GETTING STARTED!

Watch these videos before you begin using MathHacked with your kid. The videos are short and you can watch all of them in under 20 minutes!

  • Brief Orientation For Facilitators!
Brief Orientation For Facilitators!


  • What If My Child Doesn’t Want To Participate?
What If My Child Doesn’t Want To Participate?

Video Transcript

  • At MathHacked we’re not about force; instead we go for the child’s “buy-in.” Why? Because we all know that as parents, while we may succeed (for a time) at forcing a child’s hands and back to do what we want them to do…their hearts and minds, their creativity, enthusiasm, great attitudes and strong work ethic, can only be volunteered. When hearts and minds are volunteered, that’s when the magic happens! That’s when they become sponges for more learning.
  • To make that buy-in an easy thing to obtain, you’ll see that we’ve gone to great lengths to make our MathHacked cards and box bespeak FUN to kids, making it easy for them to want to try it. Then we’ve made sure that the first step feels so easy and fun–and makes them feel so smart and capable!–that they’re excited to go on to the next step…and so on, till the end. I got such a kick out of one child overflowing with excitement saying, “I like how you have all the easy ones in here, Mrs. Linchenko.” Lol. They all felt easy!
  • But let’s say that for whatever reason your child doesn’t want to participate: Rather than force, we invite, invite, and invite again till they take us up on it. Please don’t worry because the net result of waiting for your child to opt in, waiting for that decision, is muuuuch faster than force or negativity will ever produce for you.
  • Similarly, rather than pushing through to a “good stopping point” on any given lesson or practice session, we’re happy to stop for the day mid-sentence if need be…the moment the verbal and non-verbal cues from the child tell us they’re “checking out.” Let the emotional state of your student be your guide. This puts them in the driver’s seat of their own education, saving us parents a great deal of time and “get that homework done” pushing down the road. Imagine how nice that will be!
  • Important note: we understand that as good parents and teachers, there are times when for their own safety, we must “force” kids to do what we want them to do. For example, it would be completely appropriate to forcibly remove a child from the path of an oncoming car. Of course! Additionally, we may occasionally feel inspired to insist on certain things and/or we may not have the leeway to be flexible. We are their parents after all. But for greatest effectiveness, when those occasions arrive we suggest that rather than borrowing an authoritarian tone for strength of purpose (which alienates), that a compassionate one be used to help them through it (which bonds).

  • How Long Will It Take For My Child To Master His/Her Multiplication And Division Facts?
How Long Will It Take For My Child To Master His/Her Multiplication And Division Facts?

Video Transcript

  • This is a difficult question to answer because there are sooo many variables which affect the timing. But we can tell you unequivocally that this system will provide progress to your student much more quickly than any traditional method out there, and without the toll on the nerves!
  • We hope you will simply let go of any preconceived time-frame and will instead commit to 1) letting your child set the pace and 2) being as consistent as your circumstances allow. Consistency is key and will ensure the quickest and surest route to math competency and math confidence.
  • Note: Please don’t let the word consistency scare you! It is not required for success, only for the speediest success, so please no worries about what you are frankly unable to do. We hope it also eases your mind to know that the “teacher essential” videos (for training you how to proceed with your child) are on average only 7 minutes apiece, and that the daily practice with your kids–while giving them your eyes and your smiles!–should take only around 10-15 minutes a day. Plus it’s fun; how much easier to be consistent and to bust through the tape on that finish line when you’re busy having fun!
  • Last but not least, please feel assured and completely and utterly confident that investing this time in your child’s math foundation up-front–or taking the time and care to solidify that foundation as soon as you possibly can–will like any good investment, come back to reward you and your child very, very handsomely.

  • What Type Of Learning Atmosphere Should I Shoot For?
What Type Of Learning Atmosphere Should I Shoot For?

Video Transcript

  • The learning atmosphere is very important. Do whatever you can to make this process (and all learning!) seem spontaneous and fun. Teach them on the floor if possible. Allow them the freedom to wiggle and move as much as they want. The MathHacked way is to not require little ones to sit still, be quiet, or continue in the process beyond what their words or body language is telling you. The act of thinking is hard enough by itself without the added “weight” of their having to hold still!
  • Change up locations and times if possible so the learning feels more organic, less organized. This plants in their minds that learning can happen anywhere and at any time. Also, they love to see serendipity and spontaneity in adults and helps them relate to us more naturally and fully. 🙂
  • If yours is the type of child who craves formal-type lessons, feel free to do that too. Having formal lessons is just another way to switch it up; just don’t get hung up on the idea that learning should always happen this way.
  • Basic rule of thumb: If they like what you’re doing, do it–ride the wave. If they become bugged or frustrated, BACK OFF IMMEDIATELY! What I like to do upon seeing either a decrease in engagement or any negative emotion is to first check myself to make sure I’m being positive and encouraging and next to ask questions of the child: “How are you feeling? Are you getting tired? Wanna keep going or would you rather do something else now?”

  • What’s The Best Way To Interact With My Student To Make This Successful?
What’s The Best Way To Interact With My Student To Make This Successful?

Video Transcript

  • MathHacked operates under the paradigm that children are not to be underestimated. We ask that parents and teachers work hard to obtain and maintain the mindset that at their core, kids are really just adults in smaller bodies who have wants and needs very similar to ours. They are smarter than we give them credit for and–if given time and space–much more capable of making good decisions than we might guess. We further advocate that they should be treated the same as we’d treat our most important customers or clients–because, are they not?? 🙂 And not-so-incidentally, keeping this mindset about them will bring much improved results.
  • We believe that how  you administer something is as important to its success as any what you are doing, and that MathHacked is no different.
  • We believe that student inability is usually nothing more than teacher inflexibility. For this reason, we have designed our system from the child’s point of view, our greatest victory being that they will want  to do it, from the very first moments to the very last. We suggest that you interact with them during the process in a way that they will also look forward to and enjoy from beginning to end; in fact, that is key to your child’s success!

  • How Will I know When My Child Is Ready For The Next Step?
How Will I know When My Child Is Ready For The Next Step?

Video Transcript

  • Once you feel a child has mastered a skill well enough to begin working with a new deck, there is a rule of thumb I like to use to become fully satisfied that s/he is, in fact, ready: My policy is to wait overnight, making sure their minds have been completely removed and distracted from any thought of math for a good while. Once their level of mastery and speed retains overnight, they’re ready to move on. What you’re looking for “automatic and effortless.” We let the cement dry before building on it.
  • Note: If the child has almost all the cards at mastery level, it will be easier and quicker for the child if you DON’T move on to the next deck quite yet! Find ways to have the child see the card(s) that take a little thinking more often than the others until the answers pop out easily on every last card of the deck.

  • Why Are There No Answers On The Cards?
Why Are There No Answers On The Cards?

Video Transcript

  • The reason we put no answers on the cards is to make it easier for the kids to learn! To be without that crutch actually enhances their ability to remember their math facts. Think of it this way: when instructions are given to a carload of people, it’s the mind of the driver that kicks into a higher gear. The passengers are likely to retain only a vague recollection of details as they either consciously or subconsciously rely on the driver to catch the information. In short, knowing they have only their minds to rely on, they will naturally use their minds to greater capacity.

  • Relax And Feel Confident!
Relax And Feel Confident!

Video Transcript

  • At MathHacked, we firmly believe in vulnerability. By allowing children to see us vulnerable–being absolutely okay with making mistakes, admitting when we make them or when we don’t know something, being excited (rather than embarrassed) to look up something we don’t yet know, being happy to ‘learn as we go’ right along side them–builds not only their trust in us but also their confidence in themselves.
  • Two really great phrases to adopt: 1) “I don’t know but that’s an interesting question; let’s go look it up!” (or when they’re older, “Look it up and let me know what you find out!”); and 2) “Oops, can I try that again?” (a favorite of mine; use it when you make a mistake in tone or wording).
  • Note: Saying GOODBYE to Perfectionism builds confidence in kids. So do it; say goodbye! All you’ll lose is a little ego and that’s a very good thing. Who of us wants our kids to grow up full of ego? Children will more likely end up doing what we do than doing what we’ve told them to do.

  • What If My Child Already Knows Most Of The Times Tables?
What If My Child Already Knows Most Of The Times Tables?

Video Transcript

  • One would think that if a child knows many or even most of the times tables, their confidence would be pretty high, but sadly, it doesn’t seem to work that way. Think about the confidence you would feel–especially carrying something heavy–walking on a flat, solid, smooth surface of cement. You would soon come to trust yourself and move with ease and confidence, right? Now think about how confident you would feel if a mere quarter of the floor’s surface were wet, bumpy or crooked. Rather than twenty-five percent lower, your drop in confidence would be nearly complete, as you’d never know what your next step would bring. Math is like that.
  • Sometimes in life, the quickest way to get to your destination is to start over. Strange but true! If your child is “pretty good” at times tables and hates math, that “pretty good” part could very well be the reason math homework has become such a dreaded task.
  • To gain complete mastery at any given step it is always a good idea at some point to pull aside the “stragglers”–the equations that are not yet automatic–and drill those till they’re up to speed and then mix them back into the group and have another go!

  • A Word About The Bonus Cards (Deluxe Edition)
A Word About The Bonus Cards (Deluxe Edition)

Video Transcript

  • In the Deluxe Edition of MathHacked, there are special cards (Quote Cards and Concept Cards) found behind the last tab called “Bonus.”
  • Quote Cards: The philosophies behind MathHacked–those ideas and beliefs that make it so successful and effective for kids–have been collected and integrated over the course of 30 years. This has been done through study, experiment, trial and error (TONZZZ of error!), and the gathering of favorite quotes. We chose for you just twenty of these which we hope you will enjoy, ponder, discuss, and hang around your home as reminders of avenues for developing greater effectiveness and richer relationships within your home or classrooms. Our ultimate hope with MathHacked is to return time and emotional space back to families so parents and kids can simply enjoy each other more; that we help kids get their times tables down cold is purely a bonus! 😉 JK, that’s VERRRY important to us too–in fact, VITAL for math confidence and WELL WORTH taking the time for.
  • Concept Cards: We believe that an effective teacher gives “as little as possible, but as much as necessary” toward the success of a child. The more we give, the less the opportunity for confidence, discovery, mental-muscle building and the love of learning to flourish. We have provided several really fun concept cards for one of two reasons: 1) to provide fun and delight for kids AFTER they have already mastered the associated math facts through the use of their own imagination and their own mental power; and 2) to provide an additional aid in those special cases where the child really does need a little extra help remembering. But a word of caution: do try not to use them for teaching if at all possible. As an example, I tutored a 14-year-old who had been labeled “developmentally delayed” by professionals at two different schools, but as it turned out, he was not at all mentally deficient; he was just discouraged and stuck in educational lock-down. In fact, our tagline comes from a quote from him: “This program is magic; I feel like Einstein right now.”

  • Greasing The Skids!
Greasing The Skids!

Video Transcriptions 

This following little idea takes no time to understand or administer and will help facilitate for your young student some of the final steps in the system. Sort of like “greasing the skids” for the trickier cards to come.

PERMANENT ASSOCIATIONS: Your assignment starting right now is to be on the lookout for opportunities to mention to your child these “permanent associations” (bulleted below) in the course of every day life or with their various activities in school. Bring these numbers up as often as you can fit them in! (You’ll notice that if we adults have trouble remembering some of our own times tables, they are usually not the ones that have the associations below that we are all used to.)

  • Whenever you see or talk about a large carton of eggs, refer to it as an “18 EGGER.”
  • Whenever you need to say “in a week,” say instead “in a week, that’s seven days”
  • Instead of “2 weeks,” say, “2 weeks, that’s 14 days” …and so on….
  • “3 weeks, that’s 21 days”
  • “A dozen, that’s 12”
  • “2 dozen or 24”
  • 5 feet tall, that’s 60 inches (Have you ever measured everyone in your family as a fun family activity? Do you have marks inside a cupboard or on a wall where you mark new growth? These are great opportunities to mention these associations.)
  • If your child hasn’t yet made a permanent association of February and 28 (or 4 weeks), here’s a little ditty you can use as you drive down the road with them doing your errands. (Getting their minds distracted with little things like this works better than telling them to behave.) “Thirty days has September, April, June and November. All the rest have thirty-one, except February, which has twenty-eight, but on leap year, twenty-nine.”

SIDE-NOTE: Work on expanding this to other little facts about this-that-and-everything that you can slip in to life’s moments. The more things you help your kids “pick up,” the fewer they will have to sit down and learn, and more importantly, the more interested they will become in learning.


  • Just For Fun – Elijah, 3 Years Old
Just For Fun – Elijah, 3 Years Old

Video Transcript

  • Elijah was watching Heather teach his sister, Alice, and asked if he could do it. She didn’t say, “You’re not old enough yet,” but just picked out four cards and started working with him. It doesn’t bother her a bit that he bounces all over and makes a game of popping across the couch to tell her the answer in her ear. (We’re showing you most of it in fast motion so you can get a kick out of just how much he moves around lol.) At one point, he wanted her to hold the cards upside down and she happily obliged. The result? He had a great deal of fun for a short time, learned two of what we call “The Marrieds,” and is full of positive feelings about math. He’ll be rarin’ to go when it’s his turn.
  • This is a great example of “finding ways to say YES,” which is a fruit of the philosophies driving MathHacked.