Areas of difficulty: maths hacks & tricks to help your child

February 23, 2021


Maths hacks and tricks with Explore Learning tutor

Discover how you can support your child to grasp the core principles of maths.

We’ve put together some handy maths hacks and tricks which will help them to understand techniques, boost their calculation skills, and simplify the madness that is maths! 

Support them to reach their full potential 

Research and experience have taught us that nobody is born with a ‘maths brain’! The brain is a muscle, and just like a runner would train for a marathon, we need to train our brain so it can reach its full potential. Many parents tell us they are under-confident with maths themselves, but there are a few things you can do with your child that will support their learning and ability. Here are four ways to make your child become fearless with their maths:

  • Create a maths-positive environment 

Support your child’s self-belief by showing them that making mistakes help us to grow! Cultivating confidence is essential for generating a greater enthusiasm for maths and is the first step towards success. At Explore, we’re firm believers of nurturing a growth-mindset approach to maths, supporting children to believe that anything is possible when it comes to conquering challenges. Our learning tool, Compass rewards children ‘fearless points’ when they overcome challenges, by using the ‘Fearless FOUR’.  


  • Showcase maths in real-life situations 

The ultimate understanding of new concepts comes from putting them into practice in real-life scenarios. Plus, they can engage your child by making maths more enjoyable! Encourage your child to put their maths to good use with daily challenges such as baking, reading bus timetables or using maps. 


  • Build parallels with literacy 

Word problems are a heavy feature of the curriculum, with ⅓ of every question your child attempts to tackle involving problem-solving skills. Support your child to break down these problems by looking at them as if they were a comprehension question. What are the keywords they need to focus on? 


  • Get involved

Sharing your enthusiasm for the subject with your child can lead to them reflecting this energy! Try learning the below maths hacks together to introduce some fun and create magical maths moments. Our maths tutors are passionate about encouraging children to see the joys in maths through their motivational teaching approach. 



Fun maths learning tips

Anything that makes learning maths slightly different to the traditional textbook methods can invigorate your child’s passion and ignite their interest. 


  • Set up a reward system – this can ensure they enthusiastically stay on task. 
  • Sing songs and rhymes – music can strengthen children’s memory leading to stronger retention.
  • Use an abacus – perfect for children who learn best through visual methods.
  • Try baking – Practice measurements and fractions by baking sweet treats. Great for kinaesthetic learners!
  • Use colour charts and flashcards – Using colourful visual aids will support your child’s memory.



Tricks to boost calculation skills

Improving your child’s mental arithmetic abilities can boost their confidence in quickly finding solutions. Grab some paper for your child to show their workings and have a go at teaching your child these helpful tricks:


Calculating the square of any number that ends with the digit 5

Let’s practice by taking the number 95 and attempt to find its square.

Did you know that the last two digits of the square of any number that ends with a 5 is 25?

  • For your first step, start by writing down the last two digits of the answer, which is 25. 
  • Secondly, look at the first digit in 95 – it’s 9. The number that follows 9 is 10.
  • Next, multiply 9 and 10 to get the answer 90. 
  • Write 90 as the start of your answer, in front of the 25 which you already wrote down at the beginning. 

This makes the complete solution of 9025. The square of 95 is 9025! 

Your turn: what is the square of 35?

(Answers at the end)


Maths hacks for multiplication

Easily find the answer to any number multiplied by 11

Let’s try using the example of multiplying 45 by 11:

  • Separate the digits, 4 and 5 with a space between them like:  4 [ ] 5.
  • Now, carry out the addition of the two digits, 4 and 5, and write them in the centre space you’ve created, such as 4 [4+5 = 9] 5.
  • That’s your answer: 45 x 11 = 495!

Top tip: If the sum happens to be a two-digit number, such as with 56, which gives us: 5 [11] 6, simply add the tens place of the sum with the first digit like so:

This would then be [5+1 = 6] [1] 6, making the answer as 616! 

Your turn: what is 66 x 11?

(Answers at the end)


Multiplying any Number Quickly by 9

Let’s give this one a go by taking a large number such as 754.

  • To multiply this with 9, simply add a 0 at the end and subtract the original number.
  • That makes it 7540 – 754 = 6786. That’s how quick it is!
Your turn: what is 862 x 9?

(Answers at the end)


Discover how our maths tutoring brings learning to life through vibrant teaching methods. 



1. Square of 35 = 1125 
2. 66 x 11 = 726
3. 862 x 9 = 7758

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