I try to take advantage of every opportunity I have with the kids we do ministry with to reinforce math skills. On Monday as we were walking through downtown Tijuana (to the park where we do our activities with the kids), one of the kids (Italo) joined up with us and walked with us. He is in 3rd grade- or should be, at least. He is enrolled in a school, but he doesn't go consistently. I started quizzing him and practicing. He didn't know the tables past 5, so I started teaching him the 11s as we were walking. I told him the key to knowing how to multiply them, and then started quizzing him.
After our time of ministry, we were walking back to the van and he was with us again. (Imagine your 8 year old child, alone, roaming the streets of downtown Tijuana.) I started quizzing him with the 11s times tables that I taught him on the way over, and to my amazement, he remembered! I was so excited for him, and was able to see great potential in him. If only he had a parent to encourage him to go to school, or a teacher that would help him develop a love for learning so be would be self motivated to go.