Children should learn multiplication tables because it is an important part of their elementary education. Scientific research suggests that “as children learn basic arithmetic, they gradually switch from solving problems by counting on their fingers to pulling facts from memory”. Mastering multiplication tables not only helps students gain a solid foundation in mathematics, but also aids them to excel in other subjects such as science, geography, and computer studies throughout middle school, high school, and beyond.
Why Multiplication Tables Are Beneficial for Students
Let’s discuss some of the ways in which learning multiplication tables can benefit students.
1. Multiplication Tables Make Children Smarter
Multiplication tables come in handy in children’s everyday life situations. Children who have mastered multiplication tables can tell time, measure distance, and weigh different objects accurately. They have no problem doubling numbers, determining a discount at a store, figuring out the expected arrival time when traveling, and working out days of the weeks, months, or years. They can confidently calculate currency exchange values and count large sums without using a calculator. Math calculations are performed at a subconscious level during work, play, and daily chores. Knowing the multiplication tables can help simple tasks to be performed rapidly and save time and stress.
2. Multiplication Tables Can Boost Students’ Confidence
Learning multiplication and memorizing the times tables are building blocks for other advanced math topics taught at school. When it comes to higher learning such as long multiplication, fractions, algebra, and geometry, it is impractical for students to use an alternative method of multiplying numbers rather than pulling multiplication tables from their memory. The students have to solve math problems quickly, and there is no time to pull out a calculator or take 20 seconds to work out a math strategy before coming up with the answer. Therefore, students who have not learned multiplication tables struggle in learning advanced math skills; they begin to lose confidence and vice versa.
3. Multiplication Tables Serve As a Tonic for Strengthening Muscle Memory
Prof. Lynda Colgan from Queen’s University encourages the use of math games to create “muscle memory” in the brain of students, simultaneously making it possible for students to retain their number facts and laying the groundwork for more complicated computations and applications down the road. Prof. Lynda Colgan also states that familiarity and proficiency with the basic times tables are essential building blocks in math. It opens the door to multi-digit multiplication and demystifies processes like long division and simplifying fractions. It lays the foundation for algebra.
4. Mastering Multiplication Tables Promotes Number Sense in Students
Mathematics is all about manipulating numbers in many different ways. Almost all math skills, simple or complex, require a strong ‘number sense’. Learning multiplication tables and practicing them from time to time helps elementary students make sense of numbers and their products. By using a “math makes sense” approach to complex multi-digit mathematical operations, students can use their basic number facts logically and efficiently to master the following skills:
What Age Should a Child Learn Multiplication Tables?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It all boils down to the individual learning capability of a student. However, the basic rule of thumb is that a child should have mastered basic arithmetic skills (for example, addition, subtraction, arrays, counting by 2’s and 5’s) before learning times tables. Some children can achieve this goal by the age of nine. Practicing math concepts with the help of video tutorials and live classes can accelerate learning for the students.
Many parents and teachers find it hard to teach multiplication tables to elementary students because they deem the whole process to be very stressful. However, it is hard to teach advanced mathematical skills to students who do not learn multiplication tables. By tailoring exercises to your child’s learning needs, MathProject supports your child at every stage of their learning journey. Rather than being a typical math tutoring service, we offer live, interactive online math programs to transform learning into an engaging educational adventure for students. Contact us for more information.
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How Children’s Brains Memorize Math Facts — www.sciencedaily.com
The Importance of Memorizing the Times Tables — https://lawyerment.com
Why All Children Must Learn Their Times Tables — And Fun Ways to Teach Them — https://theconversation.com