Learning through play

I give English and Math tuition at home for Primary school going kids. Ethan participates in all these classes ever since like ‘forever’..

The other day I was teaching the Primary 4 kids Multiplication. After class, Ethan requested to learn multiplication too. I told him it is good enough that he knows his Addition and Subtraction well and that Multiplication can wait. After all, he is not even FIVE yet! But he insisted to learn as he wants to be ‘part of that class’ when the kids are doing their Multiplication worksheets. Just to entertain him, I taught him ‘x 2’.

Watch this video:

Ethan @ 4Y8m

Go to any bookstores and you’ll see Multiplication posters that cover the entire range from x 2 to x 9 or even x 12. Don’t buy that! The reason is simply when kids see too many numbers at once, they’ll get scared and confuse.

For kids to learn, teach them little bits at a time. That was what I did with Ethan. I teach him bits of this and that everyday and over time all those accumulates to form a complete learning circle.

Get a printer at home. Printers are pretty affordable these days. You can do wonders with them. Print a page each week or month even based on your kid’s progress. Print as little numbers as possible. I let Ethan print only x2 this time and as he masters it, he is allowed to print x3 and so on. It works as an encouragement and the kid will want to strive further to be able to print more and more!

If you watch the video, you’ll see that I used different methods to get Ethan to answer my questions. To him, all these are PLAY. Learning is not that difficult if it is FUN. Make them learn without them realizing that they are actually learning.

Learning through play is best. Play comes naturally for kids. Learning should be natural too… without force.

Click here to view the video of Ethan learning ODD and EVEN numbers.

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About the Author: Merryn Tan

36 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    nice advice here oh.. i can do till x5 only i think. Isaac has a simple mind. hehe

    • //

      haha.. funny! :P

  • //

    I got no time to do this, can email me the worksheet you did ka? :-)

    • //


      You can google worksheets online. There are plenty of them there. The one that Ethan printed was from Google too ;)

  • //

    Har? You are tuition teacher also ah? thot you only teach crafts? Some more income from bloggin??? Fuyoh, kaya woman!!!

    And yes, no time to do the table. Pls email them to me also. You got my email address rite? thanks ah!

    • //

      Ehem… wait one day I BAKE cupcakes and sell oso then you can call me kaya! :P

      Google lah. I did not create those worksheets. I GOOGLE. Google is my best friend, apart from that printer ^_^

  • //

    Ethan is so smart….:)

  • //

    I love your teaching.. at least he have fun while memorizing it… not boring too.. ^_^

  • //

    Wow! You teach primary 4 Maths and English. Then, Ethan has no need to go for others for tuition until he is in Secondary school.

  • //

    That’s the way it should be – like in schools overseas. Pupils enjoy studying and learning, experiencing. Not like here – rote learning, piles of homework every day, tests and exams and all the tuition to attend, all those Tiger Moms – they are actually depriving their poor children of their childhood. At least, I can see you’re not like them. Two thumbs up!!!!

    • //

      Aww, thanx Arthur! It means a lot coming from you :)

  • //

    Wow, you are such a great mom. I like the way you to teach Ethan to learn maths and other subjects. I hope to have lots of patient like you! Those multiplication posters just make my room messy..hahaha. I prefer to draw and do some Maths exercise on a sheet of paper, and he work it out. Ethan is a very smart boy. Merryn you did a very good job!

    • //

      Patience… sometimes I wish I have more of that too. Kids can drive us nuts at times, don’t they? :)

  • //

    He’s good o!~ And u’re a great teacher, too!

  • //

    Wah so clever leh! I even showed ur video to my bf hahaha so that he can teach his nephew XD

    • //

      You n bf learn together-gether… then teach ur future kids :D

  • //

    Merryn, wow…din know you are a tuition teacher!

  • //

    eh. wait…i just looked at the video. In multiplication, must we say the word “TIMES” ?

    • //

      Actually we don’t need to say the word ‘equals’ as we should try to shorten it as short as possible. But If you don’t say “times” what do you say? How does QQ do this in school? share share pls…

  • //

    Ethan is smart. He learn everything easily.

  • //

    Wah, didn’t know you are also a tuition teacher! You are good in teaching! Thanks for sharing the tips for multiplication. Will definately google for the printouts!

  • //

    wow ethan definitely can save on school fees next time!

    U are such a good mummy :-)

  • //

    nowadays become a tutor is difficult..
    we have to think on how to let the child understand and absorb a new thing….
    last time … my tutor just tell me ..
    “Simple Person take this and memorise evrything and next week I shall test you”
    btw I added you in my blog list but I do not know why it did not auto update on your new post..

    • //

      Alamax, i really need to check on the feed. some other bloggers told me the same thing too :(

  • //

    in chinese school, they hafal it like that…for example, for multiplication2, they said….122, 224, 326, 428 (“yi er er, er er si, san er liuk, si er pak”).

    That’s why they say chinese school kids has got quicker brain in maths because by hafal like that, their mind moves very fast..hehehe….

    • //

      oh dear… i try saying that in my head and i got confuse! haha… thanx for sharing this. i guess ethan will learn this way too when he goes to school in the future.

  • //

    Yes, learning should be fun! But I think all Chinese school students are learning out of fear of being punished by their teachers.

    • //

      Yikes! Don’t scare me lah foong! I registered Ethan in Chinese school u know…

  • //

    I was once for to do until x24 and I mastered it.. But I hate it.. I love another math equation more, but hate that multiplication.. LoL.. but yours technique is loveable.. now, I only remember x2, x3, x5 and x9 only.. :D

  • //

    wow, good initiatives Ethan wants to learn multiplication at the age of 4.. hahahaha!! i hope when he goes to school, i think primary 2 later, he will not quit doing his multiplication then!! hehehe..

  • //

    Clever boy! Wah…Ethan is a genius. I tell you, no need to enrol him to kindy already coz he knows more than the kindergartners..haha. He writes his numbers better than Gwen lah. I already having “headache” in teaching Gwen subtraction. She uses the counting backwards method. She macam tak paham what subtraction really is.

    Since Gwen joined Bao Bei, she speaks English with lah, meh, wor,….*slap forehead*

    • //

      Yeah I know the meh thing! hedek!!

  • //

    Cool. Teaching kids require lots and lots of patience because their attention can be so short and patience is something that t am always struggling with..

  • //

    VERY clever mummy la this submerryn! no wonder Ethan can learn so fast! :D

  • //

    You are a supermum do you know that? Now even giving tuition? Where you find the time la? Ethan loves learning about new things. That’s really good. Smart boy.

    Can you share tips on how to teach even in addition and substraction?

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About Me

MeHome is where MY heart is.
I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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