“Do I haaavvee to do math today?” We’ve all heard it. The whiny drawn-out voice
negotiating math assignments. Like doing math is the equivalent of being stretched on
a rack. Or worse. Like eating peas!
You don’t want your kid to ‘hate math’ and the solution may be simpler than you think!
The kids who ‘hate math’ generally have one thing in common. They haven’t fluently mastered their multiplication facts. Key word: fluently. No counting on fingers, no counting by 5’s up to the answer. They. know. their. facts.
The kids who enjoy math are the ones who know their multiplication tables so well that they don’t have to think about them. Like at all. Like it takes less than two seconds (or even less than ONE second) to come up with an answer to each and every fact. Like 9 x 6 is 54. Instantly.
Learning multiplication facts is the equivalent of learning letter sounds in reading. If you have to sound out every single letter, reading becomes exhausting and frustrating.
When a child KNOWS their multiplication facts, to the point of not having to think about them anymore, then their brain is CLEARED OUT and ready to learn and process more complex mathematical concepts. Having to think about math facts uses valuable brain space and hinders them from easily learning anything further. Every new idea becomes a tiresome chore, because so many preliminary steps involving multiplication facts have to be gotten through first.
Bottom line: Memorizing moves items to long-term memory where the storage space is much larger, and there it can stay until we need it.