When and How Kids are Taught Multiplication and Division

When in their first grade, children start learning to add and subtract. These operations, in general, are more or less easy to be assimilated by little learners. On the contrary, multiplication and division actions are considered much harder and become a real challenge for the majority of young students. Multiplication and division begin to be studied in second and third grade, respectively.

When and How Kids are Taught Multiplication and Division
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The teaching methodology is based on the principle from simple tasks to more complex ones. So, be patient, use the printable division worksheets that might be a constructive and cooperative tool when your kid needs help.


In the beginning, being taught to multiply, kids are usually taught repeated addition, for example, 2 + 2 = 4, which is the same as 2 × 2 = 4. In other words, they learn how to add equal groups together.

Then, young students learn to imagine and visualize this operation. They are taught to draw a square with the same number of rows and columns, for instance, 3 × 3 = 9 or 5 × 5 = 25.

In their third grade, children start to recognize and realize the difference and connection between two operations: multiplication and division. Young learners are taught to distinguish, for example, 3 × 4 = 12, and 12 ÷ 4 = 3 or 2 × 9 = 18, and 18 ÷ 2 = 9.

By the fourth grade, math problems become more complicated, and kids begin multiplying two-digit numbers by two-digit numbers. And fifth-grade children are able to multiply large numbers successfully.


When kids start learning division, at first, they are taught the basic concept: there are three parts of the division equation. They are the dividend (the first number in the problem), the divisor (the second number in the problem), and the quotient (the solution).

In third grade, kids are introduced to repeated subtraction action. For instance,

 10 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 is the same as 10 ÷ 5. Bit by bit, they are taught to divide two digits by one-digit numbers with solutions greater than 10.

Then, in their fourth and fifth grades, young students begin learning how to divide four-digit numbers by single-digit numbers, and, finally, four-digit numbers by four-digit numbers, like 4,000 ÷ 2 and 8,000 ÷ 4,000, respectively.

Why multiplication and division are not easy for children

What should be born in mind, first of all, is that multiplication and division are the hardest concepts to learn for children. That is why every child needs his personal time to master his skills.

Then, some kids may have trouble with key math abilities, known as number sense. Number sense is a group of skills that allow people to work with numbers, like the ability to understand quantities, symbols that represent quantities (like ‘5’ means the same thing as ‘five’), concepts like ‘more’ and ‘less’, number comparison, etc. Such a disability may cause some problems, especially in Primary school, or even in everyday life but with time and practice, these skills can be improved.

So, when kids struggle with math some of them need more time and practice, while others would be grateful for any additional support.

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