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Help Your Child Learn Instant Math Recall at Home

"Instant math recall" is the ability to do basic math functions quickly, without resorting to finger counting or paper and pencil. This is an acquired skill that leads young students to correctly solve simple math problems in their head. Here are some simple activities to boost instant math recall training at home.

Use a pair of dice:

Simply roll one die and have your child tell you the correct number of dots on the top surface. Turn it into a game! Congratulate her when she identifies the numbers correctly. Gradually add a time limit of about three seconds. This will encourage her to determine quickly the correct number value, and not count the dots one-by-one. When she is very familiar with the numbers on one die, introduce the second die.

Have her add the numbers on the pair of dice for a total. Start off by rolling the dice several times until only lower numbers appear. Disregard rolls that result in larger numbers. Have her give you the total (sum) for these low number rolls. Gradually build up to the higher number combinations.

Use a similar process to practice instant math recall subtraction. Have him subtract the lower value die from the higher value die, and tell you the difference (remainder).  Once again, start off by rolling the dice several time until only low combinations appear. Gradually build up to the higher number combinations.

As your child gets older, introduce a third die, and add all three together. Subtraction can be simplified by just subtracting the value of the lowest die from the higher of the two remaining dies.

Use a deck of playing cards:

Remove cards until you have only lower “number cards” (two-six). Let ace cards represent the number one. Deal your child two random card and ask him for the total. Set a reasonable time. Gradually move up to higher numbered cards. Eventually, deal three cards to add together.

To practice subtraction, deal him two random cards and ask him to subtract the lower number from the higher number. Eventually, deal three cards and have him subtract the lowest number from the higher of the two remaining cards.

Training with playing cards also reinforce the recognition of the number symbol (9) with the number value (nine diamonds).

Children love to play games! If you play these instant math recall games often, your child should have no difficulty solving basic addition and subtraction problems in his head.


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