.

Now, let’s take another look at our Fact Families:

Congratulations! **You’ve already learned 36 of your multiplication facts!** Only 64 more to go! Let’s move on.

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## Introducing “The Commuter Rule”*

A commuter is someone who travels to and from work. In multiplication, *all* factors are commuters. They can travel in front or behind the multiplication sign (x) to work for you. For example, we saw that 7 x 1 = 7 and 1 x 7 = 7.

Let’s try another example, 2 x 3 = 6 and 3 x 2 = 6. It doesn’t matter if the 2 or the 3 comes first. The answer is the same. We can check that by adding three 2’s together (2 + 2 + 2 = 6) and by adding two 3’s together (3 + 3 = 6).

### How does the Commuter Rule help you learn multiplication facts?

It reduces the number of new facts to learn. If you know the answer to 7 x 8, you already know the answer to 8 x 7. Now, you only have 32 facts to learn, because:

- You can fill in 36 of the blocks on our chart thanks to the Zero Rule and Ones rule.
- Another 32 blocks on the chart follow the Commuter Rule.
- So, you only need to memorize 32 facts!

*****In algebra, this is called the **commutative property****. ***By slightly changing the word to “commuter”, it is much easier to understand.*

## Want to learn more?

See how easy it is to learn your multiplication facts? Our professional in-home Ohio tutors will help your student every step of the way. We incorporate a variety of hands-on techniques, flashcards, practice tests, and even fun learning games. As a parent, we will teach you how to coach your student at home for additional practice. This is truly a team effort!

Get started today! Fill out our Contact Us form or call (440) 914-0200 to speak with one of our program directors.