Most children and even some adults have trouble remembering the times tables. But why does this happen? Why do kids usually fail to learn math facts?
Here are the basic recommendations to help your kids memorize the multiplication tables quickly and without much effort.
You’ve probably heard that students’ levels of mathematical competence are decreasing continuously. Children are usually taught the fundamentals of math during their first years in school, and that is when a big hole in math education policy is most apparent.
It may sound strange, but the multiplication table is the main problem. In most math handbooks or study guides we can see the following chart:
But what’s the problem? Most parents won’t find anything bad in this table that is familiar from childhood. However, the problem is that this is NOT a multiplication table at all.
The times table actually looks like this:
It is also called the ’table of Pythagoras.’ First and foremost, it’s actually a table. Secondly, this table is interesting.
No child ever finds it appealing to learn already solved mathematical examples by heart.
No child will ever see any interesting patterns or rules for doing multiplication while looking at the previous chart.
Why is the ’table of Pythagoras’ better?
- Firstly, it contains no unnecessary information (like the left part of multiplication examples).
- Secondly, it teaches children to think, not just memorize facts.
- Thirdly, having this table constantly at hand allows the child to memorize the numbers unintentionally — they do not need to make any effort to learn them.
Only children with an extraordinary memory are able to memorize long columns of mathematical examples. If a kid uses the ’table of Pythagoras,’ they have to memorize much less information.
Moreover, there are lots of patterns in the ’table of Pythagoras’ that can help kids to memorize the table more easily. Even students who don’t know how to multiply yet are able to find those patterns. For example, the numbers, which are symmetric with respect to the diagonal, are equal.
The human brain is tuned to detect symmetry. And this helps children to learn multiplication facts more easily and quickly.
The main advantage here is that the child can see the number patterns by themselves. Andif someone invents something by themselves, they preserve it in their memory much longer.