When I wrote my Teach Your Child the Multiplication Tables workbook, I wanted to create the excitement of a circus. I wanted each page to be as REAL as possible. I had my graphic artist, Rudy Rodriguez, create the cute circus animals and clowns. I thought it fitting that Rudy the Ringmaster be named for him.
To make the times tables REAL, I used grids. Children can immediately see how the multiples increase from 1 x 1 to 10 x 10. This develops number sense. On a grid, they can see that 5 x 5 really equals 25 squares. Some children will quickly fill in the tables on the grid so I included circus figure watermarks for children to trace. I wanted to entertain children as they learned the times tables.
Children who have an aptitude for math often have an aptitude for art. Because we were working so much with grids, I asked myself: Why not take the opportunity to teach basic drawing at the same time? We included eight pages of “copy the circus character on the grid”. I wanted a workbook that was also a fun activity workbook. I wanted a workbook that children couldn’t wait to work in.
The first mom to receive a copy of my workbook took it with her on the family’s beach vacation. She told me her son promised to work on it 20 minutes a day. She knew she’d have to interrupt his afternoon each day. But to her surprise her son came out of his room after his nap with the workbook in hand. Rather than napping, he’d been filling it in. “I never had to ask him to do his math homework,” she said. “But to get him to nap, I did have to take the workbook away.” At that moment, I knew my book would be a success!