This week the Government has decided that all 11-year- olds should leave primary school knowing their times tables.
Some parents will groan and think it is not necessary and worry at the thought of teaching their child the tables, especially if they had a problem with tables when they were at school.
Ten and 11-year-olds may think their phone has a calculator on it so why do they need to learn their tables?
Well times tables are just patterns of numbers. Many children need to see what numbers are being talked about. What fun parents can have even at an early age counting in groups. Look at the number of shoes in the house. Pairs = two times tables. When in the car count the number of cars ahead of you at the lights. If there are five cars ahead then how many wheels is that? Five lots of four.
Our silver money comes in multiples of fives so get mum to empty her purse to count out the money in fives. Eggs come in boxes of six so look at, (but maybe not touch), them in the supermarket.
The important thing is to make the learning fun and visual, so get out a bag of raisins, currants, sweets and sort them into bundles of a numbers such as threes or sevens and then count them.
Learn tables to music and that will be memorable too.
Have fun helping children to learn about patterns of numbers and then they will be able to put a tick in a box for the Government but also learn something useful for life.
Recently retired head of a school in Wakefield, (18 years)